The Clickbank affiliate program is one that lends itself to freedom, motivation, and financial gain. For many it is nothing but a dream. For some though, the work pays off in the end, especially when the money comes in automatically week after week. So how do you get started? I’ve written on this topic before, but let me be clear about it again. Any affiliate program you join will take work and dedication. Do not sign up to anything if you don’t feel you have the patience to see it through.
Do not be mis-guided either. Affiliate marketing is a great way to work from home. Why do so many people fail? Why are there so many expectations of a world that owes you instant money when it comes to the internet? It is because of the culture we live in. So now that you know what the problem is, you can avoid it and be ahead of the crowd. How do you work from home online? You have to create a plan of the income level you need. This is called reverse engineering.
Let’s say that you wanted to make an extra $1,000 per month online. This comes to roughly $33 a day. Depending on the products you are promoting, this would be normally be 1-2 sales per day of net profit. (A lot of products tend to pay between $15-$29.) Is it a hard task? Not really, but it will require some thought and focus. In order to achieve this success, you have to start asking yourself some basic questions.
What kinds of markets can bring you this kind of income? What are people interested in? What do people buy online and will most likely continue to purchase? Marketing is pretty straightforward once you have the facts down. Most of your work is planning and research. The actual “selling” is only a tiny part of the equation. If you want to make it online, you need to think “outside the net”. The human race has a long history of what works and doesn’t work, especially when it comes to the types of evergreen products being promoted today.
People have feelings and emotions, this is why dating is such a huge market. People also want to become self-independent. This is why “work from home” products are also immensely popular. Learn to think like a customer and you will begin to see the true power that “search” can hold for you.
When it comes to earning a living online, one has to think about all the ways in which they can conjure up business. For most people starting out, the online world of e-commerce seems daunting, frustrating, and disappointing to say the least. Most newcomers enter this field with the mindset that everything on the Internet is instantaneous. While this may be true in some cases (a lot of money can be earned overnight for an established business) it typically isn’t the reality of most new businesses.
Getting yourself setup with some top paying affiliate programs is usually the fastest way to start earning some cash. The affiliate industry is in my opinion, one of the best “things” to be created. Now while this model has been around for some time (commission based payments), it has never taken off so fast as it has on the Internet. It’s a great way for anyone to earn some side cash month after month – or to turn it into a full fledged business. Here’s the mistake that most people make though.
They have no idea what to look for. Most people just begin seeking out the top paying affiliate programs and start promoting those. While this can be a profitable venture, you have to look past the amount you get paid. If you are earning $100 per sale and have to spend $95 to make a sale, then the $100 no longer seems that huge does it? On the other hand, if you are promoting a product whereby you make $60 per sale and only have to spend $30 to get the commission – that seems like the better alternative.
I can’t sit here and tell you which product is the best. There is no best product to promote, yet there are a few factors which you will want to keep in mind while scouring the net for affiliate programs. A program must have:
- Lots of searches
- A decent payout rate
- Timely payments
- Lots of competition
If you can find a product that offers these essential items, you will be on your way to finding a “gold mine” as they say. Remember, competition is not a bad thing. The more people selling a product means the more chances you can have to get a slice of the pie as well. So don’t jump the gun on a product just because it offers a higher commission. Think sideways – not vertically. It doesn’t always have to be a digital product – you can promote physical stuff too from Commission Junction and other networks.
So you finally have made the plunge into affiliate marketing. You are dead set on working at home, no matter what it takes. You just want to tell your boss goodbye and you won’t stop at anything until you hit that goal. Well that’s all swell and sweet, but you need to be bringing in some cash first. Your first plan of action should be to join up with affiliate networks such as Clickbank, Commission Junction, AzoogleAds, and more. These are the “top dogs” of the scene right now. Other ones of interest include LinkShare, PayDotCom, PrimaryAds, and others.
This tutorial is a simple one, but quite useful for those of you who have never used Clickbank. Get ready to discover how to place Clickbank hoplinks onto your webpage. The hoplink system is the bread and butter of any affiliate marketer using Clickbank. Without this, you will not earn a dime. A hoplink, is a link created, specifically for your affiliate account, which in turn will credit you with commissions, if any visitors go through your link and end up buying a product. Excited yet? Ok let’s begin.
First things first – you need to have an account with Clickbank. If you do not have an account with them, get one here. The signup process is rather easy (check out a tutorial here)and you should be all set in no time. Once you have an account, you then should proceed to login. You can also create an affiliate link without logging in if you choose.
Click on the “Marketplace” link at the top of your screen and proceed to browse to any category of products. Under each product listing, you will see a link called “Create Hoplink”. When you click that, you get a screen that looks like this. All you do now is enter your nickname into the one box and click the “Create” button. You will then see your personalized affiliate link.
You can now copy and paste this link into your web design program, or link from your website to your hoplink. When someone ends up buying a product, you will make the commission. This is how Clickbank works and it works very well.
Ok, so being a full time affiliate marketer has its perks and downsides. What do you think about Clickbank’s new so called Hoplink Shield? Is it actually worth its salt? They say it decodes your affiliate link to prevent the common person from seeing your ID, yet at the same time they give the option to decode a link? What gives?
You can check out the new tool here.
They claim it keeps the promotional efforts of affiliates in tact and anonymous, but your affiliate code still has to show on the order form. So essentially what we have here, is a “worthless” tool. I put worthless in quotes, because it does serve a basic purpose which I touch on in a minute.
Does it really make that big of a difference if someone views your hoplink from within your article page or on the order form? Besides, there are plenty of scripts one can use, such as the php header redirection in order to properly mask affiliate links.
Which leads us to the whole topic of masking affiliate links. Does it work better for you? In my opinion, the only thing it helps with is making your site more professional to the untrained eye of a customer. Instead of your link being in the “hoplink” format, you could php redirect in the “site.com/directory/” format. This of course, raises credibility and helps with the people who scan down to that lower left side of the screen (status bar).
Now don’t get me wrong. On first glance, the tool isn’t bad. It will help people who do not know how to re-direct a link or hide it from looking “salesy”. Where is the option to completely remove the affiliate id from the order form though? This could be done with a hidden variable perhaps. That alone may even help with sales. With the rising popularity of affiliate marketing in today’s society, more and more people are beginning to understand what it is. This of course, causes some to feel like a marketer is ripping them off. End result? No purchase if they know it is an affiliate link.
Now of course this isn’t the case for everyone, but I can assure you that this happens a lot. Have you ever cleared your cache and bought through your own affiliate link before? Hmm…
PS: I like the new design over the old one. For some reason it looks a bit more “sleek”.
Not everything is free in life but sometimes the best way to get your website ranking well, is to do some free search engine optimization on your own. When I was first getting started with optimizing my websites for my own online business, I really didn’t know how everything worked until I started doing a lot of reading and I ended up finding out that you can optimize your website on your own without having to pay other companies and getting other people to do the work for you.
Now, when people mention free search engine optimization, they may not necessarily be referring to the fact that everything is free – but that it almost is free. For example, when you want to get links pointing to your site, you may have sought out professional help. Well, instead of paying a company to find you relevant links, you could spend your time doing some article marketing and getting your name out into the industry. If you were doing article marketing, you would be trading your time for money and that’s the way in which you can get links pointing back to your site to help you rank better. So these are the ways search engine optimization can be free. But in general, you will have to spend some money regardless of whether or not you do it yourself. You must have a few basic principles that you will have to follow, no matter what kind of business you are running.
Your website will have to contain relevant, unique content. The content will have to be on topic and related to everything else on your website in one way or another. So if your website is about gardening, you could have articles on how to plant beans, how to plant tomatoes, and on it goes. You shouldn’t be talking about the best way to install a fence in your backyard, unless of course it is a fence for the garden. So you always want to try and keep your website on “theme” and this will help you in other advanced ways, in relation to how the algorithms process your site.
Free search engine optimization is not really “free”, but by learning to do some optimization on your own, you are able to save yourself a good deal of money rather than if you were to hire a company to work for you. So it’s in your best interest to learn the ins and outs of optimization and how to properly start your own home business. Why? Once you are able to get this going, you should be a lot better off in the long term. Get started with some beginner optimization articles. Start reading about on page and off page optimization, so you can get a general idea of how it all works. From there, you should be able to start testing some techniques on your own website and see if it helps your own rankings.
The Commission Junction affiliate marketing network is a fine example of a well run, well thought out, and well planned directory. Now as you may know or perhaps you may not know, Commission Junction is an affiliate directory full of programs which you can promote, but they are however, programs which deal with the transaction of physical goods. These goods include, musical instruments, airline tickets, weight loss equipment, luggage, and anything else you can think of. This is in opposition to other affiliate directories which deal with the sale of digital goods and software.
They have a large selection from which to choose and this gives you an almost endless opportunity of items to promote. Their categories include items such as automotive, beauty, financial services, recreation and leisure, sports and fitness, clothing and apparel, insurance, entertainment, babies, and more. Depending on the kind of website you have or want to build, you could choose from a wide variety of products and programs to promote. For example, if you have a website which is involved with the financial services market, you could sign up with a company, within the Commission Junction directory and start promoting offers that deal with credit reporting and credit repair. This is just one small example of one of the thousands of products you can promote from within their marketplace. It is as easy as grabbing your personalized affiliate link and pasting it into your website.
Another example would be if you had a website dealing with exercise and health equipment. You could promote offers on fitness equipment, treadmills, dumbbell sets and more. If you have a travel site you could promote airline tickets, hotel stays, rental cars and other services that people would need when traveling abroad. An electronic site could promote video games, general electronic equipment, and the list goes on. The options are really unlimited. I do however recommend that if you are going to use Commission Junction to earn a living, that you have the basics of affiliate marketing well understood.
Far too many people become somewhat confused with Commission Junction and how to go about navigating around their website.So it is important that you at least have a minimal grasp of how affiliate marketing works. Perhaps maybe having used Clickbank in the past or having used any other of the major affiliate networks such as Primary Ads, Azoogle Ads, Linkshare, and others, could ease you into the use of CJ. The Commission Junction affiliate marketing network is a great way to expand and scale up your earnings if you are already earning a full time livng online.
A lot of people who are new to online marketing seem to think for one reason or another that Clickbank is a scam. So this brings up the question is clickbank a scam or not? Depending on your past experiences with affiliate programs or what you saw and what you have seen on the internet in relation to making money, these factors will play a major role in what you think affiliate directories really are all about. Are they trustworthy or are they honest? Are they able to provide you with useful products that you can sell and so forth?
In regards to the question is Clickbank a scam, no it certainly is not. I earn my full time living with some of the products that Clickbank offers. There are litterally thousands of products that you can browse through and start promoting. Clickbank is actually one of the better programs on the market today for beginners who are starting out and who are new to internet marketing in general. I think the problem with asking is Clickbank a scam or not, comes from the quality that stems from some of the products which are on Clickbank. There are a lot of products on there that are simply garbage, pure garbage, and because of this a lot of people think that the entire directory as a whole is a scam or is not worth their time and energy. This isn’t the case because there are a lot of quality products on there as well so it’s really up to the individual to find them.
So the next time somebody asks you whether or not Clickbank is a scam, hopefully based on your positive experience with them, you can reassure them that their directory is well worth your time. After all, it is within their best interests to pay affiliates. They only make money when their affiliates make money. Why would a company cheat out their only source of income? When you begin to think about the other side of the coin, you can clearly see that these myths of “this scam” and “that scam” are all a bunch of nonsense perpetrated by someone who had a lousy experience and probably lost money on their advertising campaign.
Remember, you never want to trust someone who has a negative attitude. When you combine a negative attitude with trying to start a business you have a recipe for disaster. There are far too many people all over discussion boards and forums on the internet who are bashing this program or saying everything is a scam, including Clickbank. Don’t listen to these people. They aren’t going anywhere and are not successful. Follow in the footsteps of people who have a positive mental attitude and are willing to help you get started with your own internet business.
There are a few factors involved in learning how to start an internet dating business. The first question I would ask myself, is why do I want to start a dating business? Am I well versed in this area of marketing? Will my site have something to offer which is unique? What sorts of factors and features can I offer my visitors that would make them want to stay signed up to my service? Don’t just try and create a site centered around dating because you think it will make you rich. That is the worst way to think.
You should study the successful dating websites and see what they do. Subscribe to their free newsletter list and listen to the kinds of marketing messages they send out. Can you emulate this kind of technique? What can you offer your customers and visitors that is unique to your particular site? What kinds of things will make them want to come back? Put yourself in the shoes of the customer. After all, the customer is hoping to achieve something. The end goal (assuming) to find a date? Would your website have a database of real members to start with?
To start a dating website, you are going to need some sort of software service or script. This is software which handles all of the users and what they do on your site. There are plenty of these available on the net today. A simple search for “dating software” should turn plenty of results. Next, you will need to place that script on a web host. My favorite company to host a website with is HostGator. They give you all you will ever need and the price is fantastic. So now you have your site, your host, and what comes next?
You now need to find visitors. How do you go about finding visitors and gather people who are interested? I would suggest you use paid advertising if you have money. This is a quick way to see if what you have done, actually works. The biggest form of paid advertising on the web is known as pay per click or “PPC” for short. If that is not right for you at this time, you could work on getting your website ranked so that it appears on the first page of results.
The process of getting your website ranked is known as SEO or “search engine optimization”. It is a fine art to have and although you can do it yourself, it may be in your best interests to outsource that work in order to save yourself a lot of time and frustration. When you are working on getting your site ranked, you are sacrificing time for money. With paid advertising, it is just the opposite. Heck, if you are really motivated, you could do both and cover all the angles of marketing.
Whenever you plan to get started always remember there are three main phases of starting a business. The research and planning phase, the implementation phase, and the marketing phase. You could also throw in the maintenance stage as well. Have you also thought about customer service? You must make sure your website stays clean of spammers otherwise your business will go down the tubes. You will probably need to hire some sort of staff if your site begins to take off. All of these things need to be well thought out before you begin.
If this sounds like a lot of work to you, maybe it would be easier if you started off by selling products for other people. This is known as affiliate marketing and all it is really, is earning a commission whenever you sell someone else’s product or service. To get started, all you need is a place to host your website and it would be best if you had some money to use on advertising. If that sounds interesting to you, then sign up to my list and learn how it is done. Good luck and take care.