In a previous post, we discussed the four best methods for making money online. In this post, I want to focus on the subject of affiliate marketing and provide you with some top tips on how to do it well. If you follow my advice, who knows, maybe you could become the next big super affiliate.
Firstly, for anyone who is unsure, I should define what we mean by affiliate marketing. It is a simple enough concept: you get paid by a product vendor for referring a sale – that’s it in a nutshell. With affiliate marketing, you don’t generally get paid for the referral (that’s CPA); instead, you only get paid when a referral makes a purchase. Of course, this is what makes affiliate marketing so challenging. But it also makes it very lucrative if you can do it right and, if you take these tips onboard, you will be well ahead of the game. So, without further ado, let’s get stuck in.
Find Converting Products
You need to join an affiliate network in order to promote products or services as an affiliate. There are several good ones on the web including Commission Junction and ClickBank. I personally have had success with ClickBank, but you need to be careful about what you decide to promote. There are literally tens of thousands of products available on ClickBank, so it is very difficult for you to review them all and find the winners. However, here is an excellent little tool that can help you with product selection. It is free and it can help you to find ClickBank products that have the most profit potential.
Do Not Try to Sell
Your job as an affiliate is not to sell – there’s a surprise eh? Your job is to pre-sell. A good deal of the real art of being an affiliate can be summed up in that word, or phrase – pre-selling. This is not selling or even attempting to sell; it is doing the necessary spadework. For example, you could write an article about, let’s say, losing weight and in it, you could talk about how various products have helped you. I suggest you recommend only products and services that you have personally used yourself; things that you know will actually be of value to your readers. You simply include your affiliate link in your article and some of your readers will actually check out that link; that’s your job done. It is the job of the vendor’s sales page to convert interested users into sales – not yours.
You don’t want visitors – another surprise? You want targeted visitors; otherwise known as targeted traffic. A targeted visitor is, quite simply, someone who is interested in what you have to offer. You can get thousands of the wrong kind of visitors to your offers and, if you do, you will get very poor results indeed. On the other hand, a steady stream of targeted visitors can generate a full time income for you even if that stream is only a trickle. So concentrate on finding people who are interested in your offers. How do you do that? By writing good quality articles that will appeal to their wants and needs, posting them on your website and then backlinking them so they rise in the SERPS and bring you organic traffic; the best kind (aka free). By the way, Comment Kahuna (edit: now obsolete) is a great free tool you can use for backlinking your blog posts.
Optimise Your Wordpres Setup
If you have a WordPress blog, you will already be familiar with the idea of plugins; they are little additions that can substantially enhance your blog and many of them are free. However, there are one or two plugins that I have purchased because they serve a valuable purpose for me including the Ninja Plugin that allows me to easily embed affiliate links into blog posts. Another excellent plugin I purchased was the Optin Bar that enables me to put an attractive drop down box on my blog (you can see it at the top of this page). This is a really effective way of turning visitors to my blog into subscribers. One more plugin that has been very helpful is the free eZinearticles plugin that enables me to submit articles to their directory without leaving my WordPress Dashboard. This leads to syndication of my content which is another way of generating backlinks.
There you have it; a simple strategy for generating an income from affiliate marketing as a Blogger. Don’t complicate things; it all works. Find good products, buy them (or ask the vendor for a review copy – sometimes it works), use them and embed your recommendations for the ones that you find useful into helpful blog posts. Optimise your blog to maximise its earning potential and then get targeted visitors to your blog by writing and promoting your blog posts. It’s a very simple, but effective plan.