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10 Surprising Reasons Why You Should Become an Authority Affiliate Marketer

by Steve Scott | Join Him On Facebook

Become an Authority Affiliate MarketerA few days back I wrote that I’m no longer building niche sites.

Instead I’ve decided to spent 100% of my time building authority affiliate businesses.

Some people wonder why becoming an authority affiliate marketer is the best way to go.  There are many reasons why it’s the #1 online business.  Today I’ll give you ten.

You might be surprised by some of these answers because they go against the advice you get from most “Internet gurus”…

Reason #1 – You Avoid the “Trap” of Niche Sites

First it was the Google Panda.  Next it was the Penguin.  Soon, we’ll see the Honey Badger.

All of Google’s updates are designed with one thing in mind – To get rid of overly optimized, “thin” websites.

Many affiliate marketers have taken a serious hit to their business from these algorithm changes.  Some people are even back to square one – Trying to figure out how to start a new business.

The primary advantage of an authority affiliate business is you don’t depend on search engine rankings.  In fact, many successful entrepreneurs have built money-making sites without getting Google traffic.

Reason #2 – You Can Focus on ONE Business

Managing multiple websites is stressful.  This is especially true if you’re writing the content by yourself.

You don’t have this problem with an authority affiliate business.

A singular focus provides the best long-term value to you and your readers.  Awhile back, I wrote a post called One Niche to Rule Them All.  My primary point was that focus brings you to the top of Maslow’s Four Stages of Learning.  Eventually you will reach the point of Unconscious Competence:

Maslow's Stages of LearningUnconscious competence is the best game in town.  Talk confidently enough about a topic and you’ll build a loyal fan base.   Ultimately this means more money in your pocket.

Reason #3 – You Have Lazy Competition

Sad, but true…Your competition is lazy.  Most dream of the “4 Hour Workweek” and earning passive income.  Not many are willing to work hard to build a lasting affiliate business.

Lazy competition means there are still lots of opportunities in every market.  All you have to do is find a passion-filled niche and have something meaningful to say.

Reason #4 – You Can Reuse Content

This one is my personal favorite :-)

You’ll create a lot of content as an authority affiliate marketer.  Yes this requires some effort on your part.  But here’s the good news…  You can take existing content and use it to experience exponential growth.

Nowadays it’s possible to build an audience on multiple platforms.  You can post content in many places without overwhelming the same members of your audience.

Example:  Let’s say you have a blog full of great content.  There are countless ways to recycle these articles for a maximum return on your time investment.

You could take content and:

  • Create a lead magnet report to build an email list.
  • Create a special report PDF to give away to list subscribers.
  • Sell as an Amazon Kindle book.
  • Break apart short tip articles to use as status updates on Twitter.
  • Break apart long tip articles to use as status updates on Google+ and Facebook.
  • Use as a template for a YouTube video or podcast
  • Rework into a guest post for a blog in a related, but different niche
  • Edit/submit to popular article directories
  • Use as a lesson in your autoresponder series.
  • Turn it into a premium, downloadable product.  (Brankica just did this!)

Leveraging content is the best way to get the most out of your time.  All you have to do is create a post one time and you can reuse it in a variety of ways.

Reason #5 – You Avoid Information Overload

There is a lot of “noise” in the affiliate marketing space.  Thousands of gurus will want you to join their list and buy their products.  It’s only natural to feel overwhelmed by the variety of affiliate marketing offers.

The reality is most Internet marketing products are written for the “get rich quick” market.  So you can easily ignore these offers and sleep like a baby at night because…

…Authority affiliate marketers build lasting businesses – Not get rich quick schemes.  (Tweet This!)

Reason #6 – You Save Money

You also save a ton of money as an authority affiliate.  In reality, you don’t need much of an initial investment to get started.  There’s about a $70.99 initial investment with an optional $97 on my favorite tool.

Here’s how it breaks down.

  • $10.99 for domain registration on Name.com
  • $60 for a lead magnet eCover image using Elance.com {estimated}
  • $97 for an Optimize Press squeeze page theme {optional}

Then you’d spend $25.36 every month:

You can literally start a long-term business for under a $100.  This is way better than the niche site strategy because there is no need to invest in tools designed to “trick Google.”

Reason #7 – You Get a Variety of Web Traffic

Most niche businesses are solely depend on search engine traffic.  That means you lose some (or all) income whenever Google slaps your site with a penalty.

An authority affiliate site doesn’t have that problem.  Yes, you want search engine traffic.  But you can also get traffic by:

  • Writing guest posts
  • Commenting on blogs
  • Networking with niche authority leaders
  • Recording podcasts
  • Creating YouTube videos
  • Submitting content to article directories
  • Posting comments on niche forums
  • Building relationships over Facebook and Google+
  • Compiling small books for iBooks and Amazon Kindle
  • Writing press releases

Search engine optimization is no longer the #1 game in town.  There are many ways to build an audience without sucking up to Google.

Reason #8 – You Get More Personal Enjoyment

From January (2012) to March, I created many web properties in my “Niche Experiment.”  I have sites about:

  • Football jerseys
  • Creating rap beats
  • Getting guys to propose marriage
  • iPad 3 Covers
  • Receipt scanners
  • Surviving a zombie apocalypse (seriously)

You know what’s interesting?

I could give a rat’s ass about the content on any of these sites.  I put them together because they could make money; not because I liked the topic.  {The exception is the zombie site.  Who doesn’t love zombies?}

Most authority affiliate sites come from personal passion.  These are the topics you’d talk about even if they didn’t make money.

Having a passion for a specific market goes a long way towards building an audience.  You’ll be excited while creating content.  The end result is your personal brand will stand out from the competition.

Reason #9 – You Build a (Semi) Automated System

The best way to take an authority business to the next level is to create systems.  You want to create processes for everything you do online.

For instance, I have a system for:

  • Writing blog posts
  • Interacting on social media
  • Responding to emails
  • Sending autoresponders and broadcast messages
  • Generating long-term web traffic
  • Creating sources of long-term income

Why is it important to have a system?

It comes down to outsourcing {or Microsourcing as I like to call it.}  With a system, it’s easy to outsource mindless and routine tasks.  This will free up more time that can be spent on mission critical activities.

It’s classic 80/20.  Less time on low quality activities means more time to work on the big money makers.

Reason #10 – You Make More Money

In this post, I talked about how I generated $3,048.75 from niche sites in 2012.  What I didn’t discuss was how I spent over 100 hours working on these sites.  Plus my brother worked twice as long.  That means we generated $10 per hour of work.  {$3,000 / 300 hours = $10 per hour} 

On the other hand, I sent one email on March 15th that has generated $2,161.08.

Clickbank Affiliate Offer for an Email ListEven better – This email was part of an affiliate continuity offer.  That means each month I’ll make additional income.

This single email took a whopping total of ten minutes to write.  This works out to $12,966.48 per hour.

So do the math: $10 per hour vs. $12,966.48 per hour

As an authority affiliate marketer you can literally print money on demand.  Simply find a quality offer and tell followers why they should check it out.  But always remember what Uncle Ben said in Spiderman (or Voltaire if you prefer):

With great power comes great responsibility

How to Get Started as an Authority Affiliate Marketer

It’s getting harder and harder to create niche sites that build long-term wealth.  Google is closing the books on this strategy.

Your best bet is to make the move towards becoming an authority affiliate marketer.  Hopefully this post gave you enough reasons why.

So what should you do next?

My advice is to focus on creating an authority site that really matters.  You can learn how to do this by checking my newsletter about six-figure affiliate marketing.  Here you’ll get advanced lessons on what I personally do to make money as an affiliate.

Now…

I’ve probably forgotten a number of reasons why you should focus on authority site building.  So it’s your turn.  Comment in the box below and talk about what YOU are doing to build a single, long-term affiliate business.

Or feel free to tell me that I’m full of it.  It’s your choice :-)

Please respond below.

Take Action. Get Results.




P.S. Struggling with your Kindle books? Don't know how to get started on Amazon? Looking to generate an additional stream of income?

If so, click here to grab my free report "44 Answers to YOUR Kindle Publishing Questions"


{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

Marcus

Thank you for putting a name on this ideal business model! “Authority affiliate marketing.” I’ve read about the other type of affiliate marketing, where guys are constantly promoting new offers, building new landing pages, and running new ad campaigns. I knew that wasn’t for me.

What I wanted was to build a website around topics I was passionate and knowledgeable about–yet were useful to others. Creating content would become a joy instead of a drudge. I’d choose offers based around what would be most helpful to my audience. Earn money with a clean conscience.

There was a fascinating thread on Reddit about a guy who earns hundreds of thousands a year online:
“IAmA guy who owns a website publishing business, works from home, and earns $600,000 – $900,000 per year.”
http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/dqq2o/iama_guy_who_owns_a_website_publishing_business/

He monetizes through contextual advertising. The guy lists which ad networks he uses somewhere in there. Do a “Ctrl + F” and search for “video egg” to get that list.

However, I think his content publishing business could have easily made money with affiliate marketing too.

Really enjoy your articles, Steve. Your monster piece on Fiverr as the ultimate link building service was one of the best SEO articles I’ve ever seen.

Reply

Steve Scott

Marcus,

Thanks for the link, I read through some of the comments and answers (certainly not all 382 of them). Yes, although his model of monetizing is a little different, I really get the feeling his sites are definitely centered around what I would consider authority sites. No one reputable is going to pay for advertising on a thin niche site.

I like the idea of earning money with a clear conscience. I am sure you can still make money playing in the grey and black areas. Maybe even make money “quicker”. But long term I really feel that being open and aboveboard is the way to go. As you build, up your name and reputation becomes your brand and can really help you to launch new products and services effectively.

Thanks for the comment, Have a great weekend!

Reply

fran the online writer

Today reminded me of the time when I was focused on blog commenting, to do that I visited your site and found loads of information that can take a newbie marketer to Intermediate and advanced income maker. Your blog is becoming more and informative and espacially the current post is very inviting. I like the title. It was yesterday only I was reading on an authority blog that authority affiliate marketing does not work very well at times. But my perception of affiliate marketing is the same as yours that authority affiliate marketing must work for a well focused business, it is easier to work on list building, and apply traffic and similar other aspects of the business required. Your strategies for authority affiliate marketing do impact the brain to follow it. A good read.

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Steve Scott

Thanks for dropping by again Fran!

I would say that my feeling is that affiliate marketing works better on an authority site than on asite that is not an authority site. But there is an exception to that: you have to take care in your offers. On a fly-by-night niche site you can offer anything and not have it damage your reputation (not that IO would recommend that…but it is the truth). But on a authority site you need to vet your offers to a highter degree and only bring up the ones that are quality.

Thanks for dropping by again! Nice to see you! :) Have a great weekend and week!

Reply

Devesh

Those 10 reasons are enough for affiliate marketers to know that authority sites work way better then niche ones.

Building an authority sites takes a lot of efforts, producing high quality content and trying different marketing strategies.

Thanks for sharing this fantastic post with us.

-Dev

Reply

Steve Scott

Thanks Dev! Glad you liked it!

Have a wonderful weekend!

-Steve

Reply

paul wolfe

Steve

Good post.

First: where’s the zombie site? Seriously – who doesn’t love zombies? I definitely want to go see that! (What a freaking great niche!)

Second: I believe you’ve misnamed the ‘model.’ Because it’s not just an ‘affiliate’ model – you’ve got people creating their own products (PDFs, Reports, Kindle stuff).

Third: I think the model works to test out a niche/market area. What that starts to become lucrative via affiliate stuff, then my advice would be to start ramping up the level of profitability via creating your own products.

Fourth: The competition IS lazy. That needs hammering home to people. In a lot of niches you only need to get to the top 10 or 15% of that niche to start generating a decent income. And you’re almost guaranteed to get to that point if you identify what your competition is too lazy to do, and then go do THAT.

Personally I’m hoping that the days of ‘thin, 5 to 10 page niches sites’ are not gone yet….because the ‘lazy’ people will automatically be drawn to strategies like that. Leaving the field clearer for those of us who are prepared to think bigger and longer term and put the hard yards in.

Keep rocking it bro.

Paul

Reply

Steve Scott

Paul,

First: You would have to ask about the zombie site. That is one that I started. I got about 3 articles done, but never enough content to roll out. (Even on “thin” sites, I like a certain level of content.) Maybe I will finish that up one day… after all zombies are fun… and with WWZ movie coming out in a bit, I bet they pick up popularity.

Second: True but IMO most affiliate marketers should be broadening there scope like that. I will have to think about a different name, though.

Third: I think that is a valid point. A niche site can be a way to get your feet wet…so to speak.

I also agree with you that your own products, ebooks etc. should come after you have been at it a while. It is all about making contacts. You affiliate for others, make connections and such, and then when you release a product often people reciprocate. (If the product is good)

Fourth: Yup! Never underestimate a lot of peoples laziness. It may take a while to pass the level they “quit” at. But once you break through, it is all gravy.

Thanks for dropping by!

Take it easy,

Steve

Reply

ES

You give nice information Steve. I have read some posts of yours before and was impressed.

I had a few affiliate links on my site earlier, but I feel that Google is penalizing a site for affiliate links (just my personal opinion), so I am actually afraid to link to any affiliate products these days! I do it once in a while though.

I do agree that it is important to build authority niche sites. But they take a lot of time, investment and efforts without a guarantee to success. What do you think?

Reply

Steve Scott

ES,

Thanks for dropping by.

I am pretty sure that Google will never penalize you just for having a few affiliate links, but having TOO many could surely be an issue. So once in a while should be fine.

As for niche authority sites…..you are absolutely right, there is a level of faith involved. It does take a ton of work, and there is no sure success in the end. But really I think it is the only sure long term business model that is sure to have a real chance of success.

Reply

James Hussey

I WANT AN EMAIL and will COLLABORATE WITH YOU on a zombie site, hells yeah! Only I’d have to bring a COD/Black Ops feel to the site since that’s where it’s at…and plenty of Zombieland references…

The undead are NOT dead, even if niche sites according to some may be. :D

BTW, if you haven’t played Black Ops, I suggest you don’t. You won’t get work done. Ask me how I know…

Reply

joe

Gettin an education here, thanks Steve.

I’ve been testing the waters w/ a health blog. Now seeking to narrow the focus. Target audience is people who are feeling their mortality and want to do something to live long and strong.

There are several categories of stuff that people need to do to achieve this. I could break out the main categories into their own micro-niche, opt-in type sites that roll-up to the main one; or put it all under the domain name of the main site.

Would appreciate any thoughts about this you could share?

Much thanks.

-Joe

Reply

Steve Scott

Thanks Joe,

Glad you liked it!

The health niche is definitely a big one. I would say start with a very small micro niche within that. Perhaps a specific type of health and fitness targeted at a specific group. It would be way to hard to ever get any traction unless you make yourself be seen as a authority in a very specific target.

Reply

Thomas @ Mobile App Tycoon

I really like reasons 4, 7, and 8. Authority blogs are definitely the future and you definitely have a great list why! Another great reason is that if you hate writing there also is a solution for you — video blogging, podcasting, etc.

Reply

Steve Scott

Absolutely! Even with an authority blog having things like that can separate you from the pack and give people other ways to find you!

Reply

Ayaz

All those 10 points are awesome and I like the point of getting personal enjoyment. doing anything without the personal enjoyment can not achieve you the desired results.

Thanks for sharing all those great points!

Reply

Jane

Wow Steve. All I can say is Wow!

Well that’s an impressive list of reasons for one to become an authority affiliate marketer. I’ve spent quite some time and effort on niche sites. I still have some, but as you say the money earned is not worth. Plus with every Google update, there’s always a site that gets hit.

Reply

Steve Scott

Jane,

Yeah, it gets a bit frustrating with all the google stuff. While niche sites may not be completely dead, the arms race of trying to constantly trying to beat google simply gets a bit annoying.

Reply

Jay Gumbs

Great info as always Steve.

Just a little heads up. Check your link for Optimize Press – it doesn’t go anywhere.

Reply

Steve Scott

Thanks Jay, Will fix that shortly. (On a vaca now, on cell) …thanks for letting me know

Reply

Tho Huynh

I love authority sites, they don’t have thin content and their content is updated regularly, which can’t be seen with niche sites.

However, do you think does it take times and efforts to build a big authoritive site? Small sites require less efforts. What do yo think about this strategy:

Imagine that I’m a newbie. I just heard about affiliate marketing 2 – 3 days ago. I don’t have much money for the big site. So I try to invest in some small sites, which can bring revenue faster. Then, when I have enough money, I can move to what you called “authority affiliate site”

Reply

Chris @ NPI

Hi Steve,
these days niche sites will be sites with hundreds of pages, so competiotion will be smaller…

But, concerning on your post – great points, especially about building almost automated system.
May I have one question about it? How do you automate writing blog posts (except guest bloggers and outsourcing it)?
Lazy competition is my 2nd favourite on your list :)
BTW, just twitted
Regards, Chris

Reply

Geoff

Hey Steve,

I’m dying to know your zombie site. Care to share?

I have a similar affiinity for the undead, but no dedicated site. I just end up writing a couple zombie related posts every Halloween on a car buying advice site (pretty random huh?). I actually get a fair bit of traffic to those posts and decided to throw up a couple zombie related affiliate links. Not much in the way of conversion yet, but the products are hilarious. If you want to know what they are, let me know and I’ll email you a post link (but won’t spam it in this comment).

Reply

Terry Rayburn

Whoa! When I got your email, I almost didn’t click over here, because I thought it was a repeat of the last one. But that didn’t seem like you, because you are the most over-delivery guy I subscribe to. Never a “thin” post, and greatly appreciated.

Actually, you have such a great blog (I’m always “hungry” to read it), with so much thought and work put into it, that you ought to monetize it more, if nothing more than an occasional money-earning link in the text. We wouldn’t mind at all :)

Thanks!

Reply

Todd Jir

Steve,

Your writing abilities just keep getting better and better. Authority affiliate marketing is where it’s at and not just because of the recent Google changes. I think many people started building many niche sites because they didn’t want to rely on one website and taking the chance of losing everything. But as we can see now this is the wrong thinking.

Plus with an authority site you do not have to rely on Google as much. You can get traffic from branding, articles, links and all kinds of ways.

Great article Steve.

Reply

Dennis

Hey Steve,

it´s actually cheaper than 70.99… few weeks ago I created my freebie and asked somebody on fiverr to make the cover, it was pretty decent and nice, and the guy even made 2 versions of it and made changes as I requested… so no need to spend 60 dollars or so if you have a small budget

cheers!

Reply

Steve Scott

Dennis,

For sure. Making a cover isn’t “hard” either. Some people a little more graphically inclined could do great ones on their own. However, I DO think having a fantastic looking cover is VERY important piece of the pie for success of anything that people do online, after all it is the only “look” poeple get at your project. If fiverr or self made job look snazzy enough, awesome, but if not a professional cover could be the way to go.

Reply

Peggy Baron

Hey Steve,

I think your #10 sums it up best… $10/hr. vs. $12,966.48/hr.
BUT, people should know it takes a while to get there – becoming an authority site with lots of stellar content, building a list and a relationship with the people on the list, earning their trust, creating some of your own products to offer too, etc.

You’re right, it’s definitely not an overnight thing but once you’ve Got It, the rewards are bigger, better, and sweeter. :)

Thanks,
Peggy

Reply

Steve Scott

Peggy,

Definitely a very important point. Making that amount is very dependent on a lot of groundwork. That account does make a lot with very little work done NOW, but only after spending over 6 years in that niche, and spending a lot of time building and NOT taking advantage of the email list, and of course it is still something you could never, “turn up to 11″ and increase email frequency on, because it would just burn up the list, not make more”…but still obviously, “after” you put int he work and the time it can be a great deal! :)

Reply

Amanda

All the reasons sound very persuasive. Especially the ones that say that we can save and make money ;-)

Reply

Monja

Building authority sites might be the safest way – in the long-run. The truth is that niche sites can never offer visitors the quality authority sites do. I define authority sites as sites with many niche sites included – e.g. if I have a site about recipes I write 10 articles on spaghetti, create a new post and link to my 10 spaghetti recipes. I try to built links to that one site with general information and in-deepth-information in links.

Reply

Dan

Agree with you entirely on this, Steve – I almost wrote a blog post myself on the subject but after reading this I just directed my readers to your article.

I’ve been making niche sites for years and up until around 6 months ago, they were very profitable. Since Google’s latest algorithmic updates, I’ve noticed my crappest sites have rapidly fallen out of the rankings, whilst the ones I spend the most time on have soared.

I’ve spent a little time trying to turn around their fortunes but I think concentrating on my best websites is the way to go over the long term :)

Dan
WalnutMarketing.com – One Man, £200 and a Laptop

Reply

Terry Rayburn

Steve (or anyone),

If a thinnish niche site has been google-danced out of the game, do you think it will be revived by Google if it’s built into a respectable authority site, or is it “marked” for life, and better to start from scratch?

Reply

James Hussey

Great article as usual, Steve – I may not be 100% in agreement that niche sites are dead, but it’s clear that SEO as we knew it sure is. Things have changed, drastically, in light of Penguin and a newer, fiercer webspam team that’s playing for keeps (finally doing their jobs?) – so I’m sure that gives the impression that niche sites are dead.

I will go with you so far as to say your “One Niche To Rule Them All” gets at both my LOTR/inner-Tolkien geek, and makes a solid point that it’s a better business model than 1000′s of crap-happy sites that wind up getting axed by an algorithm…but don’t forget that big sites like “AskTheBuilder” and others have been hit this time around, too.

So having one major income-earner is not necessarily the answer, but depending less on one main traffic resource sure is…

Anyway, I didn’t mean to debate with you, just sharing my thoughts on your awesome insights. Don’t kick me to the curb yet. :)

Reply

Bery C.P.

Great article as usual, Steve – I may not be 100% in agreement that niche sites are dead, but it’s clear that SEO as we knew it sure is. Things have changed, drastically, in light of Penguin and a newer, fiercer webspam team that’s playing for keeps (finally doing their jobs?) – so I’m sure that gives the impression that niche sites are dead.

Reply

Becca

10 reasons that will help me become a better affiliate marketers in the coming days. thanks for the insights. It’s all fantastic!

Reply

Brankica

Hey Steve, great post. Are you planning to achieve this through an email list or making this blog the authority site? I am tired of niche sites as well, got rid of bunch of them before vacation, feel better already, lol. I also just subscribed to the list you mention, I really thought I am subscribed to like 5 of your lists, lol.
Thanks a lot for the mention, I really appreciate it and love the decision you are making and the road this blog took since I started following you!

Reply

Ibraheem

Thanks again steve for this article, I need advice to build list, l know list is great method to earn money.

On the other side, I want to tell you that I earned $110 in this month (may) from one website promote clickbank product ! This thing encouraged me to repeat what I did in this site.

Reply

Moira Wight

Thanks Steve for this article which has some really solid “meat and potatoes” information that will help affiliate marketers in growing their businesses. We have found it to be an excellent resource so are sharing it with our community on our blog. Thank you.

Reply

Steve Scott

Thanks Moira — I forgot about this article. I might have to go back over it and update the information to help people focus on building a business.

Reply

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