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The Many Ways of Advertising
Getting started with affiliate marketing is the easy part, but getting paid for it requires among a few things, traffic to your opportunities. You probably already have discovered a few methods, at least traffic exchanges, but don't miss out on other choices.This article contains text from Web Traffic for New Webmasters. This is an authorized republish. Do not repost or distribute without permission.
Social bookmarking (Digg, StumbleUpon, etc)
These sites allow for browsing from webpage to webpage based on keywords of interest. As people view the pages, they rate up or down the pages and this affects the overall viewing activity of particular webpages. Quality of your content and your interaction with the community tends to drive how well Social Bookmarking works for you.
Hint: When using these to promote an affiliate opportunity, promote your own page for the opp, not your affiliate link itself or a replicated page.
Social Networking (Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, etc)
Rather than browsing web sites, these allow for browsing personal profiles. The primary focus is friendly, content-filled communication with like-minded peers. Not advertising. However, as with social bookmarking, the more you positively interact with others via the networks, the more likely network “friends” will respond to the occasional posted link. Just a caution though, make sure you learn about proper usage of privacy settings before “letting it all hang out”. The wrong picture or message has gotten enough people in trouble that ignorance is not an excuse.
Hint: Balance your marketing messages with personal tips and thoughts. Consistent marketing is more effective than constantly blasting people with sales messages.
Social Streams (Twitter, MyBlogLog, Google Buzz, etc)
These are a marriage of Social Networking and Social Bookmarking. Users activity and thoughts are fed into quick updates which are then shared with “followers”, people who choose to receive the information from others. People expect to see outgoing links and are not opposed to clicking through, but the response tends to be more dramatic. Either the link is acceptable and you remain followed or it is considered unacceptable and you risk being unfollowed. For more information about using Twitter, read Twitter Basics.
Hint: Like social networking, having every message be a sales pitch is likely to lose sales. Be a person, not just an ad bot.
If you are willing to be a community member and contribute content-filled posts (not necessarily articles, just information that isn’t advertisements), forums related to your website topic can draw in visitors via your signature, and sometimes through specific board posts. The big caveat is that you must read the community guidelines regarding links and be a participating member in order for people to be willing to check out your website. If all you do is advertise, chances are you will be labelled a spammer and have your links ignored.
Hint: The more active a forum member you are without trying to sell people on something, the better any of your marketing posts will be received.
In-House Affiliate Program (usually self-hosted using distributed scripts)
While running your own affiliate program works best when you already have at least a trickle of traffic, it can drive much more traffic when set up correctly. As with the big networks, the key is to do some research on what your competition is doing and what the best publisher offer is.
Hint: Affiliate commissions should be generous enough to make affiliates feel it's worth it to advertise for you, but not be such a high percentage as to eat up all your profits. Take the time to do the math.
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