How To Start An Affiliate Marketing Business In One Day

… and I should add, even if it’s your first day online, and only have $50 or less to spend.

And I’m not talking about getting in a “home business” program. They’re fine if you want to get started in the “home business” niche…but…

I want to give you a formula you can use for ANY niche you decide to enter into.

Follow the steps below and you’ll feel like this guy at the end of the day…

IRock-StuartStirling

I was recently asked by a customers who is trying to promote a weight loss product – acai berries to be exact.

She asked me the best ways to promote her affiliate link without buying ads, or without using article marketing because article directories won’t allow any articles that promote or talk about acai berries!

I gave my advice in a couple of steps….

1.  If article marketing is out, get traffic with Youtube videos.  Create videos with helpful content about acai berries and weight loss and upload them, with your titles containing keywords.

2. Put a link in the description to a lead generation page (squeeze page). When they land on your squeeze page, offer them a free “giveaway” product if they optin to your email list (autoresponder). For example, a free teaser report about the benefits or dangers of acai berries.

The other option, and this is much more effective for cold traffic (i.e. traffic from Youtube) is to make the offer on your squeeze page “blind copy”.

Blind copy means you don’t actually let the reader know that you’re talking about acai berries – You hide the fact that it’s anything to do with acai berries and just refer to it as a “weight loss super food”, or something along those lines. The main reason for using blind copy is to muster up some curiosity in their mind so the reader can’t help but to opt-in in to learn more.

3. Another way to drive traffic for free would be by posting in weight loss or mummy, chat forums and social media sites (groups).. and putting your link in your forum signature file! Again you want to send people to your squeeze page so you build your email list. Your email list is your most important asset as an internet marketer. With a list, you can follow-up with them at any time and use the emails to build that all-important relationship.

So that’s the ‘what to do’….

The ‘how to do it’ is explained in this next part.

This involves actually going out and doing work. However, none of these tasks are overly technical or require a phd in computer science. Admittedly, these are the bare essentials, but they’re enough to get you started running a proper, reliable affiliate marketing business.

  1. Write a 5~10 page report in Word about acai berries and how they help you burn fat.
  2. Turn your report into a PDF using Doc2pdf.net
  3. Get an ecover for it on fiverr.com
  4. Use a site like 1MinuteSites.com to create your landing pages (squeeze pages etc),
  5. Get an autoresponder (email management software) like Aweber or Pure Leverage so you can start your list building
  6. Focus on the traffic methods I explained above to promote and give away the free report.

That there is a quick outline of a basic, but complete affiliate marketing business model. You could literally get this kind of business up and running in one day and for less than $50.

Internet marketing doesn’t need to be complex. You just need the right pieces in place. I’ve listed the bare essentials of how to set up a list building system and two examples of how to promote  for free, apart from article marketing.

Stuart Stirling

p.s. For slightly more detailed steps, check out my Newbie Start Up Guide [use coupon:  f38c461d9f  to whack a little off the price.. even though it’s already super affordable 😉 ]

How I Made My First $200 With A Niche Blog

I finally managed to do it! I made my first $200 in affiliate commissions in a “non-internet marketing” related niche.

$200 in commissions

 

I wish I could tell you that I made these commissions by throwing up a site and voila – 30 minutes later I got these sales…but

(that is what most gurus would have you believe on their sales pages for their latest course or software)

The truth is that it took a lot of hard work and many moments of frustration.

The short of it is..

This is income from 1 site over 7 months! Yes, I started this website in April 2011 and 7 months later, it has made me $206.90 in commissions.

While $200 in 7 months is nothing to write home about, this was a challenge to myself to see if I could make money outside the “internet marketing” niche. And I’m happy to say that I achieved it.

When I Started The Site…FAIL!

To be honest, when I started the site, I had no idea what I was doing for the first 3 months – but I managed to make 2 sales (about $20) those first 3 months.

It was only after learning how to make proper affiliate niche sites from Andrew Hansen and his Unstoppable Affiliate course in August 2011, did I realize I had made my site wrong!

It turned out that my keywords were wrong. My content was written wrong, my site design was wrong.. pretty much everything was wrong.. even my niche choice wasn’t the best which you’ll see why later.

I thought about starting over with a brand new site but I decide to completely re-do the site I had started. I re-wrote the content, found a new theme, set up the pages right – and found my keywords.

Getting Traffic But No Sales!?

A few hundred backlinks later, I started to get high rankings and traffic. Before I was getting traffic, I thought… “ok, as long as I get traffic, I should make the sales.”

Wrong again. I was getting traffic and click-throughs to the merchant page, but sales are far and few between!

As you can see by my EPC, I’m making about the same as I would with very cheap Adsense clicks – from $0.02 to $0.09 per click.

2 cent EPC

It’s just my rough estimation, but I calculate the merchant’s conversion rate is around 0.05%

That means, for every 200 visitors I send, I make 1 sale.

This is up there with the worst conversion rates I’ve experienced in all my 5 years of internet marketing!

I put this down to me choosing a very difficult product/niche  (hint: a type of camera) and a merchant who’s website and order pages are slow to load and not really optimized for sales.

Do I call this site a failure? Well, I can’t see it making me a millionaire, but it is making sales as it is and I have learned a LOT along the way.

Things I Have Learned

If I wrote everything that I’ve learned here, it would take me days to write. But here are some of the bigger ones that maybe you can learn from too.

Niche choice is everything.

This finally stuck me like a sledgehammer to the face. The difference between say a “recreational product” and a “product that solves a problem” is like night and day.

Andrew Hansen’s UA course touched on this, but the importance of choosing a “hair on fire” niche was reenforced when I went through Jimmy and Pete’s IM Game changer course (another awesome course for the money).

SEO

SEO is such a huge topic with so many different theories about what works and what doesn’t, what will harm you and what will go you good. It’s actually hard to know who to believe.

But I have learned that if you get your keyword research done right – i.e. choose buyer or “hair on fire” keywords with little competition and your job is going to be a whole lot easier to get rankings.

I also learned that I started getting into SEO at perhaps the most difficult time in the history of the internet – right after the Google Panda and several other consequent updates that are making it harder for mini affiliate niche sites to rank.

It’s not ALL about Backlinks

I sometimes feel that I (and a lot of SE/affiliate) am just striving to get backlinks, backlinks, backlinks. But in reality, what I (we) really need is traffic.

Yes, backlinks are essential to getting your site ranked in Google.. that I am sure of. But that is just a means to an end. Backlinks don’t make you money, traffic does.

I noticed this when I was submitting some videos to video sharing sites primarily for the purpose of getting backlinks. It turns out those video sites were actually sending me traffic because viewers clicked on the links in my video description.

I also noticed this from a blog comment I left on a high traffic blog. Significant traffic came from that one blog comment alone!

So you need backlinks – but don’t overlook other ways to get traffic too. If you can get a backlink great.. if you can get traffic from that backlink too, that’s even better.

Where To From Here?

As of now, I have a pretty good base knowledge of how to build niche mini sites and get them ranked.

So I am now working out my own systems for building each part of the sites and getting outsource staff to help me.

I just took on a VA to help with backlinking this week actually. I hope to eventually get other tasks outsourced (e.g. content writing, site set up, keyword reasearch) too so I can get more done and lower the word load. It’s too much hard work doing it all yourself!

I have a couple of “hair on fire” niches that I plan to build sites for next. That should be exciting to compare those to this current site.

I think I’ll leave my first niche site where it is and hopefully in another 7 months it will have made another $200… but the good thing it is out there working now so from here on out, any income it makes is passive income 🙂

Stuart StirlingThanks for reading!

Stu Sensei

Why The “Internet Marketing” Niche Sucks Balls

Since I started my first online business in 2006, I have always been fanatical about list building and email marketing.

And for the main part (97%), I have been directing all my focus and energy into building my list in one niche; the “internet marketing niche” or “make money online” niche.

I was doing this fairly successfully by setting up squeeze pages, giving away free reports, selling low ticket ebooks, running free membership sites and leveraging affiliates, JV ad swaps, traffic exchanges, safelists, solo ads and giveaways to get traffic and subscribers.

The Good ‘ol Days

For a while there, I was getting sign ups and sales effortlessly. I could get 50% opt-in rates, mail out a promo and get a 10% open rate and 10% sales conversion rate.

I could get 100+ signs ups a day on auto-pilot that cost me nothing, and then make $500+ in sales from one email blast selling a $10 product. I even had a few $1000 days.

Unfortunately, those  easy “send an email and rake in the cash” days are over.

No doubt the “make money online” niche is still alive and kicking (there’s still a fortune to be made in it), but list building and email marketing in this niche is sinking quickly.

It has just about hit rock bottom.

If you’re reading this, I sincerely thank you.

It’s most likely you came here from a link in my email to you. You are one of the mere 3% of people on my lists who open and read my emails. So I thank you for taking the time to read this blog post.

If you do the math, you can work out how many subscribers of mine sent that email to the trash bin.

So why is email marketing in the IM niche on its “death bed”?

I’ll give you just a few reasons which have become clear to me as to why email marketing has died off. I’m sure there are other different factors, and if you like you can add yours or comment on these below this post.

1. List Incest

Every “MMO” marketer is ad swapping, is promoting JV giveaways, is promoting each others products, is selling products on the same forums, etc.etc.

The result is that subscribers or “prospects” that are on your list are on dozen’s of other marketers lists.. which results in the next problem.

2. Too Much Email!

Ever wake up to 144 unread emails in your inbox all from “internet marketers” trying to sell you the next best thing?

That’s what happens when you join dozens of internet marketers’ “newsletters” who are a little trigger happy on the send button.

Subscribers are sick to death of all the email.

Unless you have an EXCELLENT rapport with your subscribers and customers or you pull the world’s most miraculous, hypnotic email subject line out of your a**, your email is going straight to the trash.

And even getting your email opened these days is a feat in itself. You’d better be a John Carlton world class copywriter if you want to stand a chamce to even get your links in your email clicked on.

IM sucks

3. Too Much Pitching Of Too Much Crap

A lot of email may not be such a big problem if you’re giving away good content. But when you’re sending pitch after pitch after pitch of crappy products everyday (sometimes several times a day!) subscribers, again just get fed up with it.. especially when they buy the crap product, realize it’s crap and it leaves a bad taste in their mouth.

It’s just natural for them to begin to see any email from a “marketer” as going to be another pitch for a crap house product and boom – bin.

So my point is this.

Some marketers have ruined and continue to ruin the “mmo” market by continually committing the three things that I listed above.. and most probably they commit every abominable email marketing sin there is.

Now I hate to point the finger and call the kettle black.. I have been known to take a cheap shot sometimes. But the last thing I try to do is abuse my right to send emails to my subscribers.

And, I’m not saying everyone in this niche is ruining it. There are some marketers who I really respect and still open most of their emails.

But the sad thing is that it only takes a few rotten eggs to spoil the entire basket.

Ok, enough of the rant.

So where to from now for Stu Sensei?

As it is right now, I still make money from my subscribers and customer lists in the MMO niche even though it is considerably less than it was 12 months ago.

I could make more sales everyday if I decided to spam you and everybody on my lists with a pitch for the next best “shiny object” every day like the “gurus” do but that is the last thing I want to do.

I truly want to help people succeed online so selling you products on an entirely different topic everyday is not my bag and it doesn’t really help you either.

That only leads to confusion, information overload and an empty wallet.

It might make me a little richer for the time being, but I’d rather help you get to where you want to go and have you stick with me for the long haul.

For the past month or so, I’ve been delving into “niche marketing” and SEO. That’s why I’ve been a little quiet with my emails.

For years, I would run the other way whenever someone mentioned either one of these two terms.

I didn’t know how to do it and it seemed like too much work anyway.

But after seeing my “IM” lists’ response rate (and sales conversions) diminish before my eyes, and having started studying the workings of SEO and niche marketing, I’m seeing this route to be the future for Stu Sensei.

Why Niche SEO Marketing?

First of all, I want to steer away from the “mmo/get rich quick” niche so I want to find other niches where I can use my skills and experience to tear it up!

It was after a chat with mate and mentor James Brown in which he said “Stu, if you applied what you know about internet marketing to other niche markets, you’d totally kill it”, so that’s what I’m aiming to do.

Now that isn’t to say that I’m giving up entirely on the MMO niche.

I still want to help you succeed with internet marketing. The only major change is that what I teach you about making money online will be directly related to this new phase of “niche” marketing I’m venturing into.

And this is why I think this type of marketing style is perfect for me.. and perhaps for you too.

Search engine traffic

Is there any better quality traffic that you can target with such precision?

The whole idea of being able to target buyers with search term keywords has opened a whole new dimension to me.

I realize that if I’m targeting buyers, I don’t need to build a list. Surprise, surprise. I said it. You DON’T need to build a list.

There are some occasions where I think it would be beneficial to build a list but in most cases with this style of marketing, building a list would be a hindrance to making a sale.

Affiliate marketing

Getting paid for selling other people’s products. It’s great. I don’t need to worry about customer service, my product going stale, site maintenance… I just need to focus on driving traffic – BUYERS!

Build a niche site once, rank it and forget about it

One of the things that I’ve learned to leverage with the internet and marketing is automation.. “set and forget” types businesses. Unfortunately, the case most times in the MMO niche is that products become old extremely quickly. Another friend and great SEO marketer Dan McGonagle said to me is “it’s a flavor of the day market”.

The beauty of the niche marketing model is that once you build it, get it ranked high in Google and making sales, it will be a money maker for a considerably longer time than the next “how to make money online” ebook.

I understand about Google’s tendency to slap websites anytime they like, but there is a way to avoid them which I have studied about. That will be for another post 😉

Easy to outsource

Content, backlinks, research, site creation.. it cam all be outsourced very cheaply and easily. Maybe I didn’t look hard enough to outsource stuff for my IM biz… but I know I don’t have to look far to outsource SEO jobs. I’m hitting Fiverr up just about everyday for outsourcing small tasks.

White beach
You Can Catch Me Here In The Near Future

This is perfect because the more I can outsource, the more I can get done and the more I get done, the more coin I make.

All I can really say at this time is that I am really excited about this new phase of my internet marketing career.

I am not yet an SEO or niche marketing “expert” yet but I am learning and putting what I learn into practice.

I already have one niche blog (based on WordPress – I plan to use WP for ALL my sites I ever build again) which has already made $132.61.. and I’m competing with mostly PR3 and PR4 sites!

Nothing to write home about, but it’s enough proof for me to realize the power of this kind of marketing and to keep working with it.

Exciting days ahead, that’s for sure.

And I hope you stay on board and learn with me – and even get into it yourself if you haven’t already.

Enough of chasing dreams and selling the dream. It’s time to make our dreams come true.

Stuart StirlingTo your success,

Stu Sensei

Getting Started With Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a great business model to start with if you’re just getting into Internet marketing.

In a nutshell, “affiliate marketing” is the term used for selling other people’s products and getting paid a commission when you refer a sale.

You probably already know how affiliate marketing works but want to know how to start being successful as an affiliate marketer.

In my first couple of years online, my primary income source was from selling other people’s product – affiliate marketing. Until I had my own products for sale, affiliate commissions made up 90% of my online income.

The great thing about affiliate marketing is that you don’t have to spend time on product creation, website building and maintenance, customer support etc.

Your main job as an affiliate marketer is to Advertise!

Advertising online is known by a few other words like as “getting traffic”, “marketing” and “promotion” but the meaning is the same – get people to click on your affiliate link and see your offer!

The 2 big questions all beginners to affiliate marketing ask are “how do you get traffic?” and “how do you get people to click on your affiliate link?”

There are several ebooks and courses written on the topic of affiliate marketing because it is a very broad topic. There are literally hundreds of different ways to get traffic.

But a couple of tips I want to give you are these:

  1. You need to know what is selling
  2. You need to know where the buyers are

Before you sign up for any affiliate program, or build any kind of site or write an article, you need to carefully think if the product you’re looking at is going to sell.

I’ve made the mistake of choosing products and markets where buyers are few and far between. If there is one piece of advice you can walk away with it’s this: target buyers’ markets. When you attract buyers and give them the products they want, you’re bound to hit the jackpot every time!

Once you have made a decision on the market or product to promote, your next step is to start advertising or getting traffic to your affiliate link.

Blogging, video marketing, buying ads (classifieds etc), social “group” marketing and article marketing are some popular ways to promote your affiliate links.

If you go for “search marketing” such as blogging, article or video marketing, it really comes down to the keywords you choose. Remember to target buyers!

For “group marketing” using sites such as forums, Facebook, Myspace, Twitter etc., the best way to go is to find those niche groups where your target people are hanging out it and contribute a lot of good content to the group so you stand out as an expert and get people to like you.

People will naturally want to “learn” more from you. They go to your site/page, click on your affiliate links and voila – sales are in the bag.

Here’s a free affiliate marketing report (no opt-in required) that explains some of the affiliate marketing methods I mentioned above.

You can also re-brand that report with your affiliate links (instructions included) and give it away to build a list or just to contribute to the community.

All the best with your affiliate marketing!

Stu “Sensei” Stirling

p.s. What did you think of this article on how to get started with affiliate marketing? Learn anything new? Please leave your comment below and share it with your friends and followers!

Niche Choice Is EVERYTHING!

I was chatting with friend and fellow internet marketer about niche marketing and he was explaining to me that the NICHE market you choose is to enter controls EVERYTHING!

I totally agree and wanted you to know this stuff as well so I asked Andrew to write a guest blog post for me.

His article is below…

“If you’re trying to make money online as an affiliate, there are a couple of highly important things that do more than any other factor to determine your level of success.

I can classify them into “mistakes”, meaning that it’s most likely that one of these mistakes is the reason you might not have made as much money as you would have liked in affiliate marketing.

The first mistake is how you choose your niche, the market you choose to enter, and the product you choose to promote as an affiliate.

Put simply, there are markets where you can generate high conversions, easy sales, and fast traffic, and there are markets (the majority of them) where you’ll spend months trying to scrape together a mere 50 or 100 visitors for ZERO result.

Knowing the difference is key. Fortunately, it’s no big secret.

The first kind of markets are those where you have a group of people wanting to buy something… you know what that something is… and you can provide it to them. That’s it.

Read that again to make sure you intimately understand what that means.

The second kind of market (the bad one) is where you know they have an interest but you don’t know what they want to BUY, but you can make a guess, and TRY providing that to them. It should be clear why this results in you making less money.

What most people don’t realize is that the niche you choose controls EVERYTHING.

If you can’t get traffic, it’s not because you’re not good at getting traffic… it’s because the market you entered is too competitive and traffic is too hard to come by!

If you’ve got traffic but aren’t making sales, it’s not because you’re not good at selling… it’s because you’re market doesn’t want to buy what you’re selling!

You’re in the wrong niche and you’re promoting the wrong product! You see how it’s all connected?”

Stuart Stirling

p.s. I hope this article helped you ‘get’ the important concept that the niche is really is EVERYTHING. I’d love to hear your  thoughts so please comment below!

Plug And Play Niche Cash Is Coming!

Plug and Play Niche Cash is a new offer soon to be released by Andrew Hansen and his team.

The official launch date is May 18th and on that day a limited number of customers will get access to 1oo’s of profitable niche businesses in a box.

PnP isn’t going to be your run of the mill niche marketing course. In fact, it’s not a “how to” course at all.

They’re actually giving you pre-made niche affiliate marketing campaigns… real businesses-in-a-box.

You get it all – niche research, product name lists, keyword lists, pre-written articles/reviews, review website templates, outsourcing resource lists, how to videos to put it all together and a heap more. All the hard, tedious work is done for you.

I really respect Andrew because he’s a marketer who practices what he preaches..and he’s damn good at what he does.

He currently runs his niche affiliate businesses while holidaying and living on the coast in Mexico. Definitely a guy living the dream and a guy to listen to.

Watch the video over at Plug and Play Niche Cash to learn more…

To your success,
Stuart Stirling