DIY Affiliate Marketing
DIY Affiliate Marketing
Hey there, and welcome to the new DIY Affiliate Marketing HubPage. As you can tell this is going to be a work in progress as the Affiliate Marketing field has a lot of information and it will take some time for me to get all the information together I would like to post.
This HubPage is going to be designed in a way that will teach the internet novice how to get involved with Affiliate Marketing and how to effectively begin to potentially make some money. It will essentially be a storyline of the failures and successes of my own quest to make money on the internet through Affiliate Marketing. It is definitely possible for just about anyone to make money on the internet, but I am here to tell you that it's not just a few clicks and wham bam thank you for giving me your money. It takes a lot of research and a lot of time, and this HubPage will hopefully give you some insight and get you started off on the right foot and avoid some of the pitfalls which I went through!
I can't promise you that this guide will make you a millionaire, but I can promise you that it will save you money and probably save you a lot of time! Please stay tuned and hang-tight with me as I continue to build this new HubPage.
Have you made money online through Affiliate Marketing?
Let's Get Started!
Ok, first thing is first. You have to decide if you are going to have a website or a blog. They both have their pros and cons, but either one is perfectly fine for affiliate marketing. You can have one or the other or even both...it's totally up to you.
If you are reading this far into this HubPage you probably already have some sort of an idea about how you want to try and make money. The most common way is to set yourself up into an area where you can compete through niche marketing. Now this is important so let me explain it well and probably save you all kinds of time! The internet is HUGE!I don't have an exact number of how many webpages and blogs there are, but it's probably billions! No matter what niche you pick, there is going to be competition. You just don't want a lot of competition. It is estimated that 50%-60% of people on the internet use Google as their preferred method of searching, and it might even be higher than that. Now here is the other important fact...it is estimated that 80%-90% of people do not look at the results Google returns past page 1! That's right...page #1! So if you are trying to break into a heavily searched, popular keyword like "Las Vegas Deals" if you will, there's no way your even coming close to getting your site or blog on page 1, or probably even page 100 for that matter, unless you have a lot of money to pay somebody to optimize your site for the search engines. This is called SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and we'll get into that later. So the idea is to find a small niche area, or micro-niche that has very little competition, but still has decent searches on Google. So how do we find a micro-niche with small competition and something that has decent searches on Google?
Think of something that you enjoy doing, or enjoy spending time working on. Maybe you like collecting coins? Maybe you like collecting U.S. coins? Maybe you like collecting U.S. gold coins? Maybe you like collecting only $20 St. Gaudens Double Eagle Gold Coins? See where I'm going with this? You have to develop a micro-niche.
A great way to get some ideas is to use an excellent free tool provided by Google. It's called the Google Adwords Keyword tool and can be found here. (You will also be able to accsess all of the links mentioned throughout this lesson in the links section at the bottom of this lesson). It's simple to use and will give you a great start finding some ideas. Just type a word or phrase in and it returns all kinds of keyword ideas. Keywords are how people searching the internet will find your website or blog, and they are very important! The best thing about Google's keyword tool is that not only does it give great ideas for micro-niches, it also shows you the advertiser competition data, the average search volume for the past month, and the overall average monthly search! That's a wealth of information right there and will help you greatly in finding some possible micro-niches, and believe me, save you a lot of time. Remember, decent search volume, low competition.
Once you get some ideas (4 or 5 possible micro-niche's) it's time to see what the competition is. Competitor analysis is key! First, start by simply typing your micro-niche keyword into Google and see what comes up. Look at the # of results that Google returns on the top right. You do not want a big number here! Here's an example:
- Gold Coins = 3,750,000 results (that's a lot of competition)
- U.S. Gold Coins = 462,000
- U.S. $20 Gold Coins = 306,000
- 1907 U.S. $20 Gold Coins = 44,000
This is just an example, but hopefully you can see where I'm going with his excercise. It still takes time, but Google's Keyword Tool is a huge help! Here's another tip too...pick just one niche to begin with!! Just trust me on this for now.
Once you discover what you feel like is a solid mico-niche with a good and sound competitor analysis completed, it is time to start looking for a good and marketable domian name that relates to your mincro-niche (keyword). Here is excellent, time saving tip #2. Go to Nameboy.com and look to see what domains are available. If you find something you like and it fits your micro-niche, go for it! A good example would be: www.US-GoldCoins.com. I have no idea if that domain is available, it's just an example. There are a number of companies that register domains. You can get a domian registered for a year for only $6.95 by clicking here. Now, this is important. I will not hide the fact that I will make a small amount of money if you purchase a domian through either one of those above links. I have spent a lot of time putting together this lesson in Affiliate Marketing and would appreciate it if you are indeed going to register a domain to use the links above, however, please do not feel obligated to purchse your domian name through this lesson by any means. I just want you to be aware and know that I am totally open and honest with everything contained in this lesson. It's only fair to you and I can promise you that the majority of the other lessons out there aren't being totally honest with you.
Well, that's enough info for right now. I will have another update soon...
Ok! We have our mico-niche and Domain Registered...
So we've found a micro-niche that we enjoy and came through our competitive analysis looking good. So what now? We have to get our website or blog up and running, which now a days is pretty simple. Some domain registration sites include a lot of free stuff, including free software to let you build a site. You can find some sites that make it super easy by looking here. There are also some nice deals there that will save you money. I'm not going to go into great depth on here about each one since that could be a whole HubPage in itself! So you can click around within the sites and see what you like and don't like. I personally have used GoDaddy's Website Tonight software before and have been happy, but it's totally up to you. You do want to make sure that the company you choose inlcudes web-hosting, which I can't think of one that doesn't so you should be good to go, but just make sure. Also, if you think you are going to wind up with more than a couple of websites, HostGator offers unlimited hosting for as little as $7.95 per month! You really can't beat it if you plan on having multiple sites. You can check them out here. If you like them great, if not, no big deal, there are a lot of options out there.
Once you get your website or blog setup it's time to start adding your content. Content is important, and you must have some sort of content on your site. A great way to find relevant content to add to your site is much easier now thanks to RSS feeds and applications like Google Reader. I highly recommend setting up an account with Google Reader. It's easy and it's free. You are going to need to setup a Gmail account for email if you don't already have one. You will be able to use the same Gmail email account for a number of free Google products that are essential to Affiliate Marketing and trying to make some money through the internet. Here are the links for Gmail and Google Reader.You will be able to use the same Gmail account for Google Reader, Google Adsense, the Keyword Tool, Google Adwords and Google Analytics. These are all essential applications for successful Affiliate Marketing! Each application has excellent tutorials to help you get started or if you have any questions. They are all pretty intuitive though...
So let's go back to Google Reader for a second though. What you want to do is subscribe to RSS feeds that are relevant to your micro-niche or keyword. Google Reader will show you how to do this, and it is essential to finding relevant content for your website or blog. Let Google do all the leg work for you...trust me! So from our example from earlier, you would want to subscribe to news about U.S. Gold Coins. Here's another time saving tip! If you do not want to use Google Reader or find it confusing, simply go to Google, type in a search for your keyword (U.S. Gold Coins from our example above). On the top left of the search results page, you will see a row of words in blue. Click on the blue "News" link. Wallah! You now have all of the news articles and pictures that are associated with "U.S. Gold Coins" in the world! This is a HUGE time saver!!! It gets even better though. If you scroll all the way to the bottom of the results page you will see a New! Get the latest News on "your keyword search" with Google Alerts link.Click it and Google Alert will email you the latest on your micro-niche/keyword daily or even as it happens! Free! It's a must do!
Now that you have your site pretty much put together, or at least have a good idea of the direction your going to take it, it's time to start getting accounts setup with some Affiliate Marketing companies. There are a lot of them, and please due your own due diligence, but I will highlight some specific companies and my successes or failures with them. This is an important note! Every Affiliate Marketing Company or program is going to require you to enter some sensitive information in order to be able to pay you. You might be asking yourself why? Well, if or when you earn a commission, it is viewed as earned income by the federal government, and you are required by law to pay taxes on earned income. Every Affiliate Marketing company is required by law to have your information on file in order to report the appropriate tax information and earnings to the IRS. There is no way around it.
With that being said here are some of the Affiliate Marketing companies that are widely used and well respected in the industry. On second thought this part will take a while and it's late. Check back soon for the latest update...
What is Affiliate Marketing and What are the Best Affiliate Marketing Companies?
Affiliate Marketing is an online advertising tool that allows advertisers such as online merchants to interact with online publishers who promote advertisements on their websites and blogs. Today you see Affiliate Marketing all over the internet and it is a huge business! Just as example, if you visit CNN.com you will normally see an advertisement for a credit related company or an online dating advertisement.
Ad placement is based on pay-for-performance, meaning that the person who clicks on the ad normally needs to input information such as an email address for a lead or complete a transaction for a sale. Every advertiser has different programs and terms. Some advertsiers will pay 3-10% of the entire sale, or a fixed amount of $100 per sale, or some advertisers will pay $2.00 per lead. Like I said every advertiser has it's own programs and terms, and the vast majority are fair. This is essentially a modern day finder's fee for the publisher bringing the advetiser sales or leads. This marketing model provides a low-risk, high reward channel for both parties.
Now, lets discuss some of the more prominent Affiliate Marketing Companies!