By picking the right products and services to sell on your blog, you build your readers’ trust. Your audience gets used to the idea of taking your advice and buying the products you recommend. As we touched on earlier, your relationship with your audience is the most important asset you can bring to the table as an affiliate. While your content will get people to your site, your community will get them to stay.
While there are currently tens of millions of blogs worldwide, close to 60 million powered by WordPress alone, many bloggers are not yet monetizing their sites. If you're one of these bloggers, a good place to start is with affiliate marketing: directing readers to a product or service in exchange for a commission on the sale (or other action) when it occurs.
The first step to any Internet marketing campaign is the keywords. How will potential customers find you in the search engines? Work with different keyword combinations to determine the keywords you want to be found under. Make sure you balance broader keyword combinations with more specific keyword combinations. The average person searching on the Internet may start with a broad query, but they quickly narrow it down as they see returned results and learn more about what they are searching for. For example, someone searching for digital cameras may start with “Digital Cameras”… after clicking a couple choices, they may then search on “Nikon digital cameras”… after clicking a couple more choices, they may search on Nikon Coolpix cameras, then narrow it even further to Nikon Coolpix 4800 Digital Camera. The more specific they become, the more likely they are to purchase.
Always disclose your affiliate relationship. Most visitors will probably understand that graphic ads will lead to your getting paid, but if you write a review or use an in-text link as a recommendation, you want your readers to know that may lead to compensation as well. This ensures you retain transparency and trust with your readers, but also, it's required by the FTC's endorsement rules.
Thats a great point, and I’ve definitely seen my fair share of those “how to start a blog” posts. That’s always been a good fit for people at Location 180, and if they do a good job on the post (truly make it useful) that’s one that doesnt bother me as much – solely because I know how valuable starting a blog can be for your life and goals. So if it’s some personal finance blogger that creates one and you start a blog from that by following their tutorial – all the better!
"Think of affiliate ads as additional resources that complement your content," says Truong. "Don't put up a list of your favorite books, hoping people will click on the affiliate link and purchase the books just because you listed them. Take some time to write a detailed review, and use affiliate ads to point them in the right direction if they decide to act on your information."
For those of you just getting started with Internet marketing you will no doubt hear the following phrase many more times, and if you’ve been Internet marketing for some time you are about to hear it again: testing is critical! Internet marketers say this all the time because there are so many different marketing mediums available to be utilized in the marketing process, that it can be quite tempting to flitter back and forth trying out each one in part. Once a person doesn’t experience instant success with one, they tend to quickly switch to a new strategy, and then to another, and so on. The problem with doing this is that it means not fully realizing the potential of each marketing method. By constantly switching between strategies you aren’t giving one particular strategy a chance to flourish. Therefore it is vitally important that you test, test, and test some more with each process, strategy and theory, so you can rule out what doesn’t work and rule in what does.
This is one of those online marketing tips that should be a given but some businesses still don’t have a Google My Business account. When you search for your favorite restaurant on Google there’s a bunch of information that comes up on the right hand side of the search results page. It displays the businesses’ address, phone number, hours of operation, photos, questions and answers, and even customer reviews.
Same here, this post kind of fell from the sky at such a great time. Been building a great community of readers over the years but reached a point where I’m losing money maintaining the site and newsletter. As you said, the ads don’t bring much -ironically I use Adblocks too but affiliate marketing always seemed like a weird and opaque subject. I’ve read many of Chris Guillebeau’s books in the last few months (this is how I discovered your site actually!) and I didn’t realize he had affiliate links for instance. Your post opened up a new window of possibility for me. Still need to process everything and do the work behind but a big thank you to you Sean!
A U.K. based dating affiliate network that operates a number of mainstream and niche dating sites, including Cupid.com, Flirt.com, BoomerDating.com and PlanetSappho.com. You can promote any of these sites based upon the needs of your audience, and with so many sites to choose from, it’s pretty easy for most affiliates to find at least one or two that are a good fit. Commission rates at Cupid plc can be impressive, too, with $15 paid just for free sign ups, and up to 90 percent commission paid on paid memberships.
Just like optimizing your site to rank for keywords, you can use our online marketing tips to pay to run advertisements on Google so that your business is shown on the first page of search results. Ranking this way is instantaneous where as SEO takes some time before you will be able to see your site on the first page of search results. It certainly pays off to be at the top of the page.
Not only is it important to update your content, but if your website looks like it’s from the 1990s it’s time for a total makeover. Website design is constantly evolving, so it’s important to keep up with the current trends so that you can compete in your market. Old website design can give out spammy vibes to customers who will quickly leave your site and move on to one that is more aesthetically appealing.
Websites and services based on Web 2.0 concepts—blogging and interactive online communities, for example—have impacted the affiliate marketing world as well. These platforms allow improved communication between merchants and affiliates. Web 2.0 platforms have also opened affiliate marketing channels to personal bloggers, writers, and independent website owners. Contextual ads allow publishers with lower levels of web traffic to place affiliate ads on websites.
In April 2008 the State of New York inserted an item in the state budget asserting sales tax jurisdiction over Amazon.com sales to residents of New York, based on the existence of affiliate links from New York–based websites to Amazon. The state asserts that even one such affiliate constitutes Amazon having a business presence in the state, and is sufficient to allow New York to tax all Amazon sales to state residents. Amazon challenged the amendment and lost at the trial level in January 2009. The case is currently making its way through the New York appeals courts.
Word of mouth communications and peer-to-peer dialogue often have a greater effect on customers, since they are not sent directly from the company and are therefore not planned. Customers are more likely to trust other customers’ experiences. Examples can be that social media users share food products and meal experiences highlighting certain brands and franchises. This was noted in a study on Instagram, where researchers observed that adolescent Instagram users' posted images of food-related experiences within their social networks, providing free advertising for the products.
The question arises whether it’s possible to earn money with only minimal content. There are many small ‘blogs’ or new affiliate sites that consist only of affiliate-program text, product images or affiliate links. Often, any wording that does exist is simply reproduced from manufacturer sites or the Amazon website, without writing any original content. Nowadays, the people who set up and manage such websites won’t have any visitors and more importantly, no revenue. Writing your own unique content is very important and is expected by regular visitors to your site.
An elegantly straightforward process, affiliate marketing via reviews, blogs, social media, and other platforms is a new frontier in marketing that’s just waiting to be utilized. Follow the tips included in this article, and you’ll be able to engage your audience, convert passive readers into active consumers, and enhance your paycheck one click at a time.
Okay. Okay. There is a lot to learn. However, everyone has to start somewhere. If you're just being introduced to internet marketing, and you've become bedazzled by the glitz and the glamor of the top online income earners, know that it's not going to be easy to replicate their success. Be sure that you set your expectations the proper way. As long as you stay persistent, you can achieve your goals of generating healthy amounts of money online without becoming the victim of a scam.
Matthew Woodward began his career at the age of thirteen when he started reviewing games for a site NintendoPhiles. This lead to Matthew launching a web-based community where people could share demos of their games. After a stint as the head of online marketing for a large distributor in Europe, Matthew went into business for himself to develop and rank websites. His blog has since been recognized by the following: HubSpot Top 5 Internet Marketing Blog March 2015, Affiliate Summit Best Affiliate Blog 2013, Technorati Top 100 Business Blog July 2013, and The Best Of Search Engine Journal 2012.
Avinash Kaushik, a marketing evangelist for Google, blogs about data-driven decision making and empowering ideas for companies to make evolutionary leaps in their strategies, in an extremely interesting way. He is the co-founder of Market Motive and the Digital Marketing Evangelist for Google. It’s one of the best marketing blogs on digital marketing analytics.