Commission Junction (CJ) is one of the largest and most popular affiliate networks on the Web. Because it is easy to join and use, many affiliate marketers rely on this provider to meet the bulk of their online marketing needs. With thousands of products and services to choose from, affiliates are sure to find offers that are perfect for their specific requirements. But in order to succeed with CJ, you need to first learn how to make the most of this affiliate network. The following guide to using the CJ network demonstrates how a little work, lots of creativity and a few industry secrets can get you started on the road to online marketing success.

Let Market Research Guide Your Sales Strategy

Starting any affiliate marketing campaign without adequate planning is a recipe for disaster. In order to use CJ effectively, you need to assess your audience, gauge consumer demand and weigh the threat posed by the competition. This information should be gathered from a range of sources, including assessments from online research groups, customer survey and comments and your own personal observations. Some good sources of information include:

  • Website reports and metrics
  • Keyword search engine reports
  • Consumer trend reports
  • Online customer surveys

Focus on Popular Products, Hot Trends and Niche Demand

In order to sell products online, you need to identify which items are the most popular. Classic items that typically perform well include books, electronics, digital music downloads, software, and home entertainment products such as movies, music, and video games. The CJ network offers a wide range of these products, plus many others. Always take the time to determine which are best suited to your needs before joining individual programs and creating affiliate links.

Another great idea is to promote a few trendy products in addition to a strong base of steady performers. Integrating some of the latest offers into your marketing strategy is a great way to draw in new customers and grab the attention of past customers. In every case, you should always look for products that are high in demand for your specific niche. For example, if you are an online bookseller, focus on promoting the categories and topics that are the most popular with your target audience.

Build Buzz with Original Website Content

Generating buzz is an important part of any successful marketing campaign; yet many affiliates overlook this key step. How can you draw attention and interest to your website and affiliate offers? One of the best ways to get noticed is to create a strong collection of solid Web content that appeals to both your readers and search engines. Since the majority of online consumers locate websites via search, it is important to rank well in the major search engines for your key words and phrases. Publishing articles, tutorials, reviews, and product guides is a great way to fulfill the needs of your readers and improve your rankings in search engine results.

Another great way to build buzz is to focus on innovative marketing methods using tools such as blogs, social marketing, and viral videos. Blogs are a great way to connect with your audience in a direct and personable way, while social marketing allows users to share interesting stories with online friends. The rising popularity of online video has created an excellent opportunity for Internet marketers to reach out to an even wider audience. These videos can grab viewers interest and inspire them to learn more about your website and products.

Assess Your Success, Reassess Future Plans

As with any marketing campaign, you should always analyze your results to determine what aspects of your CJ network marketing efforts are generating the most success. A good assessment will measure your click-through rates, sales revenue, advertising costs, overhead costs and affiliate payouts. Determining your return on investment can tell you if your marketing efforts have been successful and if adjustments need to be made in the future.