Becoming an affiliate stripped bare

by Desmond Menz posted in Writing for Profit


Wood Block

Writing is not just about creating and publishing ebooks and short reports. It's also about weaving communication skills into blog posts, web content, Web 2.0 sites, and of course email communications.


If you're using your skills and knowledge to create digital info-products - and remember, I've written extensively about this in Write To Prosper - then you shouldn't stop there. 

You'll need to keep writing about them, promoting them, and use other methods such as social media to get your word out about your info-products.

There are many ways that you can promote your product(s) to get more buyers and more income. 

BUT … there are also additional income streams that you should be aiming for, and becoming an AFFILIATE is one. 

This article is all about how you can set yourself up as an affiliate, and has a number of examples for illustration purposes. Let's get going.


Affiliate foundations

Work-at-home people like us need to have a range of income sources, and we need to have diversity. And that's where becoming an AFFILIATE can fill that need. 

An affiliate is simply a way for you to sell someone else's product or service and then get paid a commission. 


      Two Primary AFFILIATE Strategies 

  1. Sell products that you've bought from authors and marketers who you know or know about. Perhaps you've bought a particular product and liked it, and would then like to help others by referring them to it, and thereby earning income for yourself

  2. Sell products from authors and marketers who have their at large marketplaces like Clickbank, JVZoo, and Amazon. Here, you'll select products that are emerging in popularity, are not about a subject in a highly competitive niche, and that you'd really like to promote.


 

Bring On New Times

Example of Strategy 1

In New Times Home Biz Store I've added how someone can become an affiliate to sell my own products. "Bring On New Times" is one of them.

You'll see a link at the bottom of the product page for most products in the Store. 

Bring On New Times also has its own Sales Page, and it's listed at JVZoo, where people can become an affiliate and promote it as described in Example 2.



Example of Strategy 2

One of the best ways to sell other authors' products is by selecting from the Clickbank Marketplace. 

But before you go there, read Clickbank's information for affiliates and about "selecting a product" and "creating a hop link" - a referral link. 

(Clickbank provides some really good information for start-up affiliates.)

The hoplink is the link you then send to people who you may think would be interested in what you've discovered. To do this just use email and write a compelling story about the product you're promoting and add the hoplink to your email.

An example of this strategy is a product I selected at Clickbank to be an affiliate for - "Get Rid Of Hives".

More on that below.

                             

Those two examples illustrate that being an affiliate is quite straightforward. Find a product, get a link, promote the link, get income. That's the simple formula. 

But there's more to it, and there's far greater leverage that can be obtained. 


Stepping up a notch

Now to the basic 5-STEP procedure in setting up affiliate sites. 

1

Select a product to promote. The easiest way to do this is to go to Clickbank Marketplace. Follow Clickbank's procedures in "Searching the Marketplace". The trick is to select something that people are already looking for. It has to have reasonable popularity, a "Gravity" between 20 and 60 (that's what I look for), and a good sales page (something that would convince me to buy). 

2

Get a domain name that closely resembles the product name you have in mind. Use dot com domains. I recommend Namecheap as a domain registrar.
In my example above, I registered www.getridofhivesreviewed.com.
Now, there are two risks in using what's called 'exact match' domain names that you will  need to be aware of.

a.   It's disputable whether Google frowns upon 'exact match' domain names (some
                affiliate marketers say 'yes', some say 'no'; you'll just have to test it). 

b.   If you're going to use an exact match domain name, make sure that you get
                permission from the author to use the name in your domain name. It could
                be a Trademark or Registered Trademark product; find out…
                more about that issue at this post.

3

Create an information page about the product using a simple blog. If you don't know anything about website or blog creation then the simplest to use is Blogger.com, where you'll find out everything you need to know about how to set up a Blogger site. If you know and prefer Wordpress, then go for it!

4

Point your domain from your registrar's site to your host. Upload your simple site to your host. I recommend Dreamhost.

5

Get backlinks. Just one or two will do. The idea about getting backlinks is to get ranked as quickly as possible on page 1 of Google, because that's where most of your potential buyers will be. There are a number of ways to get back links, some are tedious, some are paid, some are free. I like free, so I suggest you follow what I've done. Set up a Squidoo lens! More on that later.


That's the bare bones of ramping up your affiliate business.

Each of these steps is shown in a recent affiliate site I created. Let's have a close look at the site. Take notes about what you could do.


An example of an affiliate site

The site I made as an affiliate is for an ebook and video package that focuses on solving a problem for people with hives. Chronic Idiopathic Urticaria to be precise. If you don't know what CIU is, it's a skin condition that affects people with an autoimmune disease. It can be debilitating. 

Many people get hives, and you've most likely had a bout of it at some time in your life. On occasions it's a mystery why it occurs.

Here's the site I created. 


Getridofhivesreviewed home page image

http://getridofhivesreviewed.com/


This is a review site where I've reviewed the book and package Get Rid Of Hives.

Why did I choose this topic? The answer is because my wife got a bad dose of the rare form of solar urticaria in 2012. I wanted to find answers, so I went searching online and I think I found a reason and a solution. It was all to do with an autoimmune disorder.

Anyway, that's when I came across Get Rid Of Hives, which is at Clickbank.

My site took me just under two days to create and get online - from finding a product, getting a domain name, creating the site, writing the articles, to getting it hosted. 

Creating affiliate sites shouldn't take any longer than two days. Once a site is finished, move on to creating another one.

If you're wondering, this type of site can be created with any of the blog platforms, or with any HTML editor, or with a WYSIWYG editor.

I've used my usual Mac website design platform, Sandvox. I'm so familiar with it now that the only other platform I'll use will be Blogger. 


Main pages to have in an affiliate site

An affiliate site doesn't have to be fancy. It just needs to be functional, clear, and honest about what it's conveying to the reader (your potential buyer).


               The Key Parts Of An Affiliate Site

  • A content page that is optimized towards your keywords, outlines what the product is all about, and who would benefit.
  • Privacy Policy, Terms of Service, and Disclaimer page
  • FTC Compliance (for marketing in the US)


Looking at Get Rid Of Hives Reviewed, I've gone a step further. I've added a page that contains the "Contents" of the product, and I've also added an extensive Articles page. Why? Let's see.


What to look for when choosing an affiliate product

There are two basic approaches. 

checkbox type x 1Select a product that is a hot seller, create a minisite and promote the pants off it. Repeat the process. You could create dozens of these sites for a sustainable long-term income. But it’s not as easy as it appears.

checkbox type x 1Choose carefully what you would like to become an affiliate for. This is my preferred approach, because I don't select just any niche or subject, and I steer clear of 'hot sellers'. I prefer to know what I'm selling. It's all about being authentic. If you look at the articles I created at my minisite you'll find that I've done some research and quite a lot of writing. 


PLR & keywords

My No. 1 Product Selection Strategy

Without much doubt, the best way to derive long-term income from being an affiliate is to choose quality information in a way that you can engage with people. Get their trust, and you'll have kicked a goal!

So, here's what I look for in a product ... 

  • quality articles with permission to be re-written (i.e. Private Label Rights articles)
  • a good FAQ section where further information can be used at the affiliate site
  • product images and banners
  • contact details of the product author

This information would be found at the Affiliate page (not the Sales Page). There should be an Affiliate text link in the footer of the Sales Page.

Go back to STEP 1 above for a reminder about the criteria for selecting a product.


Getting backlinks

My site was online, and it was already indexed. But I needed to get higher ranking.

This is where BACKLINKS come in; they are very important for ranking purposes. There are many ways to get back links, and one is to create a Squidoo lens. At the start of this article I mentioned about Web 2.0 sites. A Squidoo lens is an example of a Web 2.0 site, but it's not so simple to get a backlink because of the strict requirements of Squidoo in not openly promoting products as an affiliate. 

Another way to get backlinks is to buy them, but the logic of this is is a bit on the desperate side. You really don't know what you're getting, and their effectiveness is declining. 

High quality, relevant, and high Page Rank (PR) backlinks is what we should be aiming for. But how do you get those?

The most instructive report I've ever purchased on backlinks is Backlink Wizardry 2.0. It's all about prospecting in search engines to find websites, blogs, forums, guest books, and anywhere else to get quality backlinks.  

Posting comments on a blog, or blogs, related to your affiliate product is possibly the most well known method to get a backlink. But there's a right way to do it - and that is to be serious and intelligent about your commenting. A well written comment, along with a legitimate email address and name, is more likely to be approved by the site owner.

There's a lot more to Backlink Wizardry, such as what a search "footprint" is, how to use advanced Google search operators, and how to use search strings.  Until I'd read Backlinks Wizardry I knew very little about these.

Backlink Wizardry is a very neat fit for affiliate marketing.


Rounding Off

So, there it is. The "Affiliate's Formula" stripped bare about how to get going as an affiliate and earn an income stream.

Get Rid Of Hives Reviewed will generate income for years - well, for as long as the original product is still available. 

It's a niche that provides solutions to a problem that afflicts many people.

You could do the same. Find a niche, create a site, get backlinks, promote.

Figure out what works for you and keep doing it.


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