Affiliate marketing, and in fact the Internet itself, is evolving daily - leaving it in a state of constant flux. So just how is an affiliate, especially one new to affiliate marketing who may still be working at a full-time job as well, supposed to keep up with it all?
First, of course, you should be re-investing in your online business, watching for new training resources from Super Affiliates that you've come to trust as providing good solid up-to-date affiliate marketing training materials. And in between, you should be subscribed to their e-zines (e-mail newsletters), visiting their blogs regularly, and following them at sites like MyBlogLog, Technorati and Twitter - especially Twitter since it's always real-time.
How drastically does the affiliate marketing game change? Just a few years ago it was all safelists, free-for-all pages and traffic exchanges - now Web 2.0 techniques, like blogging and social networking are leaving the earlier strategies in the dust.
Let's look at the components of recent successful strategies that have made affiliates the most in commissions and prizes and continue to be ultra-effective right now, shall we?
First, almost without exception Super-Affiliates have their own opt-in lists they e-mail offers to; lists tightly targeted to whatever niche they're operating in. If, for example, they operate in the Internet marketing, travel and Forex niches, they'll have separate lists targeted to each of those three niches.
And that's a win-win for the super-affiliate - their lists drive traffic to each new affiliate promotion they attack, and each new promotion is used as another opportunity to build those lists even further. They'll offer a free download or a free video as an incentive to get targeted people to join their list - that download or video is packed with value, but still functions mostly as a pre-sell vehicle for their current promotion.
So they've now gotten the new targeted prospects onto their list, and warmed them up to the subject, service, niche or person they're currently promoting. A few e-mails later those new prospects will most likely follow an affiliate link to the site being promoted, thus raising sales even higher. The super-affiliate has added more targeted prospects to their opt-in lists by providing great free content upfront, and made more money on the promotion because of it.
On the biggest launches, especially launches for high-ticket items, competition among affiliates is much more excited - and while the tactic above is still employed very successfully, something more is needed to get onto the leaderboard and end up at or near the top of the heap. Once again the answer is providing additional value-added content of good use to your prospective buyers.
If you're on the mailing list of many top Internet marketers, you've recently been deluged with e-mails every time a big new high-ticket launch is announced, especially if there's a contest for the affiliates. Notice how many of them offer bigger and bigger bonuses if you buy the item through their link? They wouldn't keep doing that if it didn't work, but it does - big time!
Why is it so successful when it's so transparent a ploy? Because the customer doesn't care WHY the bonus is being offered, they just care that they're getting the product they want to buy and a lot more helpful resources to go with it for no extra cost. This makes the purchase more valuable to them because it provides them with more of what they want and need - they could care less about your affiliate marketing commissions.
So when we boil it all down to basics, what's working best in affiliate marketing right now is delivering value added reasons to buy through your link while using that extra content to build your targeted lists for future promotions. Since the business never stands still, not too far down the road that will be replaced by the next system, but for now this is where you want to focus your affiliate marketing efforts!
Doug Champigny is a world-famous Internet marketer, super-affiliate, mentor and speaker. Learn more about affiliate marketing and subscribe to his free e-zine at his Captain Affiliate Blog. You can also follow him on Twitter as @CaptnAffiliate