You’re making the steps towards becoming an affiliate. At this point you’ve chosen a niche and picked out several products to promote to this hungry niche.

So what’s next?

Put the banner ads down and step away. Tuck that media buy into your pocket if it links to the affiliate offer. And don’t even think about buying pay per click ads if you’re going to send your visitors directly to the vendor’s page. Big mistake.

You see, you’re not going to send visitors directly to the sales letter at all… at least not at first. Because why send all your traffic to the vendor and you get nothing except maybe two or three sales for every 100 visitors? That totally stinks.

Instead, what you’re going to do is send every last bit of traffic to YOUR lead page. That’s right, you’re going to build a list. You’re going to build relationships with your subscribers. You’re going to engage these readers.

End result? Your subscribers are going to be hot leads who buy whatever you send their way, because they know, like and trust you.

But here’s the thing…

You can’t just toss up an opt-in form and expect your prospects to swarm all over it like ravenous ants on a lollipop.

Instead, what you need to do is lay down some juicy bait. And the way you do this is by offering an irresistible lead magnet – this is a high-demand product that you offer to your prospects in exchange for their email address.

Now there are a whole lot of different products you can offer, including ebooks, reports, software, videos, audios, access to membership sites, multi-part ecourses, mind maps, worksheets, and other tools and resources. Basically, anything you can offer instant access to once someone has joined your list.

But heads up…

Don’t make the mistake of just tossing some old rehashed junk product up and expecting to build a big list. Instead, you need to offer something your prospects really want.

So what’s the secret of creating a hot, in-demand lead magnet product? Simple – figure out what they’re already buying, and then give them something similar for free. You can bet if people are buying it, they’ll snap up your free offer like crazy.

You’ve probably already done your market research, so you know what the top selling products are in your niche. You don’t even need to create a full product that directly competes with these products or anything – you just need to create something on the same topic, like a report, short video or something else.  That way you know your free lead magnet product will be in demand.

The other thing you want to keep in mind is that your free lead magnet product should be directly related to the main affiliate product you’re selling. In fact, it should be so related that people who use your free product should naturally want to buy the affiliate offer. The freebie should naturally lead to the paid product.

Let me give you an example…

Let’s suppose you’re selling a weight loss course. Here are three different ideas for lead magnet products you can create to bait your prospects:

First idea is to create a report that covers one important aspect of weight loss, such as good nutrition. Anyone who wants to learn more about this topic will need to purchase the product you’re promoting.

The second idea is to offer a free meal-planning tool. This might be a little app that counts calories and keeps track of meals.  Anyone who’s using your app will do better if they follow the diet plan you’re promoting.

Still another idea is offer a printable sheet that lists calories in popular restaurant foods. This becomes a handy pocket guide for people to print out and take with them when they dine out.

So you can see those are three different examples of lead magnets, but in all cases they are desirable products that naturally lead to the paid product. Better yet, the app and the printable calorie guide are also something that people will refer to frequently – and that’s a good thing, because then they’ll see your calls to action and affiliate links on a regular basis.

Now let me make a quick note here…

Don’t use your direct affiliate link in your lead magnet product. If the affiliate program disappears, if the vendor moves the affiliate program to another platform, if the product is retired, or if you just decide to stop promoting that particular product… well then you’d have thousands of lead magnet products floating around with dead or incorrect affiliate links inside.

Bad move.

Instead, what you want to do is use a redirect link through your own domain. So when people click on your web link, it redirects to the affiliate offer. But if you ever decide to promote something else or if the affiliate link dies, you can simply change the redirect link in on your own domain in just a few seconds… and you’ll be back in business.

So there you have it…

One of the keys to building a big list is to lay down some juicy bait for your prospects. This lead magnet product should be desirable, valuable, something that your prospects will refer to often, and something that is naturally leads people to buying the affiliate offer.

If you get this much done, you’re halfway to creating a big, responsive list. So take a few minutes right now and figure out what type of lead magnet you can create that will get prospects scrambling to join your list.

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