As per subject title. I did a short(ish) stint of affiliate marketing back in 2011, made a few hundred dollars (I promoted an almost stupid amount of products, and it amounted to 1 or 2 sales for each product so it was hardly anything spectacular anyways), but stopped. That was before Panda/Penguin though. So, basically what I am asking is:
- Can you still make a good living (like 95% of CB product sellers in the money niche love to brag about, but bragging is cheap and doesn't require proof) using a website targeted at a certain niche and selling products?
- How can you get good traffic to your affiliate marketing blogs/sites now that Google is penalizing a lot of the old-school tactics, and some of the newer ones as well?
Any other information would be appreciated as well. It just seems prohibitively hard/time-consuming/costly to break into the market nowadays. The most I have is on the video game blog I update whenever the heck I remember to and there's only 2 advertisements for affiliate products.
Thanks in advance for your time and attention and for reading.
I naively believe it's still possible IF you build on a topic or niche in which you have genuine expertise and interest. Google is still going to reward content that's written for readers, that's useful, that's engaging, that's serving the needs of a particular audience, and that's relevant for a particular search, IF -- and here's the big IF -- it's some of the best durned content on the web for that subject.
Therefore, I believe that hobby sites, mommy blogs, craft showcases, and dedicated enthusiast sites can still rank in Google and still drive sales with well-chosen products.
As an example: say you loved Game of Thrones. A fansite about it isn't going to drive many sales if you're just trying to sell the DVDs -- everyone interested in the show already owns them, or watches them on Netflix, or buys them on Amazon. But what if you have an eye for costume? You could create a niche site on cosplay, with tips on patterns, props, wigs, materials -- and if the site was truly a useful resource for Game of Thrones cosplayers, Google would rank it well, and you would get sales.
Whereas if you created a niche website on iPad cases, Google would say, "Hello affiliate marketer trying to cash in on a lucrative market -- sorry, nope, I'm just gonna send searchers straight to Google Shopping results and Amazon."
I think it's possible to find something you can write on that you know a great deal about, that you can create useful content for, and whose audience happens to be consuming/buying something related to that topic. However, it's harder than it used to be, because you need outstanding rather than mediocre content to pull it off.
There are more pitfalls with all of Google's updates but some people still prosper.
The best thing is to go and look at what they are doing. You can't hide much on the net. If someone is making money you can soon work out how.
Check the content, backlinks, site architecture and work out what they are likely to be making moneywise.
Some unique feature helps.
I say the same as GG and Will. It can be done but it needs a lot of planning out and thinking about how you are going to offer real value to your readers/buyers. Tip: product comparisons do well.
Also, make sure you are finding great quality affiliate products to promote, (clickbank is mostly crap in my view), check out the other affiliate networks like linkshare, commission junction etc.
As an aside, I've found that video games have one of the worst conversion rates of any product!
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