Many of you may want to make some ‘passive’ income by doing affiliate marketing.
What you should be doing is building an affiliate marketing business.
I do affiliate marketing myself and I must say most of the time it hasn’t been quite as ‘auto-pilot’ as the big names would have you believe. There is real work to be done and although work is not a dirty word, it stands to reason that the less work you have to do to earn some revenue, the more revenue you can earn for a given amount of work. That in itself means it’s worth looking for efficient and ‘easy’ ways to create revenue.
A major component of getting affiliate commissions is driving traffic to your site, but perhaps an even bigger component is getting qualified traffic to your site. I’d much sooner have 2 visitors who are looking to buy than 100 visitors who just stumbled upon my site. The 2 would almost certainly produce more revenue than the 100.
So, when people are still asking how to get indexed in Google in under 3 months (I know they are, because I get questions like that), it can seem hard to get a site up and running, indexed in Google within a few days, position 3 on page 1 within a week, receiving highly qualified visitors and making hard cash within a couple of weeks.
It isn’t hard to do at all. If you know how.
About a month ago I came across a technique, recommended to me by another marketer, that does all the above. It’s simple, in the sense that you don’t need to be a brain surgeon to understand it, but it’s hard because you have to do the steps exactly as outlined. Most people won’t. That leaves more money available for people like me who will. That’s just life.
I registered my first domain back on 16th November. It’s not yet 1 month on from then and my site is already ranking well for the keywords I chose to target. I used the Google external keyword tool to find the keywords with good searches and Jon Leger’s WebCompAnalyst to help me analyze my competition. Too much competition makes it harder to get ranked, so even if you have a great keyword with lots of searches try to avoid going head to head with the rest of the world. It will only hurt your head if you do!
Ok, so since then 48 products have been ordered through my affiliate link. 39 have been dispatched and the commission allocated to my account. It’s not a life shattering amount. The total amount is about $57 with about another $17 waiting for the other items to be dispatched. That’s $74 in a little less than a month.
So that and a smile will get you a latte and a couple of biscuits plus the latest ebook.
But here’s the thing. It only took me about 5 or 6 hours to study the technique, do my research and build the site. I’m fairly quick at website building because I’m very familiar with a lot of powerful tools, but even so I think most people could build the actual site within about 3 hours. $25 an hour is about what my commissions work out to for the actual site building time. It’s not too shabby, but it’s not enough to retire on.
This weekend I’ll be building another 6 sites. That should only take me 7 or 8 hours because I’ve systematized most of the steps. In the next month I expect each of those sites to generate something like $50+ each. If I’m right that would give me revenues totalling $350+ from 7 little sites that, once set up, I won’t need to touch again.
Now we’re starting to see an amount that for most of us still makes a difference to our lives. A car payment, a holiday fund, college fund, savings plan. $350 a month could go to any of those things. But let me take this process further for you.
What if I build 5 sites every month? There are literally tens of thousands of possible sites I could build based on this technique. Probably more than that actually. I won’t run out of ideas, so 5 sites a month doesn’t even scratch the surface. Can you work out what my revenue is likely to be by March 2009?
End of Jan: 6 sites
End of Feb: 11 sites
End of Mar: 17 sites
17 sites at $75 a month is $1,275 or $15,300 a year.
What difference would over $1,200 a month make to you? Would it improve your lifestyle? Give you some choices over what you do? Maybe make the difference between just getting by and really living? What would you do with $1,200 a month?
BUT I’m planning to build 30 sites in January, not 5. And another 30 in February. The final 2 weeks of December I’m building only another 6 because I want some time off. My projection now looks like this:
End of Dec: 13
End of Jan: 43
End of Feb: 73
End of Mar: 103
Let’s be really conservative and say each site only nets $25 a month. I think they’ll do better than that especially since I’m confident that some of them will get #1 on page 1 of the search engines, but let’s do the calculation anyway.
103 x $25 = $2,575 a month or $30,900 a year.
Is it worth finding 2 hours a day to make that kind of extra money? It is for me since I like building the sites anyway. But is it worth it for you? If it took you 3 hours a day to build those sites, would it be worth it for you?
Remember I used a very conservative revenue figure. If I plug in the more realistic $75 a month the annual revenue shoots up to $92,700.
Did I mention that I got my results with free, organic traffic from Google?
I propose to update you with my results as I build another 6 or 7 sites. Let me build statistics to prove that it’s not a fluke (and not just because of the time of year) and I’ll keep you posted with the data. If there’s enough interest I’ll give more details about the technique and point you to where you can learn it fully for yourself. If there’s sufficient interest I’ll produce some videos to illustrate it.
One other thing: I’m targeting 1 country right now. I could target other countries too, with completely different sites. That means the scope is huge and there’s actually very little danger of the technique becoming over-saturated. My own researches have shown me that it’s almost impossible to keep up with the amount of opportunity here.
And to those who think it’s ok for me because I can build a site a day and afford to register a new domain name a day let me offer this thought: I’ve started with 1 site that cost me under $10 to register and the hosting is on a web hosting account I already have, costing less than $10 a month. It’s possible to get a domain for 99 cents and hosting for much less than $10.
You can get started for literally much less than $10, make some money and then plough it back into buying new domain names to make more sites to make more revenue. This is not a technique that needs a lot of money to get started. Money will make it faster, easier and more powerful, but it’s not an essential component.
See you in episode 2!
UPDATE: It’s now a day on from when I first posted this. I decided to have another look at my little income earner to see exactly what has been happening. For some reason when I logged in tonight it gave me ‘month to date’ figures, which represents just under 2 weeks. The account is in British pounds and it’s generated £49.67 in 13 days. That works out to $73.88 at today’s exchange rates. That’s not bad going for a little site that isn’t even all that attractive to look at. It equates, all things being equal, to about $150 for a month. Quite a bit more than I originally anticipated.
You can see the account screenshot below. Some of you will recognize where it’s from, but it’s not the affiliate program that’s really what makes it easy to make some money, it’s the particular techniques used on the websites.
I wanted to create 6 new websites over the weekend and I’ve made 3 new ones so far. But more importantly I’ve created an even slicker production process. I now have a single file that configures 80% of what’s needed on any new site and all that’s left is the actual content. In the case of these sites the content isn’t all that much so it’s only an hour’s job, tops. I expect to produce at least 3 new sites tomorrow. If each one produces this kind of revenue over the next month then I’ll consider the experiment well and truly proved.
You might notice that the commission rates aren’t all that high. It doesn’t matter. If it’s easy to shift the products and there’s only the one time setup work to do, the recurring monthly income multiplies over time into a very fair rate. Pile ‘em high and sell ‘em cheap was a philosophy a grocery store used in the UK many years ago. I think this is the same: if I can move lots of products very easily and earn a little bit on each that’s better than moving a few products with hard work and earning a bigger amount each time.
However, in the interests of learning I’m going to try to adapt these techniques to bigger ticket items once I’ve got the results in from say 20 sites. By that stage I reckon I’ll have a good handle on exactly which bit of the process is producing the results.