Since it's Christmas time, I thought I'd give something back to the community. I've been doing affiliate marketing since I was 20. I just turned 24 and my last year was a hell of a journey. In short, I made over $1,2mil in affiliate commissions.
I've been doing mostly SEO and content marketing to get that far, but those rules below should apply to almost every method/strategy.
1) Go for the money - If you want to make real money by doing internet marketing - you need to go for the money. This means you'll need to compete with the best. I don't want to be harsh, but selling clickbank products or $20 ebooks won't make you a lot of money. Sure, you can make $2k per month or even $10k per month - but I really doubt you will hit the $100k mark (at least not that fast).
So target high paying products and look for demands and trends (google.com/trends). Some of the best niches that I've found a lot of money is gambling and web hosting. There are probably more, but for me I've found them convert extremely well + they pay you a lot.
I've tried Adsense, Amazon affiliate program and all the similar stuff in the past, but as you can imagine - this wasn't generating me much money.
2) Tweak your website - Most people who start out with affiliate marketing set up their sites via WordPress, install a boring theme and start writing content. I get this, at first no-one has the money to pay thousands of dollars for web design & development. I didn't have that money either when I started out. But once you have the money, invest it in your website - this is a great asset to have.
There are two main reason why I spend a lot of money in custom web design/development.
- Your site look professional, thus people will think you are the guru and you know the stuff. Trust factor goes up which in return can higher your conversions a LOT.
- You'll get more traffic. The reason is quite simple, most of the folks browse with their eyes. They check images, visuals, a bit of headlines and thats it. Once they have done that, they think whether or not they should share/link to it. If you are site looks awesome, there's a lot bigger chance to get shared or even recommended by someone.
I recently did a huge redesign to one of my sites that looked a piece of crap. You know what happened? Leads increased over 40%. This means I made a lot more money from this site. I got the money back (that I invested in design) within a week.
Also, don't forget to make it credible: conversionxl.com/website-credibility-checklist-factors/
3) Be laser focused - This is something that I learned from WF. People kept saying that you need to be laser focused and I have to admit - it so TRUE. If you concentrate at one site at the time, at one method/strategy at the time - you will see results more faster and more rapidly. You'll have more motivation to work further, to spend more resources and time in your project etc.
So here's a quick takeaway. Dump all your projects (if you have many) and concentrate on one until you succeed.
4) Use the 20:80 rule when promoting your site/content - So basically, use 20% of your time to write an awesome piece of content and use 80% of your time to promote it. But that doesn't mean you can publish garbage content and pray that people will like it. Content will be your main marketing asset (unless you are using paid advertising).
5) Be patient and set goals - Nothing happens overnight. It takes time, learning and also failing. In the first two years I didn't make much. I made enough to keep myself hooked with the idea of making loads of money from internet, but nothing much else.
Another great thing is to set yourself a goal(s). They have to be realistic. For example:
A) In the next 6 months I'll do THIS & THIS.
B) In the next 12 months I'll make $X money.
C) In the next 6 months I learn how to do X.
6) Be organized - I used to browse on the internet 8 hours a day and concentrate on my projects 2 hours a day. This is a huge no-no. You need to be organized. Whenever you wake up, wrote down everything that is needed to be done in the next 12 hours. This will keep you organized, concetrated and at the end of the day you will feel more satisfied and happy.
7) Follow people who know what they are doing - I've received a TON of more useful information from Twitter and Blogs than from ANY product that I've bought from the internet. If you aren't doing it yet, scrape together a list of blogs that are teaching you something that you are trying to accomplish and follow at least 30 expert people on Twitter.
At first you'll be overwhelmed with all the new information that you receive, but at the end of the day you know a lot more.
So forget buying things, everything is FREE and available on the internet. There are no secrets or loopholes to get rich. Absolutely everything can be learned from the web.
8) You don't need to invent something to be successful - Do what others are doing. Follow your competitors. You don't need to be different, you just need to be slightly better and that's it. Do something that is already proven to work.
9) Scale, scale, scale - If you become successful at something, it's time to scale. This means you'll need to invest a bit of money, but don't worry. Money makes you even more money. I started off from $20k per/month until I reached $100k per/month just by scaling and doing what already works. It's not a rocket science.
This will also avoid you to put all your eggs in one basket. If something fails (for some reason), you have 10 others up and running.
10) Don't use outsourcing too early - Yes, outsourcing is a great way to scale something up in a very short period of time, but you shouldn't do that too early. You want to become an expert at something because then you have an exact IDEA of what kind of quality you are looking for.
You might think: Okay, I'll outsource 10 articles and I'll outsource a SEO specialist for my website. I'll definitely make a lot of money. But the thing is, the quality WILL be bad. I've worked with several high-end individuals/companies, yet I haven't received what I exactly wanted. You might think, oh this web designer charges $15k per website - he must be good! But that's not true. Once again, you have to KNOW what you want. You can't rely on others to do the work for you.
It takes time to find people who can work for you in the long-run. The first 2-3 will be bad, the next 2-3 will be somewhat good, the last 2-3 will be the ones you'll be working with for the next 2-3 years.
11) Reward yourself - Once you have had some success, it's time to reward yourself. Whether it's a new iPhone, new laptop or even a new car - doesn't matter. If you want it and it doesn't get you in bankruptcy - just get it. This will improve your motivation.
12) Listen to yourself - If someone says you should quit doing internet marketing (because you suck), then it's time to cut yourself off from those people. No-one has born to become a regular 9-5 folk, some people are born to be entrepreneurs.
The MAIN reason why I started off with IM was that because I was scared to become someone who I didn't want to be. I never wanted to work for someone. Hell, I think I've worked only 3-6 months in my life for someone else and this was when I was 16-17 years old. I felt depressed, sad and unhappy - thus I decided to put all my effort in learning to make money online.
If you feel you'll get there, you probably will. When I started out, I believed in myself. I knew I could make it. You should believe in yourself too.
13) Money doesn't buy happiness - Don't forget your family, friends and just positive people around you, because money is not everything. I'm nowhere near being a uberrich, but I've found that generating a lot of money doesn't make you much more happier. The only reason why I'm concentrating on making more money is that I get an awesome emotional feeling when I succeed.
End of rant.
I'm not trying to brag, hype or advertise anything since I'm not in the make money online niche. I've never believed in hype. Hard work, learning and knowledge is all you need.
Hope this helps someone to get back on track in 2015. Everything is doable on internet, you just need to learn, execute and work until you find something that works.