Wealthy Affiliate … Why Recreate the Wheel?
Affiliate marketing is a multi-billion-dollar industry and bloggers or other purveyors of information, it’s the best way to monetize your website or blog. In short, there are hundreds of thousands of companies and networks available on the web that are interested in reaching your audience.
In fact, your website visitors expect to be educated and providing links to books, articles, systems and programs that will
further their education is an authentic and genuine way to earn additional income through your site.
While it sounds simple, earning an income that will allow you to quit your day job, isn’t necessarily easy. Let me rephrase, it is simple to understand, it is easy to implement. It is not easy to determine drive enough traffic to your site to actually make enough money to call it more than a hobby.
I have been marketing my hobbies and online businesses successful for over 15 years, and not all of my endeavors have been successful. My trick is mostly being able to figure out what is converting and what is not. In other words, taking the time to value equation.
I blog because I want to help other people shorten their learning curve. I write about my success, not to brag but to explain that it didn’t happen overnight, but it would have taken longer if I didn’t take the time to understand how things work, and learn from other people as well as from my own mistakes.
What does a Legitimate vs. Scam Affiliate Marketing Program Look like?
An affiliate program is sometimes called associate program, partner program or performance marketing; and it’s basically a deal between an advertiser (the company with the product to advertise) and the publisher (the person/company with the blog or content or information website).
Affiliate scams come in two flavors:
#1) Advertiser Product Link Scam -> Many times the advertiser (company with the product) is asking it’s publishers to promote a product that is designed to gather information in a way that will generally NEVER result in a commissionable sale.
#2) Affiliate Educational System Scam -> Industry expert promotes and sells money making opportunity as “guaranteed online income” by following their steps
Legitimate Affiliate Marketing Opportunities Look Like:
- Advertiser links click through to well-developed informational or product pages.
- Advertiser is well established in their niche and offers easy to use information and affiliate links
- Affiliate Marketing Educational Systems have online community with members who have been enrolled for years
- Educational Systems are accessible and in every case explain that success is not a magic button but a series of lessons and exercises that need to be completed.
Finding legitimate Affiliate Advertisers and Educators
Affiliate opportunities are EVERYWHERE. If you’re just getting started, I would suggest the Amazon partner program, since Amazon is one of the largest shopping search engines on the planet. However, if your hobby or interest is very specific, go to your favorite online resource and scroll to the bottom of the page and look for the word: affiliate or partners. (That’s you)
You will find that most companies join Affiliate warehouses like: CJ (prev. Commission Junction) or LinkShare or Pepparjam or ShareaSale. In all of these cases, you apply to promote the different companies in the database of companies offering commission and when you are approved, you post your link on your blog or site… and you get paid.
You will notice I did not mention Click Bank.
In my personal experience, ClickBank is filled with scammy ads and products.
As a blogger, as a person that is in it to share information with my community of seekers, I have to be honest. I invested a great deal of time in promoting and learning how to promote products on clickbank, and also invested substantial amounts in Bing and Facebook advertising without ANY rewards. That taught me a great lesson. Those products, that program isn’t for me. It doesn’t work for me. It doesn’t work for the people that read my stuff… so I have to walk away.
The Brilliance of Google Adsense
From the beginning Google was the top payer of all of my internet online income and from the beginning they were the easiest to implement and earn. The basic rules are simple:
- Only 3 Ads per page
- Don’t click on the ads yourself
- Don’t write posts telling people to click on your ads
There are other rules, but these are the big ones, the ones to know and make sure you follow. The one thing you do NOT want to do is piss off The Google. 🙂
Back in the day, to select a Google Adsense ad you had to know where it was going on your site and what size you wanted, NOW, google has a responsive ad, it fits automatically into the allowable space and KNOWS if it’s being viewed by a mobile or desktop device. I KNOW… it couldnt’ be any easier.
The reason it works? Because it tracks what individuals are doing online, and provides them with targeted ads.
CAUTIONARY NOTE: Google Adsense MUST be surrounded by valuable content. Your blog doesn’t exist just for money, it can’t. People wouldn’t read your stuff if you were just writing to get them to buy something. No one wants to read that. No one likes to be sold to… and a website filled with nothing but affiliate links and google ads won’t start any kind of long lasting relationship with your readers.
The Brilliance of Wealthy Affiliates
As I said, Affiliate Marketing is simple to understand, but not necessarily EASY to implement. Over the last 15 years I have taught myself a substantial amount of information through trial and error. Some trials and errors being more expensive than others. Most of my expenses were for programs that were supposed to teach HOW to make money online through affiliate marketing. (I even took a few classes on Udemy) In all cases, the information wasn’t very different from what I had already taught myself over the last 15 years. Until I got to Wealthy Affiliates.
I started the program FREE and am now a premium member, but before I paid anything, I was provided with valuable training and website development tools AND the two things that almost every other program has missed: Vibrant Community & Niche Assistance.
From the get go you are introduced and encouraged to connect with any of the thousands of people who are members (free and premium) of the Wealthy Affiliate program. There are several different Lessons, from beginner lessons to BootCamp and Certifications, all included in your membership, and at the bottom of each and every lesson is a discussion string. You are ALWAYS able to connect with someone about the topic.
I have found in my experience that everyone is very helpful and encouraging and willing to read what you’ve written and give you their honest opinion.
Know your audience. Know your target market, and the ideal client or visitor, and you will know what kind of information they will find valuable, right? Wealthy Affiliates is the first program that I have joined that has ever given me concrete steps and advice and direction in really finding a place to start engaging out on the web.
The truth is… blogging for money, or making money with your hobby… can’t be about the money. It’s got to be about the content, the information, your LOVE of the topic. And Wealthy Affiliate shows you how you can take the information that you know and great a home for it on the web, in a way that will help you promote and achieve online success.
Click or don’t click on the Wealthy Affiliate Banner, I’m writing this post MOSTLY to debunk all of the scam alerts out there about this product. I have met (virtually) all kinds of people, with all kinds of hobbies. I found this opportunity BECAUSE one of my hobbies is blogging. I have several successful blogging website, 2 successful online drop ship sites, and a coaching business. I feel like it’s MY JOB to investigate and participate, because when I help other people… it feels good! 🙂
So. If you are just getting started in Affiliate Marketing, and are looking for some legitimate training that isn’t going to try to upsell you to a $1000.00 package… I really want to encourage you to take a look at Wealthy Affiliates. If you want to try to go at it alone, I suggest starting with the amazon partner program (go to www.amazon.com and scroll to the very bottom of the page and click on the Affiliate Program link) AND google adsense.
Thanks for reading this post. Please comment below if you have any questions or opinions about this post. ALSO email me if I can help in any way: Chris@turnyourhobbyintoincome.com