As an Affiliate, you should come to realize these 3 crucial steps for Affiliate Marketing and take some serious action immediately.
1. Niche Research - This is the most important step that an Affiliate should take prior to beginning any campaign. If you simply look around and decide to take a dive into the water, you might hit your head on the bottom. Why? Because the water is too murky. You can't simply jump in and expect to not get hurt in some way. Financially is usually the case...
By using Magazines, Google or Yahoo, and various other methods - Niche Research is becoming a much easier task these days. Actually, it was never hard. The problem is in how we've learned Affiliate Marketing. We were told to throw our money into PPC campaigns and wish for the best. You're simply wishing.
Niche Research is, by far, the most important step to take in Affiliate Marketing. How well do you know, or understand this Market? What type of products are there? What do the people WANT OR NEED? Solve their problems. Features are meaningless to the customers who need the product to solve a problem. The should be meaningless to YOU, as the Affiliate, too. Stop guessing... start researching!
2. Keyword Research - How well are you researching your keywords? Are you simply looking at "making money online" as a keyword? Sorry, but if this is the case - you're about to lose a LOT of time and money. This market is far too saturated and competitive. This is not a niche market. You need to DIG deeper and find an actual Niche Market.
How about Making Money Online With Affiliate Marketing? Nope...
You need to dig deep and find a solid niche and a nice list of Keywords (longtail) that will benefit yourself, the affiliate, as well as the person making that search!
This is why you should learn more about Search Engine Marketing (SEO, PPC, etc) before you get way over your head financially.
3. Setting Up A Proper Campaign - What do you have in mind? Are you looking towards PPC campaigns, Article Marketing, Forum Marketing, using Blogs... or maybe all of the above?
Setting up a good PPC campaign takes a lot more than simply throwing up a list of keywords, bid prices and a few ads. You need to focus on Ad Groups, Ads for each group and good tracking with a product such as Google Analytics.
Article Marketing, also known as Bum Marketing, is a great way to get started immediately. Once you have found a Niche, done thorough research and done your Keyword research, you can start focusing on Articles related to some of those Keywords and send them to a landing page related to the product.
Forum Marketing is probably the easiest. You can simply put your Landing page URL into your Signature and continue posting as normal... OR you can get more involved in the threads related to that niche. Just don't go getting all salesy. This is a surefire way to get NO traffic and create a lot of drama for yourself.
Blog Marketing is simple as well. Being similar to Article Marketing - you need to create blog posts related to the product and Keywords. Be careful of how you create any article or blog post... don't start acting like a sales person, as mentioned above, as you'll lose traffic very quickly.
Just don't forget the most important aspect of Marketing: RELEVANCY.
Forget all of those long sales letters and bogus claims for expensive products. Check out Galoor's Affiliate Marketing Tutorials and learn for free!