3 Affiliate Marketing Strategies Ideal for Business Directories, Authority Sites and New Communities

  1. Download the PDF:

NEW COURSE! The Ultimate Q and A Collection for Anyone Who Wants to Build a Profitable Directory. (pre-launch page is here)

In this short PDF we look at the 3 buckets of affiliate offers (and opportunities) that are ideal for authority sites – most notably, a business directory.    The 3 buckets are:

  1.  Enterprise offers (big brands that have name recognition in the niche.   These are ideal for seeding a site (or the store) with new listings that can earn you income, on both curiosity clicks, real reviews AND, most notably for a directory, give your early audience an opportunity to see you’re already partnering with well known names.  (Godaddy for domain names,  Mailchimp for newsletters, WPengine for hosting, Podia for content and course delivery, etc – all of these style offers  are generally EASY (and free) to add – have robust (and profitable) affiliate programs – and can make the first 50 listings on your site be a breeze to add in a matter of hours or days, not weeks.
  2. Your member offers.  People are generally ho hum about yet another directory (especially when they’ve been excited and let down in the past) but when you incorporate their OFFERS, products, programs, content, courses, BOOKS (books are the absolute BEST things to promote on a member directory – no matter how big the name, everyone wants to sell more books – and everyone understands more exposure is always better than less) – BUT, most folks don’t have an affiliate program – so when you ask them “hey…..we’d love to promote that new product on your website to our 25K + FB fans – do you have an affiliate program we can join?” – they’ll sheepishly say – “uh……wut??”  This allows you to OFFER this as an online agency style service (affiliate marketing set up) and is truly an incredible value add that will allow you to get PAID to promote your members products on your site – and will also allow your members to take their own business to the next level everywhere else they show up in the world – as their existing fans/family/friends/clients/readers/etc – can now promote their stuff as an affiliate as well.  (there is no better viral marketing strategy than an affiliate program – just ask Jeff Bezos)
  3. Your own IN-HOUSE products/programs/content/courses/services/etc.  Turn your members into affiliates for YOU – and other members into affiliates for THEM – and you can convert your community into an immersive, enthusiastic, e-commerce ecosystem or exchange, where everyone has some sort of “skin in the win.”  (I saw that on a T-shirt once, and promised myself i’d include that in a blog post one day.  That day is today)  There is a lot more to this than can be captured in a short article – but this is the exact same strategy i’m using right now to offer OUR web development, and author marketing/self publishing suite of services to far more people than I could reach on our own – by leveraging affiliates – turning our members into incentivized evangelists – and paying large commissions to those who will take our offers into the world and enthusiastically promote them.
  4. Download the PDF:




What Have You Done for Me Lately? Why the Featured Listings Model is a Bad Idea for Your Business Directory (a simple workaround….and a NEW Course!)

NEW COURSE! The Ultimate Q and A Collection for Anyone Who Wants to Build a Profitable Directory. (pre-launch page is here)

Listen to the audio explainer below.  (and the best work around for incorporating featured listings in a skillful way that wont’ bite you in the behind, later)

Is Selling “Featured” or Premium Listings the Best Way to Monetize a Web Directory?

1. Can you make money with featured selling listings? Yes – but it’s hard. Here is why.

There is a constant “what have you done for me lately” urgency to this sort of model. The workaround for this (which I recommend) is to charge for the year, and make an irresistible offer (deep discounts + VIP offers) which is too appealing to pass up.

When I first started using the “featured listing” model for an income, (the first site – was famouspsychicmediums.com, which I still own a small piece of – using a much older version of Vantage, which I hacked to have the “featured” listings scroll across the type of the site) – people signed up for 35-50 monthly listings with amazing ease. the problem was, after a few months, as the site was new – they dropped off.

You start finding yourself having hard conversations with people -where they are like – “I’m not getting calls or clients”, and you end up feeling guilty – and spend much of your time trying to figure out how to make people happy in inefficient ways – BEFORE the next billing cycle begins. If I was focused instead, on helping them build their brands OFFSITE, using much easier to apply marketing mojo (list building, content marketing, etc) these questions and concerns, would be moot.

it’s tough to drive traffic to your users in the first year or two of the site if that’s all the value you are offering, in my view, it’s a losing proposition, which is why so many of these sites, fail.

This applies, by the way, to the BIGGEST sites out there as well.

I had a conversation with a friend over fathers day weekend, who told me that ZOCDOC (he is a doctor) charges thousands of dollars for the year – and now requires that to be pre-paid, which is a significant expense. (even, I guess – if you’re a BNYC based physician 🙂

He also said, he only has gotten a few patients from his previous listing – making it a questionable investment, especially now that he has to lay out the cash in advance, for the year.

The way you protect yourself against this – charge yearly – there is a much more casual relationship with your members when you do this – magically, they start thinking longer term, and you’re less on the clock, in every moment. It also allows you to build real relationships with your members – and to continue to find new ways to offer value, without feeling the hot and hungry breath of a clock that you cant control. And that’s always ticking and tocking and leaping and lurking in the background.

Free Worksheet: 3 Exercises for Creating Compelling Offers, Building a Community and Getting SUPER Clear on Your Core Values and USP

Here are some great content marketing tips for folks building directories, writing books, building brands or simply trying to step up and stand out in the sea of sameness where most of our competition seems to swim.

Download the exercises here.  (PDF)

Watch the video here.

Join  our community here.  (if you are enjoying this……lots of great stuff is coming, I promise! 🙂

A Brilliant Idea for Setting Goals, Staying Accountable and Creating New Habits

Here is a simple, unique and fun way of tracking your life with a minimalist journal – complete with lots of examples and applications for all of us.

One of the few articles I’ve read this year, that has actually made me immediately get up and do something immediately afterwards. (in this case, buy a journal I could use to steal this idea for myself – which will be decidedly a bit simpler than some of the more complex variations this author uses for his own)

Love the idea of asking a simple question – “what do I want to remember most about this day?”

So much of our lives disappear in the lazy hazy blur of a a distant land ebbing out of focus in the rear view mirror of one long yesterday – If for no other reason, this alone, for me – makes this idea a gem.



10 Steps To Building Your Business with the Lean Launch Marketing Model

In this particular case, we’re looking at building a directory or authority site style business with the lean launch model – BUT, you can apply this approach to anything – by simply asking – “what is the minimum value proposition I need to go live? When is good enough – really, good enough?” I struggle with this idea as much as the next person, as we’ll all hostage, to one degree or another, to the old cliche of – you never get a second chance to make a first impression – and this ethos, unfortunately – keeps many people perpetually planning and optimizing something that could have been live and thriving…..long ago.

You can download the worksheet for this video, here.