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Features developed within an iteration should be 100% complete. Too often in software development, “done” doesn’t really mean “DONE!”. It doesn’t mean tested. It doesn’t necessarily mean styled. And it certainly doesn’t usually mean accepted by the product owner. It simply means developed. Read more

An affiliate program and a few quality affiliates can generate massive amount of sales for your business.  The aim is to get other website owners, with high traffic, or people with large email subscription lists and newsletters to promote your products and services to their visitors or subscribers.

Sounds easy? Not always. For one, most of these webmasters are already affiliated with other product owners or your competitors. They would be silly not to if they do in fact have good traffic or a large subscriber base.

Do not risk failure.  Don’t  start your affiliate recruitment until you have completed the following steps. 

  • A professional looking website including your company information, “about us” page, well written Home page copy, help and FAQ pages, privacy policy, software end-user licensing agreement, contact information (with telephone number if possible) and at least 8-15 500-word content pages related to your niche, offering valuable information.
  • Research and monitor your competion.
  • A professional affiliate program with a well known network(s)(discussed next)
  • Affiliate content such as banners, text, links, e-mails etc to help affiliates easily promote your product.
  • A good commission rate, depending on the competitiveness of your market and how high a rate your competition offers.
  • QUALITY PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

To recruit these super affiliates, as they are called, you need to be able to offer something with comparable or more value then what they are currently promoting. Consider the following strategy:

  • First and most important, a good affiliate never promotes sub-standard products or services as they know risking the trust of their visitors and subscriber base is business suicide.  Don’t think about recruiting the top affiliates until you offer products or services of similar or more value then your competitors.
  • Second, tempt potential affiliates with high commissions per sale. As high as 75% may be needed to lure a top affiliate. This seems like a lot, but the resultant sales can far outreach your direct sales potential. Furthermore with these customers on your “list”, you can promote other products to them. People that have already bought from you are often 10 times more likely to buy from you again (compared to prospects who have not bought from you before) due to the trust that develops by offering a valuable product in the first purchase.
  • Third, the most successful product and service-based businesses online are multi-faceted businesses that offer a low cost product or service initially, at very high commission payouts (to lure the affiliates), which in turn builds their customer list, which then allows them to promote higher priced products or “professional version” services on the back end. This is how companies manage to buy pay-per-click and other traffic at such ridiculously high prices at an initial loss, but still turn a big profit and annihilate their competition in the pay-per-click bidding wars.

As you can see, affiliate marketing involves monitoring and researching your competion. Nobody builds a successful LONG TERM business on the Internet without a good product and a trustworthy “expert individual” or company backing the product. If you can’t offer a product or service that is better then your competition, then you need to position your product uniquely by focusing on its benefits that differentiate your software from your completion. Find your USP!

Begin by signing up with as many affiliate networks appropriate to your product or service to get it out there and seen by thousands of potential affiliate marketers. Simply list it on as many networks as possible with the “hope” that affiliates will see and begin to promote your products.

Don’t miss this step. It’s easy and will contribute to your growth. More importantly, these networks offer payment processing and other services useful to your company, and also offer options to the affiliates you will try recruiting later on. Many of them will have a preference for a particular network, so you want to make sure you are available on their network of choice, to make the process as easy as possible for them. Once you have signed up on these networks, review each carefully and you will find different tools and options they offer that can help you promote your product or service successfully within each network.

Note: Due to most of them offering their own payment processing, it can sometimes be a pain to manage, and will require some effort, but the end result of all this visibility can be very rewarding.

Are you ready to start recruiting your super affiliates? If so, guess what? We are not going to tell you how!

This is because we are firm believers in getting experts to perform tasks that we do not perform. This is especially true with regards to affiliate recruitment since you most likely have only one chance to get those “top 10″ power affiliates, sometimes less in smaller niches. Don’t  risk the possibility of instant success and hundreds of sales a month or day, by trying to do so yourself with minimal or no experience in affiliate recruitment.  Do yourself a favor and speak to some experts in affiliate recruitment and management. Just like the PPC management firms, they are only successful if you are successful. Your time may be better spent training staff on other  types of marketing within your niche.

Here are some options:
http://www.partnercentric.com

Application Marketing and Software Hosting
Website DesignKeyword ResearchCompetitive ResearchLink StrategiesSubmissions
Deep LinkingLink BuildingArticle MarketingPay Per ClickAffiliate Marketing
For more detailed information about how our Managed Application Development and Hosting can help your business
Contact Application Solution Providers at 866-764-8324, Send an email, Submit an Information Request

Pay Per Click advertising works well as long as you know what you are doing. Success also depends on the product or service you have and the competitiveness of the target market. It’s even possible to know within a week of launching your campaign, if it is profitable or not, thereby allowing you to make decisions quickly to minimize any losses you may incur on an unsuccessful campaign.  It allows you to measure your advertising spending versus sales revenue so you can make sure you profit or know when to quit. Pay per click can generate instant traffic and sales, but can also spell disaster if you aren’t careful.

Pay Per Click Advertising refers to services such as Google Adwords, (These are the ads that appear on the right side of Google’s search results, and on websites with Google Adsense) Yahoo Search Marketing, etc.  For this article, we will focus on Google Adwords. Once you are successful here, its easy to duplicate the campaign on other networks.

First, if you already have some sales data, you want to try to determine what your conversion rate is from user visit  to purchase.  With this rate, you can determine what you can afford to pay per click and still be profitable.

Basic Math…

  • Lets say your are a software vendor, you get 200 visits a day to your website, 100 downloads a day and 5% of the downloaders purchase your software. That’s about 150 sales a month. Your software costs $67. That’s $10,050/month.
  • You then work out how many visits converted into sales. 200 visits a day x 30 days = 6000 visits a month. 150 sales a month x 100 downloads / 6000 visits a month = 2.5% conversion rate of visits into sales.

You want to make a 50% GM on your software and spend only $5025 per month on advertising to make total sales of $10050/month. You need to divide the advertising expenditure you have by the number of visits you currently receive per month, which will show you the cost per click you can pay to reach your target. In this case $5025 / 6000 visits = $0.8375 per click. This may be a reasonable amount in some niches and impossible in other more competitive niches.

If you don’t have this sales data yet, you can use Adwords to send traffic and start tracking your conversion rate to obtain the data you need.

You can sign up free for google adwords. Then proceed to (https://www.google.com/adsense/adsense-resources ). This will allow you to go through the free tutorials and training that Google provides. This is almost enough to start a successful campaign. After all, Google wants you to succeed and continue spending with them. Go ahead and sign up to start familiarizing yourself with the service.

Google wants your ads to be relevant. Since Google’s business is providing quality search results for its users, it does not want irrelevant ads cluttering its search results. They have therefore introduced the “Quality Score”, which scores your ad, keywords you bid on, and the page your ad links to, based on relevance to each other.

Simply put; If you bid on the “Video Conversion Software” keyword phrase, then your ad should include this phrase in its title and description, and the page that it points to should be information about this exact topic (at least 500 words of text).  This will generally get you a good quality score. Sounds simple? You’d be surprised how many people get it wrong!

Your quality score will also be influenced by the click through rate that you get in relation to the number of times your ad appears in a search result for users (called impressions). The assumption is that if nobody is clicking on your ad, then its not relevant to what the user is searching for. Keeping above 2.0% click through rate will generally keep your quality score high.

A good quality score allows your ad to rank higher in the search results while maintaining a low cost per click. It’s possible to rank better than a competitor at a fifth of the cost per click, simply because his ad and landing page text may be less relevant to the chosen keywords than your ad. This can be the difference between profitability and failure.

Below is a link to a free report on how to run a successful pay per click campaign, recommended by many of the top Internet marketing “gurus”.  http://www.creativedigitalmedia.com/dominate/frank/    By the way, these guys run a very successful PPC management company,  so if you are thinking about outsourcing your pay per click marketing, give them a call. They will review the market for your product or service, and won’t take on any projects they don’t think will be successful.

If you are a beginner, you may want to sign up for Hexatrack. A free membership is available that will allow you to track 4 groups of 10 keywords for free, before you need to register. This can be more then enough for a single product or service. If you need to, they offer a paid membership, which allows you unlimited access. Go through all their tutorials to maximize the value you receive from the service.

In summary, pay per click is competitive, but viable, sometimes hugely successful and other times disastrous. Fortunately, in almost any market, there is a path to take to a successful campaign. If you have the budget, I’d recommend leaving it to professionals who have proven track records over the years.

Application Marketing and Software Hosting
Website DesignKeyword ResearchCompetitive ResearchLink StrategiesSubmissions
Deep LinkingLink BuildingArticle MarketingPay Per ClickAffiliate Marketing
For more detailed information about how our Managed Application Development and Hosting can help your business
Contact Application Solution Providers at 866-764-8324, Send an email, Submit an Information Request

Outsourcing or in-house writing of articles around your product or market segment can generate traffic  and downloads to your site, as well as increase your Google rankings while also establishing good positioning in the marketplace. Moreover, an article writing campaign and syndication of your new content on other websites can increase your link popularity Read more

In order to maximize results, seriously consider monthly link building activities for your listing.  Today’s major search engines monitor incoming links from other relevant and/or quality websites as a major to establish ranking.  Continued link building serves the purpose of improving, as well as sustaining, your rankings. Initial link building will probably provide good rankings for the following 3-8 months, but at some point the search engines will notice that there is no longer a growth in the links pointing to your listing and your rankings will drop.

It is possible to manage link building yourself, but it takes time to do it right. To maximize your long term results, based on your budget, consider an outsourced link building projects. For example, one cost-effective place to go is www.elance.com and post a project for link building. If you don’t need high PR authority links, your project description might look something like this to get the links you need at the lowest price.

We are looking for Professional Link Builders for our Website. 100 Links Monthly required.
Rules for Link building. Links should be on

1. On established, static, and crawlable pages.
2. There must be no more than 50 outbound links on the linking page
3. One link per domain IP Address (with anchor text).
4. Permanent links.
5. English language sites only (they seem to have the most value to search engines)
6. WHITE HAT Sites only.
7. Sites must be found on the first page of Google when their domain or company name is entered
8.
No scraper sites, mirror sites, link farms or free for all link exchanges.
9. On topic article links are preferred.
10. Link page must be cached in Google.

If you post a project similar to the one above,  you should get the links you require at around $500 per month, or per 100 links.

If you are outsourcing link building, here are some do’s and don’ts that you should consider.

* Need only Pr0 and above links.
* No link schemes:  you may not want them to submit your site to any reciprocal linking services such as link partners.com, etc.
* No blog comments
* Link pages must be attached to home page of the site.
* No rel=no follow links in the HTML
* No forums, newsgroups, or webrings
* No blog and ping sites
* No redirects or cloaking (eg, 301, 302, meta-refresh, Javascript redirects)
* No classified ads
* No dynamic links
* No directories
* No commercial web rings
* No Google banned websites
* No use of Automated software (Zeus, Arelis, etc)
* Link pages must be related to … (specific categories of information for your business)
* All links must be from a different domain and IP address
* Links must be submitted on a staggered deployment
* Link pages must be static
* Links must contain our target anchor text and link to a given page
* Reserve the right to reject links that do not meet our terms

You will need to provide a document containing some or all of the following:  the desired Url; Site Name; Site Type; Google PR and IP address; the title/anchors text. 

Finally, begin to use different link anchor texts, some including your keywords and some not, like “click here” etc. so as to look natural to the search engines and maximize the possibility of ranking well.

Next we look at article marketing for SEO, traffic and publicity benefit.

Application Marketing and Software Hosting
Website DesignKeyword ResearchCompetitive ResearchLink StrategiesSubmissions
Deep LinkingLink BuildingArticle MarketingPay Per ClickAffiliate Marketing
For more detailed information about how our Managed Application Development and Hosting can help your business
Contact Application Solution Providers at 866-764-8324, Send an email, Submit an Information Request

Short term search engine rankings are great, but how do we get our listing ranked well in the medium to long term?

Initially, we struggled for quite a while to discover how to generate a lot of backlinks for a software listing on download.com. This was due to the fact that most link directories only allow you to submit a domain URL such as (http://www.domain.com), and do not allow deep links such as (http://www.domain.com/yoursoftwarelisting.html) Read more

Software Development evolves but timelines and cost should be fixed. Distinguish between “I Need”, and “I Wish”. This is in stark contrast to traditional software development projects, where one of the earliest goals is to capture all known requirements and baseline the scope of work so that any other changes are subject to change control. Read more

The obvious benefit from submitting your products and services to all the directories is that they can give you great instant results by increasing your hits per month. Your products and services could be listed on 500+ directories. Read more

A powerful development team must include all the necessary members to make decisions, and make them on a timely basis. Every business has encountered the IT staff claiming “it’s not the hardware, it’s the software.” while the development team says, “it’s not the software it’s the hardware.” Meanwhile the owner and users say, “I don’t care, just make it work.” Read more

Software development is about frequent delivery of products and services. Gone are the days of the 12 month development project. If your software vendor isn’t releasing new features at least 4 times a year your falling behind. 3 to 6 month project delivery is not just strategic it’s necessary! Read more