This is Part 2 of a 2 part series. You can read Part 1 here.
In the first installment of this making money online series, we discussed the absolute basics of affiliate marketing. Consider it a very, very basic overview. Now let's start talking more about becoming an affiliate and how you can make a living on the internet.
So first let's discuss what we've already learned in the last part of our series, just so we can truly understand what's going on. Our goal is to get people to our sites and then get those people (traffic) to click on our Affiliate links. We want to use our content to explain the product well and build some rapport with the reader/viewer/lurker. We also want to get them to give us their emails, as we can then use those emails to make more money later when we send out emails or newsletters.
Our first order of Business is to understand traffic. Now traffic to our site can be anything from a person who arrives on our site because they searched for something on Google, or maybe someone linked to our site on Twitter or Facebook. But we can also create paid advertisements, too. There's a lot of ways for us to get this traffic, but first let's start with Search Engine traffic.
Search Engine traffic can be one of two things:
- Organic Traffic - someone did a search for something and saw our website in the Results pages.
- Paid Traffic - someone did a search for something and saw our advertisement on the very top or to the side of the Results pages.
Search Engines like Google have to make money, and most of their money comes from Google Adwords, which is their advertising platform. For many Affiliates - Adwords can be a bit tricky. This is because so many affiliates running 'scammy' offers have ruined it for so many of us. Technically, it was Google's fault for allowing it (they loved the advertising money before the complaints!), but these offers that these affiliates were running, as well as their very 'scammy' sites, were the true reason we now have to play games with Google to get our ads accepted.
Google, no matter what type traffic you want to get, wants us to play by their rules, and it's completely understandable. It's their business and we're all just piggybacking off of it. They don't want us to destroy their business, so we must play by the rules they've enforced. They want quality sites/landing pages (we'll discuss what these are shortly) that have quality content that their customers (Google users) will truly enjoy.
So let's discuss quality. For most of you, this may sound obvious. I mean really, who would want to spend time making bad content? Unfortunately, a lot of people create low quality content for many reasons and then there's those who simply aren't good at expressing themselves. High quality content is something that you should always focus on when it comes to your websites. Having many pages with a lot of good quality articles/pages is what will keep your readers coming back. Think about it, if you can teach someone to do something or find something they need/desire, they will most likely spend money with you, right? If you go looking at cars and the salesperson is not very helpful, yet he's urging you to "sit down and talk about price," you're probably going to be a bit reluctant to do so. However, if you get lucky enough to talk to a salesperson who spends his time explaining everything he knows about that car and answering every question you have, you will most likely feel comfortable (and even obliged in some circumstances) to sit down and discuss pricing.
Your goal is to build a rapport with your readers or viewers (I may use "readers" a bit much, I apologize to anyone who may want to create videos or podcasts) so that they'll either click your links or sign up for the service you recommend, using your links. You may also be able to get a lot of newsletter/email signup's for your "list" (we'll discuss this shortly). Keep this in mind when you're creating your content.
One thing that you will probably notice in this series is how I refer to a "list." This list is simply an email list that you will be building up using services such as Aweber, Mailchimp (not very affiliate friendly) or iContact (or whichever service you may want to try). Personally, I use Aweber and I love it. When building these lists you will want to create either one for each site or one for each niche. I tend to use a brand new list for each one of my sites so that it's easier to market to those exact readers of that exact community. I'm very picky that way, but you can do it however you choose. We'll discuss List Building soon, but for now we'll continue with more basic stuff.
Over the course of your affiliate career you will be exposed to many "tricks" and "tips" about how to get more traffic, using various SEO (Search Engine Optimization) "methods" (the quotes are sarcasm, I apologize for the overuse) that can do more harm than good on quality sites. Remember this when you make choices that can affect your website long-term. Keep things simple and write and create for your readers, the people who are making you money. Your long-term goal is to make money, not get #1 rankings for a few weeks. We'll dig into Search Engine Optimization in the next part of our series, but just remember this part for later.
Now that we have a better understanding of quality content, let's discuss a bit more about making the sale.
"The most valuable commodity in the world is information" - Gordon Gekko from the movie Wall Street
Our readers or viewers come to our sites for information. They will pay for information if they have to, but we're going to give our information away in exchange for something...a sale or signup to our list (or both). If you give them what they want they will give you what you want. I can assure you of this.
Let's say that we've created a site about Pogo Sticks. We may not get a lot of traffic, but that's OK. We've built the site quickly and we know it will be around for many years to come. Our content will be all about Pogo sticks, including the best brands available. We have approximately 12 pages of content if you include our terms of service and contact pages. It's nothing fancy and it took about 3 days to build, yet it may end up making us 10's of thousands of dollars worth of commissions over the next few years if our content is great, we have plenty of CTA's (Calls To Action, otherwise known as links, ie "click here") and all of our links work. Yes, always make sure your links are functioning correctly!
Side note: I'm not suggesting that a site about Pogo Sticks will make 10's of thousands of dollars. It may not even make $1. It was simply an example. Please don't blame me if your pogostickreview site doesn't make you money. If you do, I will have a laugh at your expense (sorry in advance).
Well, that should do for this part of the series. Let's head into part 3 of the series and discuss Search Engine Optimization and List Building!