Here’s the truth. The best money for affiliate marketing is in your subscriber list. Loyal customers who like your content will not only keep coming back for more, they will want to do their part to help you out by buying products through your site rather than directly from the manufacturer. For your most loyal fans, build a subscriber list and use it, but don’t abuse it.
With the ability to run my affiliate business from home, I don’t have to deal with rush hour traffic, office politics, and most importantly, it gives me more time to spend doing the things that I truly love to do. Making the lifestyle change from working the brutal hours I was working as a long-haul truck driver meant everything to me, which is why I am passionate about helping others run their affiliate business from home. Trust me, if I was able to start earning a full time living through affiliate marketing, so can you. No, it won’t be quick and no, it won’t be easy, but it can work for anyone who is willing to put in the time and effort required.
However, affiliate marketing isn’t just about marketing your partners’ goods, or at the very least it can be about much more than that. Affiliate marketing is also an opportunity to create your own website or some other form of content and get paid to do so, because you’ll be running ads and providing other links to things your audience will genuinely want to buy, at least if you combine your affiliates and your interests correctly.
Theme – you don’t need a special theme for affiliate marketing, you probably just need a blog. I recommend StudioPress themes since that’s what Yoast, Matt Cutts (from Google), and I use. Matt Mullenweg, founder of WordPress also recommends them. One of the biggest mistakes I made was using a theme from Themeforest… since they’re built by independent developers who may stop making updates to their theme. This happened to me and I hear horror stories all the time about people having to switch themes and redesign their entire site. I’ve been using the same StudioPress theme (Outreach Pro) for 3 years. Their themes are lightweight (load fast), SEO-friendly via optimized code, secure, and they have a huge selection of plugins for the Genesis Framework and an awesome community in the Genesis WordPress Facebook Group. They include documentation for setting it up and will serve you for many, many years.
I always add an HTML table of contents to posts to make sure they are long and structured. This has been a HUGE help for me (and my readers) and there are tons of benefits: better chance of getting “jump to links” in Google (see below), increased average time on page, decreased bounce rates, and it makes it easier for readers to navigate through your content.
Of course, you’ll need to have an audience; otherwise, you wouldn’t have people to promote to. You can use various strategies to generate traffic to your site like uploading quality articles that search engines would consider worth the read and online users would want to read and share. You can also participate in forums, SEO, post appropriate videos on YouTube, social bookmarking and networking, or write news articles, among many other techniques.
I have yet to implement all the tools you have shared and recommended in this article, but I really like the way you explain things. It is written in a very easy-to-read style, and ho hype or exaggerated comments. Now I have to get busy and take the necessary time to study, and implement, your recommendations. Thank you for all that you have shared.
Same here, this post kind of fell from the sky at such a great time. Been building a great community of readers over the years but reached a point where I’m losing money maintaining the site and newsletter. As you said, the ads don’t bring much -ironically I use Adblocks too but affiliate marketing always seemed like a weird and opaque subject. I’ve read many of Chris Guillebeau’s books in the last few months (this is how I discovered your site actually!) and I didn’t realize he had affiliate links for instance. Your post opened up a new window of possibility for me. Still need to process everything and do the work behind but a big thank you to you Sean!