How To Earn Money Blogging
This is an article by Sonia with CopyBlogger at http://www.copyblogger.com/smart-people-affiliate-marketing/,
that can be of great value to your marketing efforts. Enjoy!
You might have heard that you can’t make money as a blogger. A few bloggers can manage if they generate superhuman levels of traffic, like Perez Hilton or ICanHasCheezburger (the LOLCat blog).
For ordinary mortals like you and me? You’ll be lucky to pay your Chipotle bill from advertising. You need a model that works in the real world.
First, take a look at a post I wrote on exactly this topic, called Why You Can’t Make Money Blogging.
One of the things I talk about in that post is that, for those who aren’t seeing stratospheric traffic, we need to solve real problems in order to make a decent living.
Copyblogger, even though it’s one of the most popular blogs on the web, takes this approach. We don’t go the “blog celebrity” route, because that’s subject to fads and fashion, and we like to build our business on something more enduring than that.
Instead, we provide lots of solutions to real-world problems with our free content, and we offer additional solutions involving paid products, both our own and other people’s.
A lot of people associate affiliate marketing with sleaze, scams, and high-pressure sales techniques. But there’s no reason in the world to leave affiliate marketing to the bottom-feeders.
Affiliate marketing is one of the smartest ways to start monetizing
your high-quality content. But you have to do it right.
5 keys to better affiliate marketing
As you probably already know, affiliate marketing is the practice of finding new customers for an existing product or service that you didn’t create.
Even if you’re a product-creating rock star and you’ve got a fat catalog of great stuff for your readers to buy, none of us can keep up with our most passionate customers. They’re always going to want more than we can provide. This is where a smart, thoughtful affiliate program can fill the bill.
And if you don’t yet have a great product of your own to offer, you can still give your audience the information, physical products, and services they’re looking for, and make some money for yourself while you’re at it. It’s just cool all the way around.
Generally, the vendor does all of the “selling” for you — you’re just providing a lead. In reality, though, a little judicious pre-selling on your part can make affiliate marketing work better for you.
When you’re looking for an affiliate product to review or promote on your site, here are some of the guidelines that have worked well for us on Copyblogger:
- Only promote products that are so good, you would promote them whether or not you were paid to. Many “gurus” will tell you to find a Clickbank product in your niche that’s doing well and promote that. While that’s a useful way to tell if a particular topic is viable, it’s also a great way to destroy your relationship with your audience unless the Clickbank product is terrific. (Which many of them are, by the way.) Only promote great quality, whether it’s a $17 product or a $17,000 one.
- Make sure you’re selling something your audience wants. This seems obvious, but it’s where a lot of marketers fail. You can’t just offer something people need or could benefit from. They also have to want it. Don’t be afraid to promote products that are already popular in your topic. They’re popular because there’s a strong desire. You’ll use your own relationship and content to make people want to buy with your link.
- Look for high-dollar-value products. This is especially important if you don’t have tons of traffic. It might seem counterintuitive, but it’s true — you won’t necessarily sell more of a cheaper product. It’s not uncommon to find that a $197 product sells as many copies as a $19 one.
- Give some background. Reviews tend to do very well for affiliate offers, because they give the buyer some additional background on the product’s strong and weak points. Never be afraid to honestly address flaws in a product you review. You won’t hurt sales, and you will build your trust and credibility with your audience.
- Always disclose your affiliate relationship. Not only is it a good relationship-building practice to be honest with your readers, but the FTC also now requires bloggers to disclose that you’re receiving financial compensation for your endorsement. This can get you into some very ugly hot water if you ignore it, so don’t. (If you want a model for a graceful way to do that, scroll down and click through to the post on how to make affiliate disclosure into a selling point.)
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Written by Darcel Dobbins
I am an Ex-Registered Financial Adviser (Series 7 & Series 65) and Accountant with 30 years of experience helping individuals and businesses create financial strategies for wealth building. I’ve also been involved in the Networking industry for over 30 years, with many of the top network marketing companies.
In 2010 I began my journey learning how to master online marketing and blogging.I have learned many of the leading online marketing strategies and how to monetize blogging.
My mission is to help as many people as possible become financially literate, create a prosperity consciousness, and take control of their own financial destiny.
If you would like to team up with me, email me at: Empowerurself2@aweber.com.