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The Basics Of Promoting Products On Your Existing Website With Reviews, Endorsements And Text Links

by Marlon Sanders

The number one way to promote affiliate products on your website is via text links and graphics (if you don't have a website, in another step, you'll learn alternative methods).

While placing banner ads on your website is perhaps the easiest way to promote a program, it isn't necessarily the most profitable one.

Here's what a text link is. When you sign up, you usually receive a URL that looks like this:

http://www.insertresellerdomain.com/cgi-bin/t.cgi/ID#HERE

You put your ID number where it says "ID#HERE". That is the URL you publish in your pay-per-click, blog, ezine or classified ad. When people click on it, a clone of the associate website pops up. If that person orders, you make a commission. Many reseller websites also remember who has been there and give you credit if they come back and buy later.

The exact URL varies depending on which associate program software your sponsor uses.

You should understand that the tracking isn't 100% in most cases. However, depending on the system used, it'll surprise you how accurate it really is.

Some programs do not give you credit for sales that occur down the road. They only pay you if the prospect buys at the time of the visit. Check with your associate program provider to see if you get paid on sales that occur as a result of return visits.

Now, here is the basic formula for you to make money as a reseller:

Sales = Bait + Promotion + Credentializer + Endorsement + Click

One: Bait

You must have good bait to hook people to come to your website, click on your ad, whether it's a banner, popup, pay-per-click, blog, classified, resource box in an article or some other form.

The best type of bait is a freebie. A free report or free e-book is what you will use most often as bait. Throughout this product, we're going to discuss different types of bait and how to use them.

Two: Promotion

You must promote your bait to get people to come to your website or click on your ad.

You're going to use a number of different methods to get the word out about your bait. You'll use search engines, press releases, banners ads, classified ads, blog ads, e-zine ads, pay-per-click ads, and other creative methods.

Three: Credentializer

Establish credibility through a free article, report, discussion board or some other form of content.

"Credentializer" isn't a real word. It's a coined word that describes something that develops credibility with the prospect. You can use free reports, articles, tips and discussion boards to do this. We'll talk about these throughout this product.

The report or credentializer SETS THE HOOK. The freebie GETS people to come to your website. It gets page views. But the credentializer is what makes people trust you.

The ultimate credentializer is...

Four: The Endorsement

Your own personal endorsement is what is going to MOTIVATE people to click when you refer them to your associate program product. We're going to discuss how to properly endorse a product.

In the big picture, here are the elements that determine how much money you make:

1. Your traffic. That is, the number and quality of visitors you get to your website.

2. Your web copy. No doubt about it. The web is a text-driven media. In other words, it's what you say and not your pictures that sells people.

3. Your web design. While the web is text-driven, design has a major impact on your success.

4. Your products or affiliate programs. How well do they match your visitor profile? How effectively do they turn your visitors into sales?

How to Put An Ad On Your Website (A Very Powerful Way to Promote)

In general, the more places you reference your affiliate products on your website, the greater the response. Of course, quality is more important than quantity. You can use both text links and banner ads. The text links or banner ads get greater response at the top of a page (or in the middle) than at the bottom.

Here are a few facts to keep in mind:

One, your personal review of the product with a text link will out-pull a straight banner ad in most cases.

You'll find that pay-per-click ads that offer reviews of different products in the category are quite popular and appear to convert well.

Two, the best way to promote affiliate program products is by writing your own review of the product in your own words and posting it on your website or on a web page and driving traffic to it. This review should be informational, NOT a sales pitch.

What I see a LOT is people who write reviews but have NEVER used or seen the product or service. In the end, I believe people are smart enough to figure this out. It doesn't pass the "smell test". In other words, it just doesn't "smell" right. Instead, write reviews that reveal your true feelings about a product. If you think it sucks, don't promote it! Promote stuff you really believe in. People will feel your passion.

Now, there people who succeed with more or less 'fake' type review sites. They review products they haven't seen and don't own. I'm not writing my rule in concrete or in stone. I DO know of people this approach has worked for. But when I see and read reviews like that, they're obvious to me. I don't put much trust in them. And I gotta believe other people are the same way.

In contrast, when someone gives me a heart felt recommendation of a product they have personal experience with, it carries more weight. The thing that sells it to me is THEIR STORY. If you just write an imperson, non-passionate product review (which is what you'll mostly see on the Net), I think you'll get drastically less results than if you have a PERSONAL story to relate about your experience with the product or service.

The more personal it is, the more people will likely relate to it.

Three, do NOT put one of your associate banner ads or other advertising on the page where you write the review. This reduces credibility. Link to your reseller URL using a text link as explained above.

The one thing that might be an exception to this is Google AdWords. People are used to seeing those on a web page.

Four, the most important place to promote your programs is definitely on your home page, because that is the one that gets the most traffic.

Of course, what people do nowadays is create specific "landing pages" on their website. A landing page is one you specifically create for your pay-per-click or other advertising. The rule of thumb is that the more the page specifically relates to what the people were searching for, the better the click-throughs and conversions.

The idea here is that you send people FROM an ad to a page you create specifically for them. That is a page BETWEEN the end and the final affiliate site. The purpose of the page is to increase conversions by sharing your personal story. And on top of that, you can get the person to "opt in" to your list so you can send email promotions for other items.

There are many landing page strategies.

One strategy we'll talk about is to get the opt-in for the product then send a long sequence of e-mails for that product to obtain the order.

Five, one good technique is to make the link part of your navigation or menu. For example, if you're promoting a product called "Power Widgets," on your navigation bar, you can a link to "Discover Amazing Power Widgets".

We're emphasizing text links because research has shown they get more response than banner ads. In reality, you should use both. But you'll definitely lose out if you don't use text links.

Here is an example of how to put an ad on your website. The text below is called a "text link" because it is text-only that leads to the link. That is different from a banner ad that uses a graphic image to encourage people to click. Normally, text links obtain a higher response than banner ads. But you may want to use both.

The text below would typically be placed in a box with a lightly colored background. Here's how to put a colored box like this on your web page.

Discover the Amazing Widget That Does So And So

This is my #1 favorite product on how to blank and blank. I've looked at a whole truckload of stuff. But Magic Widget really does it.

Here are four things I love about this product:

1. Explain thing number one

2. Explain thing number two

3. Explain thing number three

4. Explain thing number four

Click here for the Amazing Widget that Does So And So! Or send an e-mail to: putautoresponderaddresshere

Even if your sponsor has a copy for you, it's best if you write your own. If everyone uses the same thing, it destroys the impact. You can list your own 4 or 5 insights you gained by reading the product. Just write down some things you learned that you haven't read in other products.

Here's how to create your own table for your website:

Using your HTML editor such as FrontPage or Dreamweaver, from the toolbar select the command "insert table". For your settings, select:

Rows: 1
Width: 92%
Height: 59 pixels
Background color: #CCFFCC for a light green color
Or, if you want light yellow, select #FFFFCC

To add the logo at the top, copy the logo graphic to your hard drive. Just right click on the logo above and "save picture as" and put it on your hard drive. Then "insert image" in your HTML editor. Or you can copy and paste the logo into your table. But then you also have to UPLOAD the logo to your website.

If you change the width to 50%, then your box will only be a half-page wide.

The key to getting three to four times the response with the ad is to add your personal endorsement. The personal touch can make all the difference in the world. Here's another example from my product.

What I suggest you do is write some text that describes how you actually feel about the product. If you tell the truth, you'll find a lot of other people identify with your feelings.

To see examples of how to write a good endorsement, just read through the testimonials for the product. You'll get tons of ideas. Go to: http://www.amazingformula.com/testimonials1.html

Those are some of our testimonials. The point is, you can READ the testimonials for a product or service and discover what really turns people on concerning it. That gives you an idea of the points to emphasize on your web page.

At the beginning or end of your endorsement, you include a text link to your associate URL. Here's how you do that...

How To Create A Text Link

Here is how you create the actual link to your reseller URL.

You could say something like:

Discover the amazing widget that gives benefit, benefit, benefit

Here is an example of how you create the link on your website. Copy and paste the link included below to your HTML editor such as FrontPage or Dreamweaver. Then select the text and create a link. Different HTML editors have different ways of creating a link. But usually all you do is select the text and type in the link location.

For example, the screen capture below is from Dreamweaver.

Step one: Open a new page page in Dreamweaver.

Step two: Type your resellers url onto the page.

Step three: Highlight the text on your page.

Step four: After highlighting the text on your page, click WINDOW then choose PROPERTIES. Take note of the screen shot below to see how it's done:

Once you have clicked Properties, the following will appear:

Step five: Type in the URL where it says "link", close the properties box with the x in the top left hand corner, and you're done.

By the way, you do the same exact thing if you want to create a hyperlink for an e-mail address. You highlight the e-mail address and then type this in the link field: mailto:freetips@aweber.com?subject=adcode

Of course, after "mailto:" you put the address of your own autoresponder, not mine!

Remember, for maximum response, reference the product in a number of places in your website via text links. And in addition to that, use the banner ad at least once.

Marlon Sanders pioneered the popular e-book format and invented the 2-page mini-site format, thereby revolutionized the entire self-publishing and Internet Marketing industries. He is an evergreen Internet marketer who has created excellent products for the most crucial aspects of online marketing and marketed them better than almost anyone else. Check out his all-new 2006 version of "The Amazing Formula" that has helped so many people make 6-figure income with their own capabilities. Here is the CD-ROM that best reflects who Marlon is, his business strategies and what makes him click.

 

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