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Here is a super short video I recorded yesterday on using the web directory marketing model to sell affiliate products, to build a small little “empire” of these sorts of sites, while familiarizing yourself with building directories, adding content, using a framework, etc – in a proven, profitable way. (which the affiliate model is, for better or for worse)
The “ethics” of this approach, to me, lies in curating the offers, rather than recommending them. There is nothing worse than googling a product you want to buy, only to see fake, fictitious or fabricated reviews written by folks who you know in your bones have never bought the thing they are writing about, and recommending.
Using curation – and including an affiliate link, you are merely collecting the various products that are in a given niche/market or industry – and listing them – and then writing blog posts that “point” to the products themselves on your site, as a way of adding extra on site SEO/link love which will help your site perform better in the natural search results.
A quick thought about ethics, on directories. (because this is something I struggle with a bit on a personal note)
If you are creating a local directory, for example – you’ll list ALL the restaurants – even the shitty ones – and let people talk about where they love to eat. (or don’t) In my “spiritual” directory business – I’ll often include people that I personally think are full of it – who make claims about this sort of magical power they have or the way the universe works, etc – and even though I don’t believe they are “gifted” in the way they describe, i’ll let the audience decide. (rather than excluding them from the site – as if they don’t exist – when they have a large footprint in a niche, industry, etc)
So to me, the same ethos works with affiliate products, and this is why directories can be a great way of curating content, and if you allow folks do write reviews (which you obviously should!) a great way to let good products “surface” in the world in which you work – and let the scammier ones get called out by folks who have bought them and didn’t care for the experience.
Also – watch the simple “scaling” strategy that I mention at the end of this video – it’s a great way to move quickly, and create lots of these style sites in a short time, by creating one “MASTER” directory – with all of the configuration you want in place – and then cloning it quickly and tweaking the clones for each new niche you want to compete in as well.
Last note – here are the steps in the video I included on youtube below.
Essentially, the process map is this:
Pick a niche or topic that has lots of high EPC affiliate offers
Apply to those programs and add them to your directory as LISTINGS with your affiliate link pointing to the offer
Sprinkle in short blog posts that point to the listings on your directory, using keyword friendly titles related to the specific products
Optional: Add curated content to the blog posts which makes it easier to “write” (e.g. – add a youtube video someone else posted) or excerpt an existing article around the web on that topic/products, linking to the source in an ethical way. (Remember, Google likes sites that like other sites Google likes)
That’s really it.
These won’t make you rich, but they are a super easy way to earn affiliate commissions in a non spammy or contrived way. (you don’t have to write fake reviews or add hyperbolic silly comments about products you don’t really use – you are just “curating” popular products in the market without really making a judgement about them)
Vantage 4.0 is the ideal framework for this sort of site – as it’s easy to configure and has the fewest moving parts of all of the directories I’ve used.
Check that out here: http://goodkarma.link/vantage
Any questions? Feel free to ask!