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I'm back again. In case you forgot I'm Norberto. So far we've talked about understanding your audience, why email lists are important and today we are going to talk about why you should stop promoting products and start promoting solutions.
Once you have completed your market research and you completely understand who your target audience is, and you've developed your customer profile take a look at that person whom you've created and ask yourself what type of problems this person has.
Write down a list of problems, and if you already know the solutions write them down too. If you don't know the solutions, search for them. As you find solutions, find out if there are affiliate programs that offer solutions to your target audience for the problems you've decided they probably have.
If you have found more than one solution to each problem you'll need to try to get your hands on a test copy, or actually purchase the product to try it out. It's better to not promote products or services that you've never used or seen in action for yourself. Why? Because, how can you truly 100 percent claim that a solution works, that their customer service is fabulous, and that nothing is wrong with the solution if you've not tried it out for yourself?
Try to stick to one solution per problem. Often, if you find a great solution to a problem that same product creator will have other solutions that you can also promote that can also be promoted as either up-sells or cross-sells to the main product you're going to promote. It's also better that you focus on one problem and one solution at a time. Keep your list handy so that once you've promoted the first solution to the first problem completely out, then you can focus on the next. Do the same process, try out the product or service first, before you recommend it.
If you stick to this process you will never be ashamed to promote something, because you will have used it and you will know that it works and is of superior quality. The only caveat is if the product is from the same publisher or creator. Typically, a particular publisher who has produced at least one product that you've tried, and been pleased with, will produce other products that you may want to promote and you can usually feel safe promoting the other products and / or services without trying every single product of that one publisher.
The other advantage to actually trying the product or service is that you can write an honest review about it. Due to disclosure rules you must reveal how you got the product that you are reviewing, and it will mean a lot more if you purchased it yourself. Now, that's not saying there is anything wrong with getting a preview copy of any product, that's fine, but do reveal that honestly to your audience. They will appreciate it.
It can get very tempting to just throw a bunch of random products on your website or blog that are loosely related to your niche, but you won't be doing yourself any favors and you won't make more money. For instance if you have a blog that focuses on helping writers improve their craft, and your start selling “How to Make Money From Home” items, you're going off the deep end. No, writers really do want to find out how to write better. They want to know how to stay organized in terms of their writing. They want to know how to develop characters, and so on. They already know how to make money from home. They are writers.
Choose the products and / or services that you will promote very carefully with your client profile in mind. Think about if you had the problem, is this product or service something you would personally use? When you are very choosey and particular about the products or services that you promote to your audience they will stand up and take notice. They will grow to trust your recommendations with every product that they purchase through you, because they will know that it meets certain criteria.
When you test out a particular product or company you want to ensure that the product meets your criteria. It must of course, solve a problem that your ideal customer has. Then, it must be of superior quality, easy to use and offer excellent customer service. If it's difficult to get any customer service, the client might actually come back to you to try to figure out why. That can make your life super difficult.
In addition, and this is just for your sake, you should make sure that the product has a high converting sales page, as well as offer you an well thought out affiliate program so that you can track views, clicks, and payments. The affiliate program should also provide great marketing materials, graphics, and timely payouts. You want to steer clear of programs that don't pay you what they owe you. It is understandable for them to wait for charge backs and returns, but it is not understandable for them to make you pass a high threshold before paying you what you're due.
I hope this answered your questions about how and why you need to choose products that relate to your target audience very carefully and promote only those.
Tomorrow we will talk about strategies to increase your affiliate income. See you then.