October 9, 2011
I’m happy to share this affiliate marketing guest post by Steve Scott. Be sure and read to the very end.
As an affiliate marketer your goal is to build a responsive email list. Unfortunately most get this wrong. Either they pitch too many products or they’re scared to present people with an offer.
I think it’s easy to write promotional emails that make money. The trick is to do it without “burning a list.” Your subscribers are an asset. That’s why it’s important to implement a strategy where you’ll make money for years to come:
Step #1 – Know what Subscribers Want
Don’t just blindly blast emails to subscribers. Instead, know exactly what they want before hitting the send button.
How do you find this out? The quickest way is to do market research. Go to popular forums in your niche and look for topics with a high number of responses. Do this for blogs as well.
Your goal is to find out what problems are common in your niche. These are the challenges that prevent people from achieving success.
What if you get stuck? Just ask subscribers what they want to learn. Use these polling tools for this:
Knowing what people want is the #1 secret to writing killer promotional emails. Your goal is to tailor content (and offers) around the needs of subscribers.
Step #2 – Give Great Content
People join email lists to receive a benefit. Most don’t like getting hit with offer after offer. Remember this as you’re interacting with subscribers.
My rule of thumb is to offer at least 80% content to subscribers. You can do this in a variety of ways:
- Teach a valuable niche-related lesson
- Link to a recent blog post you’ve written
- Create a content-filled PDF and offer it to subscribers
- Give a link to training video and/or webinar
- Answer questions from readers
Promotional emails start before you ask people to spend money. Give people value and it’s easy to get value in return.
Step #3 – Use a “Mini-Launch” Sequence
Don’t just send a one-and-done email to promote a product. Instead use what I call a “mini-launch” sequence.
You’ve probably seen the big-time gurus use product launches. This technique can be applied to your promo emails. The goal here is to introduce the offer while giving value to subscribers.
For example, here’s a sequence I normally use:
- 1st Email: Identify the problem that’s solved by the offer. Use a personal story; talking about how you’ve encountered the same thing. Provide a few basic solutions but hint at a total fix in a future email.
- 2nd Email: Link to a valuable piece of content. Most affiliate marketing programs give away a value piece of free content. Like
a PDF, video, or webinar. In this email you’ll presell this freebie and provide subscribers with a download link.
- 3rd Email: Promote the affiliate product. This is where you’ll sell the value of this offer. Your job here is to leverage the goodwill you’ve built with subscribers. Give honest feedback about this product and tell people why it’s helpful to them.
- 4th Email: Follow-up with subscribers (Optional.) You can pick up additional affiliate sales by following up with readers. Usually this is a great time to use scarcity – Especially if a product owner is offering a limited time or quantity. Give them a reason why they should take action now.
Step #4 – Offer a Bonus
Another way to produce additional sales is to offer a bonus item. This will be something valuable that you’ve created. This technique is extremely
effective if it directly relates to the offer. I do this for any high-ticket offer. This technique provides an incentive for people to buy through your affiliate link.
Step #5 – Rinse and Repeat
Email marketing is the lifeblood of your affiliate marketing business. That’s why it should be treated with lots of care.
I’ll always offer content after a “mini-launch” sequence. Even if I’m just sending links to a recent blog post. The idea here is to remind readers that your
goal is to help them. You’re not someone who sees an email list as a personal ATM machine.
Rinse and repeat this cycle. Send an email or two that doesn’t promote a thing. Next, go through a “mini-launch” sequence. Finally, go back to giving great content – Starting the process again.
This process builds loyalty with your email list. It’s also a great way to make money.
At the start of this post I talked about the importance of creating a responsive list. Just follow these five-steps and you’ll have a killer affiliate promo sequence.
The best part? With this process you’ll have a long-term asset. This is an income source that can be relied upon for years to come!
Steve Scott generates a six-figure income from using email with his affiliate marketing sites. You can learn more about this on his affiliate marketing strategies page. Plus, he’s also created a step-by-step process where he reveals his income-producing techniques. This can be found in his Affiliate Marketing without the Bulls**t product.
* Steve’s got a free chapter/module from his ebook that you can download now without opting in. Get it here!
May 9, 2011
I did a guest post over at Tiffany Dow's blog, but before you read it I'd like to set the stage so it wil make sense.
As you may or may not know, my most recent product: Become a PLR Writer and subsequent newsletter: Professional PLR Provider came under close scrutiny by Tiff in one of her brutally honest, no stone unturned, look at it with a magnifying glass product reviews.
I simply asked her if she would promote my product… but she said she would only do a review of it for her readers because she liked to give them the whole story of the product (without giving them the actual product content) so they can make informed decisions to buy or not.
This was going to be like walking on a bed of nails for me. Did I have enough faith in my product to walk safely across? Or would I freak out and feel every nail pierce the tender skin on the bottom of my feet?
After 5 review section posts and a final review later, I made it to the other side.
My guest post is about what it's like to be on the other end of one of Tiff's reviews.
March 4, 2011
This is a GUEST POST from Tom Walker over at CartridgeSave.
It's a different topic than I would write about, which I think is a good thing!
5 Tips for Building Professional Online Relationships
Decades ago, professional relationships were built and maintained face-to-face; however, continuously upgrading technology now makes it possible to have a professional relationship across the World Wide Web. While this may seem a bit impersonal to those that do not fully understand it, the internet can actually be a very useful tool when conducting business and maintaining business relationships.
The good thing about the internet is that anything can be done. You never have to meet someone in person in order to buy, sell or exchange a product or service.
The important thing to remember about engaging in professional relationships online is that trust is still a huge factor and has to be supported in everything that you do. Customers and clients alike believe in trust as a foundation of good business; trust is earned, however. How is it possible to establish a successful professional relationship online?
Become interested in your business prospects:
Here's the thing, if you have something to offer, you have to let people know about it. If you excel in a certain service or produce a magnificent product, start getting interested in business prospects with similar goals. You don't have to refer to them as "targets," though it is exactly what they are. You don't know them, they don't know you; you seek out business relationships based on what can be exchanged.
Take the time to get to know your prospects. Before you make any kind of contact with the person or company, it is beneficial to know at least the basics; minor research will do the trick.
Do not be afraid to reach out:
Companies or business prospects are very rarely the first to make contact. If you are seeking them out for a potential project or business deal, it's because you want it. If you want something, you have to initiate the first contact. It's not a huge deal and it doesn't have to be a production from the get-go.
In fact, most companies and business professionals operate on popular social networks. You can find most everyone and everything on either Facebook or Twitter. Facebook is becoming more of a professional playground each year. Don't be shy, reach out to start laying a foundation.
Set the foundation of friendship and trust:
You could just jump into a business deal, but where's the trust in that? What can you say in a Facebook wall post that will make a professional business person want to do business with you? It will take more time than that to develop an online working relationship. There is no face-to-face contact which eliminates some of the nerves of the meet and greet, but it also has its draw backs.
For instance, trust is harder formed online because there is a lack of personalism. It is the main reason why trust has to be established beforehand. Reach out on a level that is aside from professional endeavors; look for an opening to build a personal relationship before moving it to a professional relationship.
Build confidence and enjoy a relationship:
As you correspond over the internet, both parties may feel more comfortable and would prefer a face-to-face meet. This could be over a cup of coffee, or enjoying a hobby that you both share; another great reason to do background research on your prospects. You can highlight your talents at any entry level if you are developing a friendship, and it won't feel or be perceived as being forced. This kind of personal relationship can easily turn into a successful online professional relationship.
Fulfill the need:
Once you know your target and have become personally acquainted, you will feel more comfortable about taking a dive into the professional pool. At this point, you have developed at least a basic level of trust, which can help you succeed at a professional level.
If you are able to grasp a job opportunity, project or business deal, make sure you are able to comply 100 percent. You do not want to make the wrong professional impression after working so hard building up a personal one. If you fulfill the business needs of your contact, you will be asked to share more of the load in the future. Word of mouth is the best business representation, and it will take you places if you put in the effort from the beginning to the end.
- What have been your experiences building online professional relationships?
- Do you think it's hard or easy to do?
February 1, 2011
Today I'm happy to bring you this insightful guest post from Sheila Atwood of Newbielifeline.com!…
Have you actually decided upon your social networking system? You know what I mean. Have you taken all the buzz about social networking and social media and put it to work for you?
When you lay out your social networking plan you want to consider a SMART plan for every method of social networking you do.
· Specific – Do you have specific goals you want to achieve? Perhaps your goals are getting more traffic, finding like-minded people to work with, and getting affiliates to promote your products.
· Manageable – Is your social networking manageable? Do you have the time to spend on the methods you have chosen? How about the man power? or resources? How about the organization it takes to be effective?
· Action oriented – Can your plan be laid out to the exact step by step action you need to take on a weekly and daily basis?
· Relevant- Just how relevant is your plan to what you want to achieve? By survey, the number one problem people face when it comes to work, home and play is time. You have heard of targeted traffic….but how about targeted social networking?
· Trackable – Can you track and measure your actions? Can you track and measure the return on your investment (ROI), especially your investment of time?
You know all about Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and the forums, so let's take a look at five different ways you can set up your social networking system that does not include the big social media guys.
These 5 ways to set up your social networking is based on using your blog as your central working point.
Commenting – Create a social networking group by commenting on other sites. When you are picking sites to comment on remember to be specific about what you are wanting to achieve. Stay organize by using your RSS feed or another bookmarking system. Use commenting tools…like Peggy's commenting secret tool, Traffic Sponge.
Interviews – Interview other bloggers. These can be video interviews or audio interviews. Use your phone for a simple way to record your audio interviews.
An easy way to get started is to do email interviews. This works great for interviewing busy people. Just send them a set of questions, they answer and you write your blog post in interview fashion.
Recently Tristan Higbee of BloggingBookshelf.com did a great interview of Peggy. "The Blogger’s Guide to Writing and Selling Your Own PLR Products."
Collaboration – The added value of working with others can have huge benefits way into the future. Not only do you get double the pleasure, knowledge and production, you get their network. Finding a great online marketing partner is well worth any time and effort you put in.
Guest Posting - Yeah, yeah I know you have heard this one. But I am going to give it to you here again. Especially since this is on my social networking plan and that is what brought me here.
Peggy and I exchanged guest posts. I wanted her to post about her new book. "Become a PLR Writer" so I offered to exchange posts. This meets several of my specific goals.
1. I get a great post to promote my affiliate link.
2. I get to promote another blogger.
3. I get the extra traffic the guest blogger brings.
4. My readers get top notch data straight from the author.
You'll find that setting rules for you guest posts is the key. A criteria for guests to your blog is a must, you might as well make it easy on yourself. If you notice, Peggy has listed her criteria right on her home page.
Most important, set a criteria for where you want to post. You want the greatest ROI you can get. Know what your purpose is and where you want to be seen on the net.
Speedlinking - Last but not least. Speedlinking is one of my favorites. Link to other blogs. Give kudos to those who are putting out some great stuff. No matter your niche, this works.
Set up a specific time in the month to link to others. Or make up a big list of your favorite bloggers…"The Best SEO Bloggers of 2010" or the "Best Up and Coming Bloggers" or "Copywriters You Must Add To Your RSS Feed".
My rule is Outflow=Inflow. The more you outflow the more you will get back. It's magic.
Bottom line, no matter what you do to get yourself out there and well known, you will need to have a SMART plan. One that works for you. One you are willing to put into action.
- What are your social networking goals?
- Do you use any of these methods? Have you had success?
- Have you had success using different methods of social networking?
Sheila Atwood writes the blog Newbielifeline.com, a web resource about leveraging WordPress and its tools. She is a great resource for newbies wanting to find ways to make money online.
Follow Sheila on Twitter.