15 Make Money Online with Affiliate Marketing

Using Calls to Action

We’ve covered some of the most popular and effective ways to promote your affiliate links. But whether you use one, a few, or all of these, there is a simple thing that can have a major impact on your success. And that’s the call to action.

Just like it sounds, a call to action is a statement that encourages the reader, listener or viewer to take action. This action could be making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, or visiting your website. But no matter what action is desired, it is imperative that you make it clear to the reader what you want him to do.

All too often, affiliates avoid making calls to action. This may be true for several reasons:

  1. They worry about being too pushy. They fear that customers won’t like being told what to do, and if they try they will head for the hills.
  2. They feel that making a direct call to action will insult the prospect’s intelligence. After all, when people read a sales page or pitch, they know that you want them to buy something, right?
  3. They think calls to action are unnecessary. They reason that if the prospect wants to buy, he will do what it takes to make the purchase without any encouragement.
  4. They’re not sure how to make a call to action. Should they say “Buy this now!” or be more subtle about it?

But if you fail to make that call to action, there’s a good chance that you’ll also fail to make a sale. In this day and age, people are bombarded with so much information that they don’t have the capacity to process it all. So if you don’t make it crystal clear that you’re asking them to make a purchase, it’s quite possible that they won’t. Even if they are interested in the product you’re promoting, they might just think, “Well that’s interesting,” and get on with their lives.

How you make your call to action will depend somewhat on where you’re using it. Here are a few guidelines for some of the promotional tools you’ve learned about.

Blogs – Blogs are more about building relationships than selling. Calls to action are still important here, but they should be a bit more subtle than they would in a sales letter. Instead of asking readers to buy something now, mention products and include a link. Advise them to “Click here for more information” or something to that effect.

Content sites – Since content sites are less personal than blogs, there’s no harm in cutting straight to the chase when asking for the sale. If you’ve provided solid, relevant information to the reader, a powerful call to action will entice him to check out what you’re offering, not turn him off.

Videos and podcasts – If you’re doing a video blog or podcast, it’s usually best to stick with the same type of approach you would use with a text blog and not be too pushy. But if you’re creating videos that are clearly promotional, there’s nothing wrong with squarely asking for the sale or opt-in.

Email – In email newsletters or announcements, it pays to be rather obvious about your intentions. It’s just too easy for the reader to close the email and forget about it, or worse yet delete it. Making it a point to directly tell the reader to buy the product or visit your website to learn more will pay off.

Social networks – With few exceptions, blatant promotion is not allowed in social networks. But you can include a call to action in forum signatures and on profile pages. One technique that’s generally well received is using a teaser to entice readers to click the link and learn more.

Twitter – Calls to action on Twitter may be subtle or overt. But unless your Twitter account is geared toward motivated buyers or deal seekers, it’s not usually a good idea to include a directive to buy something very often.

Don’t be intimidated by calls to action. They’ve been used in sales letters and other promotional materials since their inception, so there aren’t many people who will find them offensive. And if someone already has some degree of interest in what you’re offering, a little nudge certainly won’t change their mind. It will just push them in the right direction.

In Affiliate Marketing, You Get What You Put In

Since the Internet became available to the average person, there have been lots of people looking for ways to make easy money online. And there probably always will be. But in life, there is no free lunch. This is just as true on the Internet as it is in the “real” world.

Affiliate marketing does present the opportunity to make lots of money. And once you get started with it, you can maintain that income without a huge amount of effort. But finding a niche, selecting affiliate programs and doing what it takes to effectively promote the products takes some time and effort. When those who are looking for a free ride discover this, they are ready to throw in the towel.

But if you’re serious about making money as an affiliate, you can generate great wealth. Those gurus that are making so much really aren’t much different from the average Internet user. They just had the determination they needed to seek out great affiliate opportunities and work on their promotional efforts until they got it right. We can learn a lot from their experience, but we still have to do our part to find what it takes to make it in a given niche.

You don’t necessarily have to make affiliate marketing a full-time pursuit in order to make big money. But you must have patience, and you must be willing to work at it. If you can use a computer, you can make a good living with affiliate marketing. Do not let getting off to a slow start deter you. Let it be your motivation for finding the best programs and promotional methods!

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