Brand Names Are Taking Over

During the first quarter of 2010 it was obvious that the biggest names in affiliate networks are flirting with brand names. And although these networks are criticizing the Google slap and it’s impact on the affiliate marketing industry, they are doing the same.

Small affiliate marketers are now having their accounts terminated or suspended for low volume. This means that small affiliates are now facing the challenge of either growing into big boys or losing their business. This challenge is time sensitive. And affiliate marketers who are just starting and those who lost their Adword accounts are supposed to find an efficient way to grow their business according to a plan.

The picture is not different on the other side of the coin. Small advertisers are now facing the challenge of being crashed by the big brand names. Some networks,  like hydra, is now moving on this new trend: brand names. If you don’t have a well known brand name your offers are facing the threat of elimination.

Which brings us to the point of this article. Branding is the key to succeed in 2010. And it works for both advertisers and affiliates.

What I expect to see during the rest of 2010 is as follows:

1. Advertisers will be spending more on branding their names. This will open the door for new positions in those small companies that will focus only on media placement and getting their name in front of as many people as they can, for as long as they can. Fly-by-night businesses will be having hard time getting their offers accepted to rotate on big affiliate networks, and as a result scams artists will be very busy finding a way around the new situation.

2. Affiliate marketers will also try to brand their names, or turn their small home “commission-based-sales” businesses into registered marketing companies with their own trademarks. This will put the marketers in a position that they will have to be picky on what to promote in order to maintain a good reputation for their trademarks.

3. The very limited liability of affilaite marketers will be a history due to the new FTC regulations, and the branding trend they have to take in order to succeed.

4. The small affiliate networks that deal with small advertisers will have a lot of work to do due to the increasing demand from the small advertisers who can not, or are not willing to, brand themselves, and due to the termination/suspension of low-volume affiliate marketers by the big networks. It’s pretty obvious that the quality of offers on these networks will be questionable and this will push their affiliates to work hard on protecting their anonymity.

As have been seen before in the offline world, small business will shrink, or be forced to the back alley, while big brands will be expanding. Good for the consumer, good for the super affiliates, good for the affiliate networks either way, and bad for the scam artists. New and low-volume affiliate marketers have to take it seriously from now on.

The “Not So Secret” of Super Affiliates

If you have been around doing affiliate marketing for a while you must have noticed that there are some names that are always at the top of the list of super affiliates. And since you have been around for quite a while you must be at the same time on some of the lists of those super affiliates.

Whenever a new product is about to be released you’ll get emails from those top super affiliates giving you heads up about the new product, warming you up and preparing your mind set to be in the buying mode. And when it’s time for the launch you’ll receive an email (or several ones) telling you about their bonus for you in case you buy through their affiliate link. Sometimes, actually most of the time, the bonuses value is way beyound the commission that you’ll earn from buying that product through your own affiliate link, and difinitely more than what you are going to pay for the actual product.

That makes it look like a better deal for you to buy through the super affiliate’s link than when you buy directly from the seller or through another affiliate link (including your own link if you are allowed to).

And that IS the “not so secret” of the super affilaites. Build a targeted list, keep in contact with your list with bonuses and free information (keep moving the free line), and give incentives for them to buy through your affilaite link.

The real secret though is how to engineer this process. You’ll need to prepare a list building system that is engineered to funnel in a certain demography, subniche … whatever your target is. But first you’ll need to study this market and be aware of the past and the forcasted trends, the products that serve this market, and evaluate your share “to be” from this market and how to get it.

There are resources that will help you with engineering your list building system. In addition to the basics (the hosting, autoresponder or list management system, tracking software etc …) you’ll also need to have at your disposal a stock, or a source of, master resale rights products that you can use as bonuses (in case you don’t have your own products).

If you find this process intimidating it is recommended to get yourself a coach who knows the ins and outs of this business and can hold you accountable for your business building tasks as scheduled.

Unforunately I have too much on my plate to think about coaching, besides I don’t see my previous students doing any good (perhaps because I am not harsh enough or easy going). But don’t hesitate to ask any questions using the comment feature below.

The good news is that there are super affiliates out there who are willing to share with you their secrets, for a fee of course. And those super affiliates are the only ones you can trust in this environment of deceptive misguidance (to rob you off your money and minimize the competition). And at the top of list is Jennifer Ledbetter (aka potpie girl). In her private training she teaches how to use free resources to generate cash as an affiliate. She also teaches how to expand on a successful free campaign into a serious source of income they professionals do.

Her methods are time proven and have been generating cash for me since 2009.

Click here to get a free taste of her training.

Seasonal Affilaite Marketing

No doubt, affiliate marketing is one of the easiest ways to make money online without any virtual real estate. You don’t need a website or a mailing list if you want to make money from affiliate marketing. Of course, virtual real estate could, and will, make you even more money with affiliate marketing, but you don’t need them to start. Just drag traffic directly to your affiliate link and you’ll start making money.

But how to make money competing with the thousands of affiliates out there who are trying to make money promoting the same thing that you are promoting?

There are several ways to compete in the affiliate marketing field. One of the strategies is to capitalize on seasonal marketing trends.

Seasonal marketing trends are better explained by an example. Let’s take Amazon’s affiliate program. If you want to capitalize on seasonal trends in February for example, find special offers on gift items, like Valentine discounts or coupons, and promote those special offers.

I emphasized coupons because this word is so powerful in marketing. If you have a discount coupon for any product you are more likely to make sales than someone who else promoting the same product without the coupons. You can bid on the keyword [product name] + coupon. No one will search for a coupon unless they have their credit card in hand and ready to buy. So you can bid high on this keyword with confidence.

You can also build a web 2.0 campaign optimized around this coupon keyword. A web 2.0 campaign will cost you no money to make it, and will probably be there for you for valentine next year. You’ll just need to update it with the newest coupon codes from your affiliate network (in this example it will be Amazon) for the new season.

Click here to learn how to build a web 2.0 affiliate campaign to capitalize on free organic traffic

Whether it is a PPC or organic web 2.0 campaign, this has to be done ahead of time in order to start getting decent converting traffic from search engines before Valentine day.

Good Luck

Why do you need to build a list?

There are several models of online businesses. There are online shopping malls, niche stores, affiliate marketing, memebrship sites, and a lot of other forms. There is one common feature among all forms of online businesses: Money is in the List.

Even offline, stores like Old Navy, Sears, Gap, Banana Republic, Best Buy, and a lot more are using emails to multiply their sales several folds through coupons and special offers.

They all do that for a reason. They all realized the MONEY is really in the LIST.

Building a list is the one trend in marketing that never gets old. The method of communication might change with the advancement of technology, but the principles are the same.

The first thing that might have come to your mind is that those businesses are big already and they are seaking to spread their businesses to reach more customers. You are right, in a way.

Those businesses started on the ground. They have locations and over the years they have already built a brand name with reputation. But for you to start a business on the virtual world, whatever your business model is, you’ll need to build a list and capitalize on the power of email marketing.

Think about it as a crowd of customers that gave you the permission to sell to them. All what you need to do to make money is to find what you’ll want to sell to them, and  send them an email about it. That’s it. It’s like a virtual ATM machine.

Your list can also be the fastest source of traffic to flood any website with visitors.

This is as true for affiliates as for merchants, except that affiliates have no after-sale obligations.

List building is easy, it is actually the easiest thing to do in order to create a steady source of decent income within weeks from now. But not any list will do it. There are strategies and research involved in the process. You need to know those in order to be making a good use of your marketing efforts, time, and budget.

About the budget, it doesn’t have to be a big one. In fact, there are ways to build that list without any upfront investment. Just keep in mind that as soon as you have the money you’ll have to start investing in building your biggest asset for earning online; your list.

In the following few days I’ll be writing regularly about list building stages, strategies, tools, and how to monetize the process of list building.

Stay tuned my friend. This is going to be the best investment of your time.

FOMT Admin