Monday, December 12, 2011

Resume Writers: Getting Started in Affiliate Marketing

Not enough resume writers, in my opinion, understand how to integrate affiliate marketing into their businesses.

Affiliate marketing has two major advantages for resume writers. First, it allows you to generate passive income -- you simply recommend products that you think may benefit your resume clients, and if they purchase them, you earn a small commission.

Second, all of us get inquiries from prospective clients who never end up buying from us. Yet, many of them would still be receptive to hearing from us occasionally about information that might help their job search. Integrated with these messages can be affiliate marketing offers, for things like reference checking services, resume distribution, interview coaching training systems (if you don't provide it), salary information services, etc.

What Is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is like the online version of a direct sales model. An online business needs advertising and promotion to bring people to their site to make purchases. An affiliate marketing program uses other people (like you!) as sales associates to promote their products. Usually, the affiliate owner provides the tools that an affiliate needs to promote them well. (These can include articles, email copy, ads, links, etc.)

Affiliate marketing presents a win-win situation for the business owner. They can provide their knowledge of marketing to others (you!) who will then do the majority of the legwork for them. The affiliates don't lose out here either. You receive a commission on each click, visitor sign-up, or sale made through their affiliate link. (Each affiliate program has its own way of compensating affiliates -- through traffic or actual sales.)

How to Become an Active, Effective Affiliate

Here are some tips to help you get going with affiliate marketing.

  • Search out reputable affiliate programs. There are tons of affiliate programs out there. All do not offer the same commissions or tools to help you promote their products. At some point in the future, I'm going to be developing a guide to products/services you can represent. (In the meantime, feel free to list your recommendations in the comments below.)
  • Read about affiliate marketing. A good affiliate program will offer help for their affiliates, including education on tools and marketing strategies for their success. Be sure to read the training emails provided by the business too, as they'll often have ideas and tools to help you roll out your affiliate marketing program.
  • Choose a product that you believe in. Don't base your choice of programs on money. Yes, there will be many lucrative programs out there, but that is not the only way to go. When you promote a product that you can get behind, then your customers will learn to trust you and be more likely to buy or click on your site.
  • Promote a variety of products. You don't have to just join one program at a time. As an affiliate, you can earn money promoting several products at once. (But I generally recommend only promoting only one of each type of service -- like one resume distribution company.)
  • Be honest with your customers. Let them know that you are an affiliate. (Disclosure is required by law!) You can do it with something as simple as a statement that says, "I am an affiliate for [name of company.) This won't turn them off if they see that you use the products yourself and believe in them.

You can be an active, effective affiliate for career-related services. You can even start today. Use these tips to help you choose the right place to begin.

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