Friday, December 5, 2008

Niche Affiliate Marketing

I've increased my online residual income with niche affiliate marketing. Affiliate sales can be a great way to diversify income streams online, and while they are not my largest money maker, they do add up.

Affiliate success takes time, but it is well worth the effort to add affiliate links to articles, resource sections and forum signatures. The most important thing is to target your affiliate links to your specific audience. It almost goes without saying, but since it is important for success, I always reiterate the necessity to have well-targeted products that will appeal to your audience in any particular article, forum or blog.

It's very important to promote good affiliate products, and to know what you're promoting. For example, I would never promote a web hosting service I haven't tried and could answer readers questions about if they arise. That's why I only promote Site Build It and HostGator -- I have websites with both and can truly stand behind my recommendations. Other web hosting companies have great affiliate progrmas, but I haven't tried them and don't know first hand if they are reccomendable.

Make your text links interesting, without being too much like an advertisement. FOr example, when creating a link to an Amazon health product I included the basic description but left out "Buy 6 get one FREE." It looked to ad-y to me.

While it is not always the most lucrative, Amazon's affiliate program is one of the easiest affiliate programs to join and generate decent conversions.

This is a screen shot of my November Amazon affiliate income, which you can actually see if you click on it:

With a down economy to contend with (experts say the worst since the Great Depression) and lower sales accross the board, I was happy with November. It's all residuals, though I did add a few new links to articles I wrote in November.

December is on track to beat November's Amazon affiliate income, as I have already sold 47 items during the first week. Some were inexpensive books, but one was a pricey water filter that netted me $10. I put the link to the water filter in one of my articles some time ago, and it took less than a minute to copy and paste the code. This is residual income at its best: being paid $10 for a minute's work done months ago.

Previously, December has always been my best month and I am expecting great things in the days to come.

Take away:
  • Target the products you recommend to the audience who is likely to read your articles, online profile or other material.
  • Only promote affiliate products you truly believe in. You'll lose your audience if you promote non-quality items just to make a buck.
  • Create interesting text links for your affiliate products to pique readers' interest and increase their likelihood of clicking you link.
Do you include affiliate advertisements on your blogs, websites or articles? Are you pleased with the results?


Julie @ Write for eHow said...

I, too, have some success putting affiliate links in the resource section of my eHow articles. Mostly Amazon as well.

As you said, its something you can do that takes no time at all and can bring additional income. And its a great thing to do when you don't feel like writing new articles that day. I often go back and 'tweak' articles when I'm too tired or too pressed for time to write new ones.

Great post!

Zoe said...

I'm just starting to do this so it's all new to me, reading your advice is great and I really appreciate you sharing your knowledge.
And I just wanted to say thanks for such an inspirational blog!

Jessie said...

Great advice. I always trust what you have to say. Between the specific advice and the attractive proof, you are a freelance writer's dream resource! Keep it up Maria.

Personally, as I am rebuilding my business I am working to start implementing all of the income streams I can. Strategically of course.

jen brister said...

Where do you use affiliate links besides eHow. I have an amazon affiliate account, but have not really taken advantage of it.

passivefamilyincome said...

Thanks for the tips. I am not sure why I ever thought of adding affiliate links this way. I absolutely agree with your point about including only products you can recommend. Does most of your income come from your eHow articles or blog?

BTW - Purchased your eBook the other day and appreciate all the tips you have in it. Thanks!

Maria said...

Jen ~ I include affiliate links for Amazon as well as other affiliate programs on my articles, niche websites, blogs, and HubPages.

PassiveFamilyIncome ~ Thanks for stopping by! I enjoy your blog. Most of my online income comes from my eBook and eHow articles. Affiliate products and Adsense produce a smaller percentage of the total amount.

Anonymous said...

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Although I have not read your eBook, I am very impressed by it, and would have never thought of writing an eBook even though I'm writing a book write now. All of this has helped open my mind and realize my potential for reaching people and being a successful writer. I almost have my new website polished off enough that I'll put it out there.

I read your other post about being proud of your first few cents earned at eHow. I was so happy with my first pennies because it proved that it worked.

Thanks for sharing your success.