Becoming an Affiliate – The Other Option
This is something that you will definitely want to do. The only question is – on what scale? It is the exact reversal of what we have been discussing. You become the affiliate, recommend products that delight and satisfy your own subscribers, and earn the cash commissions for doing so.
Being an affiliate marketer is not as easy as it may sound. It is actually hard work and you must find and follow a proven system, have an affinity for it, and really enjoy the process. Finally, you must be extremely patient and willing to invest plenty of time in your link promotion.
My recommendation is to be discriminating! Look for high-value products and services (trying them out personally whenever possible), that offer strong incentives, well-run programs, and rewards for performance.
When you find offerings that meet the above criteria, you can share affiliate links in a variety of ways – again this depends on the degree to which you want to be involved in this type of affiliate marketing.
1. Review Blogs
Write reviews on products that would be of interest to your niche – and of course, do not compete with your own. Products or services that are complementary to yours or make yours work even better are particularly good.
Don’t forget to become an affiliate for every product you review – even the ones you criticize – and be sure to include your affiliate link in your review. You may be questioning why you would include an affiliate link to a product you’ve panned. The answer is, you never know – the features or qualities that make it a “miss” for you could be exactly the ones your reader is looking for. So, why not make some money in exchange for your review time (and bringing attention to the product)?
2. Product Line Blogs
Just to be clear – you cannot just blog about the products, which you will do, of course; but, many of your posts should focus on topics that are related to the product line.
Skin care products are a great example for this. You have a multitude of topics that you could cover – along with the related products.
- Wrinkles and wrinkle prevention
- Dark circles under the eyes
- Stretch marks
- Defying age
- Looking younger
- Diet and skin care
- Water and skin care
- Sunscreen and your skin
- Ravages of tanning
- Effects of smoking on your skin
- Preventing skin cancer
And the list goes on . . . and on. . .
3. Niche Blogs
These promote everything from toys to Christmas decorations. This method is often a lot of hard work for very small returns. You would need dozens or even hundreds to develop any kind of solid income stream.
At one time, creating niche blogs was the primary way people promoted their affiliate links. Then Google changed their algorithms to discourage the method. Driving traffic to these types of blogs has become extremely difficult.– organic traffic alone just won’t cut it, no matter how good your SEO (search engine optimization).
4. Amazon Mini-Sites
This is another method you may want to consider; but, be aware that there is a right way and a wrong way to set these up.
- Don’t bother with low ticket items – promote goods that cost $100 plus
- Provide high quality, original material
- Dedicate the blog to the type of product(s) you are promoting and compare several types of the same sort of product
- Provide extra value – go beyond blog posts – you should offer stats, spreadsheets, test results, etc.
- Keep your sites current
- Avoid Amazon widgets (they tend to be problematic). Use Amazon buttons and contextual links directly on each page or in the top-right corner of your sidebar.
- Always include a call-to-action inside the Amazon button.
- Shout out the reasons (benefits) why people should buy from Amazon.
- Be honest, subjective, and sincere – you must be credible.
Below is an example of a highly successful mini-site in the Review Blog format that generates over $2000 per month…
Please Be AWARE . . .
Regardless of the affiliate marketing method you decide to use, it is now law to have a disclaimer or disclaimer page on every site you own, stating that you are an affiliate and receiving commissions:
Top affiliates look for products to promote that are higher value or guaranteed high sales volume. They also look for perks such as lifetime cookies, rewards and bonuses for performance, and other incentives.
There are some top affiliate marketers such as Rosalind Gardner and Lynne Terry that your should study. Read the articles and learn their methods – in other words, learn from the best.
Affiliate marketing is very hard work in the beginning. It requires time, energy, and being OK with little cash flow as you create your blogs and mini-sites and do everything necessary to drive traffic to them. But, then, once they are established – with a good system of regular maintenance that can be outsourced – your affiliate blogs and mini-sites can become a beautiful, continuously flowing stream of passive income.
Affiliate marketing can work for you, as it has for many others – both as an affiliate manager for your own programs, and as an affiliate yourself earning commissions from others.
Want all of the information? Begin at the beginning: Building an Online Business.
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