Basically, I want you to understand my mindset. Sure, this is a bit of a “how-to” guide, but more importantly, I want you to really get an understanding of how I think and why I’ve built my business the way I have. If you can start seeing things from my perspective, the mysterious world of affiliate marketing will start to open up to you. I don’t have specific step-by-step actions you can take, but if I can give you an overall feel for how this business works and how to succeed in it, you will be better off.
If you’re serious about making money selling things online, it’s pretty much impossible to not recommend Shopify. The platform gives you everything you need to get your online store up and running in less than a day including a custom domain, beautiful templates (so you don’t need design skills), secure payment options, and they can even take care of marketing and shipping for you. Whether you’re selling your own products, designs, or curating other products for people in your niche, Shopify is the best option for powering your online store.
I have 3 VAs. I couldn’t function without them. It doesn’t matter how big or how small a business is, they all need help running their day-to-day administrative tasks. Virtual assistants perform a variety of tasks that a traditional assistant or secretary would normally do, including making travel arrangements, paying bills, or managing expense reimbursements. I use them to upload content, optimise images, brief writers etc.
Equally, you can charge businesses to ‘claim’ their listing, a method used by many large directory sites like Google Business and Yelp. This involves companies paying to upgrade their listing and adding information such as their web address, social media links, images, and more. Other revenue streams include charging for ad space, adding affiliate links and even charging for services and products on your directory site.
Most newbies in affiliate marketing make the mistake of registering with too many affiliate programs and try promoting everything they see. If this is the path you are treading, then it will overwhelm you and you won’t promote the products properly. Take time to understand the needs in the market and search for products that will go well with your site’s topic.
Research other listings in your city on AirBnB and see what the going rate is for a place like yours. You could also just rent out a private room as well or even a bed in a shared room. In fact, that's how AirBnB got its start. However, you might find it hard in the beginning without reviews, but as long as you take really good care of your guests and provide a lot of value, the reviews will eventually come rolling in.
22. Advertising – This is definitely the most old-school way of earning money with a blog. It’s also starting to become the least common way. You can sell advertising spots directly on your site or you can sign up with a company like Google AdSense or Media.net. Either way, you won’t see a whole lot of money from ads until your views are well into the thousands each day.
While a part of affiliate marketing is a numbers game (how big is your list, how much traffic do you get, what is your social media presence) the best way to increase these numbers is to provide quality content. Always remember to put your best foot forward in everything that you do, from your blog posts to your newsletter content, to your social media interactions. When you take time to focus on quality and building the relationships – the numbers will follow.
If you’re writing reviews, you should 100% be using rich snippets (they add review stars to your search engine snippets and increase click-through rates). There are many WordPress plugins for this but my favorite is WP Rich Snippets. It’s $69/year (or $399 one-time) and I use it for every single review I write. They have tons of add-ons, settings, styling options, and looks nice. Free plugins like All In One Schema.org do work but lack settings, styling, and flexibility.
The reality in affiliate marketing is that it's like most other work-at-home ventures; there are a few who are filthy rich, a good number who are successful enough to meet their goals, and a ton who aren't making anything. So, the question isn't really whether or not affiliate marketing is a viable income option (it is), but whether or not you can make affiliate marketing work for you. Only you can decide that. But to help, here are some tips.
Amazon offers a service called Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), which can be extremely useful for arbitrage sellers, or others selling their own products. If you opt for FBA, Amazon will store, pick, pack and deliver your products. That means you can scale your arbitrage business quickly as you don’t have to store products in your own home or waste time with postage.
Running and charging for webinars can be a great way to build a following in your niche, demonstrate that you are an expert in your field, and make a profit. Hosting a webinar can be hard work. They need to first be promoted, provide original and valuable information, and include interactive elements so your audience can ask questions and engage with your topic. However, once you have built up a large blog following, each webinar can be extremely profitable.
Elance offers a wide array of technical, data entry, accounting, and other freelance and temp gigs. If you’re just looking for something short and sweet, log in, input and showcase your marketable skills, and begin searching through their job database, using any parameters you desire. Once you submit a bid, you’ll receive an acceptance or denial – you may get a few rejections, but don’t sweat it. Negotiate the terms of your bid, and get to work. You have money to make.
Speaking of the benefits of permanent ads, banners and links aren’t the only ways to earn a little bit of dough off your online endeavors. By having a website, you gain the power of emailing companies to ask them for things. I have no shame in letting the yoga company whose mat I’m looking into purchasing know that I have a blog and write for yoga publications – it sometimes gets me discounts.
Mechanical Turk is Amazon's take on micro-jobs. These are small miniscule-jobs that you can do for other people, which they call HITs, or Human Intelligence Tasks. These are super simple tasks that anyone can do. Some examples are listing off some URLs with certain kinds of images for one cent, or recording a few phrases with a microphone for 6 cents.
Drive for Uber or Lyft: If you're in a locale where you can find Uber or Lyft (or even one of the many competitors around the world such as China's Didi), you could easily make a respectable income. The hours are flexible and you can work as you see fit, making it perfect even if you currently have full-time employment but are looking to make some money on the side.
Website Development Help – need help setting up your theme? I’ve been working with the same 2 developers for 3+ years. To hire them, sign up for a Freelancer account, post your job (WordPress theme installation) then invite user i333 or bdkamol to your project. If you want, contact me and I will introduce you to them via email. Both are great developers with reasonable rates, speak fluent English, and I outsource all my programming work to them.
LinkedIn is a social media site for professionals. This isn’t a direct way to make money, but it’s a great way to connect to your current and potential peers, customers, clients, vendors, and more here. You’ll build a reputation and get in the loop on important developments in your chosen career path and/or industry. One day an old college buddy may hit you up for a dream job you never considered at the exact moment you are looking for a new vocation. Whether you like it or not, keeping your LinkedIn profile current is a great way to get surprised with new work opportunities out the blue.
Once you’re financially stable, I hope you start giving back. It feels good and people like the idea of supporting a good cause (they will be more likely to click your affiliate link in your disclaimer). This also means you don’t have to use as many links in your content and risk getting a penalized. Last year I donated $3,000 to Red Cross At Hurricane Harvey.
This is a great place to start for beginner affiliates. The deeper you get into affiliation, the potential is even great than $50 to $100 in the following industries: Gambling, Adult and Pharma…these industries can get an affiliate a $250+ CPA commission + Rev Share for successful affiliates. The sky is the limit and many people fall into the most amateur affiliate programs which is probably why most affiliates are not successful. I’ve been an affiliate marketer for many years now and if you’re just starting out, the one thing I recommend is first of all: Get familiar with all the tools, affiliation strategies…get to know the programs, establish a connection with your affiliate managers and if you put a lot of time in it and take it seriously…Sooner or later you will succeed. I’ve done it and I am still doing it. I have a few successful sites that I operate, I work both with Click Bank and independent affiliation programs…One word of advice, Amazon and Ebay are over-saturated…Try an affiliate program with a higher CPA and less competition…Competition can be measured simply by using the Google Keyword Tools. Great article! I love your blog. Cheers! Mike
Teaching and tutoring English as a second language is a great way to make money online, not to mention open some doors for you to travel the world if you'd like. While full ESL (English as a Second Language) accreditation is recommended, as long as you’re a native speaker and have the ability to teach, there are people in countries such as Hong Kong or the UAE who are willing to pay upwards of $25/hr for you to tutor them English via Skype. Check out Indeed, Learn4Good and Remote.co for remote english tutoring jobs or sign up on a specialized site like VerbalPlanet or Chegg Tutors.
If you are more confident in your skills, you can also market directly to websites and blogs. You can contact the sites by email to market your services. That will also enable you to select the specific types of sites that you are more comfortable working with. Since there are literally thousands of websites and blogs on the web, the potential market is limitless.
Decide how you'll promote the affiliate products. As mentioned, the easiest way is through a website or blog. Other successful affiliate marketers set up a squeeze page designed to build an email list, and then promote affiliate products to subscribers. Of course, your list should provide other non-sales information as people don't want to be sold all the time. Some affiliate marketers don't use a website at all, and instead use social media such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Many affiliate marketers use a combination of several marketing tactics.
Hands down I’d say the best thing you can do is research 1 primary keyword, craft an enticing article title that includes your keyword (though it doesn’t have to be an exact match), spend time writing your search engine snippets (SEO titles/meta descriptions), and by far the most important is making your content as VALUABLE as possible through videos, nice graphics, table of contents, bold/colors/styling, etc. Small things like keyword density barely matter.
White labeling products involves purchasing pre-made products from a supplier and then adding your own labeling and branding. Products could range from candles to gym equipment or even tea, but all will come without labels, allowing you to create your own new range of merchandise. Most suppliers will advertise the fact they offer white labeled goods on their websites, so pick your niche and then find the right supplier and product for you. Once labeled, products can be sold via sites like eBay and Amazon, or from your own eCommerce store (discussed in a moment).
Another strategy to make money online is to become a social marketing manager. Being present on social media is key for any business that wants to attract new customers, promote their products and grow their following. However, constantly posting, liking and commenting on the numerous social media channels is extremely time consuming. More and more businesses are recruiting social media managers to run and organize all their social media. And to save money, social media employees are often employed as online freelancers.
Sign up for a reputable affiliate network: Aside from Amazon, there are dozens of large reputable affiliate networks, such as Share-A-Sale, Clickbank, and Skimlinks, that specialize in connecting you with merchants who are looking for affiliates to sell their products. They charge relatively low commission fees for the privilege of connecting you with merchants, and the merchants on these sites tend to offer much higher commission percentages or set dollar amount payouts.