Becoming the Don of Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate Wiseguy – Using Freeware and Shareware in Viral Marketing Campaigns People love getting something for nothing. That is why freeware and shareware are so popular on the web today.
There are entire websites dedicated just to just giving away freeware and shareware, and they are making big bucks by doing it— and so are the people who own those programs.
By giving away a free version of a complimentary program that fits in with your affiliate product, you can generate a large amount of viral traffic into your site.
What’s great about this kind of traffic is that it is independent of web searches. In other words, the viral traffic from freeware is in addition to organic traffic generated by search engines.
Note—before you disregard this method as something beyond your expertise, understand that there are ways to build freeware without any programming knowledge at all. This is a traffic generation method that anyone can use!
The basic method that is employed here is this:
- First, you create or have created a simple software application that will appeal to your target consumer. This needs to be something that ties in with your affiliate product in some way, and that can enhance the product or help answer questions which lead the consumer to your product page.
o for example, going again with the fitness theme we started earlier, if you are selling bodybuilding supplements you might create a freeware product that helps your customers track their workouts and progress.
- Next, you create a website for your freeware product. This page will list the product features and will give download instructions to the visitor so that he or she can really get the freeware product offered. But it also links in some way to your affiliate product. There are a variety of ways you can choose to link out to your merchant’s page. Your methodology will depend a lot on your affiliate product, and also on the freeware product that you are offering.
o In the case of the workout tracker, you may simply advertise your affiliate product site, or offer links to informational resources. For example, you might prominently display feature articles which detail useful information for bodybuilders. Naturally, the articles that are linked will be those hosted on your main product affiliate site, which is already set up to convert your visitor over to your merchant’s page.
o If you have created something like a quiz or questionnaire-style diagnostic tool, the “solution” will link directly back to either your affiliate website, or more probably your merchant’s site—the real answer to the problem! So, for example, here you might create a diagnosis tool for bodybuilders designed to answer “Why can’t I make gains?” You ask a few profiling questions about workout habits, show that you understand the trouble facing the user—for instance, no gains despite regular, planned workouts, and then suggest that a dietary need might be to blame, or that supplementation might help. To learn more about what your body needs, click next.
- Now that you’ve created your application, you need to place it in systems where users can find it. Very simply, you will submit it to free download sites, such as freedownloadscenter.com, Tucows.com, or any of about 600 + other free download websites. The websites will offer a brief description and overview of the product (which you will create prior to submission) and then offer a link to the homepage where the free download exists. That homepage is the place where your sales begin!
You can use Shareware applications in much the same way, only instead of promoting an affiliate program you are promoting a program that you own or have created. It starts as a free version, but only works for a limited amount of time before it times out, or has limited functionality.
The goal is to get your users to fall in love with your little program so that they do buy the additional features or purchase the program after the trial time (you’ll recognize this as the MO of many leading software companies—get them to rely on your product so that they have to buy the full version).
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