After spending just shy of 10 years doing affiliate marketing, I've learned a few things and I've made some great money.
I don't say this to brag, only to impress upon you that it can be one of the best ways to get started and to make money on the internet.
I Can also tell you even more ways how NOT to do it.
Before I get started, I think a very brief introduction to affiliate marketing is in order.
Just in case someone is not familiar with the term.
My definition goes like this:
"It's the process of selling other peoples stuff"
Pretty elegant definition huh?
Well, you get the point.
What's great about affiliate marketing is that your only job is to send traffic to the affiliate program, you get paid and they take care of everything else.
It is what I call a low-level-of-responsibility online business model.
It's a concept that worked very well for me for many years and it will for you as well. It's worked for so many others over the years and many even today.
So without further ado, let's get to the stuff that's going to make you loads of cash online...
Target Your Traffic
This shouldn't need to be said, but yes it does, because some folks just don't think about enough about it.
When you target your traffic as narrow as possible, your conversions will increase.
It's as simple as giving people exactly what they want, when they want it.
Problem is that many marketers pick a general markets. Say weight loss, or dating.
Nothing wrong with those markets, plenty of buyers, plenty of traffic, but it's too hit and miss.
Take weight loss for example...
That crowd could be looking for books, diets, food, equipment, ect, ect, ect.
But when you narrow it down to say something like "Weight Loss Diet Books", your targeting your audience and you'll know when they hit your site, you have what they are looking for.
Naturally, the other problem folks have is choosing which market to get into.
Sorry to say, I can't help you with that. I don't know you and wouldn't have a clue what would work for you.
Although, you might want to choose a market that you have some interest in. Maybe it's a hobby you already have. One that you've studied or researched. Could be a passion you have.
Either way, when you get into something you like or enjoy, your affiliate marketing is likely to be less like work, and just maybe, it might be fun.
But you need to tread lightly. Years back in my affiliate marketing career heyday, I tried to cover everything in the market I was promoting. And I do mean everything. Not saying it did not work, it did, but it came with a price.
That price was my time because I was covering so much.
It was too much. I had way to many sub niches to promote and it was all too much.
How do people get it wrong?
Glad You asked...
A prime example. Lately I've been noticed many bloggers that are all over the place. In one post or article they will be talking about internet marketing and then in the next one, they give a review for the latest smart phone.
Do you see the problem here?
Maybe they have some secret formula that I just don't understand.
Point is, how can you target your ads when your all over the place?
How can you draw in targeted traffic if your all over the place?
If you want to do multiple markets, go for it, just be sure to create a focused site for each niche. Don't try to do it all on one site. It won't work well, if at all.
Pick The Best Affiliate Programs
By picking the right program I am talking about ones that actual convert.
Let's face it, anyone can throw up a sales page.
Anyone can set up a sales system.
But none of this means it's going to convert to sales for you. Another thing, your traffic might not be right for a given product or service.
I'll admit, this is one of toughest parts of affiliate marketing and frankly it's often trial and error. Sometimes you just need to try promoting products and if they convert great, continue to push them. If they don't convert, drop them and move onto another.
Course this now brings up the question of, how long do you promote a program? How much traffic do you send before giving up on a product?
I am not stats expert, but I have usually gone by the general rule of 500 hits. Just seemed to be my magic number. If a product or service wasn't converting for me after 500 hits, I moved on. Some of the experts will tell you that you need to send at least 1,000 hits before closing it down. For me, that is way too much potential traffic to waste.
What number you choose will be up to you.
There is some help though...
Luckily these days we have some help. There are some affiliate programs that show the actual conversion rates of each product they have to offer. No, I am not talking about the "makes-no-sense" gravity at clickbank.
Market places like JVzoo and Warrior+ show exact numbers, as to how well, or how bad a given product is selling. Some of these marketplaces even give you the EPC, or earnings per click. Comes in REAL handy if you want to buy traffic.
There is no guarantee you well get the same results as other affiliates have with any product or service, but hey it's a start. Least you know if something is selling at all, or at a good rate. You'll have a much better chance of making some coin.
Track Your Ads
This is where I see SO many marketers drop the ball.
Yes, I've been guilty of it as well.
Let's face it none of us has an unlimited supply of traffic. We are only going to get so many hits. Since that is a fact why wouldn't you want to make the most of every hit?
It's in our best interests ( and your bank account) to squeeze every cent out of every hit.
Thing is, it's not difficult to do. You only need a simple ad rotation program, script or plugin. Yes there are good options for WordPress as well.
Idea is to rotate several banners for each product and see which performs the best. Just don't rotate too many at one time, it will take longer to sort out the winners and losers.
TIP: AS you rotate banners, you'll probably see some common traits, that winning banners have certain things in common. By studying these, it will help when you create new banners in the future.
Take this concept a step further and track your text links as well. Why not? If you can see which are working best and which ones send more traffic to your affiliate programs, it's more money you could be making.
It's all about working smarter, not harder.
What if you could make 2X, 3X or more from the same traffic? This is also how to make good money with lower traffic volumes.
Big take away with testing, it that all your ads should always be in test mode. There is ALWAYS room for improvement. Never settle for an conversions, keep testing.
Get Your Visitors to The Affiliate Offer
Some might say it's greedy or aggressive, but when I was doing affiliate marketing full time, my number 1 goal was to get my website visitors to my programs, as soon as possible.
We could all feel warm and fuzzy providing incredible content, even get pats on the backs, sweet comments, social shares and more, but at the end of the day, why do you have a website? Unless it's a hobby or you have time to kill, your in this to make some money.
I am NOT talking about slamming people with ads and offers, I am only saying, you always need to be in promotion mode if you want to make money online. Honestly, I think some people are too nice and they are the first ones to complain they are not making any money. Gee, wonder why?
I am not against putting out stellar content. Not saying that at all. Just saying your content alone is not what is going to put food on the table. Well, unless you write for a living. If you do, why you reading this anyway?
You need to make sure you have ads on every page. You need to add promotional links where you can. You need to add text links in your content where they make sense.
Again, don't turn your site into a banner farm, not one will visit or come back.
But by all means, do NOT be afraid to sell.
I see so many people trying to be cheap when it comes to their online business and usually the first on-going expense they try to avoid is paying for hosting.
It's not worth it!
You need paid hosting. Period. The end.
First off, many people won't take you seriously or trust you enough to buy from you, if they can see your using free hosting. Granted some people won't know, or even realize your cheaping out, but some will.
Most importantly, you can NOT build a real business with free hosting. You are not in control of your site, someone else is. And all your hard work could be gone in the blink of an eye.
Look I understand money can be tight some times, been there done that, have the t-shirt to prove it. Unless my wife threw it out.
But hosting these days is dirt cheap. Most anyone can cover their hosting bill by making just one sale per month.
So there is not excuse. Collect your change, return bottles, skip a fast food meal, do whatever you need to pay your hosting.
I've never met or knew of a person who became rich using free hosting. So don't think your going to be the first.
Although I've probably beat the hosting deal to death, there is one more thing I need to stress on the subject...
Do your best to go with a reliable, solid hosting company.
Won't matter what you've done, if your website doesn't work or goes down, you're not getting visitors and you're not making money.
You know this, I was just checking. 🙂
Here's how to make great money with affiliate marketing. more importantly, here is a way to build a more stable income. I'll be very clear, it's not going to be 100% rock solid, but it sure can make some nice regular income.
One problem with affiliate marketing is that most often it's one off sales. Meaning you sell a product you get your commission and it usually ends there.
You send the visitor to the affiliate program, they buy and you get paid. That's it.
Now if your promoting a program that pays monthly commissions (recurring income) for as long as the visitors you sent stays on, instead of making one sale, you could be making many.
Some good examples of recurring income are hosting and autoresponder services. It's usually something people pay for each and every month.
And if you can promote recurring programs that are services people don't want to lose, or don't want to give up, you'll have better retention rates and you should make more money.
Multiple Streams Of Traffic
Obviously generating traffic your website holds true for any one looking to earn online. The reason I bring this up is to stress the fact that you need to have more than one source of traffic.
Hate to admit it, but I've fallen for the SEO, search engine and google traps far too many times.
I'd spend all this time doing search engine optimization, building links, on-page, off-page, ect, ect, ect.
Golden search engine traffic would come in, I'd be making mad money, getting lazy and surprise-surprise, I get slapped right across the kisser.
Something I did for SEO wasn't working any more, and there went all my traffic and worst there went my income.
Sucked to be me.
This of course is SO much more important if your doing the net thing full time, if your relying on the income your business generates.
I am not saying you should not do SEO, I am only saying, do NOT make it your sole source of hits. Branch out, learn Social marketing, maybe forum marketing, get viral ebooks or reports out there, spread your traffic pumps around.
I can't end it here just yet.
How about a couple more?
Build a list
Do I really need to explain this one?
If you want to build a incredibly stable business and scale your business up, you REALLY need to be building a list or multiple lists.
Honestly, if you were smart, you'd focus solely on building a list and selling them later.
Once you have people on your list, you always have potential traffic. You always have potential sales.
You could lose your search engine ranks, your traffic could dry up, but if you have a list, there is always a business and an income.
Course this is a subject all in it's own. Don't have the space to cover it all here.
Check out our Email Marketing Gold Vault for everything you need to know to build a list and profit from it.
Check For Dead links
Part of doing affiliate marketing is that programs come and go. Sucks, but it's a part of doing business online.
And I know you don't want to waste a single hit, so make sure to check all your links on a regular basis. You don't want to send traffic to dead space, or to some one else's product.
It's getting late...
I could go on for many more pages about this topic, but there is only so much room and only so much time.
If you want to CRUSH it with affiliate marketing, you really need to check out the Gold Vault. Don't put it off. Make the money not, not "some day".
Okay, back to you. Anything to add? Want to comment on anything?
Love to hear from you, so be sure to leave a comment below...