I’m a big believer of creating your own products to sell online. Whether it’s something like an eBook, a membership website, or software of some kind, building your own products can yield the highest profits, as well give you a fantastic foundation to live a passive income lifestyle.
However, I know that not everyone is cut out to create their own products. Some people simply don’t have the time, while others don’t think they have information to make a worthwhile product. Sadly, some people know they have the information, but are just lazy.
Whatever the reason may be for not wanting to create your own product, I’m sure most of you know that you have the option of simply skipping that step and selling other people’s products as an affiliate instead, earning a commission for each sale that you drive. Heck – sometimes you don’t even have to create a sales page or worry about closing the deal, you just have to drive traffic to a certain page, and it takes care of the rest.
On top of that, there’s no need to worry about customer service, which is the one thing that can take some time away from an entirely passive income lifestyle if you’re earning money with your own products. I speak from experience.
Although I do sell products of my own online, I’m also an affiliate for various products in multiple niches as well. I’m actually seeing quite a lot of success too, as you can read in my latest income report.
I use multiple strategies to build up my affiliate income. Here is a majority of them, which I’m happy to share with you in case you were looking at some new and creative ways to boost your affiliate income.
A Resource Page
My resource page has been a top affiliate earning page on this blog ever since I published it, earning at least $1k a month.
It just lists a number of resources that I recommend, along with a brief description of each. It helps people who are looking for solutions, and it helps me because some of those resources are affiliate links. It’s an entirely amicable way of earning an income and building authority and trust with your readers. A win-win for all.
An “Extension” – Page
An extension page is similar to a resource page, however you do a little bit more to make it feel like what their looking at is related to your brand.
For example, on my GreenExamAcademy.com website where I sell study guides that I created for the LEED exam, I have a page for practice exams. On this page (which is still on the greenexamacademy.com domain), I describe a number of various practice exams that people can purchase. It is only then when people click on the affiliate link (which is a call to action) that they are taken to a product page on a third-party website.
To make this process flow even better, I should probably include some imagery on my own site that may also be seen on the third-party website, so there is even more cohesiveness in the buying process between both sites.
Sidebar Banner Ads
As you can see (if you’re not reading this in an RSS reader), there are four 125×125 pixel banner ads in the sidebar on the right hand side of the blog, which are all affiliate links to certain products that I recommend. I’ve been debating for a while whether to keep these up or take them down, but they still produce a rather substantial amount of click-throughs each month, so for now they are staying up.
What’s cool is that you don’t need people’s permission or any contracts to put these kinds of ads on your website, as opposed to selling private advertising space on your site. All you need is an affiliate link, and in many cases companies who are serious about their affiliate program will provide you with graphics to use, just as these 4 companies did here.
If you do end up experimenting with this method, make sure you test, test, and test! If the banner ads you put up aren’t getting any clicks, or you’re getting clicks but absolutely no sales as a result, dump them and try another. Unless you’re driving traffic and making a commission, it’s just wasted space on your site.
Within Blog Posts
On occasion, I’ll embed an affiliate link into a blog post. This is usually done when I’m already talking about a certain niche or product I’m involved in, and there just happens to be a specific product that I use and recommend that has an affiliate program tied into it. I never write blog posts just to make money by placing an affiliate link in it. I think people are too smart for that and can read right through those types of posts.
Money should never be the intention behind any content that you write in your blog posts. However, money can be the result of producing awesome content, with the intention of helping others.
Sometimes, the affiliate links will be “noticeable”. For example:
My iPhone app business is doing really well, thanks to the How to Make iPhone Apps with No Programming Experience eBook.
OR, I may make them a little more subtle, such as:
We don’t worry about building the apps ourselves, because it’s much easier to outsource the ideas to people who could build the apps faster and probably much better too.
Either way works well, it just depends on the prose and mood of your paragraph and/or post.
I also embed affiliate links in the products that I create and sell. This is the nice part about creating an electronic product, because you can’t really embed an affiliate link into a physical book. Actually, you can – but I’ll get to that in a second.
Now of course, this can only be done when you create a product, so you’ll have to do that first, but if you have one out already or are working on one as we speak, don’t forget about the opportunity to put in an affiliate link where you believe one should go.
Within Physical Products or While Talking Live
I don’t practice this yet, but with my upcoming podcast, I may do something similar.
Let’s say you’re an affiliate for a company that sells fly fishing reels. On a website, it would be really easy to insert an affiliate link that looks like:
But, imagine showing that in a physical book, or saying that on a show. That would look or sounds really weird and there’s no way people are going to remember that unless they take the time to write it down or remember where it was in the book or audio you mentioned the link.
Our job is to make people’s live as easy as possible when it comes to getting them to take action.
So, here’s what you can do: you can buy a nice looking domain that forwards to that affiliate link.
Purchase bestflyfishingrods.com and tell it to forward to that crazy link above. That’s much easier to both say and remember.
A Few Last Pointers
- Always track your affiliate links. Know how many clicks are going through, and how many sales are coming as a result. If you don’t, you’re just trying to get lucky. Make your own luck and figure out what works and what doesn’t.
- Understand my 8 Principles for Effective Affiliate Marketing on a Blog.
- As far as PPC (pay-per-click) affiliate marketing is concerned, I’ve tried it, but it’s not my cup of tea. I know it can be hugely profitable if done correctly, but I also know that if done carelessly, you can lose a lot of money really fast.
- Lastly, as more time goes by, and the more of the above strategies you implement, the more potential affiliate income streams you create for yourself, because you never know when someone random will stumble upon your blog.
Thanks for your support! Cheers everyone!
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