When was the last time you bought something online? What if I told you you could get a share of the profits from sales of that product by writing a blog post about it?
Yes, you and I can make money blogging! And the best way to start earning money from your blog is through affiliate marketing.
If you’re not yet familiar with affiliate marketing, you need to know that it is one of the most powerful and effective ways to make money online. Here’s a great definition of what it actually is:
Affiliate Marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts.
But should you just try and market anything you like? Will it be profitable?
The quick answer is No.
There’s a little concept called the Niche Market that you should understand. It can spell the difference between success or failure in affiliate marketing.
Finding a Profitable Niche
Your niche market is that specific segment of the market that you want to focus on. To find your niche, and one that is profitable in affiliate marketing, ask yourself these 3 questions:
1. What are your interests and needs?
For you to keep doing research and constantly write about a niche, you need to have a certain level of interest in, or dare I say passion for, that topic.
Take a moment to seriously consider what things truly interest you. It can be something obvious, like a hobby or a profession. Do you like to read books? Do you like visiting art museums? Do you go to a crossfit gym? What industry do you work in?
And as you go about your day, make a conscious effort to identify products or services that you need or want on a regular basis (or even just on occasion). You want cleaning supplies, reading materials like books and magazines, DIY tools, pet products, etc.
Or is there a specific problem that you want to solve in your life that you think will also help other people? You don’t need to be an expert on the topic. Your readers can share in your journey to discover answers to your problem.
Make a list of these interests and needs and narrow them down. It helps to keep in mind that you have to blog about the topic all the time.
2. What are other people’s interests and needs?
To further help you zoom in on your niche, ask your friends and family what their interests and needs are. Inquire about the topics that they search about online.
What products have they ordered from Amazon? What services have they availed of online?
What topics do they search for on the internet? Have they tried Googling for answers to any particular problem or issue they have encountered in the past?
After you’ve compiled ideas from friends and family, compare them with your first list. Are there any overlaps? Are there things someone else is interested in that aren’t on your list, but give you a spark of interest?
3. Do other people search for and buy these needs and interests online?
So you know what you and people close to you are interested in. But how about the world wide web? For a niche to be profitable, there has to be a market larger than just your family and friends.
An easy and very effective way to find out which among the things you are interested in will sell is by visiting online marketplaces themselves, like Amazon, eBay, ClickBank and others.
For example, if “pet supplies” is on your list, search for that keyword on Amazon.com. You’ll get a lot of sub-categories (sub-niches). Explore those, read customer reviews, find out which are the best sellers.
Other places you can check out to see if people are searching for your keyword include the following:
There are more, and I will elaborate on them in an upcoming post.
So now you have chosen a niche and have started a blog. What’s next?
Boosting Your Blog Traffic with SEO
For you to earn from your blog, you need traffic. Lots of traffic.
A business establishment has a physical location that can’t be manipulated to go where the customer foot traffic is.
But an online business has a virtual location on the world wide web that can be steered towards a position where customers will see it.
This process of affecting the visibility of a website is called Search Engine Optimization or SEO.
There are other ways to increase your site’s visibility, such as advertising on Google or Facebook, but we will focus our discussion on SEO for now.
Your most important source of visitor traffic are search engines. Visitors who land on your page by finding it through a search engine are classified as organic traffic.
This is why you want your blog to appear on the first page of Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other search engines when people do a search for specific keywords. A specific keyword under the pet supplies niche could be “puppy house training supplies.”
How do you tell Google that your page is the best match to that keyword when someone searches for it?
You do this by optimizing your blog content to make it “SEO friendly.”
SEO Tips for Beginners
Here are some of the things you can do to make your blog post optimized:
- Target so-called long tail keywords. You have better chances of making it to Google’s first page by using the keyword “puppy house training supplies” than “pet supplies.”
- Include keyword in title, but try to keep your title short (~60 characters only).
- Mention your keyword, its synonyms and other related terms a few times in the article. For example, “dog potty training supplies” “puppy housebreaking products”, and so on.
- Include at least one relevant outbound link to a related article in well-known website.
- If possible, also include an internal link to one of your previous posts.
- Longer articles have better chances of ranking high on Google, so make your article at least 800 words.
- Include images with file names, titles, and alternate text that contain or are related to the keyword.
- Install an SEO plugin like Yoast on your WordPress or whichever blogging platform you are using.
These are just a gist of the most important things you can implement on your blog. SEO can do wonders for your affiliate marketing business if done right.
Learn About Affiliate Marketing from the Best
We have only touched on some basic concepts on how you can earn money from your blog through affiliate marketing.
Anyone who is really interested in learning the ins and outs can get the best help from a community of bloggers over at Wealthy Affiliate. I’ve been with them for more than two years, and I can tell you they’ve made everything easier for me!
From tips for absolute beginners to advanced knowledge for seasoned bloggers, Wealthy Affiliate has the right information for every type of blogger.
There’s no reason why you should not benefit from the wealth of knowledge that top bloggers have accumulated, especially because it’s absolutely free to sign up!
You’ll find everything you need to know about how to find a profitable niche. You’ll learn about the tools of the trade, and even receive assistance to set up your blog.
If you have questions about how to make money by blogging, or affiliate marketing and Wealthy Affiliate, don’t hesitate to drop me a line in the comments below.