7 Things You Need To Start Your Affiliate Business

To promote affiliate offers, you can set up a simple machine by using a simple 2 page website with an autoresponder.

Here’s what you’ll need:
1. A hosting account
2. A domain name
3. A text-editor or webpage editor
4. 2 very simple web pages
a. A “Squeeze” or “Opt-in” page
b. A “download page”
5. An autoresponder account
6. FTP software
7. The link to your affiliate offer

Lets look at each of these in a little more detail.
1. A Hosting Account

A hosting account is where you will store your web pages. There are literally hundreds of webhosting companies – from expensive, top-of-the-line to down-in-the dirt grungy. You don’t generally want down-in-the dirt grungy, but you don’t need to pay for top-of-the-line, either. Do some research and visit web hosting forums to see who’s offering the best deal right now.

2. A Domain Name

A Domain name provides your web pages with an address on the Internet. It’s what people type in to the address bar of their browser, and what is commonly known as a “URL” (Uniform Resource Locator) or “URI” (Uniform Resource Indicator).

Pick a domain name that will be relevant to your niche. If we choose “Fat Loss For Idiots” we might want to choose, “SecretsOfFatLossForIdiots.com”. Places like GoDaddy and Namecheap are excellent examples of reliable domain name registrars.
3. A Text Editor or Webpage (aka “HTML”) Editor
I highly recommend you download what’s called a “WYSIWYG” html editor (for “What You See Is What You Get”) which allows you to create web pages simply and easily – by adding formatting and font styles and the like. These editors allow you to build a web page visually, so you know exactly “What You Get”

Why not just use Microsoct Word, you ask? Because Word is TERRIBLE for web pages. I cannot stress that enough. Microsoft Word should NEVER BE USED TO CREATE WEBPAGES! When you save a Word document as a web page, the program adds a bunch of gobbledy-gook to the backround of the page that ends up costing you money in the long run. (We’re here to make money, not lose it!)

There are a number of WYSIWYG editors, some of which are high end, like one program called Microsoft Frontpage. But you can get along quite well with the free and quite excellent webpage editor KompoZer. Google it and download it for free.

4. 2 Simple Webpages

The next step in this process is to create 2 simple web pages. The first is called a “Squeeze Page” or “Opt-In Page”

Squeeze Page (Name it index.html)

A squeeze page is simply an offer to exchange valuable information in trade for the user’s email address.

Basically, you will take the “opt-in” form that you get from your autoresponder company (don’t worry, I’m going over this next) and create a page with a tantalizing offer – a report or a series of emails.

You want to offer something that will entice the people in the niche you are targeting to sign up.

For instance, for “Fat Loss For Idiots” you might want to offer a report titled something like “How To Lose Fat Quickly!” or, the “Top 10 Tips For Fat Loss.” (You may have to do a bit of research, but not too much, to find ideas for the content for your report – but don’t steal other people’s content!)

Incidentally (and here’s the real power) – once you have your visitors on your email list – you can promote other Affiliate or CPA offers and other products relevant to buyers in this niche for MORE money! We’ll talk about your email list in just a minute.

Download Page (Name it download18972.html)

The second page you’ll need is called your “Download Page.” On your download page, you will have a link to your report (more on that in a second), as well as a link to the affiliate or CPA offer that you are promoting.

Note that the name I suggest is download18972.html – I just typed some random numbers. I do this so nobody can try to guess my download page very easily. Sometimes I use something like download_1234_4soieur.html or something equally crazy using letters, numbers, and _s only.

Now, remember the second hoplink we gave above? You will want to use that hoplink on your page (if you are promoting that particular product. “Hoplinks” are actually a Clickbank term, so other affiliate networks will probably call their affiliate links something more off the wall – like, well, “affiliate links”.

Now, you will probably want to say something more than just “click here” — because you want to entice your visitor to click on the link for this offer.

So, you might say something like “This is a product that I found really has helped many people in their battle against the bulge”. If you’ve actually used the product with success, brag on that.

Also, you can look on the product page for their “affiliates” link, and they may have more promotional material (banners, graphics, and the like) that you can use on your download page.
5. An Autoresponder Account

An autoresponder company is an email provider where people can sign up to email lists that you create. Once you have an account with one of these companies, you can then send out email to your members automatically on a periodic, scheduled basis. So you set it up once, and then keep profiting from it over and over ?

Here are a couple of popular Autoresponder providers:
1. GetResponse
2. Aweber

Basically, you can set up your account so when someone signs up for your email list, they get email #1 after signing up, email #2 a day or two later (whenever you’d like to schedule it), email #3.

It doesn’t matter when they sign up – the autoresponder company keeps track of what email to send each person, and when to send it – so you don’t have to!

One of the other things that autoresponder accounts also do is ensure email deliverability. If you send out email from your own domain, your domain might accidentally end up on a “blacklist”, (I’ve been there before, you don’t want it to happen to you, believe me) and email will not be delivered to email providers like yahoo.com, hotmail.com, gmail.com, etc. who subscribe to the blacklisting companies. (Most email providers and Internet Service Providers – ISPs – do…)

Here’s the secret: When you set up your autoresponder form, you will be asked for the location of a “Thank you” page. You want to put your affiliate link into that field. For most autoresponder services, it defaults to a form on their site. You don’t want that. You want the user to go to your affiliate/CPA offer, so you can make money!

6. FTP Software

FTP stands for “File Transfer Protocol”. And that’s what this software does. It transfers files from your computer to your webhosting account. All it does is move files from one computer (yours) to the other (that of the webhosting company)

The programs mentioned below make the process very similar to simply copying a file from one place on your computer to another. There are a number of free options for ftp software.

You’ll use one of these programs to transfer your squeeze page and download page to your server:

1. KompoZer — That’s right, the html editor mentioned above has ftp software.
2. FireFTP – This is an extension that is used with the Firefox Browser.
7. A Simple Report

As mentioned above, when you create your webpages, you want to have a report to offer to people to inspire them to sign up to your email list.

You can make simple but elegant-looking reports using products like Microsoft Word, the free OpenOffice suite, or with online tools like Google Documents.

After you create your document, you will want to make sure it’s readable on all computers. The way to do that is to create a “pdf” document out of it.

You can use the pdf creation capability of OpenOffice, which will let you convert Word (.doc) or OpenOffice (.odt) documents into pdf files from directly within OpenOffice (using File->Export as PDF)

That’s it – with these seven simple steps you have everything you require to start generating sales commissions.

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