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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?

Contextual Links Get the Most Clicks (Sales As Well)

If you are doing affiliate marketing, I am sure you will put banners, contextual links, popup etc on your website. But do you know exactly where are your visitors clicking? I came across a lot of niche websites where the affiliate marketers just slapped a banner on the sidebar or just putting  468×60 banners, hoping that their visitors will click on them. But let me tell you, contextual links (links within your content) get the most clicks.

track clicks

I tracked my website’s clicks – whether my visitors are clicking on the sidebar banner, top banner, bottom banner, side banner or in-content links. The result is majority of the clicks (60%) are contextual links. Can you see the picture above? 5629 clicks for contextual links compare to 1977 clicks (2nd highest) on my bottom banner.

Here’s how my typical website looks like:

website structure

Well, you may ask: “So what if the contextual links get a lot of clicks, do they convert into sales for you?”  The answer is YES.  Here’s a partial screen shot from my ClickBank account:

clickbank screenshot

As you can see from the tracking ID (TID) above, most of the sales came from “BLOGPOST”, which is my contextual links.

So, if you are just putting banners on your site, you are leaving a lot of money on the table. A lot of people are “ad blind”. They are so used to seeing advertisements and banners that they don’t click on it. Go back to your site now and insert your affiliate links with relevant keywords in your content!

Shortcut method: If you are using WordPress, you may like to use MaxBlogPress Ninja Affiliate plugin to help you automatically convert keywords on your blog into affiliate links. This will save you a lot of time if you have a huge content site and you haven’t been adding contextual links regularly.

New Site, New Sales

For those internet marketers who know me well enough, I always tell them that I had no luck with ClickBank. I tried promoting several products from Clickbank, but with little success. Bulk of my income came from Shareasale.

However, due to some price changes to the products I am promoting, they are not really converting and the conversion rates drop drastically. My traffic is, in fact, increasing but the sales drop. So, I decided to venture into Clickbank once again. LOL.

So far, the results are promising. The site was up and running on 24th Mar and I got my first sale within 7 days. I only got 26 clicks, and I got the sale. And within the next few days I got another sale. So 2 sales so far with around 50+ clicks. The conversion rate looks good so far with the little traffic I generate.

As usual, I need to get more traffic (at least 500 CTR) before I can conclude whether the product can really convert.

The ways I generate traffic are still the same – it’s old-school but they still work like a charm: Publish good content on my blog, article marketing, directories submission, social bookmarking, carnival submission.

New tip for those who are using article marketing: http://www.thefreelibrary.com

It’s a PR7 site and you can submit your articles there! The highest PageRank for an article submission site I have seen so far. But don’t expect much traffic from there.  Just use it to build backlinks. It doesn’t hurt to have one more backlink from another article submission site :). The Kingpin is still EzineArticles where you can get direct traffic from there.

Another Niche Site Is Up!

I have finished setting up a new niche site. Not exactly “new”, as I have registered the domain and done the site graphics quite some time ago. Somehow, I just left it idle.

Previously, I was busy doing some PPC campaigns. Wanted to test the profitablity of the niches before I dive into it. i don’t want to spend my whole lot of time building a site then realized that the niche or product doesn’t convert. I would have wasted all my precious time.

And yeah, I wasted USD$300+ on PPC. Gathered around 350+ clicks but NOT a single sale. Damn it. Either I ran my keywords wrongly or the product doesn’t convert. BUT, it’s ranked top 10 in ClickBank. It’s just like Fat Loss 4 Idiots, the gravity is damn high but it just doesn’t convert for me. In fact, quite a number of marketers also commented in the Warriors Forum that it doesn’t convert for them. Either we used the wrong approach or the product sucks.

Anyway, right now I will stick to my tried and tested products/merchant. Ordered 40 articles. 20 articles on blog and 20 on articles directories. I will update on the status of this new niche site again. 🙂