Can you Make REAL Money with Affiliate Marketing?
Ah, the mysterious and sometimes black art of affiliate marketing… the well kept secret of the most successful Internet marketers.
Many people have tried and failed to make any money online with affiliate marketing… usually because they give up way too quickly. Fact is, affiliate marketing takes some up front effort to get optimized and working right, but when it’s working, life is very, very good.
Most bloggers only use Google AdSense to monetize their sites. AdSense is a great revenue option, but affiliate marketing can easily bring in double your AdSense revenue, WITHOUT impacting your AdSense earnings.
What’s more, the work you put into developing a good affiliate marketing strategy will pay off for months and years to come. You only do the work once, and it keeps on giving! Now that’s working smarter, not harder.
Passive income, and Blog Monetization Zen.
The best kept secret of affiliate marketing…. Shhhhh!
The biggest secret to successful affiliate marketing is this… It’s all about the pre-sale.
Putting up banners and links will get you some conversions – if you’re lucky. But if that’s your main attempt at affiliate marketing, then it’s a big waste of your time and effort.
People visiting your site (your readers, web visitors) are looking for information. And if you’re doing your job well and putting together great information, then your articles and reviews will be indexed and well ranked by the search engines – making it THAT much easier for these searchers to find your site instead of someone else’s. The more search engine traffic you’re getting, the better.
This is because people WHO ARE MOSTLY READY TO BUY search for reviews and articles about their products of choice. Sometimes they want to see their options for a product category, but often times they just want to justify to themselves why it’s OK to buy that product they really want.
So – they want to see an honest, objective review of a product before they buy it. They want your personal seal of approval. So find great products, provide and honest review with benefits and weaknesses, recommend the product, and offer affiliate links to purchase them.
But what if you don’t like the product you’re recommending? Is that dishonest? Will it still work?
A question plaguing most beginners with affiliate marketing… “Isn’t it dishonest to recommend something you don’t like?”
Of course it’s dishonest to recommend something you don’t actually believe in. And here’s a little secret. If you write a dishonest review, your readers will pick up on that, and they’ll probably move on and NOT buy using your affiliate links.
So here’s a radical solution. Focus on doing reviews and writing articles for products that you LIKE and can actually RECOMMEND.
Where to find the BEST affiliate products to promote
You know your niche inside and out, don’t you? If not, go back to the drawing board and learn it!
To make thousands of dollars every month in passive income from your blog, your information must be top notch, and for that you have to be an authority on your topic. It’s that simple.
OK, so now that you have an idea about what types of products MIGHT be interesting to your niche, you set out to find the best performing products. No, not just any products… you want to find the ones that are performing well for others, and you start there. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel.
ClickBank tips and tricks – how to start making money today
ClickBank is a huge marketplace for selling digital products. And it has the easiest to use affiliate program out there. You literally just sign up, search for products to promote by keyword, and get the code to promote them on your site.
You can also see how much you’ll get for every sale, and what percentage of the sale amount that is. Hint – - don’t look for the larger total price, but rather the program that offers you the highest percentage of each sale.
The downside: ClickBank has the worst stats tracking of any affiliate network out there. They don’t show you how many clicks you’ve sent to a product, which can be really frustrating. They only tell you when you’ve made a sale, and how much you made. This approach also doesn’t allow for testing to make sure your links are good. But alas, it’s basically a must for any serious affiliate marketer. So go sign up for ClickBank and find some products to promote.
Comission Junction is another top affiliate network. It provides great stats for clicks sent, and also gives you great comparative numbers on how much others are really earning for sales across all merchants.
But their products are generally not as juicy as those on ClickBank. Nevertheless, sign up for Comission Junction as well to round out your list of affiliate products, and find yourself some well converting products to try out.
Other affiliate marketing networks and programs
There are some other affiliate networks out there that are worth paying attention to, but it’s very important to not spread yourself too thin. Do your research and find the programs you’ll be focusing on, and go from there.
SharePayNow vs. Clickbank
Another affiliate network similar to ClickBank that’s starting to gain some ground is SharePayNow.
This network is very similar to ClickBank, but unlike ClickBank, it DOES show you how many clicks you’ve sent to a campaign – which is always nice. However, unlike ClickBank, it doesn’t show you which programs in their marketplace are converting and how well. But SharePayNow is definitely worth checking out when you’re choosing products to promote on your site.
AzoogleAds vs. LinkShare – alternate affiliate networks
If you’re looking for some banner ads to check out, you’ll need to find an affiliate program that provides those. AzoogleAds and LinkShare are both large affiliate networks that are worth checking out.
But there’s a big difference, and having dealt with both we’ll be avoiding LinkShare in the future. LinkShare feels like a large, sluggish company, while AzoogleAds is young and on the ball. The AzoogleAds support is great, and you get your own very responsive dedicated account manager that’s actually eager to work with you and help you find well converting campaigns for your site. Wow, imagine that.
Here’s a major difference though – AzoogleAds tends to offer well paying promotions for affiliates, which pay out significantly better than their counterparts on LinkShare.
Check out AzoogleAds and see which of their promotions could work for you.
The Amazon affiliate program
And of course, the most popular affiliate program of all time, the Amazon affiliate program.
For some truly bizarre reason, the Amazon affiliate program is one of the most popular and successful affiliate programs in the history of Internet marketing.
Maybe it’s because it’s downright easy to set up Amazon affiliate links for your site, and start making a little money. More likely, it’s because we all BUY books and other products from Amazon regularly, so we’re comfortable with it. And we know that others buy from Amazon as well.
Here’s the catch though. Amazon pays you roughly 5% of the revenues you generate for them. That is lower than just about ANY website and blog monetization scheme out there.
While it is another monetization option, there are just too many other better options with much higher payouts.
Knowing this, should you still sign up for the Amazon affiliate program?
Yes, you should definitely still sign up for this program. You will eventually either refer to or actually review various books on your website. These books will likely not have direct affiliate options, so the only way to monetize these referrals will be through a quick link to the Amazon product page.
Also, that Amazon affiliate link is a great way to provide your reader more information on the book you’re talking about, and make it easy for your readers to purchase the book.
For an example of the Amazon product preview pop-up, check out this post on AskDanAndJennifer.com answering a reader question about steamy date night DVDs – hover over the DVD titles.
So go ahead and sign up to the Amazon affiliate program as well, but don’t spend a lot of time putting up their banners and other sales tools. Instead, us this as a laser focused way to monetize reviews and references to popular books that you include in your articles.
And suddenly you have ONE MORE revenue source paying you every month…
The eBay affiliate program and AuctionAds
Yeah, the whole “make money with eBay” thing was and still is a great opportunity for some, but it’s become more of a fad. Starting a blog is a solid way to make long term income – just for doing some writing on stuff you actually like and care about. Imagine that!
Unlike Amazon, eBay shows some serious lovin’ for it’s affiliates. In fact, in June 2007, eBay nearly doubled it’s affiliate payout amounts. That’s some serious affiliate lovin’.
eBay pays you both a flat reward for each referral you send them (a customer who creates an eBay account and eventually buys something) and also a percentage of the sales generated from the referrals you send them. Now that’s pretty cool.
What’s the best way to add eBay listings to your site and make money?
Until recently, it’s been a challenge to add eBay listings to your site in a visually appealing way, so as to really get your visitors engaged. But AuctionAds makes it very easy to do this, with their easy to customize widgets. You can customize the ad unit on their site, copy the little code snippet, and add it to your site. Done – you’ve got eBay auction ads.
Can you make more money with eBay by using AuctionAds?
YES! The eBay affiliate program is tiered to pay you a lot more money as a high traffic affiliate. So if you have a lot of sales and referrals every month, you make much more PER REFERRAL than someone with just a few sales / referrals per month.
By joining AuctionAds, your commissions are based on the entire AuctionAds member base, not just your own sales. So each referral and sale you generate are compensated as a very high traffic affiliate. Again, this is working smarter, not harder. Sign up for AuctionAds to add eBay auctions to your site – and make money as a high traffic eBay affiliate.
Adult affiliate programs – web cam girls, kinky adult personals, and more… Oh, my!
Wait a minute – is there really money to be made in the adult industry?
Where’ve YOU been? Oh yeah, most definitely. Where there’s demand (as in 50% of all the web traffic today), there’s money to be made.
OK kids, everyone who’s going to be offended here please cover your eyes and skip this section like good boys and girls.
What’s the best adult affiliate program to get started with?
One of the most successful and best paying affiliate programs in “the business” is ClickCash. They’ve been around since the mid 1990′s. Their iFriends site connects people with webcams (a.k.a. cam girls, or “content producers”) with web surfers (a.k.a. “consumers”). They provide web cam streams for every possible sexual interest that might have enough consumers who posses credit cards. And they provide a way for many content producers to make a LOT of money from the privacy of their own homes.
And get this… you actually make $40 for every FREE signup you send them. These referrals only have to sign up with them and provide a valid credit card, but they’re not charged anything. This person is signing up for a free membership, and they’re asked for their credit card to “verify their age”.
Admittedly, getting a credit card is indeed a more accurate way of verifying adulthood than asking your visitors to “click here if you’re over 18″.
Anyway, their profit margins are so high, that they will pay you $40 or more (up to $80) per sign-up you send them. And the pay scale is graduated – for more than 5 referrals in a week, you get $45 each, and it goes up to $80 per FREE referral.
Oh, and if you get other affiliates to sign up, you’ll receive an extra 10% for all the money THEY make. So, you refer your friend who gets 10 conversions next month. That’s $400 for him and $40 for you more than you’re making now. Think of it as a gift for referring your friend to such a successful affiliate program.
So if you’re a little adventurous and open minded, sign up with ClickCash and start making cash for sending FREE signups to ClickCash and iFriends.
But what about adult personals sites, like Adult Friend Finder?
An adult personals site is an excellent complement to promoting ClickCash streaming video sites. Providing more options for your visitors is Always a good thing.
Adult Friend Finder is the most popular adult personals site on the Internet today. What many people don’t realize is that AdultFriendFinder gets more web visitors every day than Match.com, eHarmony, and Yahoo Personals put together. Hmmmm… perhaps there’s money to be made in this niche anyway.
Adult Friend Finder pays between $30 and $85 for EACH paid membership you send them, depending on the promotion they’re running at any given time.
But remember – unlike ClickCash, these visitors need to actually buy something. Regardless, the conversions here are much better than traditional non-adult online dating sites.
Must have affiliate marketing tools
Don’t waste your time and money fumbling around in the dark. You can so easily waste too much of your already scarce time and energy. You should be spending that time laser-focused on doing the things that will MAKE YOU MONEY!