Easy Affiliate Marketing

John T. Jones, Ph.D. Buhl, Idaho
John T. Jones, Ph.D.
Buhl, Idaho

Introduction

There is no such thing as easy affiliate marketing. At one time, it was easy. Folks were clicking on banners and if you linked a banner to an affiliate link, you could make a sale for which you would gain a commission. Placing banners on your website will not make you rich as an affiliate marketer.

The search engines upon which affiliate marketers depend, hate affiliate marketers. So they do everything they can to make life miserable for them. The search engines want folks who are using their search function to find information that is relative to the information they are actually looking for. So crappy websites geared simply to pushing a product are dumped from the listings or buried so deep that it would take a month of Sundays to find them.

Affiliate Marketing Is a Business

If you’re going to go into affiliate marketing you need both training and a business plan. In my opinion, since I’ve been a member since 2008, Wealthy Affiliate is the premier site for learning affiliate marketing. You can join for free but if you want the whole shebang, you will need to be a premium member which costs $47 each month. I suggest that you pay annually where the cost is about one-half.

You can go to SBA.gov and prepare a business plan at no cost.

You really need to know where are you going before you take your first steps to success as an affiliate marketer.

Advantages to Being an Affiliate Marketer

There are some advantages to being an affiliate marketer:

1. You can work at home, if you have a computer. If you don’t have a computer, you can use a computer at the library.

2. Once the you have made enough money to leave your day job, you can save money on transportation, clothing, union dues, child care and other costs associated with working a day job.

3. Affiliate marketing can lead you to selling your own products, or products for which you have an exclusive, on the Internet.

4. The startup cost for affiliate marketing are low. The minimum cost are for purchasing a domain and having it hosted.

5. You have the potential of making a substantial income.

6. If you have a portable computing device with Internet access, you can work wherever you are.
7. You can work in your underwear if you want to.

Disadvantages of Affiliate Marketing

1. You do not have control of your own products. You are dependent upon vendors who may discontinue their affiliate programs or even compete with you.

2. You do not have control of your customers. Your vendor will pay you a high commission, often up to 100%, for your first sale. But you don’t know who the customer is and the vendor will make all of the back sales where the big money is.

3. You need to give your readers, the visitors to your website, a free gift to get them to sign up for your mailing list or newsletter. You probably will have to pay some like AWeber or GetResponse to maintain your list. You must sell (promote) to this list.

4. You must attract traffic to your website which can be either a lengthy or expensive procedure.

Writing Relevant Content

To be an affiliate marketer, you must supply continually information that is relevant to the niche you are working. A niche is a small segment of a larger market. You must work within that market to learn what people are like, what they want and what they need. Your job is to promote, not to sell. Selling is the job of the vendor.

You need to begin with keyword research. I use JAAXY because it was designed by affiliate marketers for affiliate marketers. Your keyword should be in your domain name and in the first paragraph of any post or article that you put up on the web. Using more keywords may be considered to be “stuffing”by the search engines. However, relevant keywords will come up natural as you write in the search engines will use these two characterize your article. Articles need to be at least 500 words for the search engine to determine its relevance.

Many affiliate marketers purchase content from writers at Elance.com or other sites. Whoever does the writing, it must be checked for proper spelling and grammar. Fiverr.com is a good place to purchase banners, logos and many other functions related to affiliate marketing.

How To Get Started in Affiliate Marketing

1. Find a niche market. Sometimes the best niche markets are based on your own skills, talents and education. Avoid the money-making niche at least to start. It is very competitive. It is better to look in a niche in relationships, expensive hobbies and health and beauty. But don’t limit yourself. A good niche should have magazines associated with the niche. Then you can see what the niche members are looking for by reading the magazine and am looking for related advertisements.

2. Go to SBA.gov and start preparing your business plan.
3. Learn how to do affiliate marketing. Just stay away from the gurus who will give you a gift and then sell you one thing after another and may actually give you harmful information that will delay your progress. Remember that the gurus are your competition in the money-making niche. I suggest you start at Wealthy Affiliate. If I were you, I would pay for a one-year premium membership because of the low cost. That also will help you to make the required commitment that you will have to have to be successful in Internet marketing. There will be no up sales or back sales by the owners, Carson and Kyle. If you don’t have the money, then use the free membership at WAU to get started.

4. Go to the affiliate networks for the companies themselves to obtain affiliate links. CJ.com is very popular. For Digital Products, I suggest that you use ClickBank.com.

5. Develop your own products or get access to products that you have an exclusive on. You can start with a free web store at Etsy.com to sell products that you make or older products that you may pick up at garage sales. My story is MyStuffy and my granddaughters’ store is YumBaby.
Having your own little store can bring you some extra cash that can be used to get you established in Internet marketing.

6. Buy your domain name, get it hosted, and build your website. Namecheap.com is a good place to buy your domain names and HostGator.com is a good place to host them. I use Wealthy Affiliate for my hosting because I’ve been there since 2008. Most all hosting companies provide WordPress.org themes and plug-ins. You will learn to do all of these functions if you join Wealthy Affiliate.

7. Keep updated on what is going on in the Internet. That is one reason it is nice to be part of a community of Internet marketers such as WAU.

John

P.S. If you visit WAU, my ID there is tjbooks.


Make Your Blog Work

(Note: The FTC requires me to tell you that some links in this site, including links from images, may result in me receiving a commission from a vendor. That hardly ever happens but I am grateful for any commissions that I may receive. John)
Wealthy Affiliate. I joined in 2008. This is the Premier Internet training site. John
Wealthy Affiliate. I joined in 2008. This is the Premier Internet training site. John

Make Your Blog  Put Groceries on the Table

1. Your blog should provide relevant and useful information to a niche market.

2. A niche market is a smaller segment of a larger market.

3. To work a niche market, you must be part of the market.

4. To be part of the market you must join in on chats and forums.

5. Niche markets often have niche magazines. You should be a subscriber.

6. Magazines will help you keep up on trends and what your competitors are doing.

7. You can promote your blog in niche magazines.

8. From the start, you should offer a newsletter or other free item to build a mailing list.

9. Back end orders from your mailing list should become a major source of income.

10. Placing AdSense ads on your blog will add income.

11. Offering affiliate products can add income.

12. It is wise to add your own products, products that you have complete control of.

13. You can sell space on your blog to advertisers.

14. You need to post often with original up-to-date information.

14. Your emails or newsletter must not become solely a sales platform.

15. Use WordPress for easy blog post and page creation.

WordPress. Most all hosting companies give you free access.
WordPress. Most all hosting companies give you free access.

16. Choose your WordPress Theme carefully. You may have to buy the exact one you need but there are plenty of good free ones.

17. Use social media to promote traffic to your blog.

18. Consider PPC  (pay-per-click) and other paid ads to check out your concepts to see if they lead to sells.

19. Never buy traffic. It doesn’t work. I’m talking about the scam houses that will send out thousands of emails to get you traffic.

20. Stay away from the gurus. They are your competition. Build your own blog and keep it humming. It may take time to earn some money but the rewards can be great.

21. Use keyword post and pages to boost your SEO (search engine optimization) rankings.

22. Consider a reliable training site to help you create your blog, post and pages.

John


What Is the Google Keyword Tool?

(Note: The FTC requires me to tell you that some links in this site may result in me receiving a commission from a vendor. That hardly ever happens but I am grateful for any commissions that I may receive. John)

JAAXY 1The Google Keyword Tool

The Google keyword tool is free but to gain access to it, you have to join Google Adwords. Hopefully you will place ads on Google. (However, since Google and the other search engines hate affiliate marketers, you will probably be priced out of the market. Maybe better to go to Bing (MS Yahoo) or AOL. Also, ads on Twitter, and especially FaceBook, might be better for you. ) Just search Keyword Planner or Google Keyword Tool.

The fact is that the Google keyword tool is used by most Internet marketers. You don’t have to place ads on Google to use it and it will give you a tremendous amount of information. You will be able to see the monthly keyword visit count, the amount of competition, etc. Click Here to see how to use it.

Alternatives to Google’s Keyword Tool

The JAAXY keyword tool is specially designed for affiliate marketers you might find that suits you better. JAAXY will probably give you more accurate results.

There are plenty of other free keyword tools. Word Tracker has such a tool. Others are KeywordSpy, SEMRush and KeywordEye. Click Here to see descriptions of these tools.

John

<a href=”http://www.wealthyaffiliate.com?a_aid=QPuVFoSF”><img src=”https://my.wealthyaffiliate.com/banners/show/wealthy-affiliate-membership-grid.png” border=”0″ /></a>

Be Thoughtful in Business

(Note: The FTC requires me to tell you that some links in this site may result in me receiving a commission from a vendor. That hardly ever happens but I Am grateful for any commissions that I may receive. John)

disappointedTheodore Roosevelt

Great thoughts speak only to the thoughtful mind, but great actions speak to all mankind.
Theodore Roosevelt (thanks to brainyquotes.com)

I have two things come in mind when I think of being thoughtful:

The first is that we care about others, think about their needs, and we help achieve their needs.

The second is that we think. That is, that we think before we jump into trouble. We think about our lives, our families, our communities, our religion and our businesses.

Both are important in business.

Be Thoughtful in Business

After World War II, a businessman and good friend, purchased a popcorn factory in Salt Lake City. The factory had been running for many decades and their main product was a caramelized popcorn formed into a biscuit. He changed the formula of the popcorn which changed the flavor to maple. I asked him as his business went down the drain, want in  all hell happened?

He said that some guys offered him some new syrup at a low price so he bought it.

I told him that he had to get that syrup out of there as soon as possible before he went completely broke.

He told me that he had no more money for syrup.

It’s unfortunate that he could not go to the bank and float alone for some decent caramel syrup. He said that he couldn’t return the remaining syrup to the vendor.

He chose to go bankrupt.

That bankruptcy put a lot of my neighbors out of work. Even my mother had worked for him for a while and all of my sisters. There was a too sad situation.

I was only a kid. but I knew that business. I had dressed as a clown many a time and sold popcorn at the crossroads of City Creek Canyon and at the fairgrounds. But who wants to take advice from a kid?

Well he would have if he felt he could have.

Obstacles get in our way all the time. Sometimes we have to think our way around them.

Another Almost Identical Example

After World War II, my sister’s brother-in-laws, and a couple of others, started a soft drink company. The soft drink was very good and all of us kids were drinking it. But then one day we opened a bottle of pop that tasted like crap.

A while later I was out birding with one of the owners and asking what happened. He said some guy offered the company to buy the soft drink syrup at a very low price, and despite his advice, he was overruled and they bought it. So they were bankrupt as far as the business went. Why they didn’t correct the situation, I’ll never know.

Look At Coca-Cola®

Coke® probably had a great report from focus groups about how good their new Coke® was.

The fact of the matter is that focus groups can be very deceiving, especially if you asked them the wrong questions, or leave out questions that you should ask. Nobody wanted their new Coke®. They had to pay tons of money to reestablish the original formula.

But the Coca-Cola® Company did something about it. They took action and they corrected the situation. They now supply a variety of different Coca-Cola® products that have been accepted by the public. But most people want that original Coke®.

Think Before You Saddle Up

Asking yourself this question, “What might happen if I do this?” That can save you a lot of misery.

In the extreme, my former company developed an unneeded product for a non-existing market.

There were people who fit into that market, but they were not part of the market.

There was no market.

Not knowing that, our designers told us what they wanted us to develop the product.. We put it into production.

Nobody wanted the product.

It was sold off for peanuts in outlet stores.

Outfoxed by Focus Groups

Our marketing department was outfoxed by the focus groups. The focus groups said that they liked this pattern better than that pattern, and such. If they had been asked which pattern they would buy, they would have said that they would not buy either.

The members of this theoretical market were not part of this newly discovered  marketing segment. They stuck to buying our most expensive products.

Taking Risk

I went to a seminar in Miami one time and a gentleman from General Electric Company told us about two companies who had the opportunity to upgrade their factories which would lower the manufacturing cost of their products.

The major company in the business decided that the return of investment, ROI, would be too low. So they didn’t modernize.

Their competitor looked at the ROI, saw that they could grab a larger market share by modernizing, and modernized their factories. As soon as they could lower their costs, they stuck that dagger into the side of the major manufacturer and gobbled up the blood for a larger market share.

Think of Individuals in the Market More than the Market

If you understand the individuals in your market, then you will understand your market.

Your market is not based on what you want but on what the market thinks they want or need.

Sometimes what they want, is not obtainable. It is up to you to agree with them about their wants and needs and then gently guide them to what is actually available. To be able to do this, they have to trust you. Only then will they take your suggestions and advice.

John

Your Internet Business Can Flop Before You Get Started

disappointedWhy Businesses Fail

Businesses fail all the time. Would you like to read a good article on this point from Forbes magazine? Click Here! http://www.forbes.com/sites/ericwagner/2013/09/12/five-reasons-8-out-of-10-businesses-fail/

Eight out of 10 businesses fail within 18 months. The main reason is often given as lack of finance. Actually, businesses reach that point before that point in time arrives.

Back In Iowa

Years ago in Iowa, I was designing and building a furnace for two men who had an SBA guaranteed loan to build a ceramic detailing company. Their business model was simply to purchase blank dinnerware plates, place a decal on them, and sell them.

They had been in this business for a long time. But they had other factories decal the plates for them. These companies were purchasing blanks and placing the decals as ordered. The two new businessmen decided they would cut out that process. They would buy the blanks themselves, make their own decals, place the decals on plate blanks, fire them in my furnace and then ship them to their customers.

They told me after they failed that the only thing that worked for them was the furnace that I designed, installed and show them how to operate. The reasons they failed were not the major reasons for new start-ups failing (read the article).

Here is why they failed:

1. They blew a good portion of their money on things that had nothing to do with the business.

2. They didn’t understand the manufacturing side of their business.

3. They didn’t understand that new employees had to be trained, and it goes without saying, that they didn’t know how to train them. They were impatient and callous and new employees walked out the door as fast as they came in.

4. The selling function that they did so well in the past was neglected because of their panic while trying to start their new manufacturing operation.

5. They gave up before they really got started.

What Could Have Saved Them

The solution to their problem was really simple. Only thing they had to do was to hire an experienced manager of a decal operation. If  hey have done that and stuck to sales promotion, at least to start, they would have been very successful. But they felt this business was going to start itself and that they could sit back and live a life of leisure.

Unfortunately, they started living that life of leisure to soon.

Requirements for Business Success on the Internet

You will not succeed in this business unless you:

A. Choose a profitable niche market where there is competition but not so much that you can’t succeed. Don’t go into competition with General Motors nor your local hardware store.

B. Work your niche from within, communicate with your potential customers and discover their wants and needs. Then supply those needs and wants.

C. Become an expert in your field and share important knowledge with your potential customers. Stay in contact with your customers continually to determine changes in the market. Remember that Internet customers can not kick the tires and feel how smooth that jacket is. You have to tell them all the details and show them many pics or videos so they can see the product from all angles. You need to tell them that you use what you promote.

D. Attract potential buyers to your store (website), make them feel comfortable and welcome when they get there, provide them valuable information. Use traffic generating methods to entice Internet searchers to come to your website.

E. Remember that you are in business, that you should have a business plan (SBA.gov), and that you communicate with the business community.

John

Lazy Ass Stoner Affiliate Program

IBTC 23I saw this guy on YouTube who calls himself the Lazy Ass Stoner. His name is Jay. He swears like a stevedore and concentrates on small sites.

This Jay even show one of his sites and explains why he decided to build it and what he put on it.

Jay plays hard on keywords and SEO. He likes to build a site with good keyword activity, not too much competition, adding just a half dozen pages. He has many sites as do all such affiliate marketers.

Crazy Jay
Crazy Jay

Jay has a course he sales to folks interested in getting in the market. To me, he is an interesting bloke so I decided to tell you about him.

If you can stand a bit of his vulgarity and irreverence, you might enjoy and learn a thing or two fro m his Video. CLICK HERE TO WATCH VIDEO!

John

 

 

WordPress Tutorials for Beginners

new memberWordPress Video Tutorials for Beginners

When I switch some years back from using pure HTML to WordPress, I had quite a few questions. I had several ways to find an answer to a question. I could simply ask someone or I could post a question on a search engine. I also could go to YouTube to find a video. I could buy a book on WordPress.

Come to think of it, I still use those methods. Here are some questions that come up:

1. What is WordPress?

WordPress was released in 2003 and is a free logging tool and content manager that does not require the user to know HTML. WordPress is the most popular system used on the web. For more details go to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WordPress

2. How do I install WordPress on my site?

Your hosting company will provide WordPress for your sites. They will give you simple instructions to follow. If you have to install it yourself, the WordPress site will show you how to do it.

Here is a video if you must load WordPress manually:

3. What is a WordPress theme?

The WordPress theme is a template for your website with adjustable headings, menus and other features. The video will give you a better idea.

4. How do I install a theme?

WordPress has a large number of themes for you to choose from. My friend will tell you how in this video:

5. How do I configure the heading of a theme?

The header is what you see at the top of a webpage. There may be a banner, image and/or logo. Each them is configured differently buy you will get the idea from the video.

6. How do I configure the menus of a theme?

Most themes are similar in the configuration of menus. You go to Appearances and then to Menus. Now follow the video:

7. What is a widget and how do I configure widgets?

Widgets are like menu items. However, they are little snips of information that you can place inside bars and such. To do this you go to Appearances and then to Widgets. Now you will see widgets along the left column that you can move to a particular area of your website. You can also create a widget very easily in your editor. Just use the text area for a post or for a page, but do not enter a title or such. Just create a widget with text and pics as you like. Now click on HTML or text (not visual) and copy or cut the code. Now go to the widget section, click on Text, and move it to your widget location. Now name your widget and place your content in the description box. Now follow the video for more information:

8. What is a page and how do I create one?

Pages contain the major content of a website. A rule of thumb is that pages should be at least 2500 words or as long as needed to convey the information that your site visitors are looking for. It is easy to add a page. Just go to Pages and select New Page. You can add your information in Visual or Text (HTML) mode. It is much like a word processor.

9. What is a post and how do I create one?

The post is created the same way as a page is created. Posts are of immediate value and provide newer insights into your niche to inform your readers. See the above video if you still have questions.

10. How do I put pictures on a page or post?

When you create a page or post, menu bar will allow you to add pictures or other images. Just make sure you have the rights to the image. You may want to edit your image before you put it on the document. The WordPress will let you place the document and size it and add a caption to it. You can also add a description. Add your own images if you can.

11. How do I put a video on the page or post?

I use a plug-in to place videos, but WordPress has a build in way to place a video. If you copy the video from YouTube, go to Share, it may be an icon that looks like a motor governor or two small spheres together in a V like to cherries picked from your tree. Right-click on on the share icon to copy the embed code. If it says Share, when you click on it some code will come up. Click on Embed and paste it into your document but only after you have clicked on the Text or HTML mode.

12. What is a plug-in?

WordPress is open to the public and anyone can add a plug-in to amend the functions of WordPress. Plug-ins add certain features to WordPress. The video shows 10 plug-ins that you should have, according to your objectives, on your site. A number of plug-ins are are installed on WordPress when you get it. All you have to do is activate them. I have a number of plug-ins that duplicate WordPress functions. You need to decide what is important to you.

13. How do I add a table to my page or post?

There is a table function in your page editor. I use the TablePress plug-in because it seems to suit me. If you want to change the width of a column, just google it and you will get the needed code.

14. Is there an easier way than WordPress?

Yes. My son uses Shopify.com because he is too busy to mess with site building. He went from HTML, WordPress and then the “work was done” sites like Shopify.com. I used one of these sites years ago when I needed a ready make e-commerce store. I think it was Bishosting.com.

SFC John T. Jones, Korea 1951
SFC John T. Jones, Korea 1951

John

Tip of the Week: When Is Easter in 2015?

Easter 2Easter in 2015?

Here it is the last week in December and I am asking, “ When is Easter in 2015?”

I am trying to make a statement. The statement is this: Are you ready for 2015?

(Easter comes on Sunday, April 5, 2015.)

Easter 1If you are an Internet marketer, you will want to know when Easter is if you focus on that market. My granddaughters are trying frantically to get ready for that market now. They have to think ahead to predict the market for the products they make and sell. They know that they will have at least twice as many sales as they did last year. But how many more? They have to plan ahead.

If you don’t service that market, then you don’t really care which day Easter falls on.

calenderBut you do have a market, Right?

If so, is it really the same all year long? Does it die in the summer time? Do you need to plug something into that gap?

Plan you sales year now. You will be glad you did.

John

Internet Business Tool Center Tool of the Week: Outgoing Links

traffic 4Tool of the Week: Outgoing Links

When you place important information on your website, post or pages, the search engines expects that you will link to other important information on the web. Your page rankings can be lower if you fail to link off your site. However, you do not want to link directly to a competitor. It is best to link to information sites that have useful unbiased information.

Where to link to (thanks to http://www.shoutmeloud.com/seo-benefits-and-tips-for-outbound-links.html) :

• Links to pages which actually add value and cover the topic really well.
• Link to blogs having good PR or Successful blogs.
• Link to the bloggers in your networks or same niche, this will help you to create community with fellow bloggers.

Read the reference article for a more comprehensive discussion on outbound linking.

John


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