If you are reading this post, you must already realise that affiliate marketing is one of the quickest and most lucrative ways to start an online business.
But it isn’t always as straightforward as it seems and we’re going to look at a couple of affiliate marketing strategies that you can use to boost your effectiveness as an affiliate marketer and these are based around the concept of SEO (search engine optimisation).
This may sound like affiliate marketing for beginners, but I reckon most would benefit from these 2 tips.
Sound good? Let’s dive right in…
Basic Keyword Research For Affiliate Marketers
As an affiliate marketer, you want to learn the best ways to use keywords to help build your business. But if you don’t have any experience working with keywords, it can be a little confusing.
These helpful tips should assist you in being able to learn the best keywords and how to use them. First, you need the right tools to help you gather the best keywords.
If you’re just starting out, there are some great free and paid keyword tools you can use. One of the good free ones is Google AdWords. You can also use tools like Wordtracker, SEMrush, SpyFu, Ubersuggest, Wordze or Keyword Discovery.
Some of these have all free access, some free but limited usage offers and others are paid.
The Google AdWords Keyword Tool is very easy to use. When you pull up the screen, type the word or phrase you’re thinking of using on your website or blog. For example, if you’re selling acne products, you’d type the word acne in the box where you list the word or phrase.
When the words come up, you’ll see: acne, cystic acne treatment, adult acne treatment, best acne treatment, etc. The tool will show you if the competition is high, medium or low and what the volume of global and local monthly searches is.
One helpful tip is that you also want to cover other terms people would use to search for acne. To get other words people might be using, you can pull up an online thesaurus and type in acne.
You’ll get a response of: blemishes, pimple, skin inflammation etc. – and you can put those words in the keyword tool and see how they rank.
These are words that people use when they’re looking for something but aren’t completely sure what they want. For example, someone might type in the keyword ‘shoes.’
When you’re doing keyword research, you also want to look for exact matches. An exact match is how it sounds. Your keyword or keywords exactly match what someone has typed into the search engine.
For example, if someone types in ‘black lamp’ and you have that as your keyword, it will lead them to your website or blog or ad.
While ‘play guitar’ is an example of a keyword phrase, an example using longtail keywords would be ‘learn how to play guitar’ or ‘how to play guitar notes’ or ‘how to play guitar for kids’ etc.
Longtail keywords are important because you can get more traffic because you rank well – and you’ll end up with higher conversions.
OK, now let’s look at some ways to optimise your site with some basic SEO settings and we’ll assume that you are using WordPress to build your blog or website.
Basic Search Engine Optimisation For Affiliate Blogs
Some affiliates set up a blog and create lots of content – without ever learning the ins and outs of search engine optimisation. As a site owner, whether you have your own products or promote someone else’s, it’s important that you know SEO.
Make sure the settings allow search engines to index you. Inside the dashboard, you have the option to block access to your site by the search engines. This is under Settings and Privacy, so do a quick check to see if it’s set up correctly.
In the Writing category under Settings, go to the bottom where it says Update Services. Find a good up-to-date Ping list and paste those URLs into this area. That helps other sites know when you have new content.
Categorize your blogs and deliver a good navigation system. When a visitor lands on your website, you want it to be sticky. Sticky means they stay around for awhile, not clicking out after they read one blog post.
Go to the Settings section again and click on Permalinks. You want this option to be Post Name. This means that after your domain and the word blog, the URL will have the name of the post, like this: yourdomain.com/blog/keyword-relevant-blog-title.
Use both broad and longtail keywords in your posts and pages. Some affiliates make the mistake of trying to rank for the broadest keywords in their niche, like “health” or “diet.” It’s much easier to rank well in search engines when you use longtail keywords.
A longtail keyword phrase would be something like this: “the best diet after pregnancy.” Over time, as your blog becomes an authority figure, you may find that you’re also ranking for the broad terms as well.
Use a Google sitemap plugin. This plugin helps Google have quick access to a sitemap, rather than you having to manually create a sitemap that helps guide their robots or spiders around your domain.
Consider an SEO optimiser plugin to give your blog a boost. There are many plugins that help you maximize your blog posts on autopilot. Do some research and see what works best for your needs.
If you are just starting online, then one of the quickest ways to start making money is to get into affiliate marketing.
This business model doesn’t rely on you having your own products to sell, but rather you are promoting other people’s products and you get a commission for each sale made.
This way you can quickly send traffic to an affiliate offer and start making money.
Of course, the first thing you need to do is to decide on the niche that you are wanting to operate in.
The Best Way For Affiliate Marketers To Choose A Niche
When it comes to affiliate marketing, there are many ways for affiliate marketers to choose a niche. It’s important that you put some thought and research into your niche before you put your time and effort into it.
The first thing you should consider is choosing a niche that you feel passionate about.
With affiliate marketing it’s best to be writing and working in an area daily. If you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, chances are slim that you’ll stick to it for very long.
Eventually you may even feel depressed and hate what you’re doing. This is the exact opposite of what you want to experience in your work life. Make sure you have the ability to dig in to your niche forever.
Next, you need to look at the longevity of the niche. You’ll want to avoid something that’s considered a fad and will be obsolete before you start making any money.
With affiliate marketing, it will take some time to begin making substantial income, even though initial commissions can be seen right away.
Once you’ve built up a niche, you want to be able to keep it going for a long period of time. So, make sure your choice isn’t something that will be here today and gone tomorrow. You want your hard work to pay off long-term.
Do your homework and find out how many people will be interested in what you’re promoting.
You also need to consider promotion options. In your niche, what kinds of products can you promote? Can you promote a book that will sell in your niche? Can you promote tangible items or digital products?
A membership site related to your niche is also a possibility to consider. These are all things to think about as you’re choosing your niche before you put in a lot of time and energy.
When you choose a niche that interests you and has a wide variety of products that you can promote, you’ll have more success in the long run.
Now, once you’ve considered all the above and decided on a niche, there is another consideration to think about: do you decide to stay in a broad niche with a larger target audience or do you drill down into a sub-niche which will be narrower and have a smaller audience but thy will be much more targeted. There are pros and cons for both so let’s dive in…
Should Affiliate Marketers Choose A Broad Or Narrow Niche?
Whenever affiliates are just starting out, or questioning the direction they already took, they start wondering if a broad or narrow niche is the best way to go.
There’s actually no right or wrong answer, but you have to know how to tackle the two different strategies.
So, let’s say you decided to tackle the children’s toy niche. You could have a general toy site, but you’d still need to organize the content into things like toys based on age, gender, materials, brands, indoor versus outdoor, etc.
Or you could go with a narrow approach in your niche. This makes it really easy for you to rank quicker with an authority site.
For example, TopToysfor1YearOldGirls.com that was fully focused on toys for this age and gender would probably become an authority site rapidly for those searching for that topic.
Either way you choose – broad or narrow – you can work your way back over time. So, if you choose a broad niche, you can work over time to dig into the narrow levels and provide expertise there for your affiliate income.
If you choose a narrow niche, like the one listed above, you could branch out and create a bunch of narrow sites and then eventually link them to a main site.
For example, you could create a TopToysFor2YearOldGirls.com, 7-year olds, 13-year olds, etc. Once complete, you could then create a main “TopToysForGirls.com” site that linked them all together.
The great thing about both niches is that you can search for keywords that will help guide you in the type of content that you want to create.
Over time, you may want to move from free keyword tools to the paid versions that give you more information about the kind of edge you can expect to have over the competition if you rank well for them.
Pick whichever strategy you feel more comfortable with right now – broad or narrow – and then if you want to move into a new direction, you can do that without any problems down the road.
Yes, you read that headline right. In fact, you might even want to read it again.
You can totally get affiliates to PAY YOU for the right to send you buyers.
I ran across this a couple of years ago, and I have to say I was impressed. In fact, I just about joined this myself, and I’m a seasoned pro. This was done by a group of seasoned marketers, but there’s no reason why a new marketer or marketers couldn’t do it, too.
Build A Basic Sales Funnel
First you start with a sales funnel. You’ve got a squeeze page offering a terrific little “how to do marketing” type of lead magnet. Once visitors grab the lead magnet, or even if they try to click away without picking up the lead magnet, they are then directed to a sales page for an online marketing membership site.
The membership site has several levels, with the lowest level being free to join. Of course, they highlight the free level in the headline to keep people on the page, and then they extoll the virtues of the other levels. Each level has more and better content, better support and so forth.
The free level is fairly basic but does give enough info for a newbie to make a start in making money online.
I’ll give you an example of that pricing to give you an idea of what I’m talking about:
Level 1: Free
Level 2: $29 per month
Level 3: $44 per month
Level 4: $49 per month
These aren’t the exact price points they used, but you get the idea. You see there is very little difference between level 3 and 4 in terms of price, but in terms of content there is a big difference.
This is a great psychological ploy, because it gets the prospect to study the differences between levels 3 and 4 while forgetting all about level 2.
And of course if they’re going to get a paid membership, they’re most likely to choose level 4.
The content is drip fed each week…
…and if you’ve been paying close attention, you’ve realized I haven’t really shown you anything new yet.
Offer Affiliate Programs!
Here it comes, so hang on to your seat, because THIS is how you get affiliates to PAY you to send you a list of BUYERS:
(I love this bit!)
This means if they are a level 2 member, they can give away level 1 and sell level 2. If they happen to sell level 3 or 4, they still get paid, but not as much.
But if they are a level 4 member, they get to sell all four levels and KEEP ALL the money.
That’s right – they get to keep 100% of what they sell if they are level 4.
I hope this is making sense. It sounds complicated at first, but it’s actually fairly simple once you understand the concept.
Thus you’ve got affiliates paying (in our example above) $49 a month for the privilege of selling memberships and keeping all the money.
That’s a great deal for the affiliates, right? Absolutely. You can see why I almost jumped on it.
The affiliates don’t have to worry about hosting, fulfilment or any of that stuff, because the membership takes care of all of that.
The affiliate gets a unique sales page URL, squeeze page URL and membership area.
The affiliate gets to build a list of prospects and buyers simply by promoting the URL, and of course they are earning residual monthly income, too.
The list of prospects and customers stays in the system and cannot be exported. Affiliates can only email their lists from inside the system. So if they drop out and stop paying their monthly fee, they lose their lists.
This can make for some very sticky affiliates who never leave.
Clarify Your Terms And Conditions
Now for the icing… in the terms and conditions, it is made explicitly clear that the membership site operator(s) have access to all of the prospects and customers who sign up.
This means they can email prospects and customers any time they like, making any offer they like. PLUS, the site owners can also place offers in the membership area as well.
And the affiliates are getting a terrific deal, too, getting 100% monthly commissions and the ability to email their customers and prospects from within your website.
It’s a true win / win for everyone involved, and done correctly it can yield a tremendous amount of prospects and buyers for you, as well as excellent monthly income to pay for a very nice membership site and have money left over.
When I heard about this, they were making five figures a month from the membership site fees alone. This doesn’t include what they were earning from mailing to their ever-growing email lists, or from the special promotions they continually placed in the members’ area.
Imagine if you were earning 5 figures from your membership site AND having a team of affiliates working hard to build your list of prospects and buyers. Sweet.
I wish I had started my first site this way – I’d probably be retired today.
Affiliate Marketing With Clickbank Basics
Anyone who has been trying to make money online for more than 2 minutes would have heard of ClickBank and what a potential goldmine it is.
Clickbank is an extremely popular and profitable affiliate network on the worldwide web and many Clickbank affiliate marketers make a lot of money with it. This post will give you the basics on how to go about using this powerful website.
By the way, if you want to learn more about affiliate marketing in general such as some of the myths surrounding it, you can read a great post here.
OK, back to Clickbank. Signing up with Clickbank is fast and easy and there are several tutorials, tips and training that show you exactly how to get started.
Next, you’ll want to look for your first product or service–keep in mind that Clickbank is generally geared for digital products.
If you already have an established site on a certain topic, it’s very easy to incorporate some Clickbank products to sell there. The more specifically targeted the product to your site, the better.
Look for products and services that have good gravity and popularity stats. If you find something that you really like but the stats don’t add up, then it’s probably not worth the effort you’ll have to spend on it.
You can decide to promote your product directly with the salespage given to you by the merchant, or you can do it by setting up a blog or website and positioning the product there on what is called a bridge page.
Most experienced marketers will agree that you can send traffic/visitors directly to merchant website as a newcomer to affiliate marketing, and it is a way to learn the ropes, so to speak.
But it is well worth the effort to eventually set up your own blog or website. This way you can use your bridge page to offer visitors a free report or checklist that is highly relevant to the Clickbank product you are promoting; this way you can get people’s email address and start building your own list.
Some pros and cons of Clickbank affiliate marketing
- One big pro, especially if you are a newcomer to affiliate marketing, is that Clickbank is extremely easy.
- The second big pro is that the commissions are on the high end when compared to other affiliate networks.
- One con is that many of the products offered on Clickbank are not of the best quality, although they can be expensive. There are really a great deal of rags-to-riches types of products and e-books. You can also find many good products but you do need to do a bit of digging, depending on the niche you are working in.
- Another con is that the Clickbank stats are really nothing special, especially if you compare them to sites such as Adsense and Amazon, just to name a few. Also, you can only create text links automatically with Clickbank. Other types of links are not available.
As you can see, Clickbank affiliate marketing is a good place to get started in affiliate marketing and many experienced marketers are successful with them as well.
However, the problem that many beginners and even intermediate marketers face is that they just can’t crack the ‘ClickBank code’.
It’s as though those who know what to do are insiders who are raking in the cash while everyone else is an outsider struggling to make a single sale. It used to be that way for a long time until CB University appeared on the scene.
This is one of the most popular online marketing courses online and many customers have reported benefitting from it. The 2.0 version is an improvement on the first release and it’s bigger and better now.
Several CB University members have left glowing testimonials about the efficacy of the training and how it bridges the knowledge gap that has always prevented beginners from succeeding with ClickBank.
Let’s look at the pros and cons of CB University 2.0 and see if it lives up to the hype.
The Good Points:
1) One of the strongest points about CB University is that it covers both affiliate marketing and product creation. This is definitely an improvement on the earlier version which only covered product creation.
With the 2.0 version you have more flexibility. Generally, beginners will find it easier to start off as an affiliate… and as their knowledge and experience gets better, they’ll be able to take on the more daunting challenge of becoming a product vendor.
2) The training itself is detailed with notes, videos and over-the-shoulder instructions. The methods are clearly explained in a step-by-step manner and even the greenest beginner will be able to follow along without difficulty.
3) The people behind CB University 2.0 (Matt Hulett, Adam Horwitz, Justin Atlan) are all accomplished marketers in their own right. They are NOT fly-by-night scammers who will take your money and run. This is crucial when choosing to spend money on any ‘make money online’ course.
4) The training is simple to follow, but is extremely in depth. The training for becoming a vendor on ClickBank is broken down into 12 weeks.
- Week 1 – How It Works
- Week 2 – Finding Your Perfect Product
- Week 3 – Creating Your Avatar
- Week 4 – Creating Your Product
- Week 5 – Creating your Perfect Upsell
- Week 6 – Sales Copy & Conversion Maximizing
- Week 7 – The Easy Video Sales Letter
- Week 8 – Finalizing your Product
- Week 9 – Getting onto ClickBank
- Week 10 – Attracting & Managing JV Relationships
- Week 11 – Split Testing
- Week 12 – Scaling your Success
- Bonus: Selling High Ticket Products on Webinars
And the training for ClickBank affiliates is spread out over 8 weeks:
- Week 1 – Affiliate Marketing on ClickBank
- Week 2 – Understanding Affiliate Marketing
- Week 3 – Finding Your Passion
- Week 4 – The Ultimate Affiliate Funnel
- Week 5 – Free, Free, Free: Always Over Deliver
- Week 6 – Writing the Perfect Swipe
- Week 7 – The Email Blueprint
- Week 8 – Scaling and Expanding
- Bonus: Running Affiliate Promotions
So, you’re going to be busy with this training for quite a while. Ideally, it’s best to choose one method and go all out with it. Most beginners would do well to start off with affiliate marketing.
5) The product comes with a 60-day money back guarantee. So, you have 2 months to give CB University 2.0 a test run. We’re guessing that once you join, you’ll probably stick around for a long time because it has that much value.
6) CB University has a forum for you to hang out with your peers and ask questions and mingle with other fellow marketers. It’s an active community that’s supportive and you’ll learn a lot from there.
This beats buying some eBook from some unknown marketer and being left to your own devices to figure it out, while the marketer has taken your money and run off.
7) The program is also equipped with a very useful toolkit that you’ll use over and over in your business. Basically, it’s a set of tools and online video training that covers some of the tech stuff that most beginners struggle with.
Here’s a list of some of the ‘tools’ inside:
- Camtasia Alternative: APowersoft for Screen Recording
- Creating a Sales Presentation with PowerPoint
- Demographic Research with Google & Twitter
- Design Banners, Posts, & Giveaways with Canva
- Enhance Your Social Media Activity with Hootsuite
- Increasing Conversions with Optimonk
- Introduction to Tools
- Outsourcing with UpWork
- Recording Your Sales Video with Camtasia
- Sending Broadcasts and Automating with AWeber
- Setting Up Your Funnel with CB Builder
- Setting Up a Custom Domain with GoDaddy
- Split Testing with Visual Website Optimizer
- Video Editing with Camtasia
8) There are also live Q & A sessions for members where more training is provided. For those who are unable to attend, you can always catch up on these sessions which are recorded and uploaded in the members area. The value in these sessions more than make up for the monthly fee.
The Bad Points:
1) Just like any online course, you’ll need to study and apply what is taught. Information is useful, but action is the foundational key to all success.
The problem is that most newbies hesitate to act on the information. You must overcome this mental obstacle to see success. CB University is not a winning lottery ticket. You MUST do the work.
2) The amount of information in CB University can be overwhelming to a beginner and may make them him/her that the process is too difficult.
The best way to get around this problem will be to focus on just being an affiliate, instead of a vendor. Once you’ve learned the ropes and are generating affiliate commissions, you’ll be more confident to take the leap and become a product vendor.
3) The membership is a recurring fee. A beginner who is strapped for cash may find that the monthly fee is a burden. The fee gets much higher if you choose the upgrade (Builder 2.0).
Should You Get It?
A resounding YES! This is one of the best online marketing courses on the planet and it’s the benchmark when it comes to ClickBank training.
The fact that it covers both affiliate marketing and how to be a vendor in the ClickBank marketplace makes this a truly well-rounded training program.
With thousands of students and many success stories, the product delivers what it says beyond a shadow of a doubt. If you wish to make a decent side income, this course is for you.
If you wish to make income that will allow you to quit your day job and have location independence and freedom, CB University will help you get there.
If you want to be a millionaire, guess what? Yup! This course is for you too. ClickBank has made millionaires out of several vendors and affiliates. If you do the work and follow the training closely, success can be yours too.
Affiliate Marketing Myths (The Top 5 Affiliate Marketing Myths)
Bad information keeps many people from making money online.
People give a half-hearted effort to one form of marketing, get disappointed that it didn’t work, and then cry out to the world that it no longer works…
“Email Marketing Is Dead!”
“SEO No Longer Works Thanks to Google…”
“Content Marketing Has Lost Its Luster…”
Or the big one:
“Affiliate Marketing Is for Scammers!”
When something is proclaimed dead or not working any longer, it’s probably because someone was gaming the system and the system owners plugged the hole.
Ethical marketing always works in the long run.
That’s why Affiliate Marketing has worked for decades and will continue to work for the non-scammers of the world.
But the headlines persist, and the myths and misconceptions flourish. Let’s take a look at affiliate marketing myths (the top 5 affiliate marketing myths) and reveal the truth about them!
Shall we begin…?
1) Affiliate Marketing Is Easy…
There’s a misconception out there that the newbie online marketer can grab an affiliate link, put it on their Facebook page, and the money will start rolling in.
Not so fast…
Affiliate marketing like any other business model IS a business.
And it should be treated like a business.
While affiliate marketing may be the exact business model you need as a new entrepreneur, it’s important to understand and accept that it is NOT a get-rich-quick scheme.
Is this beginning to sound like work yet? It should.
Affiliate marketing can be VERY rewarding, but it is not easy, especially if you have no business experience. But affiliate marketing can be best way to learn how to build a business with very low-risk.
Your investment as an affiliate marketer is low because you don’t have any product or delivery costs. Your focus must be on building a market, knowing that market inside out, and learning how to sell.
These are essential skills for any business owner to master.
Driving traffic and measuring conversions to build your marketing list is the primary tool of every affiliate marketer.
2) Affiliate Marketing Doesn’t Work Any More…
The days of throwing a link up on the social marketing sites and making a million dollars over night are gone…if they ever existed.
Social media has heightened the importance of building relationships with your target market, and that can be a slow process.
Your followers and email subscribers must feel a connection with you. If they don’t, they find someone else where that connection is real.
Affiliate marketing not only works with an audience that knows, likes and trusts you, but they will ask for your affiliate link for new products. Sometimes, they feel such a close relationship that they’ll pass around your affiliate link for you.
Affiliate marketing without real relationships (even if they’re automated) is hard but can be done with a lot of effort.
But affiliate marketing with real connections with an audience that has been nurtured and embraced works like a charm because you’re genuinely looking out for their interests.
3) The Competition Is Too Steep In Affiliate Marketing…
First, let’s agree competition is good.
That means there’s a market for the product. If not, no one else would be trying to sell that product.
Competitors can also become your best traffic source. Using the right tools like iSpionage.com, you can target your competitors, and step in front of their traffic with better offers, Facebook ads, or other techniques.
Sound a little cutthroat?
Nope, it’s just business. Once you become the Big Dog, everyone will target you too.
Your job is to offer better bonuses, better services, better support, and better experience to that market. And by doing that, you’re building a better relationship.
Find out how your competitors are building their audience (keyword research) and jump in there to grab that audience yourself.
Business is about competition, so if that bothers you, you probably need to get a job.
4) The More I Promote My Affiliate Links The More Money I’ll Make…
Listen, this one is tricky.
In theory, this is true. But there are other considerations like…
Does your message match the right audience? This is where you’ve got to get good at know your market including their hopes, dreams and issues.
In the consulting world, they call these the FUDs – Fears, Uncertainties and Doubts.
What is your audience trying to do? And how can the solution you put in front of them solve that issue?
Promote to the right audience and you don’t have to “sell them” often because you become part of their go-to-problem-solver while you’re building a relationship.
5) Affiliate Marketing Is High Risk And Low ROI…
Ok. There is risk in any business endeavor. In affiliate marketing, you could make a lot of sales for a product only to have the product owner go out of business.
That’s always a risk.
And the return on investment could be very low, but only because you’re not making sales.
That usually means you don’t have the right message for the right target market. Conversions are much easier and ROI much higher when you convert prospects to customers.
Opponents of affiliate marketing will jump in here and declare you’d be better off building your own products, selling them online and keeping ALL the money.
Here’s the truth about that:
Affiliate marketing is awesome because the risk is extremely low. You don’t have to create a massive infrastructure to support your products. You’re letting someone else take that risk on.
And the low ROI? Wrong.
The potential in affiliate marketing for those people who learn how to build an audience and convert that audience to paying customers is HUGE because it’s a pay-for-performance model!
The more you convert, the more you make and the higher your return.
Of course, like everything else, affiliate marketing only works if you know how to do it correctly.
To keep you on track, it is a great idea to use checklists and if that sounds like a good idea to you then please look at these checklists here: warr.us/NAMSAffChecklists
Amazon Affiliate Success Part 3: Creating High Converting Content
Are you aware of the saying that content is king? While there is no denying that content can make or break a website, you need to ensure that you are creating quality, future proof content for your website as this is just as important to your rank as using the right type of target keywords.
In fact, if you really think about it, quality content on an Amazon affiliate website is only possible once you find the correct keywords so that you can base your content around these targeted keywords so finding the best keywords is a critical step in content creation. Now, quality content on an Amazon affiliate website is not the same as quality content on, say, a bird watching website. What do I mean by that? well read on 🙂
You already know that the first rule about creating quality content is to base it around your most profitable, most traffic generating keywords, but there are other elements that, put together, will make it much more likely that your niche website will rank on the first page.
The first one is length. One thing that you will notice about most sites on the third and fourth pages of results when you start doing your keyword research as explained before is that they do not offer lengthy content around their keywords. They conform with throwing and repeating their keywords around on 250 word articles in hopes that keyword stuffing will get them ranked higher than they deserve. This was the old version of SEO but this doesn’t really work any more.
The thing is that short form content doesn’t work very well for quality written content. So the second rule to follow when creating quality content for an Amazon affiliate website is to make it long, and by long we mean 2,000 words long and over. Yes this is long but is well worth the effort and if you are writing a review this should be easy to do. If you want a feference as to how long a 2000 word post is; this post you are reading is exactly 1104 words long.
Actual online marketing researchers have found that the average length of articles on Affiliate websites ranking on the first page of Google results is 2,000 words and longer. The effect that this has is three fold.
In the first place, it allows you to target your niche keywords several times without stuffing, which is just pretty bad for rankings. This appeals to the Google algorithm because it will find your target keywords repeatedly throughout content that is not a string of repeated keywords.
The second factor in play here is that it will allow you to create content that is truly relevant to prospective buyers because a piece of content that is 2,000 words long has to include a lot of information about the product being promoted.
In that sense, these product centered articles are then perceived both by your visitors and Google as buyer’s guides, which complies both with Google’s own requirements for quality content to be relevant and with your visitors’ desire to find help with their purchasing decisions.
That takes us to the third factor in play here, which is reducing the amount of time that it takes a buyer to jump to the checkout once they see a product link or image for the second or third time. Now, to achieve this you will need to highlight the pros and the cons of the product in the article promoting it.
And you have to highlight them at the beginning. This creates the effect of informing your leads on the things that they want to learn about the product right before they get to read the entire article, making them very likely to skip the article, click through an image or link, make the purchase, and then coming back to keep reading in anticipation.
This is possible because they will unconsciously realize that the article is long and that they can simply keep reading about the product that they just decided to buy right after they check out, to build up on the excitement in anticipation of receiving the actual product.
Also, longer content allows you to make it future proof because it helps you to build up authority. Speaking of which, we highly recommend you to print the following statement and to paste it on the wall behind your computer so you can see it every day:
Building Permanent Traffic Sources
Now, this is where most marketers will recommend you to focus on getting on the paid advertising bandwagon, but like I said before, Amazon affiliate marketing is different, and generating traffic sources takes a different approach.
The best way to create a permanent source of traffic is by creating a series of lists with evergreen content, by which we mean content that stays relevant over time.
These are lists that you have to be updating on a regular basis to always attract traffic through a very specific set of purchase based keywords which include the following keywords:
“Best on a budget” (Such as “Best budget wireless headphones)
The good news is that keeping these lists updated is as easy as going to the Amazon marketplace and sorting through the best sellers list on your niche category, by sorting through the products with the highest buyer review scores and also sorting through the lowest priced items in your niche with the highest scores.
Now, the science behind these updated lists is that it is pretty easy to rank on the first page when you use keywords such as “cheap” alongside a product based or niche keyword as they have very high search volumes on a monthly basis.
In order to keep these lists bringing you fresh traffic all the time through search engine queries is by creating a separate category page on your site. Remember that each product that you insert on your “best of” lists needs to have its own long form product based article that you can redirect to from your list.
Follow these strategies and you will be giving yourself the very best chance of running a successful online Amazon affiliate business. So what are you waiting for? Find your niche, source your items, setup your website and create some great content and by leveraging the Amazon marketplace you can tap into a huge market. So, get started today and keep on working on your Amazon niche sites and your business will blossom. Good luck.
Amazon Affiliate Success Part 2: Your Niche Website
Having a significantly functional and cool looking website is a must when it comes to any online niche affiliate business, and it is especially true for Amazon affiliates because having a nice, clean online presence is a requirement to be a part of the Amazon Associates program.
And despite what you may think, having a functional, cool looking affiliate website doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive, at least not at the beginning. When you are just staring out you may not have a lot of money to spend on fancy websites, so you will ideally want to start with a cheap alternative that will allow you to focus on turning a profit while you grow your niche website without you having to drain your budget from day one.
This makes smart business sense as it will give you plenty of room to save up money to invest in the future of your affiliate website as your business grows, which can take you from one to five months, depending on how much time and work you are able to put in to promoting your new niche site.
OK, now you understand that you DO need a niche website as the center of your niche affiliate marketing business, there are two basic stages involved in creating the ultimate Amazon Affiliate website on a shoestring budget.
The first stage is to simply create your Amazon Affiliate website without worrying about getting every bell and whistle. You need to simply have a website where you can insert your niche content and your affiliate links.
This first stage requires you to invest in two elements: hosting and domain. The cheapest type of web hosting is shared hosting. We recommend you to buy a shared hosting plan that you can pay on a monthly basis to a hosting service provider such as HostGator (warr.us/hostgator). Shared hosting plans can go as cheap as $4 a month, and they will work well enough in the beginning.
I will also give you another hosting provider that you can look at if for some reason you don’t want to use Hostgator. I have used both of these companies with no issues so the preference is up to you. The other hosting company I use is Bluehost (warr.us/bluehost) so pick your host and move on to the next decision 🙂
You will also have to buy a domain name for your website. Your domain name is simply your website address and you can also buy your domain name from HostGator, but I would suggest you use another company. This makes sound business sense as you don’t necessarily want to keep all your eggs in the same basket, so I always recommend buying your hosting and domain names from separate companies. I tend to use Namecheap (warr.us/namecheap) for all my domain names as they are cheap and extremely reliable. Now, acquiring a domain name looks as simple as coming up with a name and selecting the cheapest domain extension available, but there are some rules to follow.
First, don’t be tempted to use “exact match” domains for your domain name. Exact match domains are domain names that are made up from a combination of the exact niche keywords that you will target on your website, such as selecting the “cheapelectronicreviews.com” as your domain name.
It doesn’t only look lazy on your part, but it won’t help you to reach a top placement on search engine results. Lots of marketers use exact match domains for that reason, but the truth is that Google and other search engines caught on to that trend a few years ago and updated their search engine algorithms to ignore exact match domains for SEO.
So the best approach is to come up with a brandable name that isn’t an exact match of your target keywords. After you make up your mind about your domain name, you will have to select a domain name extension.
Selecting the .com extension for your domain name is the way to go hands down, but it can happen that your domain name is not available as a .com. In that case, select the .net extension. If it isn’t available as either extension, we recommend you to come up with a variation of your domain name until you find it available as either .com or .net.
That is because those two top level extensions are the most recognizable ones, and because newer extensions such as .club don’t look attractive to any audience. Many websites get passed by as novelty websites when they sport such domain extensions, so stay away from them.
Now, once your website starts growing and getting more and more traffic, you will have to start making some changes to it. This second stage of the process will require you to invest in a hosting plan that can make your affiliate website faster, to invest in a premium theme for your website and to invest in an SSL certificate.
Now, most hosting service vendors will allow you to do such upgrades easily, and our recommendations are as follows:
Upgrade your shared hosting plan to a dedicated hosting plan. Ideally, you should upgrade to a WordPress dedicated hosting plan, as WordPress is the best content management system available for affiliates.
Buy a nice looking theme for your affiliate such as “Kingdom by Woocommerce” WordPress theme for Amazon Affiliates (warr.us/kingdom).
Buying an SSL certificate is recommended, but not mandatory. This will add an extra layer of security for your website, and it looks good on the address bar!
We recommend you to also use WordPress plugins to supercharge your Amazon Affiliate efforts. So far the best one available is the “EasyAzon” plugin, which will allow you to search for Amazon products to post on your website right from your website’s editor and to redirect region specific visitors to their respective international Amazon marketplaces on autopilot.
Fine Tuning Your Niche Keywords
Using the proper set of keywords is crucial for any kind of affiliate business because, unlike ecommerce, the idea behind an affiliate website is for it to be found through search engine queries and results in order to increase its search engine ranking.
Keywords play a huge role in increasing your search ranks alongside quality content and loading speeds, but more importantly, they get your amazon affiliate site to rank higher for popular keywords that are related to your site’s niche and the topics discussed in there.
Ok, so you already know that most of the relevant keywords on your site are going to be product related, and to that you have to add purchase based keywords as well. From now on, think of your target keywords as a combination of the two. An example of this combination could be “best cheap refrigerators”, where “best cheap” is the purchase based keyword and “refrigerator” is the product based keyword.
Now you will need to use a keyword research tool such as Google’s own “Keyword planner”, which will allow you to enter your target keywords and determine their search volume and data including their average monthly search volumes, their rank, and their competition.
Once you determine which ones are your target keywords, you will have to do some research around them to optimize your chances to outrank other sites using them. The first step is to use those keywords on Google.
Now, instead of focusing on results from the first page because you already know that the keywords used on sites hitting the first page of results include the ones that you just used, you will need to check sites targeting those same keywords that are on the second, third and fourth page pages of results.
Why would you do this? Because you can then look for other long tail keywords on those sites that are related to your target keyword and use the keyword planner to determine their search volume and data. If some of those long tail keywords have high search volumes, from 500 and upwards, you can use them on your content in order to rank higher.
The real science behind this little known strategy is that you can leverage the search volumes of these keywords by creating better content around them, which will undoubtedly redirect the traffic from those low ranking websites to your website, vastly increasing your organic outreach and your rank in a couple weeks or less!
OK, that’s it for part 2. In the final part of this mini-series we will look at creating the content for your website that will encourage people to buy through your link, and a quick way to keep this content fresh for your visitors. See you next time 🙂
Amazon Affiliate Success Part 1: Your Niche
Starting any type of online business represents a leap of faith for many people and affiliate marketing is no different. Normally, this is NOT because it looks like something that is particularly difficult to do or understand, but because it is something that apparently looks so easy that it seems impossible to not succeed at first glance.
But the truth is that the affiliate marketing business model is not only a way of turning a profit, but you can actually make a good living from it if you put in the work (the same as in any business venture). Many novice marketers can become put off by the time that it takes for them to drive traffic to their affiliate offers and to see their first few conversions. This often results in them convincing themselves that low profit volumes are all there are for affiliate marketers, yet many others have moderate success and keep their affiliate activity going.
The good news is that you can easily go from moderate to pro by leveraging the pulling power of an online behemoth, namely Amazon! By introducing the Amazon Associates program into your affiliate marketing efforts and by applying certain strategies anyone can become a very successful affiliate marketer in a relatively short space of time.
One of the attractions of affiliate marketing is that you can get started immediately; you don’t need to spend time or money creating your own products. Just find products that you can promote as an affiliate and direct people to these offers using your affiliate link so that you can get paid if/when they buy, and by leveraging the Amazon marketplace, you have a huge potential market to target!
So, where do you begin? Well the first thing you need to determine is the niche you are going to be targeting and serving and that is what we will be covering in the rest of this article.
Defining A Specific Yet Broad Niche
What is the first thing that crosses your mind when you realize that you need to buy something? Let’s elaborate by revisiting a real-world scenario as our example, so let’s say that your 5 year old niece is coming home for a holiday and that you need to get her a gift.
What do you do about that? You go to the toy store downtown, or to the closest one to your house. Or perhaps you go to the one that you know would offer you the best prices, or to the one where the staff knows you and are willing to give you the best, most honest advice about what to gift to your little niece.
There are two takeaways to pay attention to in this particular scenario:
- You already know that you need to go to the toy store because that’s where they sell what you are looking for, preferably the one you are already familiar with
- You are also aware that you will need a little help with your purchase, even when you are already in purchase mode
The same thing happens when you decide that you want to purchase a new car, or a new kitchen, or the newest high definition TV. You need a little help from an informed sales representative to make an informed purchase that you are not likely to regret later.
That is the exact same process of the affiliate marketer, who builds a website which serves as an informed middleman for people looking for information about products that they want to buy. When the affiliate website successfully talks people into buying a product through its content, it earns the affiliate money.
And just like an electronics store would only sell electronics and hire someone who knows how to talk and sell electronics, an affiliate website needs to focus on a specific niche. An affiliate website promoting video games and bathtubs would look as bad as an electronics store selling novelty items.
The idea behind creating an affiliate website is, like we said, to talk people into buying products through affiliate links, but that doesn’t mean that you have to populate your affiliate website with all kinds of affiliate links spread throughout random content in the hopes that people will click through by chance.
The truth is that this strategy is doomed from the beginning because websites that talk about everything are exhausting to navigate. The best approach is to simply pick a product niche that you either like or have no problem writing about and then go from there.
Remember that you have to act as middleman between a buyer and the amazon marketplace, and as such you will need to make their purchasing decisions easier, so liking or knowing the products that you promote on your affiliate website will make it easier for you to recommend the products.
Once you have picked up a niche, go to Amazon.com and search for products in that niche that meet the following criteria: products that are low priced but that sell like hot cakes, and high priced items that are popular even when they don’t sell as much as lower priced products.
This is because you have to promote products that sell well enough as to leave you with a healthy amount of revenue at the end of the month. Try not to narrow down your offers too much because you will end up slowing down your profits.
To give you an example, let’s say that you decided to promote trendy, entertainment based electronics. In that case, you will have to promote products that are lower priced but sell constantly such as newly released video games and higher priced equipment such as thousand-dollar TV sets.
Yet if you decide to promote rare collector stuff only, you’ll be narrowing down your niche too much, so don’t do it unless you dedicate a separate section for that stuff on your website, or if you have an affiliate website that makes you enough money as to allow you to create a separate micro website dedicated to rare collector stuff.
OK, now that you have decided on your niche, you will need somewhere to promote it. You will need a website to create content, write reviews etc. to tempt visitors to purchase your recommendations through your affiliate link and we will cover this in part 2 of this mini-series 🙂