Category Archives:Affiliate marketing

NEW: Niche website packages

I have been building WordPress websites for years and there’s not much I can’t make happen on it. Since quitting my job a couple of months back to focus full-time on mastering the ways of the web, I have built over a dozen different websites for a variety of niches. My current project is building and monetising websites – but I’ll be posting more about that in the coming months!

Now, for a limited time only I am offering a fantastic package for small businesses and niche website entrepreneurs.

For $500 you will get the following:

  • A fully search engine optimised WordPress site with choice of theme/colours/style etc.
  • Five professionally written articles optimised to your choice of keywords
  • Keyword research within your niche (if required)
  • Basic logo/header created in Photoshop
  • All of the best (tried and tested!) plugins to maximise on-site SEO
  • WordPress installation (if required)

Contact me to discuss your needs and find out if it’s included in the package. Depending on how long it takes, specific requests can be accommodated free of charge.

Why can I offer it this cheap?

Having built so many WordPress sites in the past year (and especially in the last few months), it really doesn’t take me very long to put one together. It might only take me a day or two to build you your fully optimised website, but it could possibly take you a lot longer.

Benefits

As I have learned the past few months, the most frustrating thing about getting into the niche website game is the time it takes to get things up and running after finding a potential big-ticket keyword. My expertise is in optimised websites, yours might be in affiliate marketing and aggressive back-linking campaigns. For $500 you can save yourself a few days work and concentrate on what you do best.

I can also build basic business websites, which are perfect for small business owners. Here’s one I made earlier: www.bdihomefinders.co.uk.

Extras:

You might not want the full package, and that’s fine! Hire me by the hour, for a few articles – or a lot of articles, or for some on-site SEO. I’m pretty flexible and love taking on a variety of projects. Just get in touch for a chat!

You can also add extras onto the package, including extra articles and social media integration/management.

Examples:

BDI Home Finders

Best Acne Face Wash

Compensation Attorney

NOTE: I do NOT outsource any of my work – I do it all myself. Because of that, I can naturally only take on a few clients at a time. I love to work, but I also like to play 🙂

Interested? Great! Send me an email.

Profiting from a Niche Website – my first attempt

Enough is enough. I’ve read a gazillion books about how to research niche markets and build profitable websites around that research. The more I read the more complex it seems to get – people are constantly finding new and unique ways to maximise this method of online money making.

Earlier this evening I bought an eBook about creating passive income through niche websites. The book was short and a lot of it I already knew, but it motivated me into finally giving it a proper go.

I followed the steps in the book to find a niche market that could potentially be profitable, and came out with my new website www.kittycondos.net.

So it’s 24 hours into my website and I’m still waiting for it to be indexed by Google. But with a bit of SEO, my goal for the next 4-8 weeks is to see it sit on page one of Google for my keyword: ‘kitty condo’.

Check it out – and feel free to send through any tips or advice. I don’t expect to be successful with this being my first attempt, but hey – you can’t learn without doing 🙂

Case Study: Cashing in on the Christmas shopping boom

It started off as an experiment, and it ended up taking over two months of my life. In October I set up a Facebook page called We Love Christmas (check out my original post), and it took only a few weeks to get over 20,000 likes. I was posting something every single hour (scheduled of course – I did sleep!), which included an Amazon affiliate link every other hour.

There were baubles, snowmen, abusive Christians who picked up any uncapitalised ‘C’ I missed and people thanking me for changing their lives (I do have that effect, ha!). I had over 400 notifications on most days and an inbox of messages that I still haven’t had time to read.

Posts would garner hundreds of shares, likes and comments. So surely I must have made a fortune, right? Wrong.

You couldn’t possibly put more effort into the page than I did. I followed every trick in the book. My rival page, which had over 1.5 million likes was almost a mirror image of mine (they regularly nicked my post ideas!), yet I was lucky to see $20 a day in commissions while they probably had $500+.

So what went wrong? Nothing. The only missing part of the equation was the number of likes. At the beginning, I couldn’t imagine having over 20,000 likes in such a short period, but what I didn’t realise was that you need at least 1 million likes to really see the money roll in. The admins of my rival would have made a killing (I’m not jealous at all ;)).

Conclusion? There is certainly money to be made using this method, but the key is to significantly build up likes. Investing a decent amount of money into Facebook ads would pay off in the long-run. But it was like having a full-time job, so it’s certainly not passive income. Although I will admit, it was kinda fun and it made me feel popular for a while ;)!

Money-making potential: 3/5

Effort: 5/5

I would love to revisit this idea once I had a decent bit of cash that I could throw into ads and a lot of spare time to build it up.

 

Another one of those ‘THIS year I will get sh*t done’ resolutions

A fresh new diary, long lists of things to achieve and a promise to yourself that THIS is your year. But no, really, it is!

There’s something about each new year that brings a great sense of motivation. Every year I get more done in January and February than any other time of the year – and then it quickly deteriorates. Case in point – I wrote and published an eBook while hungover on New Year’s Day, yet didn’t get a single one out in December.

December was a big month for me personally. I took the jump from full-time work into full-time unemployment (voluntarily!). If I’m going to be successful with my online ventures, I need to focus on it – even if it means risking going back to a university diet of two-minute noodles and wine out of a box. Hopefully only temporarily, of course.

For those of you that were following my last online experiment – affiliate marketing through a Facebook page I created with 20,000+ likes – look out for my next post, where I’ll give you the run down of what worked and what didn’t (so you don’t have to make the same mistakes!).

So what do I hope to achieve in 2014?

In 2013 I absorbed a huge amount of knowledge by reading books by some of the greatest online entrepreneurs out there. I’ve followed their blogs, listened to their podcasts and tried out a few of their techniques. This year is about putting that knowledge into action and seeing real money coming in – not just a side income.

And of course, I’ll be sharing all that I learn on my blog!

Enough from me – what do you hope to achieve in 2014?

Three weeks in: What I’ve learnt about affiliate marketing on Facebook

To say that my attempts to cash in on the Christmas shopping season have taken over my life would be an understatement. However, all the hard work I’ve put in over the last few weeks has given me a priceless crash course in social media marketing, Google Adsense and affiliate marketing.

For those of you that don’t know what I’m doing, check out my previous blog – Affiliate marketing – is it for everyone?

In a nutshell: I created a Christmas Facebook page, through which I am posting affiliate links to Christmas-related products.

Whether or not my work has paid off financially is yet to be seen – but one thing’s for sure – I have learnt many things that I can use for future money-making ideas ( some of which I’ve already started on!).

So what have I learnt so far?

How to get 10,000 targeted Facebook likes without paying for them

I’m going to go into more detail about this in a later post as I have learnt some valuable lessons, which I think anyone can use to increase likes and engagement on their page.

The key to increasing likes on your own page is to rely very heavily on other pages. Find pages that have a similar demographic to what you are targeting and start engaging with their page. This can be as simple as liking their posts or writing an interesting comment, but for maximum effect – you should ask other pages to do a ‘share for share’. This is hard when you only have a few likes, but once you get over 500 likes it becomes much easier.

I was lucky to learn on day one of my new page that it can be quite easy to annoy other pages admins. Fortunately, after writing ‘Please share my page :)’ on another pages post, I had a rather rude (but much appreciated) inbox message informing me that this was bad social media etiquette. She then introduced me to the ‘share for share’ idea, which works amazingly.
Anyway, so much more to say – so will save it for my next post.

Knowing your audience

Right from the start I knew I wanted to target my page towards American women aged 35+ (as these are the most likely to buy the products I am promoting). Now, it’s a good assumption to make that people who like a Christmas page are relatively religious and possibly conservative. So one of my earliest posts of a ‘sexy Santa’ costume understandably did not go down well. Lesson learnt.

Finding the right products to promote

I am by no means an affiliate expert now, but I have certainly got the hang of how the Amazon affiliate program works. It is incredibly easy to use. Simply sign up, find products you want to promote and then grab your personal link to that product.

I’ve found that the hardest part is finding products that will appeal to your audience. Some stock-standard fairy lights aren’t really going to get them excited. But a unique Santa toilet seat cover (yes, toilet seat cover) will garner dozens of shares and several buys. Why? Because people want things that no one else has. They think you’re doing them a favour by sharing these cool finds, which makes me feel quite good!71PyvO0DTnL._SL1001_

It doesn’t take long to work out what your audience like and don’t like, so just keep an eye on your stats.

Photoshop is your friend

I’ve always wanted to master Photoshop but never really had a reason to do it. Now, I’m using it at any chance I can get! Some of my most popular posts have been ones that I have created myself. An example of a style that I have been experimenting with is in the image below. They really seem to like posts that have several options – and for me, it means getting 4+ affiliate links into one post and appealing to a potentially much larger audience.

Photoshop gives you the freedom to create unique posts that people haven’t seen before and are more likely to share. There are hundreds of Christmas pages out there regurgitating the same old stuff – so it’s good to stand out.

Every Christmas, dozens of brands bring out a special edition decoration. Here are some of my favorites for 2013. Which do you like best? You can find them here: 1 - http://amzn.to/HRLyW0 2 - http://amzn.to/180wL7x 3 - http://amzn.to/HXfXCt 4 - http://amzn.to/18ezwQB
Every Christmas, dozens of brands bring out a special edition decoration. Here are some of my favorites for 2013. Which do you like best?
You can find them here:
1 – http://amzn.to/HRLyW0
2 – http://amzn.to/180wL7x
3 – http://amzn.to/HXfXCt
4 – http://amzn.to/18ezwQB

Cross-promotions

I didn’t want to rely only on one form of income, I wanted to try out a few different ideas. So I published a Christmas joke eBook on Amazon (eBooks are my strong point after all), which I have slowly been promoting to my fans using posts like the one below. Note: As well as 70% of the sale of my book through Kindle Select, I get an extra 6.5% if I post the link via Amazon Affiliates. Every cent counts!

 

From my Christmas joke book: http://amzn.to/17gvF1A :)
From my Christmas joke book: http://amzn.to/17gvF1A 🙂

And while I was at it, I thought – I need a website too. So 45 minutes later and along came www.welovechristmastime.com. It’s very basic, and I’ve just used the Amazon shop option to create mini Christmas-related shops that contain all the products that I promote on my Facebook page.  I did several days of Google Ads, but it had little impact so I’ve decided to come back to that after I’ve done more research!

I haven’t really pushed the website yet, and I’m not even sure it will increase my sales, but I’ll get back to you on that one after Christmas!

It ain’t easy

I have been attempting to post something every single hour of every single day. Of course, I schedule these posts in a day or two in advance (I haven’t given up sleep in my pursuits!), but the point is – it’s hard work. Knowing that Christmas is only 6 weeks or so away makes things more bearable as there is an end in sight!

The amount of effort you put in really does reflect on your bottom line. There have been lazy weekends where I haven’t posted much, and I’ve had very few sales (naturally). But when you put the effort into creating engaging posts that people love, you are instantly rewarded.

It really is a full-time job looking after a Facebook page with almost 10,000 likes, but not a bad one! Although, I’ll be well and truly sick of Christmas before it even arrives 🙂

Don’t make extra work for yourself

A week or so ago I made the mistake of getting a little overexcited and started a Christmas card exchange. I saw that several other pages were organising one so I didn’t want to miss out! Little did I know that I would be inundated with 200+ addresses, hundreds more questions and comments and probably an extra 6 hours work for myself.

What did I learn? Stay focussed on the aim of the game. Yes, I feel great about doing something that a lot of people appreciate and it’s definitely in the spirit of Christmas, but it’s a distraction from the goal. Going forward, when I plan to run several similar pages, I want to perfect the art of time management and do minimal work for maximum gain (isn’t that what everyone wants?!).

 

Has anyone else tried a similar idea? What are the key things you have learnt?

Affiliate marketing – can anyone do it?

Affiliate marketing – it seems like all the cool kids are doing it these days, but everytime I start to get into it I get put off by the fact you typically have to spend money to make money. Yes, I know this is one of the golden rules of business, but I don’t easily part with my cash!

If you’re not sure what affiliate marketing is, check this out.

So why I have I decided to give it a shot now? Two reasons:

  • I followed a Facebook page called ‘I love Halloween’, which has hundreds of thousands of keen followers. They literally post a Halloween-related item every hour (sometimes more!), and hiding in those posts are sneaky affiliate links to products on Amazon. It’s so subtle, it even took me a while to notice what they were doing. Then, my mind wandered back to an eBook I read some 9 months ago (I wish I could remember what it was called!), which brings me to point number 2…
  • This book that I read detailed how an affiliate marketer (and not an incredibly experienced one either) used the Christmas period to make over $10,000 in just a couple of months, all of it through the Amazon Associates Program. He picked a couple of top-selling products, I think it was something like Tickle me Elmo, built a basic shop website for it and pumped out targeted Google Ads. Sounds easy, huh?At the time of reading that book in January, I remember thinking: ‘I have to do this next Christmas!’ and here I am.

While I will not be following his exact blueprint, because I am smart enough to know that Google Ads is an art that should be left to the experts, I will be using the Christmas shopping rush as a kick-start into my world of affiliate marketing.

Now, I’d like to make clear that what I am doing is not new, there are dozens of other people out there doing the exact same thing. But there’s plenty of room for one more isn’t there? 😉 This sentiment is inspired by a recent speech by Twitter founder, Ev Williams:

“At a time when so many internet entrepreneurs are running around Silicon Valley trying to do something no one else has ever done, Williams believes that the real trick is to find something that’s tried and true — and to do it better.”

So here I am – trying to do it better.

First step, set up a Facebook page. ‘I Love Christmas’ was taken (by the same people as I Love Halloween, naturally), so I settled on ‘We Love Christmas‘ (feel free to like it, currently sitting at a grand total of 3 likes).

Next step, set up Amazon Associate account. Done.

Now I had the tedious job of putting up dozens of Christmas related posts on the page. Over several hours I scheduled enough festive posts to last a couple of weeks, with some affiliate links sprinkled in amongst them. There are literally thousands of Xmas products up on Amazon, so there’s no shortage of products to spruik!

So far, as mentioned, I have only 3 likes (sadly, one is myself). Having never tried Facebook advertising/promotions I thought now was a good time to do it – just to get the ball rolling at least. I set a budget of $20 and targeted Christmas fans in the United States. Promotion starts in a few hours – and if I get 50 likes I’ll be happy! Stay tuned….

Next? Alongside lots of Christmas posts, I will create a festive eBook (considering that’s my area of expertise!). Once I have built up a strong following on the page, I can then promote my book on there.

Potential drawbacks to this plan? Main one is that Amazon.com products do not ship to Australia. Therefore I can’t use my own network of people to promote my page. Definitely a barrier, but not one that will stop me!

Will I make $10,000 by Christmas? I will certainly try!