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Blogging for Affiliate Profits

How would you like to learn about a method where your blogging can bring in cash – quickly, without your own product or mailing list, no customer service hassles or sales staff, and practically hands-free?

Welcome to the exciting world of blogging for affiliate profits.

What are Affiliate Programs? How Can You Use Them?

Affiliate programs (also called ‘associate programs’) are partner programs run by product vendors or service providers that recruit people to become commissioned sales-persons for their organization. Typically, they pay their partners (called ‘affiliates’) a share of the profit the affiliate generates for the business or group.

For you, looking at the set up from the standpoint of an affiliate wanting to use blogging for affiliate profits, this is an elegant, simple and nice solution to many start up problems.

You find a business that offers an affiliate program. You register for it. You select one or more of their products to feature on your blog. Whenever anyone buys it through a referral from your blog, you get credited a share of the profits.

You do nothing else.

You do not have to create a product or deliver a service. You do not have to process payments or issue refunds. You do not have to handhold a customer who needs help, or  deal with antsy buyers who are angry or upset.

You just refer a prospective buyer to the business – and collect a commission, cash your check, whenever the prospect buys.

The nice thing is you can do it all by blogging for affiliate profits.

Objection, Objection! If It’s So EASY…

… then why isn’t everyone doing it already?

First, it isn’t ‘easy’ unless you know what to do (we’re going to talk about that). Next, many bloggers ARE indeed doing it already!

In a nutshell, blogging for affiliate profits boils down to:

  • picking a niche, then a product and planning to sell it
  • creating a series of marketing messages around it
  • setting up a blog and executing your plan

Looks simple (and it is) – but there’s a process, a set of action steps to go through before you get really good at it, and maximize the impact of your blogging to make more affiliate sales. Let’s talk more about it.

Picking a Niche

There are 2 views about ‘niche hunting’. One suggests following a passion. Another advices going where there’s money. Here’s a short report you can read to learn more.

Whatever route you pick, when it comes to blogging for affiliate profits there are a few more things you need to look into before finalizing your choice.

  • Are there enough good products/services in the niche for you to sell?
  • Do these products/services have affiliate programs you can join?
  • How much money do the affiliate programs pay out for referrals?
  • Is there a good market in your niche for those products/services?

There are many more things to explore in detail, but this is a quick checklist you must go down while selecting a niche.

A Niche Finding Exercise

Here’s a way to do it in a fun, easy way.

Take out a sheet of paper or a legal pad.

Sit alone in a quiet place and think over your areas of expertise, passion and interest. List them. Make your list as long as you like.

Then, go through the list, ranking items by priority – which do you like best, which next best and so on.

Fire up your web browser, go to Google Adwords (you can open an account if you don’t already have one), and log in to your account. Go to the TOOLS section and look at KEYWORD TOOLS.

Type your first choice word into the box and click ‘GET KEYWORD IDEAS’ – you’ll get a list of results, and below it a box to calculate estimates for a CPC advertising campaign.

In the box, type in $100 and click RECALCULATE.

Then look at the column headed ‘Estimated Avg.CPC’ – this is the amount advertisers are willing to pay to run a Google Adwords campaign and rank their ad at the top.

If this figure is high, it is very likely that advertisers are earning MORE than this amount PER CLICK on their ads – which translates into proving to you that this is a profitable niche.

On the other hand, if this figure is a few cents only, then the chances are you would find it harder to earn meaningful profits in this niche.

You could try to refine your niche by trying related keywords, or move on to the next one on your list until you find a niche which you like/enjoy, and is reasonably profitable too.

Select Your Product or Service

The next step is to identify a product or service you will be promoting while you are blogging for affiliate profits.

Don’t go overboard here. Stick with one, or a few that you like, think will be useful to your audience and feel comfortable about throwing your recommendation behind.

There are many ways to locate products and services you will promote.

Select Your Product or Service

The next step is to identify a product or service you will be promoting while you are blogging for affiliate profits.

Don’t go overboard here. Stick with one, or a few that you like, think will be useful to your audience and feel comfortable about throwing your recommendation behind.

There are many ways to locate products and services you will promote.

  • Google (or other search engines) – Do a search for the keyword of your niche and ‘affiliate program’
  • Clickbank – A marketplace for digital products (mainly ebooks), Clickbank lists millions of titles covering many topics, and you can search there
  • Commission Junction – An affiliate service provider for many offline merchants selling physical goods, with a searchable database you can explore
  • Forums – Visit any of the popular forums in your niche and see what other members are promoting (often as affiliates) in their signature or link

While choosing a product or service to promote, in addition to quality and value, also look at things like:

  • the affiliate commission offered (it has to be worth your effort at making a sale)
  • the frequency and size of your commission check (some programs pay monthly and only if you reach a certain threshold)
  • the reliability of the merchant (yes, some are cheats – gasp!)
  • the effectiveness of the selling process (there are many ways to measure this, but it’s beyond the scope of this article – maybe I’ll go deep into it later)

Draw Up a Keyword List

A ‘keyword’ is a word or phrase which people looking for information about a subject or topic are likely to use in search engines or similar tools to find out more.

Armed with a good keyword list, you can tailor your blog content to show up whenever people search on your topic/niche online – and this greatly increases your chances of making more sales as an affiliate.

There are many ways to come up with extensive keyword lists. Here are a few:

  • Affiliate program managers: they often will compile a list of the best keywords for those affiliates who will use pay-per-click advertising to promote their product/service
  • Google Adwords: the same tool you used earlier can give you a list
  • Digital Point Keyword Tool: a free web-based tool to research keywords
  • Word Tracker: a paid service with many versatile features

How big should your keyword list be?

It depends on how many products/services you plan to promote by blogging for affiliate profits in your niche. If you want to make it your primary focus, then a longer list is better as you can create more content around those keywords for your blog.

Plan Your Blogging For Affiliate Profits

Too often, blogs are put up with little planning. For starters, go through this series of articles about “How To Launch a New Blog in 2 Weeks” to see just what is involved in a blog launch plan.

The process is very similar even when you are blogging for affiliate sales. You need to have the major issues planned. We’ll get deeper into some of them in a future article, but here are some areas to think through:

  • What is your affiliate income target?
  • How big is your budget for blogging as an affiliate?
  • What part of your overall income will come from affiliate marketing?
  • How much time do you have for affiliate blogging?
  • Do you have the necessary technical skills and knowledge?
  • Are you already experienced at ‘pre-selling’ as an affiliate?
  • Do you have web hosting, domain names and email autoresponders?

There’s more. We’ll get to it in the next part. I hope you’ve gained a basic overview of the elements of blogging for affiliate profits.

Got any questions? Need anything explained better? What do you want to see covered in the next part? Please leave a comment and I’ll take this series in the direction YOU want!

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