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My Preferred Affiliate Network Is Shareasale.com

Affiliate marketing is still one of the easiest way to make money online. You don’t need to have your own product, you don’t need to handle any customer support, you don’t need to ship any product (if it’s a physical product). Best of all, it’s a way to generate passive income if you manage to do it right.

5 years ago, when I first got started in internet marketing, those “gurus” were teaching how you can start doing affiliate marketing with Clickbank.com. It’s easy to sign up, easy to find products, high commission ranging from 50%-75% because they are digital products. All these are no doubt the advantages, but the problem is…. there are just way TOO MANY affiliates all rushing to promote the SAME product.

Definitely good for the product owner as there are thousands of affiliates making sales for you. But as an affiliate, it is just insane competition, be it vying for organic search traffic or pay per click marketing. You will have a hard time to make even a single sale. That’s because all the gurus teach the same things:  “If you are doing affiliate marketing, go to clickbank and search for products to promote.”

If every newbie is doing the same thing, what are your chances of making good money?

My advice?

STAY AWAY from Clickbank for now. Go and join other affiliate networks. They are well-established too, and most importantly there are much lesser competition and even more choice of products to promote – both physical and digital products.

Personally, I am using Shareasale.com and it is my preferred network. Other popular ones include: CJ, Linkshare, Amazon.  Last month, I made a 5-figure income from shareasale. You can make money from other networks, don’t just stick to clickbank. By the way, I also have income from clickbank and amazon too.

shareasale 5 figure

 

 

What I am trying to say is that, go out and explore on yourself. Don’t listen everything to what those “internet gurus” say. A lot of them are “making money by teaching people how to make money online”. You see the irony?

Highest Commission Made In A Single Sale

I have been doing affiliate marketing for 4 years. But this is the first time I have sold a ~ US$9.5k product online and as a result, I made a $1134.12 commission out of it. The merchant is offering a 12% commission. Check out the screenshot:

highest comission in a single sale

This is the highest commission I made in a single sale so far.

It is a physical product in the home improvement niche. This sale is not generated from my own website, it’s a squidoo site! Not a bad ROI huh?

Physical Product Conversion Rate At 23.08%

I have been promoting a physical product from Shareasale.com for a while and to my surprise, it is actually converting very well. From the screen shot below, you can see that it’s converting at 23.08% as of now. There are only 26 clicks to the affiliate product page so far in November, but there are 6 sales already. Even the  life-time conversion rate is still at  10.22%. It is still a VERY good figure.

Well, I am actually targeting the product name, so it’s very specific. It has very low searches per month and low competition. According to the Google keyword tool, it has only 170 exact [monthly search]. Initially, I was just testing it to see whether the product can convert. Heck, and the page wasn’t even ranked #1 on Google. So I was quite amazed how well it is selling, given the low searches and little clicks.

For those who are into digital products, you should know better –  the average conversion rate is only about 1-3%, i.e. out of 100 visitors, only 1 will buy the product.

This led me wanting to explore deeper into promoting physical products. True enough, physical product’s commission may not be high – average between 4%-15%. BUT it converts very well. There are thousands of products and people want to BUY them. They already know what they want. They are just looking for a little bit more information and they will whip out their credit cards. Need very little persuasion for them to take action.

Something for you to ponder, for me to explore further and promote more physical products.

This Is Exactly How I Feel

I was reading some affiliate marketing blogs when I came across this post from Finch Sells.

I guess Finch can express himself  through his writings much better than I can. I share the same sentiments as him and this is exactly how I feel about affiliate marketing, my business and entrepreneurship in general.

I will post some of his excerpts here:

1. For many affiliate marketers, this is the reality. We’ve given up day jobs, broken free from the chains of a Monday-Friday 9-5. But fuck you if you think it came without sacrifice along the way.

2. My weekends? If I wasn’t out socializing, I was working. The only reason I ever managed it was because to me, it was never really work. It was my passion and a step towards where I wanted to be.

3. If you never made a single penny with affiliate marketing, would you still enjoy it?

4. It wasn’t the money I cared about, it was the entrepreneurism of generating something out of nothing on my lonesome.

5. If you’re stargazing at the apparently novel lifestyle of an affiliate marketer, ask him where he came from instead of where he is today.

To get to where we are today, we made a lot of sacrifices. The journey is not smooth sailing and we encounter lots of ups and down. Definitely not for the faint-hearted. LOL.

My dad even asked me why don’t I get a job back (I used to work as a sales engineer). He said I will have a steady paycheck, weekends with no worries, have a company car to drive. Life will be good in his opinions.

Well, I can only say I DON’T like that kind of life. Those who are business owners, internet marketers or self-employed will agree with me.

On a side note, I think my dad will have no complaints if I continue to bring food to the table every month. 😛

How to Build An Authority Site – Traffic Included

A blog reader by the name of Kris asked me some questions pertaining on how I build my authority site. I just feel it’s good to share it with you. Here’s the questions he asked:

You said some of your sites are becoming authority sites and you are getting some good organic traffic – if you don’t mind sharing, how are you doing this?

I’ve been doing affiliate marketing for several years, and make decent part-time money, but my sites that 3-4 years ago used to dominate the search engine rankings are now nowhere near the top.

The reply I gave:

As I mentioned in my post, my biggest site has more than 100 posts. That’s already more than 100 pages of solid content.

The things I did are simple, nothing fanciful.

  1. Just submitting articles to the regular directories (with desired anchor text)
  2. Updating my blog aggressively when just starting out
  3. Look for other authority sites that allowed users to post articles/content
  4. Engage in forums (when I first started out)
  5. Social bookmarking (to get back links)

Once you do all these CONSTANTLY with QUALITY content, search engines will start ranking you and you will get organic traffic. I use wordpress blogs as my site platform, because it’s very search engine friendly.

And a thing to add, I don’t spin articles like what other marketers did. I hired writers to write unique articles for me. I feel that is important. Quality content provides value to people and SE likes it.

You said some of your sites dominate the SE many years back. Did you constantly update your site?

I believed if you wanna stay on top, you have to “maintain’ your site. Either get backlinks steadily over time or update your site, or else other competitor can come in and kill the competition. 🙂

The important stuffs are the highlighted words above. And the key to success is the word: CONSISTENT. Building an authority requires time and hard work. You don’t slap a site up with just 5 pages of content and expect it to rank no. 1 for competitive keywords. Whatever you do, do it better than your competitor.

I Have Trouble Explaining…

I have trouble explaining what I do for a living. When people ask me what’s my job, that’s the beginning of my headache. The truth is most people don’t know what internet marketing is, let alone mentioning about affiliate marketing or niche marketing.

Normally, when I said “Internet Marketing”, people will continue to ask: “What do you sell online?” or “You design websites?” or “You run a blog shop?”

Well, with respect to the questions above:

  • I sell information.
  • No. I don’t design websites. I am an IT idiot (ok… not exactly idiot, but rather technically-challenged). I CAN’T do codings, HTML, Java etc.
  • No. I don’t run blog shop though I have tried selling on eBay previously. Selling physical products are just too troublesome and the margins are low.

So how should I explain to people what I do?

Nowadays, if people ask me about it, I will just say casually that I run my own internet business. 90% will probe further. So I will tell them I run several health websites (yes, my main niche at the moment), like a content publisher. That’s it.

Sometimes, I would love to say that I am a niche marketer. But I guarantee that 99.99% won’t know what it is and I have a lot of explainings to do after that. So I can’t be bothered.

So, call me an internet marketer, internet entrepreneur, affiliate marketer, niche marketer, infopreneur, content publisher, blogger. Whatever you like. I can accept them all! 😀