It seems like recently a lot of our SEO contacts have been clamoring about how badly they want to get into affiliate marketing. If you are not familiar with what affiliate marketing is, it is a way to get money through commissions by selling products for other people. There are many websites that allow you to sell their products as an affiliate. The largest one is Amazon as they will let you sell essentially anything on their website with commissions ranging from around 1% to 10%. You’d be surprised at how many sellers have affiliate programs. Another big one is ClickBank.
If you know SEO, you know the potential of affiliate
The neat thing about affiliate marketing is that SEO is the backbone of any successful affiliate site. So it is with good reason that our SEO friends are excited about getting into it. Why not? Once you have your site ranked on page one, you can sit back and make money while you sleep.
Think of it as investing in digital real estate. Affiliate marketing is a great form of passive income and you don’t have to invests hundreds of thousands of dollars like real estate investors. This isn’t to say that you don’t have to invest a lot of time and money to get a site ranked. Because it is the dream of many, it is very competitive, especially certain niches like health related ones.
Prepare for the long haul
It takes a long time to rank well in Google now. It can take up to two years to get a site on page one in competitive niches. In more niched down niches it can still take a year. Like that song says, the waiting is the hard part, but after those few years you can rest assured knowing that you’ve put in the time and effort to get a good quality website ranking.
Also, since affiliate is so competitive you may not be able completely sit back and relax after you’ve ranked. That is because the people behind you will be trying their darnedest to surpass you. But if you have your technique down well, you shouldn’t have to work to hard and you can automate many of the processes.
The best strategy is to start small
If you are just getting started with affiliate you should start with a very specialized niche and some long tail keywords since those are easier to rank for and will help you get your feet wet. Think something like “best green and pink pinstriped tank tops for 5 and half year old girls who like to draw”. Ok maybe you don’t have to be the niched down, but you get the point.
The other benefit to this is that smaller sites require less time and resources. Starting out you are sure to make some mistakes. It is best that you mistakes with a small niche so that if you mess up big, you won’t have as much sunk cost. Knowing this should give you the confidence to be bold in you process and really swing for the fences. If you strikeout, you can easily get up and start again.
A lot of people just go straight to Amazon and stick with it. That could be good starting out, but eventually you will want to broaden your horizons. If you dig a little deeper you can find amazing private affiliate programs with great payouts. Also think about affiliates that charge on a recurring basis and try and get it on that. It is the gift that keeps on giving!