I dove into the jungles and murky waters of affiliate marketing a couple of months ago. After surviving a severe case of "Analysis Paralysis" and "Procrastination Probation," I tried my hand at putting together an article marketing campaign. Could I possibly find myself earning the infamous $200+ per day that internet marketing gurus promise/claim/advertise? Let's see...
First, I went to Clickbank and searched for a product that had a gravity between 20 and 50. Using my own personal version of logic, I figured that a product with a gravity above 50 may prove to be too saturated for the purpose of my experiment. I also deduced that products with a gravity below 20 may not have enough traffic to garner any results within my 14 day timeframe. Note: I no longer use this criteria due to lack of variety.
After choosing a product that fit the above criteria, while still managing to be interesting, I went in search of keywords relevant to the product. What words and phrases would people use to find "my" product? This process isn't always what it appears. Sure, you could type a main product keyword into any free keyword search tool and come up with some viable options.
What about using keywords that would inadvertantly lead visitors right to your product or landing page? We've all gone in search of information on the internet, only to find ourselves miles from where we first started searching. Let that information marinate...
Keywords in hand, I created blogs that targetted one main keyword. The title and address of the blog were given keyword-rich names. For example, if your keyword is "dog training," the address of your blog would be "dogtraining.xxxx.com" or "dog-training.xxxx.com." Your blog's name would also be Dog Training or similar. It's search engine ranking. I mainly focus on ranking for the search term on Google, with the hopes of other search engines picking me up later.
I didn't want to overly invest myself since I had no guarantee anything would actually pan out. I've seen people go at article marketing hard. I didn't really want to work hard for this experiment. I wanted to work smart.
I wrote two blog posts for my affiliate blog and one article went to an article directory (Note to self: Place articles in article directories that have a high PR next time). All articles focused on specific keywords. I only use one keyword per article. Keyword density is about 1-3%.
In hindsight, I should have written about ten articles and divided them between the two sites. It took the article directory about a day or two to accept my article.
I social bookmarked my blog post and crossed my fingers.
I never got a high ranking on Google for my selected search term. SEO can be funny that way. My blog never received more than 35 uniques per day. As of this posting, my total volume of visitors, according to Google Analytics, is a little less than 600. My one article at the article directory gained over 400 views and 89 clickthroughs, giving me about a 21% CTR. I earned a total of about $103.00 through six sales, four of which came through my affiliate blog.
I've tweaked some of my affiliate marketing steps, but I'm thinking of returning to my original model. One article that nets you $73.60 isn't too shabby.