And we’re back with another day of the 12 Days of Blogging 2010! I know it’s a ton of information to digest, but I hope that you’ve found some new bloggers and learned a few new things along the way. Today, the topic is affiliate sales. You can be an affiliate for national companies (like Amazon), work with individuals who offer products to sale, or even launch your own products and offer an affiliate program for others. We’ll talk about that last one later when we get to 6 Launchers Launching; for today, let’s look at some awesome advice about making money being an affiliate for other people or companies.
Affiliate advice falls into two main categories: 1) advice for people who want to start or who run blogs specifically with the purpose of making money by promoting affiliate products and 2) advice for people who run a blogs and want to add affiliate links occasionally to add another stream of income.
The links I’ve chosen to highlight in this post cover both topics – hopefully you’ll find some useful blogs no matter what your affiliate goals.
1. A Rare Guide to Affiliate Marketing in 2877 Words – Part 1 by Jase at ZealingMoney.com
As the title says, this is just part one. If you’re brand new to affiliate marketing, I highly recommend the entire series, which starts with this post on what it is and goes on to talk about getting started, promoting your affiliate program, and tracking your efforts. In other words, it’s everything you need to get started. From the post:
The beauty of affiliate marketing is the fact that you don’t need even a penny to start making money. But, if you can invest some money, definitely your return will be multiplied several times.
Ok, just relax and take a deep breath. I promise you that I will give you the most important facts you need to know to be a successful affiliate. Even if you are already an affiliate marketer, this guide will be helpful to you also. Do you have the desire to see heavy checks coming to your bank account? Are you willing to make an effort to make it a reality? Then it is just a matter of time making it a reality.
2. Bras and Affiliate Marketing by Brent Coppieters at DotComSecrets.com
Brent Coppieters is the affiliate manager for DotComSecrets.com – so it makes sense that he would write some awesome posts on topic. This is another great post for beginners – and you should also check out the other posts on this site if you’re interested in knowing more about affiliate marketing. From Brent’s post:
More businesses now than ever rely on affiliate programs to help generate more sales/leads. What’s great for them is that they can have hundreds or thousands of “online salespeople” referring others to their site or product. They only pay a commission when some type of action is taken. This action that triggers a commission might be a click of the link, a sale, or a lead. Business owners agree to pay a commission when someone takes action.
3. The Ultimate Guide to Affiliate Espionage by Mark Thompson on JonathanVolk.com
Ok, I’ve listed some beginner’s guides to affiliate marketing…this one is a little more advanced. Ok, a lot more advanced. But, if you’re not new to affiliate marketing, this is for you. It talks about how to promote your products, how to identify the most valuable keywords, how to rank organically when you want to sell a product, and more. From the post:
Being able to spy on your competitors and capitalize on opportunities that are backed up with research and data, can really help you to make lots of money online. There are a number of tactics and tools you can use to help you better understand opportunities, your competitors and how they are going about marketing products.
4. Top 10 Tips For Affiliate Promotions by Michael Dunlop at Income Diary
If you’re interested in using your email list to sell affiliate products (which can be highly effective is you’ve built a strong list), this is a post you should read. Michael Dunlop is on smart cookie, and he’s broken down the process in easy-to-do steps. From the post:
Now I appreciate some of you will be thinking — I don’t have much of a list or much of a following – so how can I go about promoting a product launch.
Well of course in theory the bigger the list you have the more sales you will have – but let me make another point. Some of the most successful affiliates for the Pre-Launch of PopUp Domination actually had relatively small lists but what they had that more than made up for it was a very responsive list.
5. How I Made Over $2000 From One Blog Post by Chris Guthrie at Make Money on the Internet
Chris Guthrie first came onto my radar at BlogWorld when I momentarily met him while doing a BlogWorld interview, and I was reminded to check him out when he did a BlogcastFM interview about how he makes money online using Amazon’s affiliate program. This is just one of the extremely useful posts on his website if you’re a blogger who wants to use this type of program to make money with your website. Chris writes:
During late 2009 I published a story showing that a highly anticipated camera was finally available for purchase on Amazon.com. I knew from my own blog that it would be a hit with the readers and that I would get an uptick in orders and increased commissions. What I didn’t expect is that several large blogs would end up linking to my story and in some cases – using my Amazon affiliate link to show their readers where they could find the product!
6. Lessons Learning in Using Video for Affiliates by Shawn Collins at Affiliate Tip
This post is actually a video presentation from Affiliate Summit East 2008, when Jonathan Stefansky, EVP Sales and Marketing, Qoof, talked about using video for higher conversion rates. No excerpt, since it’s a video, but I highly recommend watching it! Affiliate Summit East and Affiliate Summit West are two conferences I highly recommend if you’re considering getting involved more with affiliate marketing. You can check out more at Affiliate Tip and follow blogger Shawn Collins on Twitter @AffiliateTip.
7. Are You Practicing “Spray and Pray” Affiliate Marketing? by David Risley
David Risley is one of the smartest bloggers out there when it comes to making money online, and this post is a good analysis of why some affiliate marketing programs aren’t as successful as others. Writes David,
Typically, a blogger will simply post something about an affiliate product and maybe email it to their list. If they have a good relationship with their audience and the product is truly relevant, then this can work (and often does).However, this could be called the “spray and pray” approach. In other words, you just spray the message out there and see who bites. It isn’t really targeted beyond the fact that it is relevant. It doesn’t take into account that a pretty huge portion of your audience isn’t really in the mood to buy anything. Plus, it depends on you HAVING a decent-size audience already.
If you’ve been frustrated with your lack of affiliate sales, this article could give you some insight as to what you’re doing wrong. Check out DavidRisley.com for more make money online tips and check him out on Twitter @DavidRisley.
8. Should You Feel Guilty Pushing Slightly Shady Affiliate Offers? by Zac Johnson
The final post I wanted to feature today is from Zac Johnson, and it’s a discussion of shady affiliate programs. Should you promote something even if its a questionable product or service? What if you don’t use it yourself? What if it might trick your reader (such as a trial offer that auto-renews at a much higher price every month)? What if…
Well, there are a lot of “what if” that you’re going to have to consider if you want to be an affiliate. I think Zac does a good job at sparking the debate here, and whether or not you agree with him (I certainly don’t agree with everything in this post), it’ll give you some things to consider. From the post:
One of the many decisions you will have to make as an affiliate is what type of offers you will run to make money. The good thing is you literally have a limitless supply of offers to choose from. Offers range from anything as simple as entering a sweepstakes, completing a free trial offer or even earning a commission on a purchase. On the flip side, you also have offers which bring little value to the user, but are still good money makers.
The comments on this post are pretty good, since people are weighing in with lots of different opinions, so make sure to check them out. Read more at ZacJohnson.com and follow him on Twitter @moneyreign.
BONUS: Because it’s an important topic, I wanted to include a bonus post for you all to check out. This one is from Rosalind Gardner at Net Profits Today and is called “WordPress.com Free Hosting is NOT for Affiliate Marketers” – something that I think is true for anyone attempting to make money online. Rosalind is on Twitter @rosalindgardner.
If you’ve written a post about affiliate marketing, please share it with a comment below. The more people who share, the more valuable this 12 Days of Blogging series for everyone! Don’t forget to hit the retweet and like buttons!
Check out the rest of the 12 Days of Blogging:
12 Writers Writing
11 Tweeters Tweeting
10 Guests a-Posting
9 SEOers Optimizing
8 Affiliates Selling
7 Facebook Users Updating
6 Launchers Launching
5 Golden Rules
4 Podcasting Hosts
3 Ebook Tips
2 Ethics Debates
And a Partridge in a Pear Tree (ebook coming soon!)