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By Kirsten Hawkins

Your affiliate marketing business is just that … a business. To be successful, you need to treat your business like a business and focus on growth. Your affiliate links are your business; you are the owner of a marketing company, and it is an asset you can grow into more and more assets. Here are three strategies to build your marketing business.

1. Get your own website and domain name.

It looks cheap and marks you as a “newbie” when you post a long affiliate link in your ads. With domain names as inexpensive as they are now you can purchase your own domain name. You can then either forward your URL to your affiliate link or set yourself up with some free hosting and establish more of a web presence. Your best bet is to write a benefit-full description of your affiliate program and link to your program via an HTML link that is part of your description.

2. Build your own list.

Stop relying on one-shot ads to make you money. Real businesses have repeat customers that they cultivate in order to make more profits. You must do the same. Make a commitment to establish relationships with your customers and especially with visitors to your site. Create an email list to keep in touch. Send out periodic tips or articles and focus on helping your customers. Only promote your affiliate links in unobtrusive ways; don’t make your emails one big ad.

One of the best ways to build traffic to your list is to write a short report that describes the benefits of your affiliate program. Make this report available only by email. When someone sends for your report, they are added to your list and you can continue to communicate with them.

3. Build traffic to your own site and list.

This is where you really make your affiliate links your own business. By having your own site and building your own list you are building your own business and brand, not just marketing someone else’s. By doing this, you can market to your own customers over and over again. Do not overlook this point: When your ad redirects a customer to your affiliate link, you have lost that person as your own customer because you lost the ability to communicate with them on a repeat basis. When you direct customers to your own site and list, they build a relationship with you.

There are many ways to build traffic: write articles, post in forums, market in safelists, advertise offline, etc. My advice is to pick one traffic-building method, work on it for awhile, and master it before moving on to something else. If you focus on offline advertising, write and rewrite your ads until you determine how to get the best response. If you market on safelists, make a list of the top 50, and send your ad to 10 each day. Keep testing to make sure your safelists are responsive.

These three strategies will help you build and grow your affiliate marketing business.

About The Author: Kirsten Hawkins is an online marketing specialist from Nashville, TN. Visit www.pageranksite.com/ for more great online marketing tips and webmaster resources.