|The goal of any business, is to maximize profits. Profits
is simply your income minus your expenses. As an affiliate, there are exactly
two ways to increase your income, the amount of money your business makes
Simple, right? If you refer 100 visitors per day to a merchant and 1% buy,
you get paid for that one purchase. But if you send 1,000 visitors per
day and 3% buy, you get paid for 30 purchases.
Refer more visitors to the merchants that you represent.
Increase the conversion rate, the percent of visitors referred to your
merchant who deliver the response for which the merchant pays, whether
that’s a sale, or a lead, etc.
Yes, thirty times more!
So it’s pretty clear how to maximize affiliate income!
Of course, every business has expenses, too. Maximizing profits does
not imply that you must minimize expenses, too. After all, if you spend
no money or time on a business
|Time is money. So don't count your hours as zero cost simply
because it does not cost you "out of pocket." Assign your time a dollar
value -- it will put your affiliate business on a solid, professional "business
You have no business! You must get the best possible traffic-building
and sales-converting results for every dollar you spend... and for every
hour you spend on your business. Let’s examine expenses by asking two questions
What does it cost to build traffic to your merchants’ sites?
Traffic-building, no matter how you cut it, will cost you... in terms
of both time and money. Spending dollars is optional, but spending time
is not. There are many ways, both offline and on, to drive traffic to your
merchants’ sites. This discussion will show you the most highly profitable,
time-and-dollar effective way to build traffic to your merchants' sites
Build your own Theme-Based Content Site, one that is loaded with high
infovalue Keyword-Focused Content Pages which rank well with the Search
Engines and get the click throughs to your merchants’ sites.
Let’s break that down. For your affiliate Web site to generate traffic
to your merchants, it must do two things well
Rank well at the Search Engines, so that it pulls in lots of traffic. So
far, though, that traffic is still on your site. Therefore, it’s not generating
income yet - your visitors are just “looking around.”
Get those visitors to click through to your merchants. (Some affiliate
program models can actually place merchant offerings on your Web site.
In this case, your traffic does not actually visit your merchant’s site.
But you still have to “get the click” to generate income.
|It makes sense, of course, that a Web site is the way to go.
After all, this is the Net! But there are loads of other ways for affiliates
to drive targeted traffic to their merchants, both offline and on. We cover
them all in the 5 Pillar Manual. (SiteSell's affiliate program is called
the 5 Pillar Program.) Allan Gardyne of AssociatePrograms.com has said
this of the 5P Manual
The BEST manual for affiliates is FREE. Ken Evoy must be bonkers
- or the smartest marketer around. He's just spent three months writing
a comprehensive manual for affiliates, telling you, step-by-step, how to
succeed with revenue sharing programs… And now he's giving it away. All
you have to do to get the FREE manual for affiliates is join the 5 Pillar
Program, which just happens to be the BEST revenue sharing program out
there. Yes, although it's the best Manual on the market, you can have this
one totally FREE.
You should do it now. It will be the wisest thing you've done
Yes, the 5P Manual is free to all 5 Pillar Affiliates. And we
also offer the get-off-to-a-solid- beginning "Getting Started Action Guide"
(it's free, too!) which provides all the information affiliates need to
know in order to get their business up and running easily and quickly.
Download a free copy of the Guide to see how the 5 Pillar Program can help
What does it cost to maximize Conversion Rates?
Maximizing your CR (Conversion
is simply a question of doing things right. There is no extra dollar or
time cost to boosting Conversion Rates at your merchants’ sites. This discussion
will show you how to achieve this goal, too. So, your goals, and your only
Don’t just do one. Do both. Why? Because, as you saw above, your payment
is determined by traffic multiplied by the Conversion Rate, not “added.”
Your profits grow geometrically when you concentrate on maximizing both
traffic and Conversion Rates.
Maximize traffic to your merchants, spending only dollars and time that
Maximize Conversion Rates. Do things right (no expense).
THE #1 REASON FOR LOW TRAFFIC
AND TERRIBLE CONVERSION RATES? Spam
Think about it. What do you do when when you receive an unsolicited
commercial email. Most people delete it without even opening the message.
What few click throughs you may get will not often be in a mood to buy.
If you are lucky, you may be able to achieve a Conversion Rate of 0.1%
while taking a chance on running afowl of your mail server administrator
and probably losing your email account.
Is unsolicited mail driving you totally bonkers? Spam is not going to
go away. Several products are available to help you get rid of junk mail,
none of them are perfect. The best I have found is MailBox
THE #2 REASON FOR LOW TRAFFIC
AND TERRIBLE CONVERSION RATES? Banner ads!
The futility of banners was first revealed by studies of user habits.
Retinal studies have shown that Web surfers actually avoid banners. Yes,
their eyes look away! Click throughs have plummeted to under half-of-a-percent.
And, for the few who do click...
The study went on to prove that banners are worse than futile, they
are counterproductive. Affiliates who rely on banners have an average Conversion
Rate of 0.5%. But those who use “in-context” text links (i.e., text links
that are part of the content of the Web page) average over 3.5%! How’s
that for a reason not to use banners?
Why does this happen? Banners are cheesy and hurt your credibility.
Because visitors simply arrive feeling “pitched” rather than informed.
So they arrive at your merchant's site in a resisting mindset, rather than
with an open, ready-to-buy attitude.
Remember that example where you sent 100 visitors per day to a merchant
and 1% bought? If you rely on flipping up some banners, it will be more
like 10 visitors per day and not one buys!
Conclusion: Don't use Spam! Don’t use banners!
Yes, I know banners are so-o-o-o-o easy. It’s always easy to not make
money. That’s how all those get-rich-quick-guys do so well... the allure
of easy money. No such thing.
Beside the obvious futility of banners, there is another major point.
This one is more subtle, but it’s extremely important. After banner advertising,
it’s the third most common error. And it’s an even bigger shame because
this boo-boo involves a lot of work, misplaced work. I mean, if you’re
going to fail, the best thing would be not to spend much time at it, right?
|I have revealed a lot about 5
Pillar Affiliates program and about its program stats during this
discussion. But it is not the 5P Program that is important here - it's
the lessons to be derived. This discussion is all about making any affiliate
of any program more successful.
Here it is... selling instead of PREselling.
Some affiliates have really made great efforts in creating sites to
promote their merchant's products and are building some sales and traffic.
But when there is a low Conversion Rate (i.e., CR under 2%), you know that
something is amiss. Great efforts deserve greater results than 1%.
Yes, that’s better than spam or banners. But remember, these folks put
in a lot more work than tossing up a couple of banner ads. We’ll see in
a moment that it’s misdirected work.
In life, the vast majority of people just keep doing the “same old thing.”
It seems easier that way. But it guarantees the “same old results.” So
in the long run, it’s actually much, much harder.
In the movie The Renaissance Man, Danny De Vito’s character makes
a profound statement:
The choices we make dictate the lives we lead.
People tend to blame a lack of success in life on “bad luck” or “poor
timing” or other people. And yes, at times, that can be accurate. A heck
of a lot of factors beyond our control can blindside us. In the long run,
however, as long as we persist in our efforts, these factors tend to even
out and De Vito's statement remains valid.
Now, here’s the good news
E-commerce is simpler than life. Due to its digital nature, there
are fewer variables... so the outcome is more controllable. Which means
that we can boil De Vito’s statement down to “The #1 E-commerce Reality.”
This Reality is almost self-evident, yet it’s so easy to forget. Your
success with anything you do in the world of e-commerce flows from it.
Internalize it and act upon it and you will succeed.
Yes, it’s that fundamental. And that leads me to:
The #1 E-commerce Reality
Nothing happens by accident in the world of computers, the Net,
and customer response. There is always a reason for what happens, good
or bad, and that reason is YOU
When some affiliates have CRs over 10%, you can figure that those with
CRs at 1-2% or less could be multiplying their sales five-or-more-fold.
How? Not by working harder, but by simply channeling their motivation in
a better direction.
A review of many of these affiliate sites (those that are getting sales
but have CRs under 2%) reveals that almost half were basically one big
sales letter for their merchants and products. Which means that these affiliates
are SELLING (with sales copy) when they should be PREselling
(with great, and related, content that is of value to the reader).
There’s really not much point in straight selling off your site, that’s
what your merchant’s site is for. Picture this:
A visitor arrives at an affiliate’s site that is really just one, big
sales site. Yes, I know that their words are sincere but put yourself in
these visitors’ shoes for a moment. They don’t see inspiring, editorial
content, they see a sales effort. But they were searching for content!
People resist sales efforts, so your click-through actually goes down.
And if they do click, what do they see when they arrive at your merchant's
site? More sales effort. And, in some cases, many of the words are similar
to the words that they’ve just read.
Result: Poor Conversion Rate.
If your site is basically a bunch of sales letters, you have not yet
built your credibility and likeability with this visitor. Your visitor
ends up feeling “pitched.” And then feels double-pitched if he clicks through
to your merchant’s site. That’s why the CR actually goes down.
To make things worse, as he “smells” a sales effort, he becomes less
likely to click! So referred traffic drops, too.
Referred traffic down. And Conversion Rate down. But these are the two
ways to increase your income, that’s what we talked about at the top of
this chapter. We’re going in the wrong direction!
Conclusion? Don’t SELL! Instead, warm your visitor up for your merchants
by PREselling them with great content that they value and respect. They’ll
click-through with pleasure, arriving at your merchants’ sites in an open-to-buy
It’s your PREsell effort that will boost your traffic-to-merchants and
Conversion Rate. Which in turn maximizes your income.
This brings us to our second philosophical premise and the end of Chapter
The #1 Affiliate Reality:
Your CR will literally vary from 1% to 10%, purely because of:
Your CR depends upon what you do and how you do it. You do not need Lady
Luck, Sir Serendipity or anyone else. There is always a reason for how
well you do, and that reason always relates to what you do and how you
do it. Once you realize this, then you know success really is do-able.
Some people do succeed big-time. But not necessarily the first time. Just
keep trying until you find the right approach.
How you reach your visitor
What you say to him
How you refer him to your merchant
Of course, the goal of this discussion is to reduce the amount of trial-and-error
persistence that will be required before you find your own successful formula!
Why is “The #1 Affiliate Reality” true?...
Because how you reach your customer, and what you say once you reach
him, and how you refer your visitor to your merchant directly affects your
visitor’s mindset when he arrives at the merchant. A positive mindset turns
into a purchase with amazing regularity. A negative one is near-impossible
|Another important consideration in maximizing your profits is
to take steps to reduce your "off-line" expenses. For example, when you
make money, the IRS is going to want a piece of your pie. There are legitimate
ways to reduce your tax liabilities, for example:
Do you have kids who you give "spending money" or an "allowance"?
Do you require them to do chores around the house to earn that money? If
you "employ" your kids to do part-time work in your home-business, the
money that used to be an "Allowance," can become "Payroll." That means
the money you pay them would become tax-deductible to you, and the income
they receive would be tax-free to them.
Do you have a dog that barks when someone approaches your home?
You may have a tax-deductible "burglar alarm," allowing you to deduct your
dog's vet bills, license fees, even dog food.
How about your cat? Does it chase or kill mice? Maybe you have
a "rodent control system." No kidding, Tax Courts have ruled that this
deduction may be completely legal if you have a legitimate home-based business.
How Much You KEEP, That Counts! Not How Much You Make
the IRS defines a business