Targeting the right audience
It’s all very well getting lots of traffic onto your website, but if it’s not targeted traffic, then you’re not going to earn much money from all those visitors. If you’re selling dog collars for instance and getting people to your website who are looking for holidays, then all that will happen is those visitors will bounce off your site and go elsewhere. So think laser focused targeting for all your marketing messages. Appeal to prospects that actually want what you have to offer. Find out who they are and where they hang out, and deliver your message to them and only them. To test the depth of knowledge you need to have a about your audience, can you answer these questions?
- Who is your ideal reader/visitor
- What do they look like, talk about, care about, hate, fear, desire
- Who do they hang out with, talk to, argue with, ideolise, want to be
- Where do they hang out online, in person, want to go, not want to go
- What products, brands, personas, do they love and hate
- How do they talk, formally, passionately, analytically
- What lingo do they use (ie keywords)
Why are they coming to you?
- Why should they listen to you instead of everyone else
- What problems are they looking to solve
Where to find your audience
Does your audience frequent Facebook or Twitter. Do they love to spend time on Youtube surfing the “How to…” videos in your niche? Would it be more productive to target them via the major search engines such as Google and Bing? If so then you would need to consider Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), and getting your site up the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) rankings. If you want to get yourself in front of your audience fast, then Pay Per Click (PPC) might be the way to go. Think very carefully about your acquisition strategy because getting it wrong can cost time, effort and money. To summarise:
- Optimise your site to make it search engine friendly,
- Use PPC – make sure you know what you’re doing with this method,
- Participate in forums,
- Get active in Facebook groups,
- Network on Facebook and Twitter,
- Guest post on blogs in your niche (good for reputation, traffic and SEO),
- Attend events and conferences – great off-line method,
- Link out to other valuable resources/sites.
Getting yourself a home
Don’t rely on making your main internet home Facebook or Twitter, because although these are great platforms to engage with your audience, relying solely on these could wipe your business out overnight should these platforms decide to change the rules, as many software companies have found to their costs. For instance Shortstack started off providing engaging Facebook competitions until Facebook decided to cut them out and do it for themselves and although Shortstack have evolved away from Facebook to some degree, they recently wrote a blog post detailing their acknowledgement of the mistake of over-reliance on a third party to support their business.
I now use WordPress for all my sites, it’s free to use (except for the hosting of course if you’re using a self hosting option), comes with lots of plugins to add functionality to the site, is loved by Google and is ideal for SEO and has tons of free themes to make it look original. Most of the modern themes are also mobile responsive which is a must these days for both ranking and user experience.
Building relationships – Email Marketing
Provide Great Content
Once you get targeted audience to your website, you need to have something interesting, useful, unique and most of all, helpful for them to read, look at and engage with. Look to help them with some problem they have or to achieve something they want to achieve. Great content should:
- Be honest
- Be valuable (don’t waste peoples time)
- Be delivered in multiple formats if possible
- Be as short as possible but no shorter
- Be relevant
- Be fresh
- Be shareable
- Solve problems by providing solutions
- Attract an audience
- Above all – be results oriented.
To do this you must understand their wants and needs. Use surveys, interact with them via email and find out their pain.
Tips about Content generation
Think about what someone in your niche is going to need to follow in your footsteps. Think about your progression and map this out for your audience if they are trying to replicate you.
Use easy to remember forwarding URLs for certain topics to make them easier for your audience to memorise, these can be purchased as domain names and pointed to any page on your site. Promote this easy to remember URL in your marketing messages.
Use the medium that best suites your site. Look what the competition are using and do it differently and better.
know the product – be a sales agent for it, if you haven’t used it and found it useful don’t try to sell it. Become a resource of information for using that product. Give your audience tips and tricks for getting the best from it. Show the product being used, “un-boxing the product” is a popular type of video content. Ask yourself “Can I trust the product to be good for my audience?”. Become a source of information for that product. “How to….” videos and articles, show you using it for your own purposes, helpful tips and advice, and reviews
know what you want your audience to achieve by using your website what is their goal, then design a road map to help them achieve that goal, show them how using your products will help them get to their goal.
Build deep relationships with your subscribers. The deeper the relationship the shorter the pitch required. Speed up the building of relationships by:
- Be personable – easier to connect. Use video and podcasts,
- Tell stories and entertain,
- Random Acts Of Kindness – reply to comments, give them a special deal, put comments on their blog,
- Be real,
- Build trust first:
- Give lots away for free, add value without charging. If your seen as a giver people more likely to respond positively,
- Get others to recommend you
If you don’t currently use the product yourself, get in contact with the owner of the product and ask some questions about the product and write a post about the conversation.
Get a special deal just for your audience, or give a rebate (using part of your affiliate earnings) back to the purchaser if they go through your affiliate link.
- Create an epic post about the product. A ONE Stop shop resource,
- Multiple Youtube videos about different aspect of using the product,
- Hold a webinar for the product,
- Publish a webinar replay – Be sure to record your live webinar so that you can embed it on your website as a replay for those who didn’t watch it live, and those who did watch it live but want to get the information again,
- Use an indirect social push – link to a post or a resource that will engage people beforehand about the product or a video about it, not directly to an affiliate link
- Keep track of your click through’s – use pretty links or crazy egg,
- Indirect email list promotion – For me, I like to indirectly promote on my email list – like I do with social media – it’s all about giving people as much high-value content as possible, and on the email, it’s exactly the same. I don’t directly promote anything on my email list – and if there are any links in my emails they all point back to my blog,
- Indirect promotion on other people’s sites,
- Be honest and disclose that they are affiliate links,
- Thank people in advance for going through your affiliate links,
- Review and compare products of the same type,
- Focus on how it will help your audience (benefits not features),
- Believe in your recommendations,
- If it doesn’t work try another offer,
- Test, test and test again,
- Make your own product instead,
- Be patient. Trust is built over time,
- Provide a resource page full of all your affiliate products and links,
- Offer a bonus
- Extra content (i.e. extra skins for a opt-in box)
- Discount price, rebates,
- Tips and tricks document included,
- How to use document included.
Email Sign ups
Encourage visitors to opt-in to your email list so that you can keep in touch with them and continue to help. You need to have an opt-in box on your website to do this. I have them dotted around my site in the sidebar and footer of most of the posts. I encourage you to do the same. Only ever provide great content and assistance, don’t ever spam them with endless sales pitches. We all hate that, don’t we?
You can use what are known in the trade as opt-in bribes to encourage subscriptions. An opt-in bride is something of value that the visitor has to exchange their email address for. This could include:
- Cheat sheets
- Tips and tricks information
- A white paper
- A resource list
- An Ebook
In fact anything that adds value, and is perceived as being valuable and relevant to your visitor. If they don’t want it, they won’t sign up. If they do sign up always make it really easy to unsubscribe from your list as a matter of courtesy.
Note: If you sign up for our newsletter, feel free to respond to any of the emails we send you asking for our “Lead Magnet List” which will give you more ideas for what to use as Lead Magnets.
Have something to sell
Ultimately we are looking to build a business from our online endeavours, so we need something to sell. Something that will help our audience, something that gives more in value than it asks for in payment. Think of saving your audience time, effort, money wherever possible. Look to help them make money or solve some problem or pain they want to remove from their lives.
You can look to sell your own products or be an Affiliate and sell other people’s products. There are literally thousands of such products available to sell from physical products, services to digital products and everything in between.
If you’re starting out in online marketing, it is probably wiser to sharpen your marketing skills before investing a great deal of your resources in developing your own products, and Affiliate Marketing is an ideal option. Products can be found via networks such as Clickbank, Commission Junction, Amazon and JVZoo to name but a few.
summary of where to find products to sell
- Amazon affiliates / associates but look for high value products,
- Odigger.com or offervault.com,
- Commission junction you can be an affiliate or sell your product through them,
- Think about what you use yourself,
- Directly approach the company yourself, ask if they do affiliate program,
- Forums and ask for ideas to the likes of web warrior forum and digital point forum,
- If you cant find a product make one yourself.
Where to use affiliate links
- Put affiliate links in an Ebook
- Put affiliate links within content section and as many natural links as possible, without overdoing it. Not everyone will read the full article
- Link to an image of product Easy Azon WordPress Plugin – I have never used this myself so I can’t recommend it,
- Mention discount prices “click on this link to save 20%” if you have such an offer,
- Measure affiliate links using prettylinks (http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/pretty-link/ ) or gocodes to put a long affiliate link and creates a short nice link which is easy to remember
- Create own advertisements, use text widgets to rotate text links,
- Affiliate links in your images.
Keep the conversion going
Keep providing help to your audience, otherwise they will move on and leave you behind. If you’re only looking to service a narrow band of people at a certain stage in their development and don’t intend to offer support for them later, than that’s fine as long as you know how to keep the flow of new recruits coming to your website. Have a plan and work the plan.
To be truly successful in Affiliate Marketing you need to build an audience that keeps coming back to you for more, I’ve heard it described as building a tribe or engaged community, even raving fans – whatever you want to label it, it’s about engaging on a regular basis and building a relationship with them. In order to achieve this you must provide great, unique, valuable, and actionable content that your audience needs and wants. This should be your major focus. Without an audience you can’t hope to build an affiliate business.
If you’re looking at doing it as a sideline, or full time business you will probably want or need to earn money from it by selling something. I prefer to use a method that adds value and genuinely helps people. I love to talk about Marketing and Business so write about it a lot. I have to make a living but have decided to only sell products that are relevant to my audience, I would be proud to have developed myself, and that are of genuine use. If I don’t like it I won’t try to sell it.
If you’re getting into affiliate marketing then pick a niche you are passionate to write about, otherwise you won’t enjoy it and will likely give up if the going is tough. Don’t do it just to make money, do it to help others. The side effect of adding more and more value is you tend to make more and more money.