If you’ve made it this far you should definitely sit back and survey all that you’ve accomplished and learned. You’ve come to understand how money is made on the internet with affiliate marketing. You’ve recognized that in order to start a successful affiliate marketing business you need to select a niche and create a website in that niche that matches offers with buyers. You’ve learned some techniques for going out and finding some buyers in the form of organic search traffic.
Now, what next? The answer is really quite simple. The next step is to grow the small business that you’ve started.
Contrary to what you read in a lot of sales letters on the internet, affiliate marketing is not a get rich quick scheme. Rather it’s more like the get rich slowly scheme. It’s especially true when you take the approach that I teach here, which involves getting free traffic.
It takes time to build content that ranks well in the search engines and it takes time to get the visitors that you need to convert visitors to sales. So be patient, but know that eventually if you do the right things you will see results.
This article is a collection of things you should consider when you’re trying to decide what to do next. It’s a list of options that you can select from for growing your business.
Do you want more websites or do you want to expand the website that you have now?
Do you want to hire people to do work for you or do you want to do all the work yourself?
Do you want to include automated tools or branch out into new forms of internet marketing?
All of these are things that you need to decide when you’re ready to grow your business.
More Sales From Your Current Website
I think the very first thing that makes sense to me when thinking about new affiliate marketers who have just built their first website is to spend some time trying to grow that website. After all, you’ve spent time building a brand new property on a topic that you care about. You might as well invest some time in increasing the value of that property and the income from it. There are three basic things that you can do in order to grow a website that you already have.
The first thing is obvious; create more content.
In a very straightforward way you can sit down and brainstorm all of the questions that people might have about your niche and all of the things that you wish people knew about your niche.
Imagine yourself in a conversation in a coffee shop trying to describe your niche topic to someone who didn’t know anything about it. What topics would you cover? What kinds of things would you talk about?
Make a list of everything you can think of; every question that someone might have, every how-to topic that you might want to discuss, any history around the niche, and so forth. Once you have this long list of topics, start creating content and add it to your website.
You might be surprised at the kinds of search terms that you will start to attract traffic from once you’ve started to created a massive amount of content. This is also a good time to make sure that you have a related posts plugin on your blog so that when people do arrive at your site they can easily find other pieces of content that keep them there reading what you have to offer.
The second thing you can do is make more offers.
The best way that I know of to add offers to your website is to write product reviews. You can do this in a number of ways, but by far the most effective thing you can do is to actually buy products and tell people what you think about them yourself. These sorts of reviews are the most compelling when you’re a potential buyer because people love to hear about the experiences of other people that are going through the same thing that they’re considering going through.
If you do decide to do your own reviews, don’t forget to do an “un-boxing” video each time you buy a new product. Take a handheld camera, like the Flip or your iPhone, and make a video of yourself un-boxing the product, showing what’s in the box, trying it out for the first time, etcetera. Un-boxing videos are very popular.
You can also use information from reviews that are already online, as long as you synthesize that information into your own words. You can say things like, “Other reviews that have reviewed this product have found,” this problem or that problem, or “loved this product because” of this reason or that reason. You can gather that information just by reading the Amazon reviews. Be sure to check Amazon’s terms of service, but at the time of this writing it’s actually legal to quote their reviews directly if you are promoting products through Amazon.
The third thing you can do to add content to your blog is consider the use of private label rights material.
Private label rights material (also known as PLR) is content that’s written by someone else and sold to you. When you buy the content you’re also buying the write to use it in any way you wish, sometimes with a few restrictions.
If you buy well written private label rights material you can usually use it with very little changes. If you do buy private label rights content for your website I recommend that you make a few minor changes, as I discuss in my article on how to use private label rights. The best place to buy private label rights material depends on the niche, but I also discuss the best sources for PLR in this article.
Add Email Marketing to the Mix
Another way to grow your business is to add email marketing to your affiliate marketing efforts. Many times when you visit a website online you’ll notice that people will include a place where you can leave your name and email address to be notified when there’s new content.
Often times you’ll get a free gift in exchange for leaving your email address, like a short course on a particular topic or an ebook available for instant download as soon as you leave your contact information. This contact information is then used to contact you with new offers, information, and updates on the niche topic of the blog.
You can use this same approach on your niche website to grow your business either by directly marketing products to your email list or by notifying people when there’s new content on your website so that they return to see what’s up and potentially buy additional products.
Email marketing is an incredibly powerful tool that you should seriously consider adding to your internet marketing arsenal.
Outsourcing – You Don't Have To Do It All Yourself
Another thing to consider as you grow your business is whether or not you want to start outsourcing. When you first consider the idea of turning over control of important projects to a third party, it can seem a little scary. After all, what if they steal your ideas, mess something up, or break into your checking out and bleed it dry?
Of course, I’ve been outsourcing for many years and never experienced one of those problems, but those are common objections to outsourcing. To people with these worries, I suggest start small.
My favorite recommendation for beginning outsourcing is to buy a gig on Fiverr.com and get something done that you need done. Good examples are logo graphics, website banners, and other small marketing tasks. For bigger tasks you can use places like Odesk or Scriptlance to complete the things that you need done but don’t have time to do.
Trust me, once you discover the magic of outsourcing you’ll be looking at the list of things you have to do for all the items that you either don’t want to do or aren’t good at and you’ll be trying to find someone to do them. Eventually you may even get to the point where you want to hire someone full time. It’s hard to imagine now, but if you grow your business to multiple sites with multiple offers it’s easy to imagine how you might fill up eight hours of someone’s day every day creating content, maintaining websites, editing videos, etcetera.
Rinse and Repeat
Of course the obvious way to grow your new business is to rinse and repeat what you’ve done for the first website on two or three, or ten more websites. After all, if you’re making a few dollars on one website and you create ten just like it, you’ll be making ten times as much money. Right?
Actually, the truth of the matter is you need to be very careful about running multiple projects simultaneously, especially if you’re new to internet marketing. One of the common failures that I see is new internet marketers starting a bunch of websites at the same time and never finishing any of them.
One of my really good friends, a super affiliate internet marketer named Lynn Terry, says it like this. You need to grow your projects from start to profit.
What she means by that is before you start the next project you need to get the first project to a profitable state where you’re making an appropriate amount of money. It’s one of the smartest pieces of advice you’ll ever get. Be very careful about starting too many websites at the same time when you’re first starting out.
If you followed my advice and you created your very first website on a topic that you care about and you’ve been spending time creating great content about that topic, it might be time for you to start to consider creating your own product at some point.
Is there some product that you could create that would help people do the thing that you’re an expert in?
Let’s say your niche is underwater basket weaving. Is there a product you can create that teaches people how to do underwater basket weaving? Would they be willing to pay for it?
I don’t have a product for the Corn Sheller Site, but you could imagine that since most of my audience are corn sheller collectors I could take the time to write a guide to collecting corn shellers and make it available on the internet for sale. Now, I probably won’t do that because I don’t have enough interest in corn shellers to create such a guide, but you get the idea.
Creating your own product can be a really great way to boost your income, but it’s critical that you create a product that people actually want. It doesn’t do any good to create a product that people don’t want.
My friend Jeremy from Internet Business Mastery often talks about a buddy of his that created very high end premium yoga mats for the yoga community. He designed the mats and worked with a company in China to build a warehouse full of them. Normally yoga mats cost about $30, but this premium yoga mat was going to sell for around $100. Much to his surprise, no one wanted it.
The mistake this guy made was he didn’t ask any people in the yoga field whether or not they wanted the mats before he went to create and produce them. So he ended up with a warehouse full of yoga mats that nobody wanted to buy.
Don’t be like the yoga mat guy. If you follow my recommendation above to create an email list, email your prospects and ask them what they’re looking for, what kind of problems they’re having and what would help them the most. Be straightforward with them, tell them that you’re considering creating a product and you’d like to know what they want.
Or if you’re uncomfortable with email, create a survey using SurveyMonkey or a similar tool and ask people what their problems are. Find their pain and create a product to solve it.
Become the Go-To Authority on the Internet in Your Niche
My final suggestion regarding growing your business is to decide that you want to go all-in. All-in is a term from poker playing that refers to taking all of your chips and pushing them into the center of the table, betting all of your money on your current hand. Going all-in with a website would mean deciding that you want to make your website the premiere resource in your niche for your topic.
In this case, you’ll want to expand your presence on social media, on YouTube, on podcasts, and so forth, in an effort to become known as a thought leader in your area. Most of the truly successful people that I know online are working in an area that they truly love and they’re helping people be successful in that area. They’re talking about topics as diverse as wooden boats and internet marketing, podcasting, and creating platforms online, mastering social media, and cross stitching.
People that are excited about the things that they are doing and excited about helping people are the perfect kind of people to become authorities on the internet. Once you become an authority, you’ll get traffic, conversions, and sales, and you’ll like the results.
I love this method of growing a business most of all because I think it’s the most sincere form of business. Helping people is always the best way to grow your business. As Zig Ziglar always said, “You can get everything in life that you want by getting other people what they want.”
Wrapping Up and Open for Questions…
Now you’ve been through the whole process. I’ve offered you an overview of affiliate marketing, talked to you about how to identify a niche market to attack, shown you how you can easily build a website and create offers in your niche, talked a little bit about how to get traffic to your website, and encouraged you to grow your business once you’ve gotten started.
The amazing thing about the internet is that the sky is truly the limit. The internet is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Your customers can come from anywhere on the globe. All you have to do is create value and match offers with buyers and you’ll be successful.
I hope this tutorial has been helpful to you and I hope that you’ll read it again, exploring the links in the tutorial in more detail. Think of this tutorial as a pyramid with the overview article at the top, the four main articles on niches, websites, traffic, and growth as the second level, and the many detailed articles linked from those four main articles as the base of the pyramid.
If you’re looking for something and you can’t quite find it, leave a comment or send me some feedback and I’ll see about adding the content that you’re looking for answering your question directly. If there’s anything I can do to help you, please don’t hesitate to let me know. After all, the purpose of the Late Night Internet Marketing brand is to add value by helping people start internet businesses one night at a time.