Well, I thought it was time for another post. It’s been a while but it was necessary to just stop everything we were working on and focus on just one thing.
Not focusing has always been our main problem with this business. It’s tough in the online arena to not get tempted to go in different directions. We always tell people they should focus on one thing first and wait till that is making money before moving on to something else and here we were totally ignoring our own advice. However, I feel like we now have things in place and we are determined to stay with it and just focus, focus, focus.
Our total business model has changed since we started in this business. We still use Amazon, but we do it in a different way and I have to say the new business model is much more fun. Continue reading
Do you remember when you were young and your mum or dad (or other significant person in your life at the time) would tell you something extremely wise and life changing but it totally went in one ear and out the other? Today you might think back on it and say, “I wish I’d listened to them; my life would be a whole lot different now”.
Unfortunately, this is how most of us function when it comes to making money online. We want all the answers but we aren’t always prepared to take them on when we hear them. I know that in the early days, we learned the ins and outs of making money online from James Martell but did we really listen to what he had to say?…no not really. We took what we wanted from it all and played around with the sites and added content and tweaked the themes but when it came down to it, we didn’t really follow what he had to say. Why?…well looking back on it now it was mostly because we just weren’t patient enough and not being patient enough results in a cascade of problems. Believe me we kick ourselves now because had we followed James’ method right from the beginning we would have succeeded a lot sooner than we did.
When you aren’t patient enough you get to a point where you don’t quite believe in the process. And if you don’t believe in the process, you are either going to stop putting it into practice or you will start to tweak it a little putting your own spin on it until eventually it becomes nothing like the original method.
So for us, instead of writing long detailed posts, which is what James recommended, we went ahead and wrote hundreds of poor quality short unhelpful articles. And instead of focusing on just one website, which is again what James recommended, we kept building more and more sites. And instead of backlinking we spent time tweaking the sites. As a result, it took us a lot longer to get anywhere.
This is what happens to a good majority of people. We still get emails today from people who have purchased our Amazonian Profit Plan who have obviously not really taken it all in. For instance, we recommend working on only 5 product reviews at any one time. But instead we get emails from people saying they have added 20 or 30 reviews to their site and wonder why they aren’t making any money. They wonder if adding more will help. Of course it won’t because if none of the first 5 are making any money then why will adding another lot of reviews make any difference?
I know I am rambling on a bit here but what I am trying to get at is that in order to make a good income online you have to first of all be patient and second of all follow through on the process. It’s almost like baking a loaf of bread. If you follow the recipe exactly you get a better loaf. If you start tweaking by adding a bit more flour or a bit more yeast you might still get a decent loaf but if you start experimenting by omitting or changing some of the ingredients then it is pot luck as to whether it is going to turn out or not. You might get there eventually if you experiment enough but it will take you a lot longer than if you just stuck to the recipe.
There are plenty of recipes for making money online but in terms of affiliate marketing and the product review concept there are 3 critical ingredients you need to follow in order to succeed:
Notice the one word that keeps repeating itself?…that word is QUALITY but most people making money online do everything but provide quality. It’s always more about QUANTITY for most people and it was for us also – hence why we built website after website. Fortunately we stopped at around 20 or so but a lot of people just keep going.
I know we have spoken many times about ‘Quality vs Quantity’ on this site but it’s something that needs to be repeated constantly because a lot of people just don’t get it. You really have to make quality your main focus and now more than ever because it is the direction that Google is taking. Google want to have quality sites ranking in their search engine. They don’t want to see poor quality spammy sites in the top 10 for any of their search results.
Even if we put Google aside for a minute, then it is still obvious that quality is important. It’s important because when anyone comes to your site they are doing so because they want answers. If you have a product review site they want you to tell them why they should buy the product. They don’t want to see a site full of ads, pop-ups and a short unhelpful review.
If you don’t focus on quality then you will really struggle with making money online. You have to make quality your number one priority if you want to succeed.
Let’s take a look in more detail:
1. Choose a Quality Product
When most people build websites they immediately start thinking about what niche they should pick. This is a big mistake in our opinion. There is this concept that some niches are better than others but nothing could be further from the truth. It has nothing to do with the niche because in reality every niche has both good products AND bad products.
People think that the secret to our success are the niches we have chosen so they go searching for our sites and try to replicate it all. But it has nothing to do with the niches because we make money from all sorts of niches. There isn’t one niche that does better than any other because it’s not about the niches…it’s about the quality products we have chosen within those niches.
Your readers don’t want to buy poor quality items. They want the best they can get for their money and your job is to find the best quality products and write about them. It’s simple really but a lot people don’t want to take the extra effort it requires to do that sort of research. They want to make money online but they don’t want to work for it.
2. Write Quality Reviews
Once you have chosen a quality product you then need to write a quality review. This is really a critical factor if you want your reviews to convert. It’s not just about getting your readers to the merchant and letting the merchant do the rest. Believe us when we say that because we thought the same thing. We wrote 300 word reviews for a long time thinking that the shorter the review the better as the reader would simply click over to Amazon for more info. Most didn’t stay on the page long enough to do that. They immediately saw the short review and clicked the back button. Those who stayed and clicked through to Amazon didn’t buy. Why?…because we gave them no reason to buy.
To ‘give someone a reason to buy’ means telling them why the product is going to benefit them in some way and/or why it is the best available compared to other similar products. If they have the benefits in their head, by the time they reach Amazon they are more likely to buy.
But it’s not just about slapping a few benefits on the page and hey presto you will make sales. It takes more than that. It means thoroughly researching the product until you know it inside and out because in most cases you won’t actually own the product. This means spending time on Amazon reading customer reviews and searching the manufacturers site for detailed information about the product and scouring the net for what others have to say about it.
It also means writing long detailed reviews that are around 1000 words or more. Our longest review now sits on our Affiliate Reviews HQ site and is over 4000 words long and we could have written much more. Remember that the person reading your review doesn’t have the product in front of them so they will want to know everything they can before buying. Don’t be afraid to add even the smallest of details.
The only way you are ever going to write really good quality reviews is to forget about the search engines because if you think about what the search engines want to see in the review then you are thinking about the money first and your readers second. So instead of worrying about the search engines, worry about your readers and what they would like to see in the review. If you do that you will always end up with well written helpful reviews.
3. Get Quality Backlinks
The final step in the process is getting quality traffic. This is where most people fail. They can often choose quality products and write quality reviews but the traffic part eludes them. The reason for that is that they are not patient enough. They start out all keen and send out some guest articles and maybe write a press release and do a bit of social networking/bookmarking and leave a few blog comments but because they don’t see anything happen straight away they lose focus. Their interest starts to wane and before they know it they are building another website because ‘the next website will be the one that makes it’ or so they think.
Or worse yet, they might pay someone $20 to get 1000 backlinks to their site. It just doesn’t work. We know this from experience, because like almost everyone else we too have tried this method in the past. You need QUALITY backlinks if you want to rank well in Google or any of the search engines for that matter, and the best quality backlinks you can get come from guest blogging. Yes, it takes time but it works. You can choose to continue to ignore backlinking or get someone else to add hundreds of spammy backlinks to your site or you can do it the right way and only focus on quality backlinks.
Just keep in mind that one good quality backlink is often better than thousands of poor quality ones.
The Final Ingredient
So what is the final ingredient? The final ingredient is you and whether you are patient enough to stick with the plan. Just remember that:
All you need is the traffic but it can take a year before you really start to see some real action with backlinking. Are you prepared to stick at it for that long? You really have to answer that question because if you aren’t prepared for that then this isn’t the business for you and you will only find yourself in what we call the Affiliate Marketers Cycle of Doom. Sure you might have success in a month or two – lots of people have – but if it doesn’t happen in a month or two are you willing to keep at it until you do or will you just be off to build yet another website?
We know from the emails we receive that so many people are struggling to make a decent living online. It can be quite depressing at times when you seem to put in so much effort for little return, and often your family and friends are not supportive.
But Affiliate Marketing does work, you just need to get the process right. We tried all sorts of things before we finally found what worked for us and the steps that we talk about in our Amazonian Profit Plan certainly made the world of difference to our income and lifestyle. The main thing is to find what suits you and stick to it. Money isn’t going to start coming in at the start, be prepared for this, in fact it generally takes a few months before you start to see any real results. But if you stick at it you will get there.
So why do I love the affiliate marketing business? Well it allows me to live a rich and fulfilling life full of extraordinary moments. I just want to share some of the highlights with you, maybe it will help to keep you focused when you know that I am not some young tech savvy person, in fact I am a grandmother and a great grandmother (I started young) so if I can do this, so can you.
In the last three weeks alone, we have had the opportunity to drive 4 different model Ferraris through a company called Prancing Horse, attend the T. Harv Eker ‘Millionaire Mind” conference and then went on to the Tony Robins/Richard Branson Ultimate Success Summit in Sydney.
It has been a lifelong dream of mine to own a Ferrari, so having the opportunity to drive 4 different models was an amazing experience.
We left Sydney on the Friday morning and drove to Kiama for lunch at the Seabreeze Restaurant and then further on down the NSW coast to Gerringong where we stayed overnight at the Bellachara Boutique Hotel. The package included, accommodation, all meals and a fantastic massage when we arrived at the hotel.
Then we drove back to Sydney the next day. There were 8 people all told, and each car had two people in each, so we stopped to do a driver exchange and later on at the next stop we exchanged cars. This gave everyone the opportunity to drive each of the cars. A totally awesome weekend. And just don’t tell anyone I told you but Paula got a speeding ticket driving one of the Ferraris – a whopping $672 (approx $630US) for doing 40kms over the speed limit! She says it was worth it!
A week later we were back in Sydney to attend the 3 day Millionaire Mind Intensive event and stayed on in Sydney to see Tony Robbins and Richard Branson, for a taste of more motivational inspiration.
So for the past 3 weeks we have stayed in Sydney at 4 & 5 star hotels, eaten at very nice restaurants and attended educational and inspirational events; things we could not have done without our online business and more specifically when we finally worked out what we needed to do to get our websites to start returning serious money.
It has allowed us to travel wherever and whenever we like because this business can be done on your laptop. We flit back and forward to the US and next year we are off to Europe again, plus we get to travel around Australia at will.
We didn’t always know what we were doing and we made every mistake in the book along the way. But we found the key to success is to have a plan, focus on it and open your mind to the endless possibilities that are available.
We did it and so can you!!
Last week as I was leaving a comment on a blog I noticed a discussion between the owner and one of his readers about a WordPress plugin he was using that automatically turns predefined keywords on his blog into affiliate links.
My first thought was that this was one of those programs you have to join where you get paid for each click from links on your site…you might have seen those blogs where ever second keyword is underlined twice in blue and you hover over the keyword and an annoying pop-up appears. But from looking at his blog posts I soon realized this wasn’t the case – the links were regular blue text links – nothing fancy or spammy looking.
So since I was a bit intrigued I clicked on the link in his comment and made my way over to the sales page for the Ninja Affiliate plugin. Once there, it really didn’t take me long to realize that I definitely needed to buy it. I even made a call to Wanda to see what she thought and she definitely agreed that this would save us a lot of time.
So How Does it Work?
The best way to describe how the plugin works is to use an example. So let’s say for instance you are an affiliate for Amazon and your blog is all about fishing. And one of the products you promote regularly on your blog is a fishing rod called “The Prestige Fishing Rod”.
Now at the moment, in order to link to Amazon using that keyword phrase (ie. The Prestige Fishing Rod) you would have to grab the affiliate code from Amazon and manually pop it in to anywhere in your blog posts where you use that keyword phrase. We all know it’s not difficult to do but it is time consuming….this is where the Ninja Affiliate plugin comes into play.
With this plugin you will only ever have to grab your Amazon affiliate code once, place it in the back end admin area and from then on it will automatically add that affiliate link whenever it sees that keyword or keyword phrase (ie. The Prestige Fishing Rod) in blog posts on your blog. This includes posts that you have created in the past as well as new posts.
You can also specify multiple keyword variations that link will apply to. For example, ‘The Prestige Fishing Rod’, ‘Prestige Fishing Rod’, ‘Fishing Rod’ and so on. If the plugin sees any of those keywords it will automatically convert them to links.
What I really like about this plugin is that you can specify how many links per post. You can have 1 or more, or just choose unlimited if you like. Just be aware that too many links can make you look like a spammer. (I like to keep it at two or three.) And you don’t have to worry about all those links leaching your pagerank as there is an option to add a nofollow tag to each link.
You also don’t need to use this to link to affiliate links. You can link to other pages on your site if you like. This is a great way of getting more traffic to a particular post or page on your site.
There are a host of other features that come with this great little plugin including:
This is a brilliant tool and we wonder how we ever did without it. Today we spent less than an hour creating links in the back-end which resulted in literally hundreds of links on one of our niche blogs. If we were to do this ourselves if would have taken us hours, if not days to accomplish.
Plus if we ever get the problem of a merchant closing down their affiliate program or going out of business then we don’t have to spend hours changing hundreds of links – all we need to do is change it once in the admin area and all the links will change automatically.
We give the Ninja Affiliate plugin a big thumbs up. Highly recommended.
Tonight I read a forum post by an internet marketer who found that although he was making money online and was successful at it, he found it all incredibly lonely. He was so lonely that he was asking for suggestions from readers as to how he could get around this problem.
What the…?! was my initial response but as I sat and thought about it I realised that in fact, working from home can be very isolating for many. As the ‘Lonely Affiliate’ said, the ‘grass is always greener on the other side’. In other words, those lucky people working a 9 to 5 job have got it all when it comes to social interaction – they get to communicate all day long with other people…they get feedback and hopefully lots of recognition for the good work they’re doing. They get to chat about the latest fashions, which celebrity has just died and gossip to their hearts content about the latest office relationship.
If you work from home, you don’t get any of that. The feedback especially is non-existent and you are often left wondering if you are doing the right thing for the most part.
For this reason, working from home is not for everyone. If you don’t like being on your own, and I know lots of people like that, then you might have trouble adjusting to this sort of lifestyle. I personally like being on my own…not all the time of course, but when I am I relish it.
I don’t feel isolated…I kind of figure that I have millions of people right inside my computer if I want to interact with any of them. And as for face to face contact?…well there are plenty of options open to me if I choose to take them and the same applies to the ‘Lonely Affiliate’. How about taking up a hobby, or joining a gym, or getting involved with your local community centre or joining a club. The possibilities are endless.
I know that I will never get bored or lonely working from home – there is so much more to life than that…but what about you…are you a ‘Lonely Affiliate’?