AskPat 283 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: What, what, what, what's up, everybody? Pat Flynn here, and I don't know why I did that, but I hope you're doing well today. This is Episode 283 of AskPat. Thank you so much. As always I'm here to help you by answering your online business questions five days a week.
We have a great question today from Marlin, but before we get to that I do want to thank today's sponsor, which is SkilledUp.com—one of our most recent additions to the AskPat sponsorship lineup—an awesome company that is giving you access to all of the best trainings out there in the world, actually. They sourced the largest collection of online courses and put it all under one roof for you. So you've got to check it out, seriously. And also, they're giving away ten awesome tools for entrepreneurs. If you go to SkilledUp.com, you can download that free tool kit with all essential resources and all these things that'll be useful to you. So again, go to SkilledUp.com and check that out. Awesome. Now let's get to today's question from Marlin.
Marlin: Hey Pat, it's Marlin from PlantoPrep.com. My question is: How would you transition a niche site into an affiliate site while keeping as much traffic as possible, especially if 100 percent of the traffic is organic search. This year I came across your podcast, created my first Amazon affiliate site, and it's doing fairly well. I'd like to expand on my niche while providing better content and build up a community similar to the way you did with FoodTruckr. The domain is keywordreviews.com and I'm wanting something more brand-able, such as keyword.com. I'm thinking through one redirect, but I wanted to hear from you knowing you had to do the same thing with GreenExamAcademy.com. Thank you for being awesome, and good luck in 2015.
Pat Flynn: Marlin, than you so much for the question today, I really appreciate it. And you were asking about how to transition from a niche site to an affiliate site while keeping as much traffic as possible, because it's all coming from organic traffic right now, or from Google, or wherever organic traffic happens to come from for you. Now let's talk about the definitions of niche site and affiliate site real quick. I think it's really important to talk about this because they've definitely changed over time and I wish you'd told me a little bit more about your businesses, but let's talk about a niche site first.
For those of you out there listening now, those of you who have been in the online space for a while, you might know that a niche site used to be something like a small five to ten page site—and that's it—that was just talking about one particular topic. And it's purpose was to rank as high as it could for people searching a particular keyword and to rank really high so that they could then get traffic, at which point they would either collect email addresses or typically there would be advertisements or products to sell on that site.
Now, a niche site and an affiliate site can be one and the same, I feel. Perhaps you rank a niche site really high and on that page you have links that promote products as an affiliate. They aren't your own, they're other products from other people and you earn a commission if people go through your particular link. So I'm not really quite sure in terms of what you mean by a niche site to affiliate site, so I going to try and talk this out and see if I can help you out a little bit, or maybe explore those options really quick. But I mean, going back to how that term has changed over time—niche site—now I feel like a niche site is essentially a site that targets a particular target market. But it doesn't necessarily have to be all about that keyword. Really, what it is is more of an authoritative thing now. These little tiny niche sites, they don't work as well anymore. Google has sort of discovered that there were people out there trying to rank with these low-quality sites that were for the purpose of making money through ads or through affiliate sales, and that's not what they want. They want good content on there.
So a niche site now, in my eyes, is going to be a resource. A resource, meaning it's useful for people who visit that site with a lot of quality, unique content: That's how you would get it ranked. And other resources on that particular site, whether it be products, or other links to other places, or products like affiliate products . . . And so, if you have a niche site that, for example, has just a lot of traffic and you are just starting to monetize it now through affiliate marketing, then really the only transition thing you have to do is discover, truly, what those products are that are going to help transform your audience—based on their target goals and what they're looking for—and put those things up there.
Now the best way to do that is not just to drop in links and advertisements everywhere. The best way to do that is to surround those affiliate links and offers with quality content related to those things. And there's a few ways to go about doing it. So, for example, let's say you find a product, either on Amazon or somebody else's site that has an affiliate program, and you sign up for that affiliate program, and you get this product. If you use it, which I would highly recommend, or explore it at least as much as you can . . . I mean you want to get to a point, if you want to be successful with affiliate marketing, you want to know and understand these products as if they were your own. That's where a lot of people fail with affiliate marketing: They have their own products, right, and they're promoting them like mad, they're talking about them, they know them inside and out, but then once they promote somebody else's stuff it's just like, “Oh there's this thing: It's pretty cool, you should check it out, here's my link.” And that's it.
No, you need to go into as much detail as possible, as you can, as if it was your own product. And that's where you succeed with affiliate marketing. Because then you are showing your audience who gets there, and it doesn't matter how they get there, organic or linked from other sites, whatever. They're going to see that you know this product. You become a trusted authority because you are speaking as if it was your own. And you are there even to offer support if you need to. That's how you win with affiliate marketing: By building trust with people, by knowing what these products are all about, and how they're going to help them. The more of that you can do, the more successful you will be.
So, more specifically, how can you do that? Well, you could write a review post. And in that review post, you go into high detail about what it is that people are going to get and how to use it, maybe even a quick start guide to go along with it. Those are the types of things that will provide massive value for people, but not only for people, but for Google as well. So maybe it's a blog post that you write that is a couple of thousand words going into detail about what people get when they get this particular product and how to use it, how to best troubleshoot any sort of problems you know come about when people use this thing. You might also be able to benefit from a video. So I don't know if this is a physical product, but you can do what a lot of other people out there do in different niches, they do these unboxing videos. These are extremely popular, and they're popular because people want to see what they are going to get before they get it.
Now you might have seen these videos before where people are literally just opening boxes of stuff they ordered. They have an X-ACTO knife, they open up the box and then they open up the package, and they just kind of talk about every little part of it. “Oh, here's the packing peanuts, here's the wrapping, oh, it's a little bit hard to open so you might need scissors.” Those are ridiculous, but they're great if you're going to potentially buy that product, because then you're going to understand what that's like. And then the mirror neurons in your brain—I got this from Derick Halpern—the mirror neurons on your brain will imagine yourself opening those things if you're watching these videos. It's going to give you good feelings and have you be more likely to purchase that item, because you want those same feelings as that person is getting, as he or she is opening that product.
So just go on YouTube and look up unboxing videos. You're going to find some channels, not videos but specific channels, where people do this, that have millions of subscribers. And it's crazy. So how can you do an unboxing video for the products you're promoting as an affiliate? That's how you can get even more search engine optimization because you're creating a video that goes on YouTube, and Google owns YouTube so if you rank high and you get people finding links through, or finding your video through YouTube, I mean, that's new traffic right there. And of course a lot of people look for reviews and unboxings of these particular things. So you're going to get buyers coming. And if you can drive them back to your blog, or even have an affiliate link in your description as well that can really, really increase your earnings. And that's how you can convert this little niche site that you have, that may be ranking really high for a particular keyword, into one that actually generates revenue for you without you actually having to create products yourself. That's how I'd approach it.
So, try it with one or two products. Pick one at first and just create the highest-quality review that you can. Then create a video review or unboxing of that product and how you would use it and giving as much value as you can and post it up on YouTube. Then embed that video into that blog post so that that blog post becomes even more valuable as well. And then of course you want to mention that you have an affiliate link, and I would also be honest with that too.
Every time I've been honest with affiliate links, even with non SPI-related sites, people appreciate that. Sometimes people don't know that if they go through a certain link it will actually give you a commission. And if you provide value they're going to look for opportunities to pay you back. So that's why I'm always honest. “Hey, here's this product, I've used it before, here's a video that'll walk you through exactly how to get started with it. Here's an affiliate link if you're interested. It's not going to cost you anything extra but I do get a commission if you go through this link so I would appreciate it if you clicked it before you purchase this product, if you found value in what I had to provide for you.” Boom. Done. You're going to win.
So, Marlin, I hope that answers your question and gives you some thoughts on how to approach an affiliate site. This conversation sort of went from what the definition of a niche site is, an affiliate site is, to just how to crush it with affiliate marketing. Hopefully, this provided some value for you and everybody else out there listening. How are you going to create your next unboxing video; how are you going to do that? And you can do that in every niche, even if there's not a physical box to go along with it. What about logging in to something people are going to buy? Maybe it's a particular piece of software: You buy it, you log in, and you just talk about it the whole time. You record it using ScreenFlow or Camtasia Studio, and boom, there's your version of the unboxing video that people who are interested in this product in the future, who are potential buyers, who are on the fence, they're thinking, “Maybe I'll get this product, I just want to look at it a little bit more.” If you can be that person to get in front of them and provide them with that value, they will go through your link. You just got to put it in front of them. So there it is.
Marlin, thank you so much for the question, I really appreciate it. For those of you listening, if you have a question you'd like potentially featured here on the show, just head on over to AskPat.com. You can ask right there on that page. Also, if you'd like to continue this conversation or have any comments about it, use the hashtag #AskPat283, for Episode 283 on Twitter. Again, #AskPat283. I also want to thank today's sponsor, which is SkilledUp.com. Such an awesome company. I met the guys there and they are really cool. They're doing a lot of great things. I mean, you've got to check it out. Just go to SkilledUp.com, that's the homepage. You can find a course on almost anything. So for example, right now, Photoshop. And then see what comes up. There are 4,399 courses listed here, also some free articles. Eight careers and two skills. I'm not exactly sure what the skills thing is, but they show you all of the courses that are available on all different vendors and different sites. So you can actually pick and choose and see which ones work for you. This is just so cool. And here are the careers here, if I have Photoshop experience—I mean, I guess you can even find a job, or find somebody who is experienced who is going to help you with Photoshop.
So, again, check it out. And if you want to get their guide, which actually has ten tools you can use as an entrepreneur, head on over to SkilledUp.com. Actually, that's where I would recommend you go first. So, SkilledUp.com. Awesome. Thanks so much Marlin; thanks again for the question today. And to finish up, I want to end with a quote from Confucius, and Confucius said: “The man who moved mountain, begins by carrying away small stones.” Cheers. Take care and I'll see you in the next episode of AskPat.
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