This morning, someone asked me about a report I’d reviewed. My review had been vague, because I didn’t want to emphasize the individual points in the report.
That was deliberate, for three reasons:
- I avoid saying anything in a review that will “give away” information in the report.
- This report included tactics that are based on very sound principles. They’re old-school. They worked 10 years ago. They still work, now. I’ve had success with them, year after year, so I know they work.
- In addition, those tactics are so sound, you don’t have to follow the report to the letter. So, I didn’t want to make it sound like this report was offering anything astonishing or new to those who’ve been in Internet marketing for more than four or five years… or anyone who’s been aggressively learning about affiliate marketing. (The seller’s way of selecting products is unique, but not the only way to do this.)
The report was about selecting affiliate products to promote. He’s using some of the higher-end affiliate programs, but his general plan could apply to any product or service that pays commissions or affiliate fees.
The concepts in the report included:
- The seller’s unique style for selecting affiliate products to promote.
- How he sets up his small HTML sites to attract traffic and encourage sales of each product he promotes.
- A fresh, simple view of attracting traffic to his sites. (I laughed. He’s right.)
In general, he’s being fairly conservative with his claims.
- The seller talks about earning $50, $100, and sometimes $200/day. I’m sure he’s earned that, but he doesn’t say how many sites he has, to earn that much.
- He talks about using his income to take his family to Tokyo Disneyland for the day… but he lives in Japan. (For a family of four, that’s about
$300 for tickets, plus whatever they spend on parking, food and souvenirs.)
- He talks about earning thousands from his sites, but he doesn’t give a time frame for that… days, weeks, or months. (Since he’s had $200 days, I’m sure he’s had months where he’s earned over $1000.)
In other words, he’s not claiming consistently high income from his work.
Yes, I’ll admit that you have to read between the lines to see that, but still… it’s a sales page. Of course he wants his report to sound as good as possible.
The report is good. It’s well-grounded in techniques that work, and it’s a business model that can scale for almost anyone. It’s simple affiliate marketing. He has his own tweaks that could improve results, but that’s all. No loopholes. No backdoor tricks. Nothing sneaky.
I like that.
Yesterday, I received a message from someone who’d seen my favorable review of the product. That person asked me for more information, especially what other expenses might be involved and whether income really could be earned within 30 days. He also asked me about ranking at Google with squeeze pages and new sites, too.
Here’s an edited version of my reply:
To do this kind of work, well, you’ll do best with your own website. However, you can start with a free Blogger site (or two or three) and then invest in domain names and hosting, if the Blogger versions seem to do well.
Other than that, you can spend money or time (or both)… it’s up to you. There is no “set and forget” income that I’ve seen, so far, but the basic plan in his report can be modified in many ways. I’m not sure that income is directly related to how much time you put into each site, but I think tweaks are essential as you figure out what works best for you.
Google may not be thrilled with squeeze pages. I’ve never used squeeze pages, so I can’t say anything one way or the other about that.
However, I’ve never had a problem getting my webpages to rank well at Google. (Remember: Google ranks webpages, not sites. The site shows up once it’s clearly an authority site, but — first — you need to rank well for your individual webpages.)
One key point in how I work: I don’t outsource anything. I write my own articles, and often include my own illustrations.
So, close to 80% of competing webpages… they can’t compete, based on originality. When my articles are an exact match for the keywords, they’re almost always in Google’s top 5, and usually within the top 3.
I also do a lot of research before I write articles. That includes online research & offline (library book) research. So, Google “sees” my content as something unique and original. That helps.
My article research is similar to my book research: http://eibhlin.com/writing/flash-in-the-pan-is-that-book-worth-writing
You can also glean some tips from my articles about… well… writing articles:
I was vague in my product review because that report describes a business model with about a bazillion different variations. Over the years, my own variations have probably brought me a low five figures, mostly from two or three sites that I’ve built to authority level.
However, even my single-page (or just a few articles) sites generate fairly steady income, albeit low, per site.
Today, I treat that business model as a good source for supplementary income.
And, if you follow the report to the letter, you may do as well as suggested in that sales letter. I don’t know, because I’ve never tried exactly what he’s doing.
I have tried about 90% of what he’s talking about, and I know people who’ve been successful with his plan. So, I had no problem endorsing that report.
Currently, the only site I have that’s close to what he’s describing… it’s a Blogger site I posted and forgot about. It’s okay, but not great. It’s mostly a one-page site that promotes just one, low-end product. It earns me about $20/month. If I worked on it, I might do much, much better, but I’m doing so well with my books, I’m focusing on them, period & full stop.
I have other affiliate sites, but they’re classic Amazon affiliate sites. I usually do better with them, but I favor them because they’re easy for me. I shop at Amazon, so I think I understand Amazon customers.
The plan in that report is solid. It will work. How well it does depends on product selection, article quality, and SEO, as much as anything.
The reason I bothered to review that report is because it’s a realistic business model that can scale. (Whether the scaling is worthwhile when you try it… there are too many variables for me to predict that.)
I like this report because it’s old-school. I’m kind of frustrated with “loophole,” “backdoor,” and “sneaky” tactics raved about in so many reports and courses.
Frankly, by the time the seller is talking about them, the door is closing fast, or the ship has sailed. And, anything still working…? Google staff buy those reports and courses, too, just to see what they need to fix in the system.
I hate to see people invest long hours in a business model that will falter (if not outright fail) within weeks. I hate to see people’s hopes and expectations crushed.
Maintaining a website requires work. I figure that’s a given, when you’re choosing a way to earn money, online.
Anyone who missed that memo is likely to get caught up in all kinds of get-rich-quick schemes, not just rubbish promoted as “Warrior Special Offers.”
The basic concepts in the report aren’t new, but that’s my point: This business model has been around since the start of affiliate programs, back in the early days of the Internet. That business model still works.
The report offered an upsell (a “one time offer” or OTO) . To me, it looked like something similar to Nvu (free), and other free resources, but I could be wrong. For some clean HTML website templates, I’m a fan of oswd.org (Open Source Web Design), also free.
But, before going to HTML sites, I’d start with a few Blogger sites. They’re free, fast and easy, and then tend to rank well, quickly.
Test each product & style of article. Then, if those sites don’t attract traffic (and at least a little income) within 30 to 60 days, try another variation… either different products or different marketing styles.
Once you have a winner or two, start adding to that business model with your own domain name, hosting, and so on.
There are many ways to earn money, online. Affiliate marketing is just one of them, but it’s one of the simplest when you’re getting started with an online income.
While it can be helpful to start with a ready-made website that you buy at Flippa or from sellers like Lisa Gergets, you can build your own website, from scratch.
It’s key to start with a topic that fascinates you. Then, choose a way to monetize it, but make it something you understand and feel comfortable with.
Don’t fall for reports that promise overnight riches or “loophole” tactics with ridiculous claims.
When testing affiliate programs, Blogger is a fine way to see what works for you. Tweak the site (and perhaps the business model) until you find something you enjoy… and something that also earns you money.
Stay focused on one thing at a time. Don’t spread yourself too thin, trying everything that sounds like a good idea. Try one, as difficult as that may be. (I know you want income right away. I also know that focusing on more than one thing is the surest way to fail.)
Go old-school as much as you can. Tried-and-true business concepts are still the best guarantee of steadily increasing income. “Loophole” techniques are almost guaranteed to fail, within months if not sooner.
This report was one of many I could recommend. I could also recommend several free reports and websites, related to affiliate marketing.
Decide what you like, first. Then, find a simple, well-grounded business model to work with.
When you have a Google question, Matt Cutts’ videos can be very useful.
Remember to look for what he says… as well as what he doesn’t say.
Curation is a good way for you to add content to your website, and — if you’re a content creator — a great way to get syndicated.
There have been two barriers to curation:
1. Popular misunderstandings about what curation is. Unfortunately, many get-rich-while-you-sleep marketers are defining curation as autoblogging with keywords… and other people’s content.
Curation is finding the best and most noteworthy content in your niche, and sharing it — and your thoughts about it — with your readers. It’s like saying, “Look what I found, and here’s why you need to know about it.” Your knowledge of the niche is an essential ingredient. So are your comments about each article (or video, or book, or podcast, etc.) that help your readers understand why it’s worth their time to consider whatever-it-is.
2. Adequate and convenient tools to use when you’re collecting and curating content. Right now, the only tool I recommend is CurationSoft. (That is an affiliate link. It’s a product I use so often, it’s on my computer’s taskbar.)
Today, I stumbled onto two tools that may be useful, whether you’re looking for content to curate, or you have content to share with other websites.
Curate.us is a browser add-on. I allows you to curate (copy and add your comments) using screenshots or text that you choose. The result is branded with the Curate.us logo and link, but the convenience of this — being able to curate, on-the-fly, as you browse — could be worthwhile.
It won’t substitute for a tool like CurationSoft, but it’s handy enough to test, to see if Curate.us is right for you.
- The plugin makes it easy for people to grab content from your website and include entire articles at their sites.
- The Repost.us website makes it easy to find fresh, relevant content to consider for curation. And, as a content creator, it gives you another platform for exposure, backlinks, syndication, and so on. Think of it as a variation on the eZineArticles concept, mixed with CSS.
The plugin looks good, but I’m going to test it before recommending it. Meanwhile, here’s what I’m looking at, in terms of good and bad aspects.
- Use of the content requires agreement to your website’s unique license. (Creative Commons options are included in the stock license.)
- The content that appears on other sites is always the most current version of that post, article, graphic, or whatever.
- Ease-of-use increases the likelihood that people will repost your content on their own websites, on social media, and so on.
- The content is fed directly from your website, in real time, to the site that’s using it. If it’s a graphic-intensive post, that could be a hefty burden for your server. That’s not just about bandwidth costs, but also whether lots of hits via Repost.us could slow down your website’s response.
- Describing that feature, Repost.us makes a big deal about duplicate content, which shows that either they don’t fully understand the issue… or they’re assuming their website visitors don’t know the difference between duplicate content and syndication.
- All of the content carries a logo and backlink to Repost.us.
I’m not sure if there are competitive products. Frankly, I haven’t been looking for them. However, I stumbled onto these today, and thought they looked good enough to mention.