On the face of it, you can make money with affiliate marketing just by putting your link somewhere people will click it.
But is that all you need to do?
Surely it can’t be that simple?
Well, in essence, that’s how affiliate marketing works. But, as with almost everything, the devil is in the detail.
The trick is to figure out where to put your affiliate links.
Beginners tend to splatter their affiliate links far and wide in the hope that some of them will hit the mark and earn a commission. That might be true but it’s more likely to get you branded as a spammer and at best you’ll end up with your links being ignored and at worst you’ll have the account removed.
Both of those happen on places like YouTube.
So many people use sites like YouTube that their computer algorithms almost seem to know when you’re going to spam before you do.
And then your affiliate link is placed in a moderation queue for the channel owner to approve or delete. Or it appears in a “we’ve deleted this for you, undelete it if we’ve got it wrong” list.
So where should you place your affiliate links to stand a chance of making money?
The best place is your own website.
You’re in control (you’re unlikely to ban yourself!) and you can choose where and when to place links.
Of course, you need some content to wrap around the links and give them a chance of being clicked. But at least you know once the link is placed it will stay there.
The trick is to create content that is likely to attract searchers.
That usually means drilling down to the longer search suggestions that show up in Google as you start typing.
By their nature, long search phrases don’t have anywhere near as many searches as short phrases.
But, also by their nature, long search phrases are much more targeted. Which you can see from Google’s estimate of the number of results. Most of the time the figure gets a lot lower as you increase the amount of words in your search.
And – despite your first instincts – less is more in this respect:
- Longer search phrases have less competition so your new content (and your new affiliate link) usually don’t have as long to wait until they show up in the search results.
- Creating content around longer search phrases typically includes other phrases (because you’re writing naturally) that will be equally low competition so you stand a good chance of showing up for relevant phrases that you never dreamed of. Unfortunately you won’t know precisely what those are as the search engines have realised that information is valuable but you’ll still get the clicks.
- Longer search phrases are often more buyer focussed. So the lower number of searches will be compensated for by a higher number of people buying. So you can make the same amount of money with a lower number of precision clicks.
That combination of factors works in your favour so long as you’re prepared to keep at it.
By definition, you’re not going to get server melting traffic if you target low volume search phrases.
You might get a handful of clicks per phrase per month.
We really are looking at that kind of figure.
So each individual page won’t contribute very much to your online empire.
But you can keep creating content – and should do so.
Think about it for a minute:
If each page on your site gets maybe 10 views per month on average but you’re creating 10 new pages per month (relatively easy if you spend an hour most days creating content) then that’s 100 people a month. Repeat that every month for the next year and you’re looking at 1,200 page views per month. Which is more than I get to one of my sites and that makes me about $400 to $500 most months in affiliate commissions and is growing nicely.
As your website traffic builds up, you can then start to build an email list so that you can recycle your site visitors and earn more money from them.
You offer them an ethical bribe (free gift) to join your list and then email them a mix of information and offers.
My emails to my lists vary – sometimes I send an email that is almost pure sales pitch, other times I’ll send information, other times I’ll do a mix of the two.
Other people have different styles.
And the trick is to develop your own style. Because your subscribers will get used to it.
Those subscribers who don’t like you will leave your list or not read your emails. That happens.
Those who do like you will occasionally buy some of the products you recommend. That happens as well and it’s when that happens that your affiliate marketing starts to make money for you.
And that’s when you start to find out that you really can make money with affiliate marketing.
It’s not an overnight success – that doesn’t happen, even if you pay for traffic via advertisements – but if you’re persistent then it can and does happen.
But if you’d like some more help with that, browse the rest of this website or check out my affiliate marketing program.