How to Make Money with an Affiliate Blog: A quick start primer on getting started with an affiliate product blog
Ok boys and girls– sorry for not posting anything new in the last week and a half or so – with Thanksgiving just passing, and my sister getting married this past Sunday ( and now honeymooning in St. Barts with a tremendously cool and smart guy I’m excited to welcome into our family) – I have been inundated with fun family stuff…which has provided a welcome reprieve from thinking about Craigslist, blogging, article marketing, PPC and everything else that keeps my rear end glued to a chair 12 hours a day.
I’ve got a few good questions over the last week or so – half a dozen odd ones – and few people who simply filled out the contact form and just asked for “ some good ideas”. Let’s take a look at what Elizabeth asked earlier on tonight, and see if we can’t point her in the right direction to starting to make some easy and quick cash out of the gate with a free blog ( or two). My reply is posted immediately following her question.
Thanks for getting back to me. I wouldn’t mind if you posted things on your site. If it works, then it is worthy of posting, and all the better for me. I paid for a set of e-books from someone on blogging. I don’t normally do that (very limited funds). It was $27, and it seems like it is going to cover all the areas I have been wanting to learn about. I can read through those, come up with something, and then have your help defining it all more, if that would help. I have read, maybe even at your site, about how it’s important to have a blog for one affiliate item that I am promoting so that the search engines have a clear picture of what the site is about. I need to choose a good product – I know there are a lot out there – and then write a review. I guess a squeeze page would be after that, and I know I would have to offer something free to get their info, and then I guess the affiliate page. I want to cloak the link and all that good stuff, and then figure out what newer things to do so that I can stand out and have some results. I guess I am going to get 21 days of automated emails from you, right? I will read them and get back with you when I have some questions. Thanks!
Hi Elizabeth –
I wouldn’t worry about cloaking and all of that good stuff to start..:-) Very simply – you need to pick an offer, create content and promote it. It doesn’t have to be a review – and depending on your approach, you can very simply use a free blogging platform like WordPress to serve as a “ planet” style site for your general niche – from where you would be promoting ( at least to start) one very specific product that you picked at the very beginning of the process.
Very simply – If I were you ( and I do this all of the time myself) you need to go out and identify some good content sources ( i.e. – RSS feeds/video content/polls/articles/rating and commenting systems on your site, etc ) to quickly and easily fill your site with content that will make it appealing and interactive to your customers.
Submit your site to as many relevant, human edited directories as you can find ( directories that manually check the submissions to ensure the sites aren’t spammy sites – the links you will get are far more worthwhile) Don’t run ads or opt in forms on your pages when submitting to these directories, wait until you are listed and then you can swap back your more salesy material – this is especially easy if you are using widgets, etc for affiliate banners, text links, etc which can be quickly integrated ( or removed) from your template – I would write a series of articles and submit them to the directories pointing back to your site on your niche – use internal pages of your site for the links rather than the home page which will help with SEO – as well as conversions on the affiliate product – i.e. – if you do a review style article that converts well on the product – send the links to this page – you can alternate this from an SEO standpoint both from within the resource box in the directories – as well as rotating the article “page” title on your site as well which will also help longer term SEO rankings.
I would utilize press releases to alert the PR directories that you are out there – find an angle and write a release – i.e. – if you are selling a diet affiliate product on your site – write a press release about the cumulative effect of the average weight gain during the holiday season has on early mortality rates, heart attacks, etc – you can do same for link baiting – i.e. – the “Kris Kringle Cholesterol Crisis: 7 ways Christmas is killing you” – or whatever it is you are promoting – health/wealth/relationships/etc – all can be swapped in and out with this sort of thing.
Blogging just boils down to on site content and external links with a a little bit of SEO awareness in your keyword usage – I would focus my keyword attention to article titles – that is sufficient for your purposes – submit feed to the RSS directories when you create your site – and your posts to Pingoat after you write them – and very effective for me – submit EACH post manually to Google’s blogsearch directory, I have found many of my posts are indexed within hours and ranking for my article title simply by submitting here.
Use the social networks judiciously – don’t’ overdue the digg/delicious/propeller/reditt submissions as they will give you a lot of ego traffic, but not much in terms of conversions – if you are going to submit a lot of social network stuff, make the on page offers more universal things that everyone would like – i.e. – if you are selling a dog product on the affiliate side ( organic dog food for example) you might submit a funny compilation of dog videos visa vi a Splashcast channel as I’ve illustrated in previous posts, and then monetize the video and site sidebars with some sort of “ are you killing your dog with Purina?” offer for a better, healthier pet product, these are really the only types of offers that have converted well for me from social network traffic – ( you have to find products that transcend and distract the “cynical I” and push emotional hot buttons with the web 2.0 sort of traffic in my experience – otherwise you are wasting a lot of time and effort )
Stumbleupon is a great place to promote your stuff – and you can use free services like ONLYWIRE to automate and expedite the process of getting bookmarks and incoming links on your new posts.
If I were you – every affiliate offer I promoted to start would have at least one free e book to offer as an enticement for someone to signup for your list – while squeeze style pages will out convert this straight away for sign ups – I would build a sidebar or header style opt in form into your blog that offers a freebie giveaway from the affiliate vendor in exchange for their email address/contact etc – upon opt in they get the freebie – you get the name – and you can re-direct them immediately to the affiliate offer or keep them on your site for more content, etc – it’s up to you. In the “ work at home” market for example – you might want to look at site build it ( SBI) as a model for this sort of thing from an affiliate standpoint, they “give” you so much material to “gift” your prospect with, and do so much of the selling for you, all you really have to do is get them over to their site with your cookie to start making some money. I would look for and find as many analogous affiliate offers with this model – there are plenty out there. ( or just promote SBI if you haven’t picked a product yet – they convert well and are very popular)
If you haven’t before – use the “flock” social networking browser for your blogging – I have built entire sites using flock’s “blog this” function – which lets you incorporate and strip out text/pics and perfectly format, link and attribute the content to the source material which is a very white hat way of building good, solid content that your visitors will like – as well as those you are “quoting” as they are being attributed and linked appropriately per your post – ( which theoretically is providing them with good, solid incoming relevant links as well ) and in combination with your own articles, press releases, RSS feeds, etc – ( and some more sophisticated aggregation tools which you may not quite be ready for – like feedwordpress, datafeeds, etc ) you can build big sites quickly that are designed around content, yet are affiliate marketing beasts behind the scenes..:-)
Again – if you are totally just starting out, I would heavy up on article submissions to outside directories like Ezinearticles.com, they are free to do and require only a time investment. You can really do quite well simply by doing this alone. In my experience – this is the absolute easiest way to get started making money in a new niche – and you can always take the very same articles and re-write them a little bit and put them on your site as well – and then follow the above process to get incoming links from social networks, other blogs, etc – on the very same content. Also – if you are looking for something to give away – your articles make for a very nice enticement to use in addition to the freebies offered by the affiliate vendor.
Lastly – in my experience – just get out there and do it – I wouldn’t buy too many 27 dollar e books as I haven’t come across ONE yet that has been worth it. Unfortunately the perilous pursuit of perfection is usually the enemy of achievement in trying to make money online – picking the perfect choreographed approach to tying it all together rarely works quite as well as it looks in the cookbook. But if you build lots of good quality pages that help, inform and educate people about the problem your product fixes – you should have no problem at all making money – and doing it pretty quickly!
( Pick good products though – find ones that have good testimonials, good network earnings, EPC numbers in Commission Junction – gravity/popularity in Clickbank, etc – and you will do well )
And I think my 21 day email sequence poops out at day 7 or something – I’m sorry – but I really have to re-visit it or take that down I guess…as a lot of people are probably wondering what happened a week and a half in! But I’m posting a lot of the ideas here anyway – so just stay tuned ..:-)
Thanks and best..:-)