Aspiring Entrepreneur Blog Log: Affiliate Marketing How-To

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Ok, so I've decided to FINALLY listen to everyone out there singing the praise of affiliate marketing websites. It's time to make one of my own. For those of you who don't know, affiliate marketing consists of posting a link on your existing website that links to a product or service being sold by a third party. If a person goes to your website, enjoys its content, and decides to buy the product/service you are promoting by clicking on the link you provided, you get a commission. Pretty cool right?

It makes sense why people are raving about affiliate marketing, it sounds like free, easy money - and maybe it is. There is, however, a lot of work involved.

First off, you need to write some killer content that supports the product or service you are thinking about featuring on your website. Without killer content, you might as well give up. You also need to dial in your SEO - Search Engine Optimization - so that Google can do your web marketing for you by ranking your website high in Google searches related to your topic. No one will find your website if it is buried under 250 websites that contain similar content as yours. And all of this - killer content and SEO - is done in order to increase traffic on your site. No one can click your affiliate links if they aren't going to your site. So my first takeaway is that the most important aspect of a successful affiliate site is TRAFFIC, TRAFFIC, TRAFFIC.

I am still in the beginning stages of creating an affiliate site and there is a ton for me to learn, but that's why we are here together, right? To see what works and what doesn't. So far I am confident that by focusing on increasing traffic on an affiliate marketing website, I will increase my chances of making money. We will learn A LOT more as I go I'm sure.

Alright, so we have a basic understand of what an affiliate marketing website is. Now lets figure out how to make one.

I've been brainstorming the past few weeks on topics to write on. I've thought of everything from curing hangovers to improving your memory, but I've decided to write on the topic "Mac vs PC." I felt that a topic with natural comparisons that is also relevant to consumers would be a good place to start. I'm not quite sure what products I will put on my site as affiliates, but there are a lot of products surrounding this topic, so I'm not really worried. I am also aware of the fact that Google Adsense is a great way to monazite a website as well (if you consider pennies per click "a great way"), so I will focus on that too.

Note: It is important to point out that your topic should be something you are passionate about. This will make it A LOT easier to write killer content. Shout out to Pat Flynn for suggesting this, but it would be a great idea to write down your ten passions, fears, and hobbies. By picking a topic from this list you are ensuring that you will write about something you are interested in, which will directly translate to killer content.

Alright, I double-checked my topic by typing "Mac vs PC" into Google's keyword research tool (part of Google Adwords), and my suspicions were confirmed. It looks like the EXACT phrase "Mac vs PC" is searched roughly 22,000 times a month globally. Good enough for me. I did some additional research by using Google trends - which shows you search trends over time for specific search terms - and was a little disheartened to find that the search term "mac vs pc" has been in a steady decline over the past couple years.

That's ok, this is my first crack at an affiliate marketing website, so my goal is to try and reach number one on Google under the search term "Mac vs PC." If I can achieve that - even if the website itself fails monetarily - I will know that I am on the right track and will try again with an up-trending topic.

I will be back soon with more updates on the type of articles I've decided to write, and will probably have some juicy pitfalls to share. Excited to see where this goes. Even if it goes straight into the ground, I think we will all be able to learn something valuable from it and use it in our pursuit in becoming an entrepreneur.

- Affiliate marketing websites are a great way to make passive income (or so we think thus far)
- The most important aspect of your affiliate marketing website is TRAFFIC
- When deciding on a topic for your affiliate marketing website, focus on your passions
- Make sure your topic is a highly searched term. The idea here is to have Google do your web marketing for you by having your site rank high in Google searches
- Google's keyword research tool and Google trends are a good way to make sure your topic is searched enough (this can save A LOT of time)

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