Affiliate Marketing 101: Residual Traffic

One of the most controversial posts on this blog was that titled “Affiliate Marketing 101: Traffic: Organic vs. Paid“, where I wrote about how unreliable organic traffic is vs. paid traffic and why you should only consider paid traffic if you are going to build a business.

It is really as simple as it sounds; you can build a business only on what you pay for. The changing algorithms make it impossible to optimize your site for search engines on a long-term fashion. Instead you’ll have to be optimizing your website frequently. Compare this with paid traffic. You pay for traffic, and you get it.

But there is a draw back in paid traffic: It’s not residual. You pay for traffic today and you get it, then you have to pay again for the same traffic tomorrow and so on.

A residual source of traffic is the one that sends you traffic every day once you establish it. And the more source of traffic you build the more daily traffic you get from those sources together.

Does this kind of traffic exist? The one you work for today and get traffic for a long time as long as it is there sending you traffic? And every day you work on it you accumulate sources of residual traffic that send you more traffic?

Yes it exists, and in both forms: paid and free.

Build a List:

First off, whatever your source of traffic if you are not building a list you are losing more money on the table than you are making. Think about it. The highest conversion rate on a landing page I’ve ever heard of was around 8%. Say it’s 10%. That’s 90% of your website visitors leaving your website without making you money. You paid for this traffic, yet you are passively watching it leaving your site.

Even with free traffic, to get organic traffic you work even harder to get that, yet you don’t do anything to follow up with your visitors who don’t take action.

It’s easy by the way. The easiest thing to do on a website is to add a lead capture form anywhere and offer your visitors a gift for stopping by asking for their names and email addresses to send the gift to their inbox.

And you don’t need to create the gift. You can buy one ready and just give it away. And don’t think about it as an extra cost. By building a list you are doing the most important thing an online business owner should do. The list is your asset. A website with a list is worth several fold more than a website without a list when you consider selling it.

Write Articles:

An article that points to your website is a source of traffic as long as it is live online. The more articles you write the more streams of residual traffic you get to your website. It’s that simple.

Again, on your website, no matter which one of the three affiliate websites described on this blog (lead capture, review, or blog) always make sure you capture your visitors info to follow up with them. Build a relationship with more free stuff and valuable info.

Frank Kern once said: “Over cool your competitors” if you want to win the competition. And you do that by providing more value to your list members over the time.

Other Web 2.0 Properties:

In addition to article directories, there are other sites that let you publish your content in return for a link to your website. Squidoo and hubpages are among the most famous examples.

Again: don’t forget to build your list.

Social Media:

Social media, another type of web 2.0 sites, allows you to link to whatever you want, and build relationships with millions of people out there. Examples are facebook, twitter, my space … etc. They work like a charm as long as you don’t spam. Be cool, be likable, be social, and don’t forget your website in your profile and when appropriate.

Don’t forget: the list.

Social Bookmarking Services:

Social bookmarking services should be used for the this purpose: bookmarking and sharing your bookmarks. If you only bookmark your stuff you are missing on the value you could get from these websites. Bookmark other cool stuff. Cool stuff get large search volumes, which means more people to view your bookmarks, and your profile.

Before I finish this post there are two things you need to unleash the power of residual traffic:

1. Tools that you’ll be using to build your list, and

2. a guide on how to use articles and web 2.0 property to drive residual traffic to your website.

List Building Tools:

To build a list you need 3 things: a website, an autoresponder, and a gift to give away. If you are in the Internet marketing niche I can help you with the gift.

If you are not, first check with the product owner. Quite a number of product owners, especially on clickbank, have rebrandable ebooks or demo software that you can give away for free to build your list and make them sales. The other sources are PLRs and MRRs (you can google your niche + PLR or MRR). The good ones will cost you, but it’s money well spent.

The autoresponders are competing with one another in a way that makes your life as a user even better. My favorite is grabthatlead.com, which costs $9.95/month no matter how big your list is. It’s a very basic and reliable autoresponder. If you don’t have your own tracking system then you might as well consider other big names like icontact. They both have a free version.

And for the website, you need a domain name that tells all about your niche to your visitors, and a reliable hosting. You can get both for $42/year (vs. $9/year only for the domain and $120/year for hosting any where else) from ipage.com. I’ve got only positive feedback from people like you who took my recommendation and purchased ipage hosting, especially regarding the technical support: efficient and friendly.

Web 2.0 Guides:

1. Direct article marketing (free download)

2. Hubpages Free Traffic Report (Free download)

3. Squidoo guide (free download).

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Essential Online Marketing Tools: Domains and Hosting

To be successful online you need to first “exist” online. Your online existence is virtual of course, and is manifested in one thing: your website, which is composed of two things in return: your domain name and your website content.

If you are on a budget scroll down to the end of this article for a nice surprise

Choosing the Domain Name

Your domain name is like your virtual business address. When people want to stop by your “store” or “office” they have to go to your website through your domain name.

That’s why it’s highly important to pick up a domain name that’s:

  1. easy to remember, and
  2. tells all about your business.

And here is the thing: there are no duplicate domain names. Once a domain name is taken it’s taken. The only way to get it is to buy it from it’s current owner for whatever price they decide.

So, if you have been putting this step off, you’d better move faster and reserve the easiest domain name to remember and at the same time represents your business.

A dot com domain might cost you less than $9/year to get it from namecheap.com. It’s nothing compared to the price you might have to pay in order to get it from a current owner.

Choosing the Host

Your website content is your virtual property. The design, the texts, the graphics, and any downloadable material you might have on your website all together compose one virtual building.

For people to see the content of your website you’ll need to host them on a server. And here comes the dilemma: what hosting company should you build your business on their virtual property?

There is no straight answer to this question, it all depends on what your business model and size. And here are two distinctly different cases to make the picture easier to image:

An incorporated business would consider buying a server. First of all, it’s part of the capital costs and can be deducted from the company’s taxes within the capital depreciation limits over the years. So, it’ll get paid for by tax money. Another important thing is that an incorporated company would rather have every thing that belongs to the company under one roof for security purposes. Besides, having their files on a third party’s property makes part of the company’s operations under the control of that third party.

The other example is the extreme opposite, a small affiliate business. For affiliate marketing a dedicated server is out of questions. All what you need as an affiliate is a blog, a review site, and a lead capture page. You can host all of those and have plenty of extra space and bandwidth if you get the baby gator hosting package (use the coupon at the top right of this page for 25% discount). Unlimited means you get to host unlimited number of domains and websites on that hosting package.

The only question for an affiliate is how reliable this is. This is a controversial issue. The same hosting company might give one customer the best experience ever, and give another one the worst nightmare.

To solve this problem on choosing the suitable hosting for your small business you can either take the cheapest one and make it a habit to back up your site on your hard drive ever time you make a change, or go for a bit more expensive hosting with a trusted brand like Yahoo! hosting, which is also unlimited and includes a free domain.

If you are on a budget you can start with a $1.99/month unlimited hosting package that includes a free domain. Follow the link below to get one of those.
Award Winning Web Hosting

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