Monday, November 29, 2010

Creating A Passive, Residual Income Stream Is A Must For Building Affiliate Wealth Online

The goal of any affiliate marketer should be to build a passive, residual income.  Passive income and residual income are often considered one and the same, but there is an ever so slight difference between the two.
Passive income is considered income that is earned after an initial investment (time or money) has been made and active participation in the business or organization is no longer required.  Residual income, on the other hand, are continuous payments made to an individual on a specific timetable after an initial sale.
Residual income can be considered passive, but the opposite is never the case.  Passive income requires no continued effort or participation, while residual income usually requires some type of continued activity or effort.
As an affiliate marketer, building residual income into an ongoing passive income is the ideal scenario.  Unfortunately, not all affiliate programs pay a residual income.  The only compensation offered may be an initial commission paid at the time an affiliate makes a sale on behalf of the merchant.  This type of compensation can be quite lucrative in its own right, but in my opinion it is a narrow approach to earning income online. 
Building wealth (not income) should be the long-term goal, and a passive income stream must be created to do this.
The two things an affiliate should look at when evaluating a program for passive, residual income are:
1) Is there is tiered affiliate structure? 
A tiered affiliate program is one in which an affiliate is able to recruit “sub-affiliates” beneath him and receive additional compensation based on the activity of his sub-affiliates.  Tiers typically range from 2-5 levels (Example: if a program is a four-tier program that means the affiliate gets paid on 4-levels - the person he directly recruits (his 2nd level), the person his 2nd level sub recruits (his 3rd level), and the person his 3rd level sub recruits (his 4th level).
Tiered affiliate programs offer a powerful potential source of passive income for the affiliate.  Affiliates who do a good enough job of recruiting and then trains his sub-affiliates to do the same could have hundreds or even thousands of subs in his downline, earning him money without ever having to sale a thing. 
Not all affiliate opportunities are tiered, but affiliates who want to build a passive income understand this is a critical component in meeting that end.
2) Is there a recurring payment from product or service being marketed? 
Recurring payments are typically made monthly from one sale.  So, if an affiliate markets a product or service in which the purchaser pays each month for that product or service, the affiliate may receive an ongoing percentage of the monthly price.  For instance, if an affiliate markets for a merchant that offers SEO services at $50 per month and the affiliate commission is 50%, the affiliate gets $25 a month in recurring monthly payments (for as long as the purchaser is subscribed to the service).
Affiliate programs with recurring payments provide a residual income stream that could potentially keep paying its affiliates well after the initial sale.  Not all merchants who sale a product with a monthly fee offer its affiliates recurring residual commissions, so careful examination of the affiliate payment agreement must be done.
The benefits of building a passive, residual income online are clear.  Any affiliate marketer who is serious about not just earning income online, but who wants to build wealth from home must create a passive, residual income stream.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

5 Social Networking Tips For The Internet Marketer

Social networking has become a vital internet marketing resource.  With the number of social networking sites continuing to grow, it will continue to be a critical factor in marketing online. 

Some of the largest corporations in the world are now devoting a large portion of their advertising budgets to social networking.  You’d be hard pressed to find a corporation that takes its marketing serious not on Facebook or Twitter.  With competition so stiff, it is critical that internet marketers have a sound social networking strategy.

Although no social networking strategy can be considered full-proof, there are some very basic tips that can be used to maximize results:

  1. Create a profile complete with picture and bio.  Like the old saying goes, “you never get a 2nd chance to make a 1st impression.”  Fair or unfair, people form an immediate opinion of you or your business as a result of your profile.  Incomplete profiles without pictures don’t get nearly the response of those with a picture and bio.  Remember you’re on a social networking site, so people want to see who you are and what you’re about.  With that in mind, avoid using logos or celebrity pictures on your profile.  Use a real picture of yourself (preferably smiling or doing something you love).  Letting people see the real you projects trust and genuineness.

  1. Join groups that pertain to your online niche or business.  This is an area a lot of internet marketers neglect when joining social networking sites.  Social networking sites often have very large communities of people who share common interests.  Joining a group of like-minded people who share your passions is a great way to network and get noticed. 

  1. Don’t spam friends and/or groups.  This is easily the biggest mistake internet marketers make when joining a social network.  Some online marketers have barely been a member a few minutes before they are sending mass messages to all who have accepted their friend requests.  Nothing turns off a fellow social networker more than getting spam from an overzealous internet marketer every few hours.  Taking the time to build a relationship with friends on a social network is much more affective than immediately going at them with a sales pitch. 

  1. Avoid commentary on social issues.  When you’re active on a social network, it may be hard to avoid joining in on discussions about politics, race, religion, sex, etc., but it should be avoided at all costs.  As an internet marketer your goal is growing your online business and building online wealth, not expressing your opinion on hot-button topics.  Check out any large company’s social network profile on Facebook or Twitter and you won’t find any commentary on politics, religion or other highly charged subjects.  They don’t want to offend any group and they want everyone to feel as if they are welcome, and so should you. 

  1. Be sincere.  Social networking for business purposes is all about building and gaining trust.  Being dishonest or misleading people can have dire consequences.  The last thing an online marketer needs is an unfavorable reputation amongst a large community of internet savvy people.  The Internet is a powerful vehicle and can be used to not only build credibility, but also to destroy it.  

Social networking is an outstanding source of free web traffic, but it must be used responsibly by internet marketers.  It can be a tricky form of online promotion, but keeping the above tips in mind should help avoid some of the major pitfalls of social network marketing.

For free training on social networking strategy and other internet marketing resources click hyperlinks.

Monday, November 15, 2010

A Simple Guide For Deciding On An Online Niche

Niche marketing has become a very popular buzz phrase in the world of internet marketing.  Deciding on an online niche may sound simple enough, but many people struggle when it comes to choosing an online niche.

However, there are a few simple guidelines that will make deciding on a niche a little easier.

Make sure your niche has adequate demand.  When deciding on a niche, choosing a product or service that people want or need is critical.  Products or services that solve a problem, educate or inform, make people look and/or feel better, and that make people's lives easier are ideal.  You don’t want a niche that is saturated, but at the same time, there must be enough demand for your product or service to be profitable.

Make sure your niche is not too broad.  At the very heart of niche marketing is breaking down larger more popular niches into smaller less competitive niches.  Finding smaller niches not only reduces competition, it decreases advertising costs and provides internet marketers with more targeted traffic.  For example, you might be interested in building a sports website (either selling products or providing information).  Obviously, sports is a hugely popular niche, but if you take sports and drill it down to fantasy sports or get even more specific with say a head-to-head fantasy sports niche, you will find a lot less competition in search engines and more targeted traffic to your website.

Thoroughly research keywords.  This is often the area where most people get it wrong in niche marketing.  Before deciding on a niche, a thorough examination of the associated keywords should be done.  Targeting keywords is a delicate process that often makes or breaks a website.  Ideally, less competitive keywords that still generate a steady amount of searches should be targeted.  Google Adwords Keyword Tool is a very useful tool in researching keywords. 

When done right, niche marketing can be a highly successful online business.  It reduces competition, lowers marketing costs and more effectively targets a desired customer base. 

As you can see, the formula is fairly simple, but careful consideration of the 3 previously covered steps will save aspiring niche marketers a lot of heartache and pain.

To receive a free niche marketing video course click here.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

3 Simple Online Business Tips For Maintaining Your Daily Internet Marketing Routine

It is not enough to simply start a business online.  Like anything you want to grow, an online business must be cultivated and nurtured.  Without the proper time and attention, your business will never go anywhere.

The typical Internet marketer struggles mightily with time management when it comes to marketing their business.  Unless you are a student, work at home mom, retired or between jobs, chances are you will struggle to find a balance between working your online business and the responsibilities of your daily life.

With that in mind, I have a few online business tips that should help keep you on track with respect to your daily internet marketing routine.

  1. Setup a schedule.  To assure that you are actively promoting your online business, you must schedule time to do so each and every day.  Whether you’re devoting 30 minutes or 3 hours a day to your business, find a specific time during each day to commit to it.  If you work a full-time job and have kids like me, you will likely have to find a time late in the evening to schedule your daily internet marketing tasks.  Yes, it will require sacrifice (TV, time at the gym, socializing, etc), but if you’re serious about building a successful online business and building wealth at home, these are all small sacrifices. Of course, just having a schedule won’t do a bit of good if it isn’t strictly adhered to.  So once you come up with a schedule that works best, all effort must be made to stick to it.  Think of it as a part-time job that you must be just as accountable to as your 9 to 5. 

  1. Get organized.  Because of space or other limitations, not everyone has the luxury of setting up a dedicated home office.  But every effort should be made to organize your online business in such a way that you’re able to move from task-to-task efficiently.  This will ensure that you’re making the most of your scheduled time.  You’ll be amazed at how much time can be wasted searching for things like passwords and affiliate links.  Things you know you will need while marketing your business like passwords or affiliate links can be made more accessible by creating a Word or Excel file for each.  This way they will be readily available when needed. A lot of online marketers suffer from information overload, but properly organizing the information you need will greatly increase production and eliminate that feeling of being overwhelmed.    

  1. Establish short-term goals.  While long-term financial freedom online is the focus, having realistic short-term goals can be critical in keeping up moral and motivation on a daily basis.  As I said, the goals need to be realistic - joining an affiliate business or online opportunity and expecting to make $10,000 in the first month is not realistic (regardless of what some programs might claim).  If recruiting affiliates or associates under you is part of your business, then recruiting 5-10 people in 30 days might be a reasonable short-term goal.  You can have even shorter goals like: writing 3 articles a week to promote your business.  The key is to have a clearly defined objective each time you sit in front of your computer to work your business.

Doing something each and every day to grow your online business and create a passive income can be a challenge for those of us with busy schedules and active lives, but it can be done.  Follow the three steps mentioned earlier and you will greatly increase your daily online marketing productivity and eventually establish a routine that will keep you on the road to online success.