Internet marketing is not simply about choosing a product and presenting it to the masses. That is incredibly short sighted and won’t yield the best results. Internet marketing is about building relationships, both with your consumer base AND others within your niche. A marketer alone can only reach so many people due to time restraints, marketing budgets, and overall exposure, but with the help of others, the reach of that marketer can increase exponentially, leading to even greater rewards that if he/she had attempted to spread their message alone. In the internet marketing world, we call these other people affiliates. With the right team of affiliates, everyone prospers, but acquiring affiliates to market your product / service can often times be difficult.
One mistake internet marketers make when first starting out is to place their product on a site such as Clickbank, Commission Junction, or one of the other many affiliate marketplaces and pray that someone stumbles across their offer. In many cases, those starting out have very few contacts to draw from and simply accept anyone that is willing to market their product/service as an affiliate. Unfortunately, this approach has some severe drawbacks, namely the lack of control of the owner to oversee how his/her business is being presented to the masses. Greedy affiliates may use methods that are less than desirable to acquire sales such as spamming or flat out lying to consumers. In the end, this will only harm your brand as it leaves a sour taste in the mouth of those that have been targeted and may often lead to numerous chargebacks. Of course, by seeking out your own team of affiliates, these unfortunate events can be completely circumvented. PLUS, making friends with the right people will lead to greater rewards!
The easiest way to find affiliates to work with is by contacting the top performing blogs within your niche. Google has an interesting feature called “Google Blog Search”. This can be found by simply typing in the phrase “Google Blog Search” into the search bar. This feature easily allows users to type in any keyword and Google will sift through all of the matches to deliver only the sites that have blogs. If used correctly, you will be able to find a lot of popular sites within your niche that you may not have known even existed.
Why bloggers? Sites with blogs typically have a following. With a bit of due diligence, you will be able to narrow your choices down to a handful or so that you believe have like minded ideas and will represent your business properly. Another added bonus to search for is if the site has an opt in box on the homepage as this is an indication that they are already marketing products to consumers and may have a list…although a site that does not have an opt in box should not automatically be disqualified, as long as their site receives a lot of traffic.
The next step is to contact the bloggers. Keep the email short but also personal. If the message seems as if it was just copied and pasted with little personalization, than it is unlikely that the recipient will take you seriously. Only go into detail if they respond. The first email should simply be a way for you to introduce yourself, possibly compliment their site, and suggest that you build a working relationship. That is all that is needed. If they do not respond, send a follow up email, but always try to be personable. No one will do business with someone they do not like.
For the bloggers that responded, try to probe and find out what marketing methods they currently employ. Do they market to a list? Do they rely on reviews? Have they even monetized their site yet? Through their answers, you will be able to find the best method that suits both of your needs. For instance, if they have their own product, perhaps you can do an ad swap to test the waters a bit? If they don’t even have an opt in box or a list of any kind, then maybe they’d be willing to do a review of your product for their audience with an affiliate link added into the post.
When making business decisions, everyone has a “what’s in it for me” attitude, including the bloggers that you will be dealing with. For this entire process to work correctly, you must think from the blogger’s point of view in order to create an offer that is worth it for them to put in the extra work. One approach that many have used to coerce bloggers into marketing their products is it to offer 100% commission to these site owners from the initial sale. This may sound idiotic, but wait….If your sales funnel is good enough, you can generate some serious revenue on the backend through upsales.
Most importantly, help them out in any way you can. Offer advice, give them emails templates, do whatever you can to improve their performance. It will not only benefit your sales, but will also build trust and strengthen the bond between yourself and your new affiliate.
There are clearly numerous ways that both you and your potential affiliate to build a solid business relationship in which you both prosper. Remember, marketing is about building relationships. With the right affiliates by your side, your revenue could potentially be launched into the stratosphere.