Affiliate MarketingYou can become an affiliate for other entrepreneurs’ products, reaping a commission for every purchase made by the people you refer.

Be one of those discriminating affiliates who looks for strong incentives, well-run programs and rewards for performance. Recommend products that delight your own subscribers, and earn cash commissions for doing so.

Affiliate marketing with you as the affiliate is not the easiest road, unless you follow a proven system, have an affinity for it and really enjoy it; and you are prepared to invest time in your link promotion – and patience.

You can share affiliate links in a variety of ways

  • Start a review blog and review products your niche would be interested in (that don’t compete directly with yours – products that make yours work even better are particularly good). Become an affiliate for every product you review – even the ones you criticize – and be sure to include your affiliate link in your review. (Why would you want to include an affiliate link to a product you’ve panned? Well, the very features or qualities that make it a “miss” for you could be exactly the ones your reader is looking for. And it’s so okay to make some money in exchange for your review time!)
  • Start a blog promoting a particular product or type of product. To do this effectively, you don’t just blog about the product: You blog about the topicyour affiliate product relates to.For example, if you are promoting a line of skin care products, blog about subjects such as:
    • Wrinkles
    • Under-eye darkness
    • Stretch marks
    • Ageing skin
    • Skin tips
    • The importance of diet
    • The importance of water
    • The importance of sunscreen
    • Facts about tanning
    • Smoking – and how it affects your skin
    • Skin cancer – and how to prevent it

…And so forth.

  • Many people run dozens or even hundreds of “niche blogs” promoting everything from bubble gum machines to Santa statues, and most make very small amounts per blog. The key is in sheer numbers of blogs, but often it is a lot of hard work for small returns. This used to be the main way people would promote their affiliate links, but Google has really leaned heavily on “low value” blogs that are little more than excuses to display links. Plus you have to invest in other methods of driving people to your blogs – organic traffic alone just won’t cut it, no matter how good your SEO (search engine optimization).
  • Another strategy: Amazon mini-sites. There’s a right way and a wrong way to set these up…
    • Choose goods to promote that cost over $100
    • Provide high quality, original material
    • Dedicate the blog to the type of product you are an affiliate for Compare several types of the same sort of product
    • Provide extra value – not just blog posts but stats, spreadsheets, test results, etc.
    • Keep blogs updated
    • Avoid Amazon widgets (they don’t seem to work well): Instead, put Amazon buttons and contextual links directly on each page or in your sidebar (top-right corner seems to do particularly well)
    • Include a call to action right in the Amazon button
    • Include reasons why people should consider buying from Amazon (the benefits!)
    • Be honest, subjective, sincere

Here’s an example of a highly successful site that generates over $2000 per month. The owner has also used the Review Blog format for her site – a highly effective strategy, if you do it sincerely and properly.

Whatever affiliate marketing method you decide to use, be aware that it is now law to have a disclaimer or disclaimer page on every site you own, stating that you are an affiliate and receiving commissions:

Top affiliates look for products to promote that are higher value or guaranteed high sales volume. They also look for perks such as lifetime cookies, rewards and bonuses for performance and other incentives.

Find top affiliate marketers such as Rosalind Gardner and Lynne Terry, and study their articles and methods.

The hard work with affiliate marketing is all in the beginning, creating your blogs and mini-sites and driving traffic. But after that, with a good system of regular maintenance (that doesn’t even have to be done by you – you can outsource it), your affiliate blogs and mini-sites can bring you a nice little “second income”.

Make affiliate marketing work for you – both as an affiliate manager, and as an affiliate yourself.

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