Yea, yea, yea… find a product, write good content, get it ranked in Google… blah, blah blah. You’ve heard all this crap before, right?
Worse, maybe you’ve actually tried doing ‘what’ this crap says… and still failed.
Today I am featuring a guest post by Danielle Schaefer. Nothing energizes people more than to see the exact steps someone else took to achieve the same goal they want for themselves. She shares the exact steps she took with affiliate marketing to make a very nice profit.
People are more than willing to tell you ‘what’ to do, but when it comes to ‘how’ people are either parroting what they’ve heard, or selling you something…
And in both cases, they’re leaving out a ton of fundamental stuff because they want you to think it’s ‘easy.’
So let’s just start right there. This stuff ain’t easy.
When I saw Jennifer’s post on Facebook, I left a super short comment because I wanted people to see that what she was suggesting can be done, I did it myself. And let me tell you something, I’m no super affiliate (more on that in a minute) and it wasn’t ‘easy,’ but it wasn’t all that hard and it can work. When I realized that people might want to see ‘proof’, I offered to write this guest post.
First of all, the success I had from an affiliate promotion involved having an ‘in.’ For this case, my ‘in’ was that I was the copywriter for the product sales page, so I had very early review access to the product, and a ‘relationship’ with the product creator.
I also had some ‘assets’ to leverage, including a tiny list of 120 buyer subscribers to my own product in the same niche (Amazon Affiliate Marketing) and a blog for my product, and all things Amazon related.
So, I had a really good ‘edge’ there already.
BUT… Don’t Freak Out…
The creator was not ready for a ‘launch’ yet, but she did agree to open it up to my readers for 24 hours, during which time I made sales of the front end and all also bought the upsell which was a recurring monthly fee membership program.
So while my list and my blog were ‘assets’ I could leverage, it was the relationship helped me get in early, and the best part of that ‘edge’ was the ‘advanced notice’ that I had, because that gave me time to write the review and get it ranked on Google. At the end of this post, I’ll give you a link to an article on how to get early notice of an upcoming product launch and how to build a relationship.
First, let me tell you what I did, and how I did it….
The first thing I did was ‘review’ the product on my blog. Now I am about as anti-SEO as anti-SEO can get and I do not rely on SEO at all, (which is why I stick with “Amazon” and my blog is all “Amazon” and not just ‘reviews’ of every IM/MMO bright shiny object) but I did optimize these posts for the product name keyword, because I knew that when she did launch, people were going to be searching for reviews, and I wanted them to find mine. I focus on building an ‘audience’ of “Amazon Affiliates” and treat SEO like a ‘by-product’, kinda like 15 minutes of fame from some press coverage. It’s a nice boost, but my focus is on my readers. I am active on Amazon blogs and forums, and I create Amazon products that I give away or sell to build an audience.
Writing Multiple Posts
I also planned to write the separate posts for the review. The first post was an introduction to the product and the ‘test review’ I would be doing. I covered the promises the product made, what was in the product, and how I would go about implementing the teachings and documenting the results, adding my own ‘promise’ to what I was going to do for my readers to it. The second post documented the implementation of what was taught in the product, and the results, and the third post ‘closed’ the sale.
The second post was the longest and it is the one that any ‘content distribution’ linked back to. The first and third were ‘distributed’ to bring readers to the actual ‘test and results’ documentation of the second post. More on ‘content distribution’ in a minute..
Once the 24 hour ‘special’ was closed, I had to change out my affiliate link and instead link to an optin page that let readers know that the product was closed, but they could sign up to my list and I would let them know when it would become available again.
The Early Bird Gets the Worm
Suffice it to say, since no one was yet ‘searching’ for the product name [review] keyword yet, because she hadn’t started the launch and wasn’t building buzz yet, I didn’t actually get any optins there, but when she did start pre-launch, I changed the link back to my affiliate link, and…
On the day she opened for sales, I earned $197.00 in commissions. And over the first 8 days, a total of $487. Plus I was still making the ‘recurring’ commissions from the first sales I made back in December on the ’24 hour special.’ in January and February.
Now that other affiliates were getting notified about the new product launch they were starting to write their own reviews and I did get outranked. For a few days. Up until then, my PR 2, highly relevant blog was solidifying my rankings, but now I was getting outranked (not enough to hurt me, since I was obviously still making sales, but nonetheless, I wanted my position back, just in case) so it was time for the next step.
Content Distribution and Back Linking
I summarized the first and third posts, and turned them into presentations and videos, and they all linked back to the 2nd post, the actual documentation of the testing and the results. Disclaimer: I am no SEO person… this is the strategy that was advised to me by someone with more knowledge about SEO than I have and it worked. That’s all I can tell you about SEO.
I distributed these pieces of content to doc share sites, slide share sites, and video share sites.
I managed to get back to position 2, page 1 and as of the date of this post, March 21, 2013 I’ve made $150.00 in commissions from new sales and recurring monthly commissions from this product.
There is more “SEO” stuff that my friend advised me to do, but I like to hedge my bets. As long as I am still in a good position in the rankings, I’ll leave well enough alone and pull out and play my aces when the game warrants it.
As I said earlier, I’m no super affiliate
I do promote to my lists, and from within my own products, but for me to devote days and multiple posts to a product, it has to meet some criteria…
- It has to be a solid product
- It has to be in ‘pre-launch’ when I start it
- It has to have a decent price point and/or recurring commission model in the funnel (this means no $10 loss leaders that have to rely on an OTO to make a decent ROI…)
I’ve also got to have what is necessary to properly implement and test the product. Which, if you’re just starting out, might not be a whole lot.
Caveat: This doesn’t apply to everyone. What you have to work with is an entirely personal matter for every single individual.
My Suggestions for Success
That’s why you pick a niche, set up a blog, and just start writing about that niche. Build an ‘audience’ for that niche by being ‘active’ on other sites, blogs and forums in that niche. How fast you can do this is entirely dependent on the resources you personally have at your disposal. If you have a budget for advertising, for outsourcing content creation, or for VA’s, you’ll get there a lot faster. If you have to do everything yourself, it will be slower.
I personally recommend that you first look for the ‘products’ in a niche, that are in ‘pre-launch,’ so that you can get ‘in early’ and have time to create content and get it ranked (as well as build your audience if you need to do that- I already had one) before you have other affiliates competing with you, and try to build a relationship with the product creator… you’ll need review access to the product before it opens. The creator may give it to you, if you have a relationship with them, or they may allow you to ‘buy’ it before it’s ready. Click here to get some tips on “Getting An In And Building Relationships”
Above all, plan out your ‘business’ and marketing before you get started. It’s easy to give in to the temptation of creating a blog that reviews all IM products, or all weight loss products, and it’s even easier to give into the temptation of promoting cheap, front end loss leader products day in and day out… but that is going to hurt you in the long run, and on the Internet, things change so fast, that the long run is actually pretty short. It doesn’t allow for the time needed to establish any authority.
My own blog is ‘devoted’ to Amazon Associates. When I review an Amazon product, it’s highly relevant. My audience, and Google, see that the rest of the content on the blog is all about Amazon too, so they have even more ‘faith’ that if I say this is a good product for Amazon Associates it is. They don’t see me promoting every bright shiny object of the day about every other facet of IM just to make a fast buck.
Locate all the information and products already available, and decide if there is enough demand for information and products to satisfy an audience, and then build your business on that. Plan the layout of your blog to satisfy ‘positioning’ needs. For instance, the product I promoted that I’m referring to in this post, is a ‘pillar product’ for newbies. My own products is a pillar product for ‘intermediate’ and ‘experienced’ Amazon affiliates… not experts, but the next step for an ‘expert newbie.’ I’ve laid out the ‘reviews’ section of my blog to allow both groups to easily identify themselves and their destination on my site.
What Do You Think?
I hope you enjoyed this guest post today from Danielle. As I said earlier it is always encouraging to see someone else succeeding in an area that you are trying to do the same thing. Please leave a comment below and let me know if you have tried something similar yourself and what were your results? Do you enjoy these guest posts and are they beneficial to encouraging you to take action?
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