Every small business owner knows that competition is tough, but he or she may not be able to pinpoint exactly what changes are needed in order to get to the top. Conducting business as usual may no longer be sufficient. Investing in the technology that is now available can be a great help or a bank breaker. It seems that most small business and home based business are either starving (they don’t have enough technology) or they are obese (they have everything piece of new technology that comes down the pike).
There is, however, some fairly new technology that every small or home business owner needs. It can answer questions like; how can small businesses identify noteworthy trends, Identify an existing hot demand and make better decisions faster? Answer: business intelligence software. Business intelligence is the crystal ball of the 21st century.
Purchasing business intelligence (BI) software is one of the most strategic investments that a business can make. Using data mining, reporting and querying, BI helps businesses understand, monitor, manage and respond to specified situations. This software empowers decision-makers and staff to connect the dots around key business numbers in a way previously unimaginable. BI helps you figure out:
· Which customers are profitable?
· Which customers appear profitable but aren’t?
· Are you close to or far from reaching critical milestones?
· When is the best time to launch a marketing campaign?
· What was the best performing product or service last quarter?
Business Intelligence software may be more of an investment than small businesses can bear. It can certainly be pricy. Small business or home business owners, however, can subscribe to BI services on the Internet at a fairly reasonable cost. There are several to choose from.
eBay also published a “Hot Items” list the first week of each month. It gives valuable information to eBay sellers who use drop shippers.
The most important and indispensable thing to assure your success in affiliate marketing is your own website. The first step in any successful affiliate marketing business is building a good, credible and professional looking website. Your website is the jump off point of all your marketing efforts. Therefore, you must first build a user-friendly website, which will attract your prospects and motivate them to click on the links to the products and services you are promoting and make a purchase. You must first focus your efforts in building a website that will cater to what your prospects need.
Above all else, make your website full of original, relevant and useful content. The most important thing you should consider is that almost all web users go online to look for information, not necessarily to go and buy something. People will love articles that are appealing and helpful. Keep in mind that, in the internet, content is still king and good quality content will not only build your credibility, it can also help you achieve a higher search engine ranking. By posting relevant and useful articles, you establish yourself as a credible expert in the field, making you a more dependable endorser of the product or service you promote. Establishing a good name is a good step in building up a dedicated consumer base. Dedicated customer bases are the life blood of affiliate marketers.
You must use every possible means on your website to motivate prospects not only to visit your site but also to click and proceed to the websites of the products and services you are promoting.
When you are creating your website, the possibilities are endless and are limited only by your imagination, originality, resourcefulness and resolve. You can always explore other ideas and adapt other strategies, which you think might help you become a high rolling affiliate marketer but not until you have a great website.
Is there a demand for affiliate marketers today? Yes, there is a huge demand. One of the challenges faced in the affiliate marketing industry is that it sometimes sounds too good to be true: advertising that’s guaranteed to work or it’s free! Newcomers wonder if it’s possible, and skeptics claim that the cost effective prices of affiliate marketing lower the bar for online advertising. But there is a good reason that affiliate marketing has experienced steady growth throughout the ups and downs of online advertisingit works. And affiliate marketing has evolved to become a reliable source of sales for a wide range of marketers.
Affiliate marketing has evolved from the early years when some touted it as the future of online advertising, and others claimed it was the downfall of the medium. It’s now a sophisticated channel that generates anywhere from five to 25% of online sales for many of the world’s biggest brands.
Almost all major multi-channel marketers have an affiliate program of some kind. The important thing to remember is that affiliate programs now come in all shapes and sizes. The concept of a wide-open affiliate program with an unlimited and uncontrolled number of affiliates is a thing of the past. Nearly all marketers agree that affiliates add value to an online marketing effort, but the program must be tailored to meet the marketer’s objectives.
Affiliate marketing did not bring an end to other, higher priced forms of online media advertising. The success of the affiliate marketing in delivering sales cost effectively by way of a pay-for-performance model paved the way for other forms of performance-based advertising, such as CPA-based search and portal advertising, to create acceptance among direct marketers. Affiliate marketing has evolved, with affiliates and marketers becoming more sophisticated and programs more integrated with other forms of online marketing.
According to The World’s Glossary of Internet Terms, “Affiliate Marketer is defined as: “A business relationship with a merchant or other service provider who allows you to link to that business. When a visitor clicks on the link at your site and subsequently makes a purchase from the merchant, you receive a commission based on the amount of the sale, a referral fee or a pay-for-click fee.”
This is a simple, straight-forward agreement between a merchant and an affiliate. Budding affiliate marketers run into a problem when they try to reverse the success process. Instead of starting at the beginning, they try to start at the end.
Making money is the end of the process. The beginning of the process is education and there are several steps in between. Too many people, who are just getting started in affiliate marketing, fail to take the steps necessary to get to the end of the process and actually make money.
Step #1: Educate yourself. This is the key, opening the door of opportunity. It’s also the common thread connecting successful affiliate marketers. Education lays the foundation – the building blocks to success. Start by gathering the best information you can find about affiliate marketing and absorbing it.
Step #2: Turn that information into usable knowledge. Even the best information remains kind of worthless, however, until after you discover how to use it – how to make it serve your purpose.
Step #3: Start applying the knowledge … take action …start building your affiliate business. Will you make mistakes, even though you’ve invested all that time educating yourself? Yes, you most likely will make mistakes.
Step #4: Test and tweak, test and tweak. This one never ends. And it’s often the dividing line between succeeding and failing. Attention to small details often returns big rewards.
Following these steps will define you as a successful affiliate marketer.