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How to Successfully Make Money with Affiliate Marketing

Did you know that you can convert that huge following on your blog or social media platform into a substantial income? Or build a following that will bring you an online income?

This is what they refer to as “making money online” and there are a lot of different ways that you can do this.

One such way is through affiliate marketing, which has long been among the most popular ways of making money online and will continue to be for the foreseeable future.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

At its core, affiliate marketing is a performance-based marketing strategy where the blogger or publisher (you) is paid for linking a merchants website via their personal affiliate link. It is one of the fastest ways to start an internet business and one of the cheapest ways making money online as long as you can drive targeted traffic.

For example; if you bought a new guitar that all your friends love and want to get one too, you can send them to your affiliate link and get paid for ever sale. Or if you just love music in general so you start a website about it, you can promote your favorite instruments on the site through you personal affiliate links.

There are literally thousands of affiliate programs out there for just about any niche, and millions of products & services to promote in almost every industry. If all else fails, and you can’t find an affiliate program for your particular niche (which would be very rare), you can always send your visitors to Amazon or eBay through their affiliate programs.

That’s part of why affiliate marketing can be SO incredibly powerful; there is a virtually endless amount of opportunities to promote products and services in just about every industry in the world.

How to Become a Successful Affiliate Marketer

Like any other form of internet marketing or business in general, affiliate marketing is not a walk in the park. You still have to learn a lot of things and work very hard to become successful at it. Remember that the reward is based on the performance and thus you are the only real limit to your income.

Here some of the main tips for how to make money with affiliate marketing successfully (though it is not an all-inclusive list):

* Specialize in a specific niche and/or a handful of good products or services

Don’t make the BIG mistake of trying to register with too many affiliate programs or get involved with a bunch of niches and products/services (at least not until you are a master affiliate marketer). You need to concentrate on a specific niche with a few good products, and promote them properly. Having too many affiliates programs, niches, products or services can be quite overwhelming and can result in getting nowhere. Do your research and pick a niche you are interested in that is likely to be profitable. This can be achieved by identifying the audience, analyzing their problems, and providing a solution in terms of a targeted product or service. With this strategy, you will become a successful affiliate marketer much faster.

* Become an expert in your selected niche (if you aren’t already)

Your visitors must feel truly informed whenever they come to your site and be able to find what they are looking for – whether it’s a product, information, resource, or whatever. They must get quality information about the niche every time they visit if you want to keep them coming back and sharing your site within their circles. Always provide accurate information about the products and services along with news, updates, etc… basically just be the authority on the subject wherever possible. Try to be the first to get raw information from the producer or the merchant to keep yourself one step ahead of your competitors and keep your visitors happy. This may take some extra effort and learning on your part, but it is how your website or blog will gain credibility and attract a bigger following.

* Choose reputable merchants

The reputation of the merchant(s) is crucial in this business. You can do a good job in promoting the product, but if the customers end up unhappy after the purchase, you can ruin your business. Even though it is not your product, it can still taint the reputation of your website and your image as an affiliate marketer. Or on the other end, you want to be sure you are actually getting paid for your efforts. A shady merchant may not send your checks and you will be wasting your time. You want to make sure that the affiliate programs you are joining are very reputable.

* Don’t rely on any one traffic source

If you want to make more money, then getting traffic to your site from just one or two sources is not enough. You need to promote your site in many different ways to boost traffic. You can use things such as Blogging, SEO, Adwords, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Display Ads, and many other forms of internet marketing strategies that affiliate marketers use to drive targeted traffic to their websites.

The bottom line is; affiliate marketing can be very lucrative if you work hard and be smart about it. You can even build it up to the point of making passive income. It really can be a cost-effective and relatively simple way of making money, where the biggest investment is your time. Treat it like a real business and the gains will be incredible!

What Do Horses And Carts Have To Do With Internet Affiliate Marketing, Anyway?

Have you noticed something that most of the top internet business owners have in common?

Yes, of course they all make a lot of money, and quite a lot of it is often from affiliate marketing commissions. However, more importantly than that, they have all created their own unique brands and products.

In contrast to the leading marketers, you will find that the great majority of affiliate business marketers try to make money exclusively by selling other people’s products. The problem with this approach to internet marketing, however, is that it puts the cart before the horse. The most successful online business entrepreneurs know that it is much better to have the affiliate marketing sales cart driven by the horse of unique products with the owner sat prominently in the driver’s seat for the purposes of personal branding.

You see, the problem with focusing solely on affiliate marketing is that that is what everybody else is doing. You only have to search the web for one or two leading affiliate products to realize there are far too many internet marketers out there who think the key to success is selling other people’s info products or business packages. Unfortunately for them, if you want to succeed with online marketing you have to begin promoting yourself and producing products and services of your own.

It need be no more difficult to produce your own product than it is to write a short report. Anybody who has been working in a particular field any amount of time will have a fund of insights and ideas to offer. Once you have written a report you can turn it into an e-book and promote it as your own product.

Even if you use it as a free incentive to get people to join your list, the very fact that it is a unique product that you have produced yourself with your name on it will give you an advantage over much of the competition. It will help you to brand yourself as an expert in your field.

But you don’t need to stop there. Once you have turned one report into an e-book, begin to plan your next e-book project, or online training course.

The next step could be to make a video version of your e-book. You can post the first video on your website to promote the whole course.

These are just a few ideas for creating your own unique products if you don’t yet have any of your own.

Now that you have something unique to offer, you will find that you have a more solid platform from which to promote affiliate products to generate extra income for your business. That is a much better way to think about making money with affiliate programs. Your primary income should come from your own product (the horse) and your secondary income can then be much more easily generated from affiliate commissions (the cart) generated from follow-up sales – just as a cart follows a horse.

Remember, it always pays to promote yourself first and other people’s business second. That is why you need to be visibly in the seat as the driver of your internet marketing “horse and cart.”

Here’s to your whipcrackin’ success!

3 Simple Internet Business Ideas You Can Start Today

When it comes to making money online, there’s a virtually unlimited supply of internet business ideas and opportunities to choose from. Having so many choices is often the problem for many people because they get overwhelmed and can’t figure out where to start.

If you’re going to really make money online, it’s important to take action on each new thing you learn rather than getting caught up in simply reading about what you should be doing. If you just learn and never do anything, you will go into information overload and won’t ever make money.

I believe one of the most important aspects of making money online is taking action (and most internet marketers will agree with me). You can’t just sit back and wait for the money to come to you because that’s never going to happen. Trust me, I wish it would!

Below I am going to list a few of the most popular and fairly simple internet business ideas. You can do these as a part time internet business or a full time work at home based business. The time you put into your business is totally up to you, but you do need to make sure you devote some time each day or you won’t earn any money.

1) Become an Affiliate Marketer

Affiliate marketing involves promoting products and services online with a special link that is given to you when you sign up for the affiliate program. Typically this involves building websites around specific niches that contain affiliate links to the products and services you are promoting in that niche.

These can be informational sites, content sites, product reviews sites, social media, or blogs that link to products that you think your visitors would be interested in. You then receive a percentage of the profits for each sale made through your affiliate link. The basics of affiliate marketing are really very simple, however actually making money as an affiliate marketer isn’t as easy as it sounds.

2) Provide an Online Business Service

Are you good at niche research, web design, copywriting, graphic design, content writing, SEO, or something else? There is high demand for these skills and many more, so if you can offer one of these services, consider signing up at a freelance site like upwork where you can hire yourself out for pay. This is a fantastic way to make money online from home as there are literally thousands of people online looking to hire people to perform these services for them.

3) Make Money Online with Adsense

You can build niche websites, use SEO to get them ranked in search engines to bring in targeted traffic, put Adsense on them, and earn money every time your visitors click on the ads. This does require some learning and practice to figure out how to do niche research, SEO, and Adsense placement. However, it can be done by almost anyone and it’s one of the best internet business ideas.

These are just a few simple internet business ideas to get you started making money from your own online business. You can do them individually or combine them into one business. As you get more experience you will also figure out other ways to make money online.

Christmas and a Home Business

Don’t look now, but Christmas is only a few weeks away once again. It’s a time for families to get together, kids to open their presents, office workers to do lots of embarassing things at the office party…

Ok, we all know Christmas is a time of festivities and fun!

But for those of us trying to make a buck (or several) online, what does it mean for your home business? Well, it’s a pretty good time to roll out the seasonal affiliate sites, dust them off and put them to work for you. Don’t have anything suitable? Well, believe it or not there is still time to make new ones if you’re quick. But you have to act fast.

First of all you have to be able to put up a half decent site quickly, get enough original content on there with a liberal sprinkling of your keyword to satisfy the search engines that its legit, then be able to link to it fast and furiously. Then rinse and repeat with more sites.

Why more than one site?

You need to build in some redundancy as well as create an interlinking system. By building in redundancy, I mean you’ll need a few sites that all target exactly the same keyword because you’re probably going to have a fight on your hands with a certain search engine that is currently indexing and de-indexing new sites seemingly at random. Some will feature in the SERPs and some won’t. And you need search engine traffic for this to work.

Here’s how.

Say you want to target a fairly competitive seasonal keyword, such as Christmas tree decorations, Christmas gifts, artificial Christmas trees or something similar. You’ll need three or four blogs with that exact keyword in the url, the site title and the page headers as far as on-site SEO goes. Don’t waste time looking for domains, you probably won’t find any .com’s suitable. Use some of the many free blogging hosts available, but just make sure they allow you to put up affiliate ads before you start building.

Build your blogs with a simple template and write an intro post, then social bookmark them to as many places as you can. Meanwhile, find a good affiliate company that has Christmas tree decorations (or whatever your keywords are) vendors that you can sign up with. ShareASale is one pretty good one, but there are others too like CJ etc and don’t forget eBay. There is a killing to be made so spread your net as wide as possible.

Now you’ll also need some supporting sites that you control that cover topics broadly similar to your keywords, such as special occasions, gifts, or anything similar.

What, you don’t have any?

Sheesh! You want an online business but haven’t been building backup sites? What about Squidoo, Hub Pages, Blinkweb, Blogger, WordPress… the list is long and available so there is no excuse for not having the resources. They are there in abundance and if you’re not using them then don’t quit your day job just yet!

Ok, for those of you with plenty of sites, edit them all and add a link to each of your main Christmas keyword targeting sites with the keywords in your anchor text. I take it you know how to do that…

These links may or may not get counted in time, but do it anyway. The theory here is that if you throw enough mud, some of it will stick. Write some articles (also with your keyword anchored link) and submit them to a few top ezines (ezine articles etc). Get into some of the forums you are a member of and put a link in your sig to your sites and post something worthwhile. You are a member of some forums, aren’t you? Good!

The whole idea is to get your sites indexed fast and into the SERPs in the short term.

The next phase is to start writing as fast as you can. You want to hammer as many articles into your main blogs as you can. Don’t worry about them being perfect, just readable (the writer in me hates to say that, but needs must). Post as often as you can (daily or even twice a day) because the more you do it, the more often the Google bot will come visit your sites and give them the short term authority in the index that you need. Also, link the blogs to each other from within those posts. Normally this is not a good idea, but in this case in the short term you only care about creating authority fast.

In the meantime, you should have been accepted into some of the affiliate programs, so start creating pages in your blogs and fill them up with the products you want to sell.

Keep going like a mad person and some of the mud will stick. One or more of your blogs will appear in the SERPs for long enough to attract sufficient traffic to make some sales over the next few weeks. After that, Google will most likely sandbox your sites anyway, but who cares? You will have wrung out of them as much as you could while the going was good, which is all you wanted to do!

Of course, the sites will emerge from the sandbox in 6 months or so ready for an assault on next year’s festive season with the added bonus that they will have acquired more authority and will therefore do better next year!

That’s one way to make use of Christmas with your home business!

Boost Your Affiliate Business with Behavioral Targeting

Targeted marketing is the wave of the future for internet advertisers. The key to advertising is knowing what consumers want. Once an advertiser understands the potential consumer’s needs, he has a much better chance of making a sale. This is the theory behind online targeted marketing.

And while in the Internet’s infancy the best way to advertise via the Internet may have been to simply rapid fire your advertising message to as many places and users as possible, today’s Internet marketer can make use of targeted approaches to online advertising to create a more efficient advertising model. One interesting example of this is indeed behavioral targeting.

What is Behavioral Targeting?

Behavioral targeting is marketing ads to individuals based in prior buying or surfing habits. When an Internet consumer comes to a website enabled with behavioral targeting code, the site analyzes prior habits and places relevant ads on the site based on those patterns.

To do this a special program is used that, like we mentioned, gains access to where the visitor has been before. The program then uses this information to generate ads on the site.

Why Is Behavioral Targeting Useful?

Psychologists know that past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior. People who like to buy state of the art stereo equipment over the Internet are unlikely to restrict their online purchases to floral bouquets anytime soon. If advertisers can find out what someone has bought or taken an interest in before, they know the right things to try to sell to them in the future.

Putting the same ads on the same pages for every viewer to a certain webpage is simply a missed opportunity. Just as car manufacturers advertise in car magazines and makeup vendors advertise in beauty magazines, Internet advertisers want to advertise to people who are interested in their products, which is just what behavioral targeting allows them to do.

What Are the Concerns About Behavioral Targeting?

There is an ethical question of whether recording and storing people’s buying and viewing practices and habits is an invasion of privacy. However, since only the practices and not the personal information of the individual are analyzed by the program, this is not as much of an issue as some people may believe.

Hence these programs generally function “blind,” that is to say, they take the pattern data and spit out ads as a result. Not only does this benefit the advertiser but in the end also the consumer. Rather than being bombarded with irrelevant banners and ad-messages website advertisements is tailored to fit our needs and desires. It’s a win-win!