Have you seen Shark week? If not, it is a themed week on Discovery channel dealing with –you guessed it- Sharks. Now your next question is obvious.
Steve, what the heck do Sharks and Shark Week have to do with Lifestyle Design?
Very good question, kind reader, thank you for asking.
The first reason was the realization that I wrote a couple of times this week loosely around the theme of Affiliate Marketing without realizing it. Like Shark Week, I had a weekly theme.
I have stated many times in the past and a few times this week how I believe Affiliate Marketing, using either real world or information products is one of the quicker paths to making a profit online. For a new person getting started in Affiliate Marketing, there are mistakes out there to be avoided. One of the biggest things is –you may have guessed it- Sharks.
In this case I am not talking about the big grey, many toothed alpha predator of the deep. I am talking about the nebulous, basement dwelling, alpha predator of the Internet; the people out there to scam a new affiliate marketer of a few bucks and take advantage of naiveté.
Do not get me wrong, I do not think that all Affiliate Marketers are Sharks, or even MOST. But there are some. I really do think Affiliate Marketing is a very solid way to make money. It can also be one of the easiest; with blogging being one of the most difficult. Though, more people are figuring this out and the waters are getting crowded, opportunities still abound. Just remember to tread a little carefully in the waters of Affiliate marketing. Always remember: Here Be Sharks.
Part of my reason for making my Sunday link post was inspired by a simple yet complicated question from Ryan on a very short and basic post on affiliate marketing that I posted yesterday: “I’m new to affiliate marketing, what resources would you recommend for a beginner?”
I started trying to quickly rattle off a few good tools and resources, but decided it was going to be too long to drop in a comment and I could link together a few really good posts with resources.
Affiliate Marketing: Niche/Research/Getting Started
The first thing you need to do in Affiliate Marketing is research. This is likely the most important stage. If you get in a niche that is too crowded, does not have enough traffic or does not have the potential to really sell you can make it hard to succeed. For the first resource I will point you towards is my free eBook : 41 profitable niches. I also have a very large and in depth post (4k words) scheduled for tomorrow that should cover everything about getting started that I do not cover in the eBook.
Now that you have an idea of how to get started here is a more in depth article that gives an overview of what needs to be done and what is involved with making money affiliate marketing.
Okay, enough self-promotion, this is supposed to be my Sunday round-up, and I have not done any rounding.
Everything you need to know about Affiliate Marketing
I do believe you could talk about Affiliate Marketing until you are blue in the face and not really give a person a great idea how to do it. The reason for that is that it is one of those things you learn best by DOING. That being said there are a couple of resources that are INCREDIBLY valuable.
A while back Pat Flynn and Tyrone Shum started a Niche site duel. Now creating a niche site does not mean that you HAVE to do Affiliate Marketing NOR does it mean that as an Affiliate Marketer it is the only way to sell. BUT setting up a unique site for your efforts is one of the best methods and really helps to rank it in Google.
I am linking the most recent (when I wrote this) posts from Pat and Tyrone. I would recommend taking the time and reading and watching each and every post from both Tyrone and Pat. They are very in depth and really show you everything you need to know to get a Niche site up and running.
Pat: Experiment and Income Update.
Tyrone: Niche Duel First Place
If that isn’t enough to give you some great ideas, Alex also challenged Moon to a similar site duel that is also ongoing. Here you get to see two more people and point of views who are also quite knowledgeable about setting up niche sites (which can be used for Affiliate Marketing)
Moon: Niche Site Duel 04
Alex: Niche Site Blueprint
Other Methods of Affiliate Marketing
As I stated creating a niche site is just one method of Affiliate Marketing. I do believe that the BEST affiliate marketing will absolutely need a Niche site, landing page or some sort of online venue. It does not have to be a separate page. When I make a statement about how much I love Aweber for email marketing, I am, in fact Affiliate Marketing. Now, I do not expect a ton of conversions from that link, though if you are looking for a program to manage your email marketing you could not go wrong by clicking MY affiliate link (wink).
The point is that you can affiliate market like that in a fairly passive manner and get SOME conversions over time. The thing is that readers of this site are not targeted on people who want to get into email marketing but have not yet. The people who read here who are interested likely already have Aweber or Mailchimp (which I understand is not bad either). For those that do not have it, chances are they just are not interested yet. Having a very narrow niche page allows you to hunt down that highly directed and specific traffic, who are looking for exactly what you are trying to give them.
So what are other methods? Blogs. Twitter. Facebook. And of course my perennial favorite: email marketing. I am not going to go on too long about affiliate email marketing. I have made it plain many times how important I feel building an email list is. For niche site I would also create a landing page (as stated in my “making money” post above) to get visitors emails before sending them off to any affiliates. If you have not started making lists (and checking them twice…it is getting close to Christmas) you should consider doing so soon. It is a long term plan, but 2-3 years from now, when you have a 40,000 person targeted list, you will be damn glad you started now.
That is about it for Affiliate Marketing. The only thing left is to drive traffic to your offer. Lists are built in traffic you keep with you. Large and Active targeted Twitter/Facebook friends lists are the same. Pay methods like PPC and Facebook ads are another. (When starting out I would avoid those, they can be great, but you can lose money if you do not know what you are doing.)
The four niche site contests that I linked go over how to drive traffic to a site (and the importance of it). But having a basic understanding of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is also pretty important. I am sure most of my readers have been here, but in case you haven’t check out Ana’s site which is constantly giving incredible updates about SEO and generating traffic.
That is all. Hopefully those that are interesting in affiliate marketing got some good information to check out. For those that aren’t interested in AM, I apologize for having a weekly roundup -that really wasn’t a roundup. Of course I also hope that I created a little presell for my large and in depth post tomorrow, that should round out my Affiliate Marketing, “Shark Week”Take Action. Get Results.
14 thoughts on “Steves Sunday Selection 5 December 2010”
A great Sunday Morning to you. I did read every word of your post. I happen to talk to some elite blog owners, that said they have failed in affiliate marketing. Well I thought deep and came up that these people do not have “lists” of their own and that could be the cause of their results.
I also wrote six articles on list building yesterday, and realize that list building can be started with a newsletter too. And then right from the newsletter You can start making money too, by using affiliate links and placing a write up or a review or simply a banner,
whatever a person chooses.
December is pretty busy for me, regular stuff and then I have to write 55 articles, for my traffic, a challenge that I have to complete. New years will arrive with new goals of affiliate marketing for me.
However, your blog post is like continuously reading a Bible of affiliate marketing. Your experience shows in your writing, and you have a natural magnetism of connecting with everyone.
Have a great Sunday
Lists may be a key difference, and like blogging it does take a bit to transistion from “some” success of having the occasional sale to really make a lot. Of course thee is a lot of effort that needs to be put in along the way. But I really think those first sales come quicker on a niche site with affiliate marketing than on a blog.
Of course I could be biased since that is what I have had the most success with.
Yes sending out newsletters could certainly be part of or expanded into a list. The idea is a pretty much the same.
Thanks for reading and for the really positive comments. 🙂 Glad you liked it.
Very impressive, at least someone managed to pull some points together on affiliate marketing and now just say what it is without an answer. Thanks for the post.
Thanks for the comment Peter. Glad you liked it!
Thanks for the mention brother, I appreciate you throwing me in with the sharks like that 😉
You really started to open a can with that question from Ryan, and I can even read between the lines of your post and see the ‘Oh crap where do I start
concern coming through LOL
But I tell you mate, if anyone can figure out how best to explain it, it’s you!
Good to see you again mate – always a pleasure to get a visit from you, whether thats a comment or a trackback – it’s all good!!
I thought all Australians were experts at handling sharks, what with the great barrier reef being right there for ya’ll. I figured you could take care of the sharks, handily. 😉
This is a great round up for affiliate marketing. I especially appreciate the warning about sharks since this is a real and present danger in the world of affiliate marketing. But having said that, as long as we keep our eyes open, we should be able to avoid them.
Thanks again for the very interesting and helpful links. All in all this post is a fair bit to chew on but I shall get down to it and refer to it again!
Irving aka the Vizier
I wouldn’t be too concerned about sharks as long as you are careful with any “”get rich with no effort schemes”
There might be some people that it is really hard to complete against, because they know all the tricks, but they arent really sharks..just tough competition. There are certainly sharks, but if you approach it with common sense you shouldnt get sucked in.
By the time I get into affiliate marketing I should know heaps more than when I started out! Thanks for such an informative post Steve. I am following Alex & Moon closely too so I am realising there is so much to learn about all this before I get started with affiliate products for my niche market.
Patricia Perth Australia
Alex, Moon, Pat and Tyrone all have some excellent training. Following what they do is worth a heck of a lot of eBooks and “expert” training IMO
Steve, I’m sort of reassured that you regard blogging as the hardest way to make money, that may account for my lack of income. 😉
I have downloaded your 41 hot niches and I like the design and layout of this ebook. Shame you couldn’t have made it 42 though, that’s the answer to life the universe and everything. 😆
I haven’t started affiliate marketing yet, but I intend to, and can easily create dedicated websites with XsitePro. I shall keep checking back here for more tips.
Yeah, one more and I could have gone all Douglas Adams with it. I didn’t think about it. I could even have divided it into 10 chapters of 10 paragraphs each containing 10 sentences for real synchronicity.
(101010 is 42 in binary)
It is certainly only my opinion, but making “real” money with blogging is a long term thing, and nothing that is close to being “easy”. there is a lot of work involved no matter what you do, but the good thing is that some of it can work together. For example an occasional link to your niche website, if it is related will help to generate some link juice and a little traffic to the site. As all your little efforts grow they do feed off each other,
The problem is sticking with it long enough to make a go of it.
This Sunday selection was interesting. I read it yesterday itself (actually I read your posts almost daily even if I cannot make the time to comment on them), and had a hearty laugh at the pictures with those sharks, especially the ones with human set of teeth.
I think, of all the things, this posts gets my vote for the humor 🙂
Wow, what a great post. And thanks for the link : ) Thats exactly what I was looking for. Looks like a great bunch of resources, Ive certainly got my reading list sorted for this evening. Thanks man
bLAZE yOUR tRAIL
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