How to Get Multiple Streams of Income from your Subscriber List

If you have spent time, money and effort developing a list of devoted subscribers, you deserve to be compensated for all that hard work. One way to profit from your list is to sell it to other online marketers by becoming a solo ad provider.

Size Matters

The two most important things to consider when offering to sell solo ads is the size of your list and the conversion rate.

For example, if you sell a solo ad list of 1,000 subscribers and your conversion rate is 2%, the buyer is going to make 20 sales from that solo ad purchase. But if you sell them a list with10,000 subscribers and your conversion rate is only 1%, you are going to make 100 sales.

Similarly, if your product niche is weight loss and your solo ad customers are into horseracing, they aren’t going to make as many sales as they would if they were to buy a solo ad from somebody whose subscribers are into health and fitness.

Make It Worth Their While

Before you sell any solo ad, make sure your list is large enough so that your buyers are going to achieve maximum exposure for their investment and that your subscribers are already highly targeted toward being predisposed to purchase products within you niche.

As a solo ad seller, it’s best to be upfront about what you are selling.

Remember: The solo ad market is still pretty young, so there is a lot of room for negotiation. For example, you can even ask for a guarantee that you will make back what you are investing from their list. The worst thing they can say is no.

Identifying Prospective Buyers

Finding the best people to work with for selling solo ads or for ad swaps depends on two major factors:

  • How comfortable you are working with them
  • How much potential traffic you can bring them and — in the case of ad swaps — they can bring you.

Most of the solo ad customers you get are going to come from referrals from other solo ad providers. That’s why it is so important to constantly be networking with other affiliate product marketers: You always want to keep these doorways of communication open.

You aren’t really competing directly for the same pool of customers … unlike most brick and mortar businesses … so there really is no reason not to maintain friendly and cooperative relations with others.

Enhancing Your Reputation

When people buy solo ads from you — especially if they don’t know you — they probably are only going to buy small lists from your first to see how they work out.

That’s fine. That gives you an opportunity to prove yourself to your solo ad customer. Once you do, you can make ever increasing sales to them.

Sell Your Services

Be prepared to answer your customers’ questions. Be prepared to answer such questions as:

  • How big is your list?
  • Where do you get most of your traffic? Ad swaps? Organic search rankings?
  • How many clicks do you send on average per mailing?
  • Where do the clicks come from? Social media?
  • Do you have sub specialties or segments?
  • How fresh are the leads? How many new leads do you bring on in a regular basis?
  • What is the cost?
  • Feedback: Can you provide testimonials from other partners done solo ads for?

You also want to encourage your buyers to subscribe to your list so they can see the types of things you are sending out.

Building your list then selling it as solo ads is a great secondary income to your passive affiliate marketing streams and one you can’t afford to ignore.

Get Your Online Customers to Strike While the Iron is Hot

Did you know that the “impulse items” you see at the checkout line of your local grocery store are some of the best-selling items in the store? It’s true. And the reason why holds some important lessons for your online marketing efforts. 

The Value of Convenience

If you ask your grocery store customer to spend too much time considering the decision of whether or not to buy these items, you will almost certainly lose the sale.

Why? Because they will come to realize that for the same price of the single bottle of ice cold soda they are grabbing, they could practically get a six pack if they were to take the time to walk back to the soda aisle.

Ah, but that would mean they would have to lose their place in line.

And if they stop to think about the gossip magazine they are grabbing — which usually costs a relatively

high amount of money compared to other magazines, especially for what they are getting — they probably would put it back.

The Power of Impulse Buying

But the grocery line is moving and they have to make a split second decision on whether or not to add it to their pile of groceries. And since they don’t have time to consider it, odds are that if they are on the fence they will impulsively buy it.

So consider your squeeze page visitor. If they are surfing the net and they come across your squeeze page, while they may not be in a moving grocery line, their time is still limited. That’s because there are literally millions of other pages they can go to that are competing with your squeeze page for their attention.

Cater to Your Customers’ Impulses

So you want to make your squeeze page as fast and effective as possible. You don’t have time to present a lengthy treatise on why your product is the best, how it has been supported by experts and list a myriad of reports to back up your claim.

You have to make your arguments using bullet points, which is almost a shorthand version of what you are trying to communicate to them.

Remember, the key is to show them how what you are offering … your Lead Magnet Report, which is another name for your free giveaway … is going to solve some sort of problem they are having in their lives or in some way make their lives better.

So whatever your niche is, you need to frame your giveaway as a problem solver using bullet points.

Different Rules Apply

Usually in prose writing, capital letters, underlining, exclamation points, different colors and bold print are usually discouraged. But a squeeze page is a unique document in which the normal rules of prose are thrown out the window.

The sole purpose of the email or squeeze page is to convert a prospect into following your CTA. As the writer, it is your job to use every weapon at your disposal to achieve this objective.

Having said that, it is generally better to start slow and build up as you get closer to the end. That means if you pepper your prose with a lot of words in capital letters or exclamation points right from the beginning, you are likely to come off as a crazy person, and therefore unreliable.

But if, as you move through your sales pitch, you gradually implement some of these tools in a natural way to emphasize growing excitement about the amazing properties of the product you are selling, they can be effective in getting your reader to share in your excitement.

A Professional Approach to Maximizing Your Online Revenues

A Professional Approach to Maximizing Your Online Revenues

Modern marketing methods such as email marketing, social media marketing and other web-based marketing, offer huge advantages over more traditional marketing methods. They are faster, more specific and less expensive, often free.

But they have disadvantages as well.

The Internet Remembers Everything

One of the biggest is that anything you create and post online is permanent and instantly accessible to anybody on the web. That means if you mistakenly post something that is inappropriate, misinformed, objectionable or misguided, it will live forever on the internet, even if you attempt to delete it or remove it.

A lot of internet users have learned this lesson the hard way. Just ask high school students whose college applications have been rejected because of photos they posted from drinking parties.

Or that unlucky congressman who thought it would be a good idea to send “private” photos to inappropriate recipients, only to see their intimate images end up on newspaper front pages.

Keep It Clean and Family-Friendly

Anytime a new technology changes the marketplace, there is a learning curve as people adjust to the new opportunities and pitfalls that the improvements offer. This is precisely what is happening today with internet marketing.

To avoid disenfranchising a portion of your existing or future customer base, it’s a good idea to always keep your emails, social media postings, or any postings anywhere completely professional and free from anything that could be considered objectionable.

Although it’s important that your postings be positive, fun and approachable, avoid using any kind of questionable language; making jokes that could be considered racist, sexist or offensive to any group of people; or even expressing controversial political or social opinions.

Act Like a True Professional          

What you post online – whether it is a private email, a Facebook status update, a Twitter “tweet” or a throwaway comment on somebody’s blog post – will live forever online and can always come back to haunt you.

Be professional, show restraint and avoid posting anything that could in any way get you into trouble later.

Take Full Advantage of Automation

One of the biggest advantages of email marketing is that list generation and maintenance are usually automated.

Your autoresponder program will take care of capturing the email addresses of people who respond to your inquiries, compiling those addresses in any combination of email lists you require.

And your autoresponder will send out targeted emails to every address on each of the lists, without your ever having to “touch” any of those addresses by manually inputting it or altering it in any way. This cuts down on emails being sent to the wrong address or people receiving your marketing materials when they don’t want them.

Give Customers an ‘Out’

But some maintenance to keep your list timely and accurate is still required from you. In order to maintain good customer relations, you should always offer an “opt-out” box on any email that you send out.

This option asks the customer if they would like to stop receiving emails and promotions from you. It has the dual benefit of making your customer think you care about what they want and cleaning up your email list by removing people who aren’t interested in your products.

If customers ask you to stop sending them your emails, you need to comply with their wishes. If you don’t, there is a good possibility they will report you to your internet provider or web master and your account can be suspended or even banned, putting you out of commission, if only temporarily. It’s also simply good business.

Another way to keep your list up to date is to stop sending emails to recipients if they fail to respond or even open one of your emails after several attempts. In most cases, your autoresponder program will be able to keep track of this and you can determine the number of attempts prior to terminating the address automatically.

A Professional Approach to Maximizing Your Online Revenues

Online revenue
A Professional Approach to Maximising Your Online Revenues

Modern marketing methods such as email marketing, social media marketing and other web-based marketing, offer huge advantages over more traditional marketing methods. They are faster, more specific and less expensive, often free.

But they have disadvantages as well.

The Internet Remembers Everything

One of the biggest is that anything you create and post online is permanent and instantly accessible to anybody on the web. That means if you mistakenly post something that is inappropriate, misinformed, objectionable or misguided, it will live forever on the internet, even if you attempt to delete it or remove it.

A lot of internet users have learned this lesson the hard way. Just ask high school students whose college applications have been rejected because of photos they posted from drinking parties.

Or that unlucky congressman who thought it would be a good idea to send “private” photos to inappropriate recipients, only to see their intimate images end up on newspaper front pages.

Keep It Clean and Family-Friendly

Anytime a new technology changes the marketplace, there is a learning curve as people adjust to the new opportunities and pitfalls that the improvements offer. This is precisely what is happening today with internet marketing.

To avoid disenfranchising a portion of your existing or future customer base, it’s a good idea to always keep your emails, social media postings, or any postings anywhere completely professional and free from anything that could be considered objectionable.

Although it’s important that your postings be positive, fun and approachable, avoid using any kind of questionable language; making jokes that could be considered racist, sexist or offensive to any group of people; or even expressing controversial political or social opinions.

Act Like a True Professional          

What you post online – whether it is a private email, a Facebook status update, a Twitter “tweet” or a throwaway comment on somebody’s blog post – will live forever online and can always come back to haunt you.

Be professional, show restraint and avoid posting anything that could in any way get you into trouble later.

Take Full Advantage of Automation

One of the biggest advantages of email marketing is that list generation and maintenance are usually automated.

Your autoresponder program will take care of capturing the email addresses of people who respond to your inquiries, compiling those addresses in any combination of email lists you require.

And your autoresponder will send out targeted emails to every address on each of the lists, without your ever having to “touch” any of those addresses by manually inputting it or altering it in any way. This cuts down on emails being sent to the wrong address or people receiving your marketing materials when they don’t want them.

Give Customers an ‘Out’

But some maintenance to keep your list timely and accurate is still required from you. In order to maintain good customer relations, you should always offer an “opt-out” box on any email that you send out.

This option asks the customer if they would like to stop receiving emails and promotions from you. It has the dual benefit of making your customer think you care about what they want and cleaning up your email list by removing people who aren’t interested in your products.

If customers ask you to stop sending them your emails, you need to comply with their wishes. If you don’t, there is a good possibility they will report you to your internet provider or web master and your account can be suspended or even banned, putting you out of commission, if only temporarily. It’s also simply good business.

Another way to keep your list up to date is to stop sending emails to recipients if they fail to respond or even open one of your emails after several attempts. In most cases, your autoresponder program will be able to keep track of this and you can determine the number of attempts prior to terminating the address automatically.

5 Ways to Find the Best Digital Products that People Desperately Want

Digital Product
5 Ways to Find the Best Digital Products that People Desperately Want

Affiliate marketing is a real and legitimate business model that is used by more than 1.5 million people on Clickbank alone. Affiliate marketing has always been around, but it has erupted into enormous popularity because of the Internet.

The reason why is because besides entertainment, people use the Internet mostly to search for products and services that they want to buy. With the World Wide Web, there are no international borders. People living in Katmandu can buy from you just as easily as people down the street.

So the pool of potential customers is simply enormous. Given that there are at least 1 billion people online at any given moment — which is a conservative estimate — any product you can possibly imagine has buyers out there somewhere.

No Delivery Limitations

With digital products such as eBooks, audio courses, video series and so on there’s not even any delivery issues to consider. You don’t need to mail or transport physical products to people. All you need to do is make it possible for people to download digital products to any device anywhere instantly.

The profit potential for affiliate products is limitless. There is no cap to the number of products you can promote or how many people you can promote them to. In fact, the larger your product line and the bigger your customer base, the more money you can stand to earn.

You don’t even have to worry about administration of your sales program because you are only the representative of somebody else. You don’t have to track sales or even collect taxes. All you have to do is promote products and cash checks.

Connect to Affiliate Networks

The easiest place to find affiliate products are through affiliate networks. These are places that offer thousands — and in some cases millions — of products, both physical and digital, that you can promote as an affiliate marketer.

Essentially, these affiliate networks act as clearinghouses for affiliate products so you can simply go to them, find products you want to promote and then start promoting them to your customers … whether they be your friends and family, you social media network, your email subscription list, or whoever you want.

Non-Exclusive Networks

Now, you might think that affiliate networks are exclusive regarding who represents their products, but that’s not really the case. Generally, just about anybody is allowed to promote affiliate products, as long as they are legitimate, don’t use underhanded tactics and don’t misrepresent themselves to their customers.

Most affiliate networks are free to join. Obviously, you don’t need to create your own products. And, usually, the affiliate network will provide you with all the marketing tools you need to promote their products for free.

You usually will get emails you can copy and paste to your subscription list, ad copy you can use if you want to buy Pay-Per-Click Ads or other types of ads, even pre-written blogs you can use as your own to promote specific products.

Amazon

One of the largest affiliate networks on the planet is Amazon.com. As you probably are aware, Amazon is the world’s largest online retailer.

But what you may not be aware of is that Amazon sells about 40 percent of its products via affiliates … or people just like you that promote Amazon products on their blogs, on their Facebook page, in Tweets or wherever and lead customers back to Amazon to buy them.

Commission Junction

For digital products, there are countless affiliate networks, some good, some not so good. One of the biggest is Commission Junction.

But probably the best on is Clickbank. It offers more than 46,000 different digital products covering every imaginable niche. Because Clickbank offers such a wide variety of products in so many different niches, it’s the top affiliate network for you to look for products to promote.

Clickbank

What makes it even better is that Clickbank offers commissions of up to 75 and 85 percent on the products you sell. No wonder it processes more than 35,000 transactions per day and generates about $350 million per year in revenue.

Clickbank also operates in 200 different countries, so when you promote their products, you truly have a global customer base.

Top 5 Benefits to Promoting Affiliate Products

Top 5 Benefits to Promoting Affiliate Products

One of the fastest and easiest ways to get an online business up and running so you can earn recurrent income hands-free is by promoting affiliate products.

What are affiliate products? These are products that other people own and that you simply promote. These can be actual, physical products — such as bicycles, cars, homes and so on. Or they can be digital Information Products — such as an eBook or a video course.

When you promote affiliate products, every time you make a sale you get a commission on that sale. In other words, when you lead a customer to the product owner’s website and that customer spends money to buy that product, you get some of that money.

Automatic Sales Commissions

How much of a sales commission do you get? It all depends on the product and the terms of the affiliate agreement, but it can be anywhere from 3 to 5 percent to up to 75 percent of the sale price or even more.

Regardless of the sales commission, the more customers you lead to the seller, the more money you are going to make. So there really is no limit to the amount of money you can make with affiliate marketing.

A Recurrent Profit Structure

This is a little bit like Multi-Layer Marketing — or MLM — which is something some of you may already be familiar with. That’s when you sell other people’s products but you have to buy them yourself first. Examples include Amway, Mary Kay Cosmetics and tons of other business opportunities.

The difference between affiliate marketing and MLM is that with affiliate marketing you don’t have to buy any products yourself. All you need to do is to lead customers to where they can buy the products themselves and you get paid.

As the affiliate marketer, you are sort of like a middle man. Another way to think about it is that you are part of the seller’s sales team or sales force who is promoting their product in exchange for a commission.

No Upfront Costs or Inventory Required

One of the biggest benefits of affiliate marketing is that there aren’t any upfront costs. There are no products to buy and warehouse and no inventory that you are responsible for.

You don’t have to collect any money from customers or handle any actual products. You don’t have to provide customer support. You don’t need to have your own team of employees. Really, you don’t need anything except your own abilities and an internet connection and you can make a boat load of money with affiliate marketing.

Whenever Somebody Buys, You Get Paid

Literally all you have to do is to lead customers to where they can buy the products you are promoting and you can earn up to 75 or 80 percent of the sales price in many cases. That makes affiliate marketing an excellent, highly profitable business model.

So how much money can you expect to make with affiliate marketing? Well, the many web-based entrepreneurs who have affiliate marketing platforms in place right now are making six figures a year or more.

Super Affiliates

There are even a lot of super affiliates. These are people who have quit their full-time jobs and focus exclusively on affiliate marketing — and who are making more than a million per year with it.

It’s a great business model because of the opportunities created by the Internet. Remember that there are about 5 billion people on the planet and at least half of them — and closer to three-quarters — have access to the Internet. That means there is practically a bottomless supply of potential customers online at any given time.

Finding innovative new ways to connect with customers and promoting affiliate products that practically sell themselves is one of the fastest and easiest ways to build a recurrent, hands-free revenue stream that can earn you a substantial income over time.

You Can Make Money as an Amazon Associate Starting Today

amazon associates
You Can Make Money as an Amazon Associate Starting Today

As an Internet marketer, you probably already know that promoting other people’s products is the fastest, easiest and most effective way to make money online. But what type of products you can promote with your affiliate marketing business?

The answer is … anything.

A Global Marketplace

You can promote literally anything and there are both people out there who will buy it and other people who are selling it who are more than happy to pay you to lead paying customers to them – both physical and digital products.

Have you ever heard of a website called Amazon.com? Of course you have! It’s the world’s largest online retailer. Amazon offers every imaginable product for sale, from sailboats to books, from DVDs to vacation homes. If you can think it, Amazon sells it.

But did you know that Amazon will pay you to promote their products? It’s true!

Promoting Amazon’s Products

Amazon has an affiliate program called Amazon Associates. All you do is sign up — for free — select which products from their vast catalogue of products that you want to promote and then start selling.

You can promote the products you have selected just about anywhere … from your blog to your Facebook page to your web page. You can send out emails to people on your subscription list telling them about the products you are promoting.

You can promote products on Twitter. You can use your Instagram account. All you need is the ability to give your buyers a link that they can follow back to Amazon and buy the products you are promoting and you get paid.

Getting Started

When you sign up with Amazon Associates, you can select any of the millions of products offered by Amazon.

Then, when you make your selections, you are given a personalized URL. This is the link to the Amazon product that you are promoting. You can insert that link into your web page, social media posts, emails, blogs or anywhere you like.

Whenever somebody clicks on the URL, they are led directly to the Amazon page where they can purchase that product. When they buy the product, an identification code embedded in the URL tells Amazon who should receive the commission.

Money in the Bank

Amazon also maintains its own payment system, so you don’t need to have PayPal or another payment program to participate. Commissions can be held in the Amazon account, used to purchase products on the site, or can be sent directly to you via your bank account, a check or a prepaid debit card. There are more than 900,000 members in the Amazon Affiliate program.

How much commission do you get paid? It depends on the product you sell but it begins at 4 percent.

It also depends on how many products you sell for Amazon. Generally, the more units you sell, the higher your commission, with the highest commission they pay right now being 8.5 percent.

Another Money-Making Option

ClickBank is a website that specializes in digital products such as eBooks, videos, audio recordings … anything that can be downloaded through your computer. Unlike Amazon, Clickbank doesn’t sell any physical products, which actually makes it really efficient because they don’t have to worry about delivery systems, securing inventory and all that stuff.

Okay, the best thing about Clickbank is that they pay up to 75% commission on affiliate sales that you make. The commission varies from product to product, but essentially it stays within the 70% to 75% range for the digital products that you promote through Clickbank.

Think about that for a minute. Let’s say you are promoting an eBook on your web page related to health and fitness. The book costs 10 dollars. Somebody goes to your page, reads about the book, clicks on the link and buys it. BANG! You just made $7.50.

Now, let’s say you did a good job or promoting this product on your web page and you also did a good job or getting people to visit your web page. If that’s the case, then it wouldn’t at all unusual for 100 people to buy the eBook through the link on you page.

Congratulations! You just made$750. If a thousand people buy it, you make $7,500. And so on and so on.

Top 5 Ways to Convert Customers with Your Sales Letters

sales letter
Top 5 Ways to Convert Customers with Your Sales Letters

If you have created an original info product, you have completed about half your task as an Internet marketer. The remaining part of journey toward marketing success is promoting your product so that highly-targeted customers can find it. For that, you are going to need a sales page.

A sales page essentially is an advertisement for the product you have created. But unlike traditional print advertising like a newspaper or magazine ad or a television or radio commercial, your sales page has to not only explain what your product is all about, but also convince the prospective customers reading it that it is essential that they buy your product. As such, sales pages don’t so much suggest as they demand.

If you are just starting out in online marketing, you may not have a big marketing budget. Creating an effective sales letter is the perfect option for a low-cost or no-cost Internet marketing campaign because you can use squeeze pages, Search Engine Optimization and other no-cost techniques to attract traffic to you sales page.

Sales Page Structure

Once your prospective customers arrive on your sales page, it should follow a predictable structure. Remember that your readers arrived at your sales page by following a link on your squeeze page or by clicking on a URL on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) for your product’s niche.

If you present your readers with structure that is unfamiliar they very likely will click off your page immediately. If your sales page looks like a lot of other sales page, don’t worry: Your customers arrived there because they are looking specifically for the kinds of products you are promoting. Now all you have to do is to use the copy on your sales page to convince them to do what they already want to do in the first place.

Writing World-Class Headlines

The headline on our sales page is your first opportunity to draw your readers into your text. It should get right to the point and use direct, active language to engage your readers. Because you have only a moment or two to connect with your readers, you want to use your headline to express a powerful result: What is it that your product is going to do to improve your readers’ lives.

In other words, let your prospective customers know right away why they can’t live without your product. In addition to using action words in your headline, try to include emotionally stirring language so your headline “pops” off the page and immediately connects with your readers.

Creating Scarcity

Beneath your headline, you want to provide details about your product that are going to make it irresistible to your readers. In the first section, you want to set up a common problem that your readers may have. Then introduce your product as the best and possibly only solution for that problem.

Near the end of your sales letter, you want to incentivize your readers to purchase your product. One of the best ways to do this is to create scarcity. Tell your readers there is only a limited number of your product available, if it is going to be unavailable in the very near future, or come up with another way to motivate your readers to act immediately otherwise they may risk not having access to your product again.

Bonuses, Upsells and Back-End

You can add value to your product by including one to three free bonuses that your customers will receive when they purchase your product. Typically, you want to mention what each bonus is worth so that later you can show how much buyers are getting for their money.

Upsells and back-end offers are secondary offers that are made after your customer already has decided to purchase your product. Usually, after they submit their payment information, they are taken to another screen where you can offer them more – usually higher priced – products that are related to your original product.

The Guarantee

You almost always want to offer an unconditional 30- or 60-day guarantee. This removes any risk for the customer.

It’s also a good policy for the seller of the info product to back up their sales pitch with an iron-clad guarantee. Your goal is not to sell your clients a single info product, but to develop them into loyal, long-term customers who will buy a series of products or services from you over time.

If they aren’t satisfied with the quality of the original product, giving them their money back with no questions asked is a great way to restore confidence and keep them loyal to your business.

Use Forums and Social Media Marketing to Drive Traffic to Your Web Pages

Social Media
Use Forums and Social Media Marketing to Drive Traffic to Your Web Pages

Forums are a great place to post articles that include links to your web pages. Forums are places where people interested in a particular topic can go to read posts by other people interested in the same niche.

All of the big internet sites – such as Google, Yahoo and Bing – offer forums on every topic imaginable. Even social media sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn host forums where you can post your articles. Your articles can even be broken up into smaller pieces and posted as comments to other people’s forum postings.

Any Topic, Anywhere

Forums on just about any topic can be found on any of the big internet services – such as Bing, Yahoo and Google – or look for forums on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

The more forums you post on, the more opportunities you have to attract customers to your squeeze page. Plus your posts will remain available to the search engines for a long time.

Better than Backlinks

Backlinks were the primary way Google and search engines determined a sites ranking up until a couple of years ago. But Google changed its search engine algorithm in 2011 and again in 2012 to put less emphasis on backlinks and more emphasis on social approval signals.

These are things like Facebook “Likes”, Google+ +1’s, and the number of times your link has been Tweeted on Twitter.

What happened was that a lot of people in Internet marketing figured out that having a lot of backlinks would get your pages ranked high. So they started to create hundreds of artificial backlinks just to fool Google into thinking that their site was more important than it actually was.

Panda and Penguin

And it worked … for a while. Eventually, Google figured out what was happening and that’s when it rolled out its Panda and Penguin upgrades to its search engine algorithm.

These two upgrades now give more weight to social approval, and it makes sense because social media is the way people today let other people know about the things they like the most.

So if your website gets a lot of social approval, it’s going to be ranked high on Google.

Attracting Social Approval Signals

The key to getting a lot of social approval is to be active on social media. Although it’s free, it tends to take a lot of time and effort … which, of course, is one of the hallmarks of a free traffic method. You also have to make it easy for people to give you social approval — so you want to include widgets on your web pages that let them give you Facebook “Likes” and Google+ +1’s right there from your page.

Another benefit of social media marketing is that it’s easy to categorize users according to preferences.

So in addition to using it to get social approval to improve your page rankings and boost your traffic, you also target your affiliate products to a highly specialized group of consumers: Those who are looking to buy exactly the products they are promoting.

Building Relationships

Social media sites are more informal than sales pages or retail sites, so your marketing plan needs to take a non-traditional approach. You can’t just send ads for your affiliate products to your Facebook friends or Twitter followers because they will think you are spamming them and will block you. Instead, to be successful you have to take the time to develop personal relationships with your customers.

Once you have gained their trust, you can promote your products in the form of product reviews,recommendations and offhand remarks, rather than blatant promotion.

When launching a social media marketing campaign, you want to identify people who are interested in the types of products you are promoting.

For example, search for Facebook, LinkedIn and Skype groups that are related to your niche, join them and interact with other members. Use Twitter tags … which are hash marks followed by keywords, such as #Forex … to find tweets about your niche. Then follow the people who are sending them. On Twitter, if you follow somebody, they usually will follow you back.

5 Ways to Build Personal Relationships with Your Customers

5 Ways to Build Personal Relationships with Your Customers

Once you have identified groups of prospective customers, if you want them to give your links social approval signals, you have to take the time to build relationships with them.

One great way to do this is providing free valuable content related to your niche. So sending them links to websites related to your niche that you find helpful or other information they can use in their everyday lives.

Make It Personal

You also should share personal information about your life. Remember, you want them to think of you as a friend, not just an Internet marketer. So you can do things like posting photos, videos and other links related to your private life so that people can feel as if they know you better

You also want to make positive and supportive comments about their updates and tweets and repost them. Every time you re-Tweet something or share their update, they are going to get a notification.

It’s also a good idea to show an interest in the details of their lives and refer frequently to personal information they have shared in the past, like asking about their kids or how their vacations were.

The 3:1 Rule

Once you have built friendly relationships with your social media contacts, you can go ahead and follow the 3:1 Rule: For every post you make that promotes a product or service, post at least three others that are completely unrelated to any commercial objective.

You want to make sure you always provide valuable content, keep it upbeat and family-friendly, and whenever possible try to engage your prospective customers on an interpersonal level. Don’t forget to use their names, refer to personal information they have shared in the past, and make every effort to engage them as a friend, not somebody trying to sell them something.

Forward links to articles that you found interesting and that are related to your niche, or even those that aren’t. Retweet interesting tweets, not just those that have commercial motivations. Use your postings to encourage conversations and engage other users in discussions.

Happy Birthday!

Birthdays are an excellent excuse to send personalized messages that will enhance your bond with your individual social media contacts. Nearly every social media site has free apps to remind you of your contact’s birthdays.

That way, when you do promote a product, frame it so that you are a friend recommending a particularly good product to another friend.

Video Marketing

Another terrifically powerful free marketing method is video marketing. Because of rapid advances in technology and the falling price of playback-enabled devices have combined to create near-universal access to streaming media, video marketing can now be targeted at everybody.

You can drive a lot of traffic to your pages with an effective video marketing campaign. And the best part about it is that it doesn’t require a lot of expensive equipment or technical expertise.

Stepping out of the internet and into the real world for a moment, nearly every modern smart phone, digital camera, even desktop PCs come with cameras built into them nowadays. Most shoot high definition video as well, making it a simple task to create an engaging, high-quality video you can use to promote your products.

Post Different Types of Videos

There are a number of different kinds of videos. Take a few minutes to research videos about products like the ones you are promoting and see what your competitors are doing. This helps you create something unique and also learn from their mistakes.

One common type of video is just to record someone talking about your product. It could be you, a friend or just about anybody.

The second kind of video is a series of static screen shots, such as a PowerPoint presentation. They can actually be created with PowerPoint, if you already have the program, or you can download a program that will allow you to build one. These kinds of videos are going to be more like commercials than testimonials or sales pitches.

Don’t Forget the Backlink

Finally, the most important thing: The whole point of creating videos and posting them on popular video sharing sites is to create additional backlinks and lead traffic to your website, so don’t forget to post a link to your site underneath your video. You would be surprised how many people forget this step!