October 25, 2006

Day 11 - Affiliate Marketing 101

Affiliate marketing newcomer, be aware. I am discovering some basic truths regarding affiliate marketing that you may want to jot down on a Post-It and stow someplace away from your coffee mug. If you want to send me a bunch of money for this advice, feel free to do so...

1 - Free advice guaranteed.
The free is not necessarily free. The guarantee is enforceable only if you can find them again. I am not going to name names or point fingers. Caveat emptor, and do your homework ahead of time instead of having to do it later to see where you goofed up.

2 - Carefully guarded secrets aren't always.
Be extremely careful if someone tells you they are going to share a closely guarded secret of success with you (yeah... you and 6,287,491 of their closest friends). If you start getting emails from someone who claims to be your best buddy if you'll subscribe to his free email newsletter, with no obligation whatsoever, be prepared for a soon-to-arrive inundation of emails from him and all of his other affiliate programs and the unending deluge of messages carefully written to appear as if he is your new best buddy and is sitting on the edge of his chair just waiting to hear back from you.

3 - Overnight success isn't.
If something looks too good to be true, it probably isn't. Sure, the massive machine of the Internet moves at incredible speed. Sure, the opportunity looks great and you could strike it rich overnight. Sure, the person writing the copy is saying he'll send your money right back if you don't! (Note - sometimes this is legitimate - do the due diligence... look into the source of this offer. Is this a person of note in the field of affiliate marketing? Do they have a positive reputation that reinforces the trust you are itching to put forth? Google the author's name and see what you find. Before I capitulated and signed up to get Project X, yer durned right I Googled the heck out of it and found out everything I could humanly get without actually buying the package itself. As it turns out, I did find a lot, and am glad I invested in the package.

4 - Leap but slowly.
Carefully worded come-hithers which promise you instant results if only you will shell out $129.95 ( but this low price is only low for a very limited time!) creates a sense of urgency by giving the sensation that if you do not ACT NOW you may be missing out on the greatest thing since the secrets of the location of Atlantis. Don't. Take a breath. Close your wallet and think it over. Read the ad copy and get a sense of what this person has written which drew you in so well. Learn from that.

5 - Read what is sent to you, not as a consumer, but as a competitor.
Look at all the pretty hype. See how it draws you in, reading down long pages of nice graphics, nifty check marks next to benefit lists, past the subtly-background-colored testimonials, around the half-dozen Sign Up Now boxes? How does it make you feel? What does it engender in your brain's entertainment center? Do you feel soft and floaty, complacent and compliant? Does the nice font lull you into a sense of agreeable hypnosis? Are you reaching for your Visa card yet? Don't. This is exactly what you want to learn to do for your own affiliate marketing purposes.

6 - Don't skip or skimp.
Affiliate marketing has a high potential and, if you believe the majority of super-affiliate folks, anyone can do it. I must admit, after eleven days of focused activity (minus half a day discarded for sneezing and allergy meds that made me goofy, dopey, grumpy and several other dwarves), there is great and serious potential here in Affiliate Marketing Wonderland. However, if you're gonna do it, do it right. Be the turtle, not the hare. Pick the path and take the steps in sequence.

Yes, there are steps that make sense and a sequence to them that is supposely working for thousands of affiliate marketers. How do I know this if I have not made my first gabazillion bucks as an affiliate marketing specialist? Easy... I've spent a few decades in management and business ownership, and I know that every project has definable steps and sequences. The key is gain that definition, then to do them in the right order, with the right investment of time, effort and financial commitment.

I'm not going to try to second-guess what those steps are or what the sequence is. After all, I'm falling down this particular rabbit hole right along with you. All I'm doing is writing down what I'm doing as I go, and keeping track of it here, so you can read along, nod in agreement, gasp in horror, cheer in unison, or avoid a mistake I find I've made.