As you’ll see,there are many ‘flavors’ of affiliate marketing: different approaches,different platforms,most of which can rightfully be termed “affiliate marketing”.
You probably have your own notion of what affiliate marketing looks like,what comes to mind when you think about the business of affiliate marketing Ã¢€“ product review sites,Amazon affiliate links placed on a blog or within articles,promoting affiliate products to a mailing list,etc.
This is not intended to be an almanac of disparate affiliate marketing tactics.
- Choose Your Niche / Topic
- Develop Your Keyword List
- Create Your Content
- Build Your Website
- Monetize Your Website
- Drive Traffic
- Optimize & Improve
Conceptually,affiliate marketing like this is fairly simple & straightforward: Choose your topic,determine which keywords & phrases are used to search in that topic,write articles optimized for those keywords,build the site using the content you created,add links to related affiliate products,then get the attention of people interested in the topic. For additional help on this affiliate marketing process:[dcl=7376]
Visitors show up to browse the content,and some percentage click through and buy from your affiliate links,thereby generating your profits.
Here,we will break this down into a series of digestible and doable steps,building one on top of the next,until you have your business up,running,and generating revenues.
None of these steps is terribly complex or mystical; in fact,most have many ways to accomplish them,even many ‘right’ ways. But the difference between just ‘doing’ them,and doing them in a way that gets the results we’re after,while often subtle,are absolutely the difference between success & failure.
There are many ways to choose a niche,build a site,and drive traffic,but only a few will that result in strong,continuous conversions Ã¢€“ the sales that produce your profits.
What is a niche anyway?
Your niche or topic is the basis of your website Ã¢€“ it’s what your site will be about,it’s “Reason For Being”.
Choose the ‘wrong’ niche,and the best you can hope for is a constant struggle; more likely you’ll simply fail.
Choosing the ‘right’ niche won’t,by itself,insure success,but it is the single biggest determining factor,and what drives all subsequent steps.
If there’s anything ‘hard’ about picking your niche,it’s having to choose from so many excellent potential opportunities.
Once you know how to come up with and qualify niche ideas,the real fun begins Ã¢€“ because as you’ll see,there are a near-infinite number of
good,lucrative niche site ideas waiting to be exploited. Your biggest problem will be deciding which to pursue
That said,I often hear from people who are just starting out that choosing a niche is difficult or frustrating Ã¢€“ even mindboggling.
The four most common “complaints” I hear are:
- Not knowing where to begin;
- Not being able to come up with good ideas;
- Not knowing if an idea will be profitable;
- Not knowing if an idea is achievable.
One of the most important aspects of choosing your niche or topic is your “Reason For Being”.
Your Reason for Being is the reason your website exists,the justification for visitors to go there. Without a good,clear Reason for Being you’re sunk before you even begin.
Reason for Being answers the question “why would someone take the time & effort to visit your site”,shapes the approach you take,and dictates your content.
Suppose I have a passion for animals,and decide I want to create a site in the ‘pets’ niche.
After brainstorming,looking around online,thinking about my own experiences,etc.,I decide to create a site about keeping pets for apartment dwellers. Having lived in big cities and being a pet lover,I know there are unique challenges and restrictions for pet lovers in the city. Large or very active dogs,for instance,don’t typically do well living in an apartment. If it’s a walk-up,that poses additional challenges. Even tropical fish can pose problems Ã¢€“ very large aquariums are immensely heavy and require firm,strong flooring underneath.
If I were to simply build a site without consideration of my Reason for Being,it would end up being a hodge-podge of marginally-related articles,with little cohesion or connectedness.
Looking at this example,however,I can come up with a clear,strong Reason for Being: addressing the specific challenges facing apartment dwellers who want to have a pet or pets. Now,instead of assembling a hodge-podge of articles,I can map out a strategy that will dictate my content:
- Dog breeds that adapt well to apartment living
- Desensitizing your dog to noise & activity
- Treadmills: exercising your dog when you can’t take him out
Your Reason for Being provides the reason for someone to visit your site. The clearer and more specific your Reason for Being,the better off you’ll be.An easier,obvious example is a review site. A site reviewing coffee makers would have as it’s reason for being,comparing different coffee makers in order to make a purchase decision.Improving the Reason for Being,we might instead build a review site around a narrower,more specific choice,for example “Home Espresso Makers”.
While there may be less people looking,it will be considerably easier to get and convert visitors looking to find out about and purchase a “Home Espresso Maker” than just a generic “Coffer Maker”.Taking that a step further still,”Home Espresso Makers For Price-Conscious Shoppers” is a clear,direct,and specific Reason for Being.
Someone looking for a low-priced home espresso maker will literally light up if they find a site devoted to “Home Espresso Makers For Price-Conscious Shoppers”.Examples of strong Reason for Being’s include:
Review & comparison sites
‘How To’ and tutorial sites
‘Top X’ and ‘best of’ sites
Unique solutions (i.e. ‘home remedies’,or our example above,etc)
Whatever niche or topic you decide on,make sure you frame it with a clear,specific Reason for Being.