A complete guide on How to make more affiliate sales

C hefkeem at Wizzley shared some great tips for making it online on their forums a few month back. One post he shared was the Noble Samurai...

Chefkeem at Wizzley shared some great tips for making it online on their forums a few month back. One post he shared was the Noble Samurai videos on web conversion.
Web conversion is basically the art of turning traffic into buyers. This post is about how to turn traffic into buyers on affiliate sites.

Noble Samurai has published a list of conversion tactics, but not all are relevant for online publishers like us. So I thought I’d pick the ones that are, and elaborate on them:
  • Qualifying Questions – Life is too short to work on lousy project
    Questions to ask yourself: ‘Would I buy this myself?’ and ‘who would I recommend this product to?’ If the answer is ‘no’ and ‘nobody’ then step away and just don’t do it. The answer to the second makes good copy for your page btw. It may even be a good title ‘the best laptop for moms’, for instance.
  • Logical Flow, Lead people  through a logical sequence
    This is targeted at webshops. However, when you’re picking webshops to be an affiliate for, it pays to check this. Is their site logical? Would you buy from it? Try their checkout process: do you get lost? Are there many steps? Many steps and you getting lost are both indications that the site doesn’t convert well. And if it doesn’t convert well, it will be hard to make money off them as an affiliate. One reason why Amazon is such a popular site to be an affiliate for, is that their site DOES convert well and is easy to use. One reason why Godaddy is getting less popular as a domain host and registrar is that they include so many extra offers on the site these days that it’s hard to just buy that one domain name you came to the site for.
  • Market Segmentation – Match offers to customer segments
    Translated into creating sales pages on Hubpages, Squidoo and Wizzley this means: know who you’re writing for. You’d write differently for a guy on a pension than for a teenage girl. Make sure you know who you’re aiming at. If a product is suitable for different audiences, consider making pages for each. The reason that guy on a pension wants a laptop is likely different from the reason that high school girl needs one.
  • Clear Value Presentation- Simple, clear presentation of value is critical!
    Is it clear what you’re offering? Is the headline clear and believable? Is it obvious why people should buy that product? Bullet points and emphasized text can help. Do graphics reinforce my message, or do they merely distract? (rephrased from the PDF)
  • Specificity / Believability, Be specific
    Very important: don’t be vague, don’t drag in stuff that doesn’t belong on the page, give people what they came for, make sure what you’re saying makes sense.
  • Personality, People buy from people, not faceless websites
    This is one point that my own affiliate sites can benefit from: a look at how to make the site more of a brand, more personal. I recently updated all my Squidoo profile pictures recently to use the same picture of me, with a branded image in the corner to make the difference between the accounts clear. More personal, no longer faceless.
  • Look at the competition (not just on squidoo)
    What are they doing right, what can I learn from them? What are they missing? How can I improve on them? Back to those laptops: most sites talking about laptops are geeks recommending stuff to other geeks. If you’re a mom, why not recommend a laptop to moms? What’s the stuff you as a mom need from your laptop and which laptop would you recommend most? This can obviously translate into other demographics as well.
  • Scarcity / Urgency, People buy scarce resources for fear of loss
    In my niches this is not often relevant. However, if in your niche it is – do stress the fact that there is limited  supply, that people have to buy before a certain date etc.
  • Social Proof – People feel comfortable following the crowd
    This is why I’ve installed Google Feedburner widgets on my popular blogs, one of the reasons why it’s a bad thing that Squidoo disabled fanclubs, why having social buttons that tell people how many other people have tweeted or liked a page are a good thing. It’s also why best seller lists work and you may want to have comments enabled even on sales pages.
  • Authority , Use Authority to legitimise your offering
    I’ve used this where relevant – as a teacher I’m an authority on some topics at least. When quoting authority make sure you mention their qualifications.
  • Distractions / Friction – Don’t distract users as they’re doing what you want, don’t ask people to think
    Don’t sell posters on a page about calendars. Don’t sell calendars on a page that sells posters. Make sure all your content is relevant to the page. You can LINK to a page selling cat calendars on a page about cat posters, or the other way around. In fact you should. But don’t put up an amazon module for one on the other. If you DO do this – I have on occasion –  make sure you’re making it very clear that this is something else than what they came for.
    This is a good reason to turn OFF the related lenses feature on your Squidoo lenses: they push down the amazon widgets and make people click out to other lenses. Since right now this won’t even mean your lenses disappear from OTHER people’s related lenses feature, it’s likely to turn your sales lenses into even more efficient sales machines. [Yes, I’ve reported this as a bug. Me blogging about this may lead to the bug being fixed. It’s clearly NOT policy.]
    Link to related lenses at the bottom of your Squidoo lens, when people have apparently decided NOT to buy something. They might be interested in related stuff.
I’d like to end with one general tip on how to convert more:
Make more of what sells:
If you made one page that sells pink pens well, do make another on blue pens, and green pens, and purple pens etc. If on a page about green pens you find people are really buying green fountain pens, make a page about that.

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