Why Affiliate Marketing?

OK, so you want to make money online. Whether it’s to supplement your retirement income or replace a job, there are certainly enough ways to do it. You could get into e-commerce and drop shipping. You could dive into info-product creation. Maybe you’ve thought of local marketing consulting, site building, seo and well… I could […]

OK, so you want to make money online. Whether it’s to supplement your retirement income or replace a job, there are certainly enough ways to do it.

You could get into e-commerce and drop shipping. You could dive into info-product creation. Maybe you’ve thought of local marketing consulting, site building, seo and well… I could go on and on.

And while all those methods can work, this wide array of options is precisely why most people get overwhelmed and end up taking no action at all!

That’s when I usually tell people to keep it simple. Try a no-cost/low cost method that I consider one of the easiest ways to make money online…

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is good fit for both newbies and established marketers. Here are five reasons why…

1. Zero to low start up cost

Whether you’re on a shoestring budget or you’re working from nothing, affiliate marketing is a strategy that doesn’t ask much of you from the start.

The investment you’ll be making will be mostly effort, not cash. Of course for those who want to jumpstart their return, you can always do a little investing in things that cost money – like a domain, hosting, and some advertising if you want to – but it’s not a necessity to get the ball rolling.

When you’re just getting started – and there are so many different business models to choose from – you may not be sure if you’ll enjoy (or profit from) some of them.

When you find a strategy that’s no or low cost like affiliate marketing, it lessens your financial risk. Some business models require a huge investment up front – and then, not only are you wasting time and effort if it fails, but you’re out hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars.

Another great thing about the negligent upfront costs associated with affiliate marketing is that you can be just as successful using 100% free promotional efforts as you can using a paid platform.

So lets look at the minimal requirements…

It’s always best if you can go with a domain. You can find great deals on domains. For example, you can do a Google search for a coupon code for your favorite domain registrar like GoDaddy.

Just enter something like “Godaddy coupon” and then the month and year that you’re searching. Sometimes this can knock a domain’s price down from over $10 to just a dollar or two!

And hosting isn’t much at all. Hostgator has great deals too – and you can get a plan that costs under $10 a month.

If you’re worried about building a website, don’t be. There are people on fiverr why will do complete blog installations for $5.

All you have to do is log in with a username and password and start publishing content as an affiliate marketer.

Or, find the instructions on how to install WordPress free online and do it yourself.

You don’t even need sales experience to become a great affiliate. Your job isn’t to sell the customer, but to recommend solutions and then let the vendors’ websites do the selling!

2. No hassle of product creation to worry about

Creating a product can be daunting to newer marketers. You have to learn all sorts of things – niche research, product creation through multi media platforms, how to launch a website and create high-converting sales copy, and more.

Plus, there’s no production costs involved – like paying for graphics, launching on a paid platform, and paying for a tool that delivers your product to the target audience.

With affiliate marketing, you’re not burdened by all of these inconveniences. All you’re doing is being the middleman.

That means you go into a niche hoping to bring together buyers and sellers. You’re the liaison between the two. This can be just as rewarding as being the one who created the product.

So for instance, let’s look at how an affiliate marketer would be the primary go-between:

Let’s say you pick the acne niche.

Your job as a product creator would be to provide a solution that helps people cure or treat their acne.

But if you’re an affiliate, your job is to find the people suffering from acne problems and point them in the right direction to where they can find good help – to the sellers.

The key to becoming a super affiliate is to build a list of subscribers (they have free list building tools until you can afford a paid one) and become their go-to person whenever they need advice.

Someone they can trust.

You’re not actually providing the advice – you can if you want – but you’re just saying, “Oh you need help with acne scars? I know of the perfect product for that – here’s the link.”

Of course, building a stronger rapport with your readers will increase conversions. If you take the time to review and maybe even implement products and share your results, that will help you convert even better.

When it comes to product creation, you’re limited on time and the creation process. It might take you months to take a product from conception to completion.

But as an affiliate marketer, you can instantly begin promoting from a catalog of hundreds of products with a wide range of opportunities for your readers. You’ll be profiting on all of them, not just one income stream.

Plus, once you have started establishing a following you can be among the first to recommend new solutions as they are introduced to the marketplace.

3. Affiliate marketing allows you to go into many niches to test for profitability

Here’s one of the BEST perks of pursuing affiliate marketing: Diversity.

You get to dip into dozens, possibly even hundreds of niche markets to see what works best for you.

You’re going to get to determine:

a. Whether it’s easy to compete in that niche.

b. How much you can potentially earn.

c. Whether or not you find it satisfying.

All three of those are very important factors for your online success as an affiliate. Some niches will be harder to break into than others, so as an affiliate, you can test the waters to see how easy it is to dominate before you buy a domain and pour your heart and soul into it.

Potential earnings will be of concern to you. If the traffic’s coming, but it’s hard to convert the visitors into buyers, then you might prefer to go with another target audience.

Personal satisfaction is what this career path is all about! Online marketing in general is about being your own boss – not having to pursue tasks and topics that don’t fulfill you.

As an affiliate marketer, you can dabble in many niches all at once – getting a feel for what satisfies you. You’re going to probably hear a lot of advice about keyword volume and competition – but it’s important to pay attention to which niches make you feel like getting up out of bed early just so you can get engaged with your audience!

4. Affiliate marketing is easy for newbies to master quickly

A great perk of affiliate marketing is ease of use. So many people find it intimidating to go into product creation because there are so many behind-the-scenes elements involved – including many technical skills you need to know.

But as an affiliate, you’ll need to learn some basics that are easy for any level of marketer, including things like:

– Blogging

Blogging is simple when you’re on a free platform. You’re basically going to pick a name and URL for your blog and start publishing posts. It’s good to learn what people want in terms of blogging.

One of the biggest factors is personality. They want you to share insight, opinions and advice with them. Blogs are a great place to review products and share your results and they rank well in search engines.

– Video Reviews

If you’re comfortable with video, then you will want to start using YouTube and maybe embedding those onto your blog. In your videos, you can talk about the niche problems and solutions that you advise them to purchase through your links.

– Social Marketing

Social marketing is all about sharing. You’ll be using sites like Twitter, Google Plus, Facebook and Pinterest to share your blog posts and links to good products that you think will help your niche audience.

5. Your Customer Service Is Non Existent

One of the most time consuming tasks when selling online is handling emails and requests from customers. They may have download issues, need clarification about the product, or want other help.

As an affiliate, none of that is your problem. It all rests on the shoulders of the product creator. It’s their job to handle the customer once you send them there, so you can continue working on what matters most – converting new customers.

In closing….

Affiliate marketing is right for just about everybody. Even product creators adopt an affiliate strategy to complement the product development branch of their business. It’s time you add a serious affiliate marketing plan to your online business too!

Free Website Traffic Strategies That Actually Work

Free Website Traffic — the holy grail of Internet marketing. If you know how to get it, then you can probably find a way to succeed online. The problem is, everyone wants it to just “happen” and hardly anyone wants to actually work for it. But work for it you must, or your site will sit deserted with […]

websitetrafficmethodsFree Website Traffic — the holy grail of Internet marketing.

If you know how to get it, then you can probably find a way to succeed online. The problem is, everyone wants it to just “happen” and hardly anyone wants to actually work for it.

But work for it you must, or your site will sit deserted with no visitors, and therefore no income.

So over the next few issues of BizWeb eGazette, we’re going to go over a great plan of attack for your traffic needs.

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You can pick and choose from methods you prefer and combine whatever you want. The only thing I ask is, try to test each method at least once – just so you know what worked and what didn’t with your niche needs.

OK, so the very first thing to think about when it comes to traffic is…

Keywords

Keywords are extremely important for pulling traffic into your site. When Googlebots come to index your site, they’re going to be analyzing it for keyword usage.

The first thing most newbies do is stuff a lot of keywords purposely throughout their pages. But that’s not a good idea, because you can get penalized by the search engines for doing that. But you do want to be strategic about it.

Keep a spreadsheet where you track the various keywords you’ve used in your blog posts. When you have an idea for a post, visit the spreadsheet to see if there’s a keyword phrase that would fit in nicely.

For example, let’s say you were in the dating niche. You want to do a blog post about how older women are now dating younger men quite often now. You look in your spreadsheet and see the phrase “cougar dating” has over 60,000 monthly global searches – so work that into your title and a couple of times in your post.

A tool I use to find great money keywords with low competition is Niche Reaper, consider using that. (Incidentally, if you are using youtube for traffic which I’ll get into in an upcoming issue, the creators of Niche Reaper just released a tool called Vid Reaper which finds low competition keywords for youtube!)

Once you have a set of keywords to target, the next step is to…

Blog Frequently

To make the most of your keywords on your site, you need to keep adding content at a bare minimun, once a week. If you can do it 2-3 times a week that is even better. That’s because Google and other search engines love fresh content and they will time their visits to your site based on how often you post.

For example, they might start off coming around every 3 weeks. Then they see that you’re posting weekly – so they decide to come weekly. If you post daily, they’ll come daily. And if you post several times a day, they’ll be roaming your blog and able to index your new posts in mere minutes.

Indexing, by the way, means your page is now findable in the search engine. So if you’re posting a lot and you make that new “cougar dating” post, your page could be the one chosen to be shown at the top of the SERPs in a very short period of time.

Once you’re posting content regularly, you need to start taking advantage of social media. Naturally, the first place you should start is with the world’s number one trafficked social media platform…

Facebook

Facebook has a variety of traffic options for you to take advantage of. It’s against the terms of service to have more than one profile page. But that shouldn’t stop you from having a business fan page!

Create a fan page for people to “like” and that way they can follow you on their wall. A fan page lets you post links, videos and pictures just like you would on a blog.

You need to keep updating your fan page frequently, though – or the traffic will die down and your page won’t be useful.

If you want to automate the process of having your blog posts added to your facebook fan page, there are plugins available for that. Once is called Facebook Auto Publish and it’s a free plugin that works seamlessly in the background..

Another great way to get traffic from Facebook is to use their paid advertising feature.

Ads on Facebook are nice because you can choose the location, age and interests of the people you target. If your product is only applicable for people in America, then you can filter it so that it doesn’t show the ads to UK Facebook users.

You set a daily budget and pay only when someone clicks through on the ad.

Once you have your Facebook fan page and auto publishing plugin in place, you can move onto the other big social media platform…

Twitter

Some people (like me) mistakenly ignore Twitter because they worry about how much marketing they could do in just 140 characters. But the reality is – a lot of traffic can come your way through Twitter!

Not only can you post messages (including links) to your Twitter stream, but those messages can get Retweeted to more people if your followers hit the Retweet button for you.

Make sure you treat your Twitter followers the same way you would followers on other social networks. Watch the feed and interact with them on their posts. Retweet some of their posts, too.

Don’t just market to them. Have a good mix of personality in your Twitter stream to create a stronger brand loyalty. Let them get to know the person behind the account.

The next social media platform you should plug your business into is…

LinkedIn

LinkedIn used to be known as a social network to conduct job searches and network more within the corporate realm. But it can be so much more than that for you.

Fill out your complete LinkedIn profile and make sure you include a viral freebie download on it to help build a bigger following. People will look to see who’s linked to who, and you’ll see your contact list grow quickly.

Once you have those three main social media networks working to get you traffic, you can start proactively seeking out more exposure for your website. Here’s a great way to start doing that…

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Guest Blog Posting

You already know that blogging – and blogging frequently – is a boon to your sites when it comes to traffic. But you can also take advantage of other bloggers’ traffic, too!

It’s known as guest blogging – and bloggers are usually eager to take advantage of your offer. Bloggers have a hard time keeping up with an intense blog schedule when they have other tasks to complete.

So when an expert in their own niche comes along and asks if they can take over blogging duties for a day, it’s a welcomed relief!

Start by finding blogs in your niche. Go to Google.com and type in your niche keyword + blogs.

When you find one you like, go to similarweb.com and paste the blog’s URL into the tool and click start. When the results pop up you’ll be able to see an approximate traffic profile for the site.

If it’s a nice site with ample traffic, then go ahead and create a blog post that you feel would fit nicely on the site. For instance, if it’s a golf instruction blog, then come up with a blog post about a driving, chipping or putting tip.

If you deliver an article that’s not relevant to their niche – OR, not in line with what they teach, then it will prove to them that you didn’t care enough to look their site over, and they’ll decline your offer.

Deliver the content in both Word format and Notepad (TXT) so that they can quickly paste it into their site and schedule it for publications.

Make sure you include a bio blurb for the blog owner. This is something that comes before or after the blog post that tells a little about who the author is – with a link back to your domain. It shouldn’t be too long – maybe 2 or 3 sentences, max.

Some blog owners will want to reciprocate with a guest blog on your blog, too. You can either accept this offer in good will or decline it, if you feel the message would hurt your site’s credibility.

Next, at the SimilarWeb results page, click on Similar Sites and you’ll find lots more blog owners to contact!

Once you have this strategy in place, you can move onto another top traffic generator…

Forum Signature Files

If you participate in forums for your niche (which you should be, because that’s where real people hang out), then you should check to see if the forum owner allows forum signature files.

A signature file is an area that automatically shows up below any post you make on the site. So if you reply to someone else’s thread, it shows your message, with a sig file beneath it.

If you start a thread, your sig file shows up below that post, too. Some forums have rules for sig files – and some don’t allow them at all. You might be able to use a mix of images and text, or one or the other.

Here are some other things to keep in mind if you’re considering forum sig files:

· Make sure you have a link in your sig file (if allowed) that takes readers to your own blog or squeeze page.

· You may have to wait awhile before your sig file shows up. Some forum owners know that seedy spammers come into forums to offer nothing of value – so they intentionally put a temporary hold on your sig file until you have a certain number of posts in the forum.

· Track, Test and Tweak your sig file until it converts into the most clicks it can get for you. Test out a variety of sig files – play around with the graphics or text and see what causes people to click on your sig file the most.

· Some forums have size restrictions for your sig file. They may be only 5 lines, or a specific width and height for images.

The very best way to make use of your sig file is to provide good value to the forum. If people read a thread started by you and are amazed at its great value, they will often click on your sig file to see what else you have to offer!

OK, that’s enough for today. Stay tuned for the next issue of BizWeb eGazette for more website traffic strategies that work!

Oh, and if you don’t have time to do all this stuff yourself, remember, you can outsource this stuff to a virtual assistant or fiverr gig who offers these specific tasks. You’ll find links to all the outsourcers I use in my business here. (Sorry, members only! If you need a membership click the blue banner below…)