Making money with affiliate marketing requires work. There was once a time, when the web was new and even a relatively poor site could garner a lot of traffic, that affiliate marketing was as easy as just signing up. Those days are gone now and competition is stiff. Making money with affiliate marketing requires hard work, especially at the beginning, but the good news is that money can still be made online and it you can get up and running quickly. Here are some ways to ensure that you start making money right out of the gate.
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Because affiliate marketing is going to require a good deal of time, especially at the beginning, it is important that you choose a topic that interests you. Don’t pick something because you think it will make money. Pick a topic that interests you and the money will follow.
The web is so large today that it is possible to make money on just about any topic. No matter what you choose to cover, you will find a product and affiliate scheme to complement it. If you choose a topic that interests you, then you will write better content, produce better videos, and have a more engaging website than if you choose a topic of only passing interest. The world is a large and diverse place, so don’t worry that there won’t be enough people interested in your topic. As the saying goes, “if you build it, they will come.” On the web, that means building a great site with great content.
It is fine to write reviews about the products you promote. It is encouraged even. That being said, make sure that your review is honest. You need to genuinely represent the product you are promoting, which means pointing out its flaws as well as its qualities. If you focus only on the good to the exclusion of the bad, then people will distrust what you have to say and abandon your website. Affiliate marketing thrives on credibility.
For example, I have a website that reviews dog food. If you click on the dog food reviews on that site, you will notice that all of my reviews are high quality, detailed, and as unbiased as possible. There are both positive reviews as well as negative reviews, plus some dog food brands that are rated in the middle. The only dog food brands I rate highly are truly brands I would feed to my own dog (and I love my dog… seriously). I am able to do this because I use the Amazon Associates affiliate program so it doesn’t really matter what people buy – I profit either way. Check out my little promotional video below…
If you write honest reviews, you will get something that SEO can’t provide, good word-of-mouth. Having good recommendations passed from friend to friend is important for every product, but it can really make or break a niche site. If you pick your niche well and create a reliable site that is full of good information, then you can be sure that the first people to come across your site will spread the word to their friends. The word-of-mouth effect is great because it compounds. In other words, one friend tells two friends and then those two each tell two more and so forth. The pattern continues until you saturate the market and become king of the niche.
Social media serves two critical functions that you can’t do without. First, social media is a way to promote your content and engage with consumers more directly. People can read your content and watch your videos, but they also want to engage with you on a personal level, particularly if they have feedback (positive or negative). Believe it or not, social media is a great way to add a personal touch to what you do.
Just as important as connecting with consumers is the fact that social media can improve your search engine rank. All search engines, Google included, use social media output in their ranking algorithms. The tweets and Facebook posts you have, the better your ranking will be. Think of it this way. If you can get people to tweet about your site, they are not only directly spreading information, they are also boosting your search rank. It’s a two-for-one deal!
Build a List
Here’s the truth. The best money for affiliate marketing is in your subscriber list. Loyal customers who like your content will not only keep coming back for more, they will want to do their part to help you out by buying products through your site rather than directly from the manufacturer. For your most loyal fans, build a subscriber list and use it, but don’t abuse it.
Use the subscriber list to not only inform customers about new topics and deals, but also to give them access to really great savings that you don’t put out to the general masses. Let your subscribers know how important they are to you by treating them to special deals.
Upselling is perhaps the greatest way to make more money and it is easiest to do with existing, established customers who know and trust you. Upselling is not about selling people things that they don’t need, it is about convincing customers that there is added value in a better product. Treat your loyal customers well by selling them your best products at your best prices.
Ask for Freebies
If you can get your affiliate partners to provide you with free products, then you can pass those on to customers. These can be actual products, promotion codes, or even access to limited-time offers. In some cases, companies will only dole out freebies to established affiliates, but if you can convince them that it will help launch your site and therefore bring them more business, they are likely to bite.
Produce More Content
Hitting the nail on the head in terms of producing great, engaging content is hard to do. However, hitting a nail on the head when you are pounding dozens or hundreds is bound to happen as a result of chance alone. In other words, the chances of you producing outstanding, popular content increase as the amount of content you create increases.
Now, you have to produce good content each time or the exercise will be for nothing. That said, the point remains that producing more content is a great way to ensure that you engage with customers and that you keep customers. The more you produce, the more chances you have for others to link to your site (backlinks), which will boost your search ranking and improve traffic. As always, content is king.
Driving the Point Home
If you want to make money fast with affiliate marketing, start with a niche topic that you care passionately about. Once you have that down, get your affiliate partners lined up and start creating content. Write blogs, post articles, create reviews, and optimize your website. Once you start making money, don’t just sit back and rest on your laurels, go after more by building email lists, creating a social media storm, and doling out any freebies you can get your hands on.