If you plan on creating a blog that is going to make you money then you need to do more than just write a blog post. You need to SELL something and affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to do it.
Even though a lot of us go into blogging just to put their thoughts into words many of us are also looking to create a side-income or even full-time income with it to be able to support themselves and their families.
Affiliate marketing is a business opportunity that many people go into because it’s easy to tie it into your blogging business as it has a low threshold of entry with a low startup cost and high profit potential. Even though it does take work and some time it’s very realistic to earn $100,000 a year with affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing is a way of business that companies and individuals all over the world use to sell products on the internet. In short businesses team up with marketers, also known as affiliates, to help them promote their services and products whenever they see it as a good match. Instead the individual (marketer) get’s a commission for the service or every item they sell. To keep it short the companies send you a paycheck if you help them make a sale.
However with the ease of going into this kind of business you can imagine how many people are trying their luck with it. The good news is that the market is huge and those who are willing to do put in the extra hours are probably going to achieve their goals in terms of financial success.
What are the pros of affiliate marketing?
Huge market with opportunities in almost all niches. Depending on your interest there will probably be an affiliate program for it.
The startup cost is next to zero. It’s perfectly possible to make money with affiliate marketing by connecting it with your blog. No need to throw money on ad placements.
By teaming up with companies, websites, other bloggers and brands you are building your reputation, name and authority in the online world.
What are the cons of affiliate marketing?
Affiliate programs can be shut down without notice by the companies that runs them and thus taking away your income.
Commission percentages can change over time as it’s up to the product owner to decide.
Affiliate marketing compensation models
There are different compensation models available between companies and affiliate marketers with different earnings potential.
Let’s look at the most important ones:
Instead of actually selling something you rather convince people to give certain personal information to companies like an email perhaps. Examples of companies that use this method are internet service providers and phone companies.
This is when you sell a product for another company and is the most common type of affiliate marketing. An example of this is when you put an ad on your blog for an Amazon product. When somebody clicks on your ad, goes to Amazon and purchases a product making you a commission.
This generates commission without the need of actively having to sell anything. Instead you generate a commission every time someone clicks an ad on your site regardless if a sale is generated. Usually it’s a few cents but if you have thousands of visitors to your site daily you are able to turn that into decent amount over time.
This method can be very beneficial to the affiliate marketer as he can generate a commission every time an ad is viewed regardless if the potential customer took any action like clicking it. This can be profitable for affiliate marketers that generate a steady amount of pageviews and are looking into an extra form of monetization.
It is of course up to you what kind of affiliate marketing compensation model suits you best but the one that usually make the largest returns are the Pay-per-Lead and Pay-per-Sale compensation agreement. But they are also a little more difficult to utilize successfully.
Get your website going
I’ve aldready gone into how to choose a niche in this blogpost here. After you have read this post it should be easier for you to choose a niche that fits your interest. After doing that you next step should be to create a site (preferably with WordPress) that caters to the audience of your selected niche.
I firmly recommend WordPress as 25 million webpages already run on this platform and it’s just so easy to use. Don’t worry about the wide-spreadness of this platform – you will have no problem creating unique content to differentiate yourself from the crowd. There are also countless templates available that you can customize to make your site unique. Combine that with all the plugins out there you start to see that customizing your site is a breeze.
After your site is up you have to start thinking about what kind of content you are going to be putting out to your audience. Even though your main content should be about selling products or services you should also mix it up with some entertaining and informative stuff so your website doesn’t get too “salesy”. Many marketers even just focus 20% their content on selling stuff and 80% on just entertaining them with some other stuff. That is a great way to get people to like you and trust you without pitching them all the time.
New website visitors usually decide in about three seconds or less if they like what they see, so you can see how important the visual layout of your site will be. It’s very important if you want to make it in affiliate marketing that the user experience of your site is good and thus you should put some effort into finding a theme for your site that is simple and has clear call-to-action buttons. Made simple, the site should make it very easy for the visitor to find the things he is looking for.
Having the best looking website is not enough though will not get you far though is you don’t optimize your site for search engines. This is key if you wish to get organic traffic from search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo. They all use similar techniques to match website results with search queries. They send little bots (or so called spiders) which are automated programs all over the internet with the purpose of taking notes on as many different web pages as possible. They are then used when people perform a search on these details.
SEO basically make the job easier for these programs or bots to do their job. The better your site is optimized the further up it will rank in the search results from the search engines.
Most affiliate marketers stick with high-ticket items or low-ticket items to find the success they are looking for.
Low-ticket items are usually priced up to $47 and takes less effort in convincing people to buy leading to a high number in commissions. Using this method affiliate marketers are able to sell hundreds of items monthly and making up to around $5,000 per month.
While that is no small amount for most people, in the same time period the high-ticket affiliate would have sold only a fraction of the number of the low-ticket affilate while still walking away with more for the overall month.
In the old days people were scared of buying things on the internet – especially things that cost more. That has changed an now people are buying things online that cost $10,000 or more.
Thought there are fewer people that are willing to spend this much money than there are those who are looking to spend $10, the difference is not as big as most people think.
You see, people are already buying things like washing machines, jewelry and even cars online. So if you have a high-ticket product you have to find the potential buyers that are not just interested in it, but really hungry for it.
To find them you have to do some reverse-engineering. Try to analyze the product you have in hand and work backwards to determine what is the most relevant niche and what is the target audience that is most likely to me interested in it. Try to find out what they really want, their ultimate desires, struggles, problems and what they think would be the solution to them. Dig into demographics and study location, sex, income, language etc. The more you can define your target-buyer the easier it will be to market to them and convince them to buy your product.
What it all comes down to in the end in my opinion is engaging content. Your blog will be one of the most valuable marketing tools for your affiliate marketing business. It opens a channel of communication and gives you the chance of gaining the trust of your potential customers.
Whatever route you take in your affiliate marketing (high- or low-ticket) you should publish constantly engaging and valuable content.