Using Your WordPress Blog to Make Money From Affiliate Marketing
Now before I get started on this topic let me repeat once again that affiliate marketing should NOT be the main game if you want and need to create a full time income any time soon. Unless you have a great deal of skill it is not possible to quickly make significant money from selling e books, courses, and software and the like.
So forget what the internet marketing sharks tell you . They are telling lies.
That said, there IS a place for affiliate marketing. As a way to build long term passive style income it is compelling. Just don’t expect to be making big money in the short to medium term.
So assuming you are clear on this reality, and committed to the cause, one of the foundational tools you will need is a blog.
A blog is far more important than a lead capture page, an opt in page and a sales page. In fact a blog should represent your marketing foundation.
Bare in mind, a blog is not a quick fix and will not work if you haven’t got the fundamentals sorted, the most important one being niche selection. It is critical you get this right otherwise the best blogging campaign in the world will not work.
It is outside the scope of this article to discuss niche strategy.
Here are some blogging basics for you to read, absorb and implement:
1. Choose a WordPress Blog:
You may have heard of Blogger. It is a blogging option, but if you are serious about building a business, you will forget them. They are owned by Google, which should be warning enough. Google is a control freak of an organisation and if you have a Blogger blog and there is something on it they don’t like, they can and will close you down.
In short, don’t touch them with a barge pole. Instead use a WordPress blog platform. A WordPress platform has so many advantages:
- Fully Customisable. The look and feel of your site can be changed any time without too much drama
- Search Engines love ’em. Apparently Google loves the WordPress platform.
- Easy to Add Content. Unlike a traditional static web page, a WordPress blog platform makes it easy to add content.
- Plug Ins to Enhance Performance. Do a search on WordPress Plug Ins and see what I mean.
- Can Add Other Pages. Apart fro th blog itself you can also add sales pages, lead capture pages and the like.
2. Go With Self Hosting:
With WordPress you have two hosting choices:
i) WordPress Hosted. This is a wordpress.com platform and is hosted by WordPress. Free
ii) Self Hosted. This is a wordpress.org platform and is hosted independently of WordPress. You pay for hosting.
Whatever you do, choose the second option – self hosted. There have been situations in the past where WordPress shut down a marketer’s blog because they didn’t like the content. Not nice. Another reason is that you can use your onw domain name, something you CAN’T do with wordpress.com.
So you must get your own hosting.
I use HostGator. They are cheap and allow you to add many domains for the same price. Another advantage of HostGator is that they have Fantastico software which makes it easy to instill your blog.
3. Choose Your Domain Name
Assuming you are crystal clear on your niche, select a domain name that incorporate your main keyword. So if you were going to use your blog to promote a particular product (a recommended strategy), then your domain name would have the product name in it. This will help you get ranked more quickly.
By the way, if you live outside the United States and you want to target your own country, buy the domain extension for that country – such as .com.au (Australia). Also purchase a 2 year subscription – apparently Google will rank you quicker if you do that – it shows that you are not a ‘fly by nighter’.
4. Add Your On Page Optimisation Factors
I won’t include all of the elements here, but there are a few key things you need to do:
- Title Tag. Include your main keyword in the title tag (go to Admin area)
- Description. Include your secondary keywords
- Include Admin Info. Such as contact details, privacy info etc.
- Establish Permalink Settings. Replace the default entry with this: /%/postname%/. The effect of this change will be that your keyword focused headline will feature in your link for that article. This will help improve your rankings.
Should You Include Adsense?
The Google Adsense program represents another way for marketers to generate income. By becoming an Adsense user Google will place text ads on your site in return for a commission to you, when someone clicks on the ad. Money for jam? Not quite. You need a lot of traffic to generate a reasonable commission flow.
Nevertheless there are situation when it makes sense, such as if you have a new site that is not single mindedly focused on promoting a single product (if a searcher clicks on the Adsense ad, they will be lost to your site, which may not be what you want).
If your blog site is dedicated to promoting an affiliate product I would not include Adsense. The cash flow from the program can’t replace the lost opportunities to make a sale of your affiliate product.
It is beyond the scope of this article to discuss blog content. Suffice it to say that it is vital that you have good content – from the readers point of view and from a search optimisation point of view.