Comparison/review and niche topic sites. These sites typically review products for a specific audience type or compare a line of products against their competitors. You could have a mommy blog that compares all of the large brand strollers, a marketing blog reviewing SEO tools, or a lifestyle site that compares organic makeup products. These sites will review products and push that message out through channels such as a blog post, detailed comparison chart, video, and social media.
Thanks Nathalie! And glad to see you came over from AONC 🙂 When done the right way I think affiliate links in context are much less intrusive and offensive than having ads on your sidebar. The average non-tech reader probably wont even know its an affiliate link anyway. So just by doing everything you’ve already been doing, you can switch out links, and probably make a nice side income!
I went from making $20k in 2016 to $100k in 2017 by dropping my web design/SEO clients and doing affiliate marketing/blogging full-time. 90% of my (passive) affiliate income comes from SiteGround, a hosting company who awarded me affiliate of the month in July, 2017 when I made $9k in 1 month. Since then I’ve continued to hit numbers like this – the screenshot below is from March, 2018 when I made $14.5k in 1 month (just with SiteGround).
Theme – you don’t need a special theme for affiliate marketing, you probably just need a blog. I recommend StudioPress themes since that’s what Yoast, Matt Cutts (from Google), and I use. Matt Mullenweg, founder of WordPress also recommends them. One of the biggest mistakes I made was using a theme from Themeforest… since they’re built by independent developers who may stop making updates to their theme. This happened to me and I hear horror stories all the time about people having to switch themes and redesign their entire site. I’ve been using the same StudioPress theme (Outreach Pro) for 3 years. Their themes are lightweight (load fast), SEO-friendly via optimized code, secure, and they have a huge selection of plugins for the Genesis Framework and an awesome community in the Genesis WordPress Facebook Group. They include documentation for setting it up and will serve you for many, many years.
SkimLinks works very similarly to VigLinks in that it is designed for bloggers who don’t want to do a lot of hands-on work to participate in an affiliate program. SkimLinks also works much like VigLinks in that it uses a plugin or script to create dynamic links in your content to send visitors to higher paying offers from merchants. SkimLinks claims to work with over 24,000 merchants/advertisers.
At the time, I had a ton of people reaching out wanting to hire me (I ranked my self #1 in Google for WordPress SEO Consultant, WordPress SEO Expert, many other good keywords). Unfortunately I struggled with basic things you need to run a service-based business… keeping track of clients, time management, and making sure I was charging clients for my time (and getting them to create content which often seemed impossible).
While any “regular” job requires you to be at work to make money, affiliate marketing offers you the ability to make money while you sleep. By investing an initial amount of time into a campaign, you will see continuous returns on that time as consumers purchase the product over the following days and weeks. You receive money for your work long after you’ve finished it. Even when you’re not in front of your computer, your marketing skills will be earning you a steady flow of income.
SEO – I have a full guide on Youtube SEO. You’ll basically want to research a video keyword in YouTube’s Autocomplete dropdown, then craft your video title/description to include your keyword. Write a long description and embed it on your blog to get more views. Create a nice custom thumbnail and make your videos long and thorough, just like your blog posts should be.
MaxBounty works exclusively with digital products, usually about giving one’s email or signing up for a newsletter. MaxBounty has CPA, Pay-per-call, and CPL campaigns that you can choose from. MaxBounty is involved in a large number of verticals, including market research, real estate, social games, finance, dating, and diet, but is primarily designed for marketers seeking to acquire new leads.
CJ Affiliate, which formerly known as Commission Junction, is an online advertising company operating in the affiliate marketing industry. This company is a real deal for affiliates who want to build a serious business online. They have big branded clients including American Airlines, Forever 21, Marc Jacobs, Santa Barbara, Barnes & Noble, and much, much more.
Affiliate Marketing school is necessary to succeed as an affiliate marketer, because it will teach you in the proper sequence of learning. Like anything, you will need to learn the basics first, and build upon each foundational principle that you master. A good affiliate marketing school provides a systematized learning structure, preventing you from becoming overwhelmed or lost. You will be given updated tutorials and courses to study, homework to complete, and tasks to accomplish. The tools of the trade are made available to you for no extra cost, and you will never be alone as ongoing support and mentoring is the central, integral part of the system. The community of affiliate professionals who are there for each other is invaluable, and learning and friendship flourish in this environment. This is far from the isolated, frustrated and confusing struggle that the lone affiliate experiences, as she frantically tries this and that, earning little of value, and spending far too much money.
If you do decide to purchase Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing through my affiliate link, I’ll send you my Google Docs spreadsheet I use to track my passive income each month (affiliate, advertising, eBooks, etc.). It will have the labels, formulas, and everything, and you can customize based on what your income sources are. Just be sure to send a screenshot of your receipt to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get it over to you ASAP! Thank you!
You can make your own decision about which hosting plan to sign up for, but I highly recommend just going with the BASIC plan. If this is your first affiliate marketing website, the basic plan gives you everything you need and you can always upgrade this plan later on. However, if you feel more comfortable with a higher plan, by all means, feel free.
Great stuff here Sean – thanks for all of these insights and sharing some best practices when it comes to affiliate marketing. I’ve never been comfortable giving it a shot, but after reading this post and your perspective on how and when to do it, I may just have to give it a try. Especially considering I’m already mentioning and recommending services and products on my site, I’m just not getting the potential rewards associated with doing so. Thanks again.
So far, you have learned the four parties involved in affiliate marketing, you have seen the examples of some successful affiliate websites and networks, you have also learned the payment and different types of affiliate programs out there, plus, you already know how to become an affiliate or a product vendor, it is now your time to make this work.
I have a question: while searching for the niche, and I think I found one that is pretty good, the search on google (for “high end …….”) didn’t revile any brands. Now, I believe it’s possible that there are not many brands for this niche, but checking it little further, I found that there are some, but it was difficult finding it on amazon and even if I did find the products, they didn’t have many reviews, if there were any.
Previously known as Affiliate Window but now officially referred to as “AWIN” after acquiring Zanox a few years ago, this network claims to work with over 13,000 active advertisers and 100,000 publishers (affiliates). Founded in Germany, AWIN’s merchants primarily hail from Europe (especially Great Britain) although the U.S. network is growing rapidly. AWIN is currently active in 11 countries.
Hosting – I suggest joining the WordPress Hosting and WordPress Speed Up Facebook Group and see what real (unbiased) people are saying about hosting. SiteGround was #1 in multiple Facebook polls and #1 in most Facebook conversations (this one too). People who migrate usually see significant load time improvements especially if they’re currently using Godaddy/EIG. I use their semi-dedicated GoGeek plan which comes with 4x more server resources than regular shared hosting (#1 factor in WordPress Optimization Guide) and have <1s load times with 100% scores in GTmetrix/Pingdom. SiteGround also does free migrations.