What is affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing has been around since the dawn of time…or at least the dawn of the internet.  It’s championed and implemented by the largest online retailers in the world…Amazon and Walmart…to help boost their sales, and to grow their businesses.  The affiliate advertising program of Amazon is a means of generating what I call commissioned based advertising.  Or said another way, Amazon will not pay any advertising fees unless their is a converted sale.  Sounds pretty good?  Well it certainly does to Amazon.

What is an affiliate marketing program exactly?

The way that an affiliate program works is by having a relationship between you and a retailer.  So, you will need to be creating content, such as in the form of a webpage.  This webpage will hopefully attract visitors by having robust, complete, and compelling content on it.  Once a website visitor reads your content, they may decide to click on the nice link that you have contained inside your content.  When they click onto this link, they will be forwarded to a retailer such as Amazon.  Once they land at Amazon, a tracking code will get recorded and that potential customer will hopefully shop and buy something at Amazon.  If they do make a purchase, then you will share in a portion of the income generated from that sale.

It isn’t too difficult to start to become an affiliate as you can probably see in the paragraph above.   BUT, what is difficult is to create compelling content that will inspire your readers, viewers, listeners, to take action based on your recommendations.  So, you’ll have to focus on making your content something sticky and compelling.

Top 5 reasons why Amazon likes their affiliate marketing program:

  1. It helps Amazon to grow their business and boost their sales revenue.
  2. Amazon doesn’t have to pay for any advertising costs in advance, instead they are agreeing to share a portion of the profit generated by the sale with the affiliate marketer.
  3. Trusted influencers help to promote both Amazon and the products they sell.
  4. Potential for promoting certain categories over others to increase margins and lower per sale advertising costs.
  5. Extra boost to traffic and customer exposure.  This means that not all of your referrals will purchase that day, and may return later to buy after the affiliate link expires.

Why become an affiliate?

The reasons to become an affiliate are often simple and easy to understand.  Most people go after becoming an affiliate to earn more money, earn a side income, or for the passion of the niche or category that they are interested in.  A lot of hobby enthusiasts are effectively professionals or experts in their hobby’s, and isn’t this perfect.  If you have a topic or interest that you love, why not get involved into affiliate marketing or promoting services and products in the area that you love to be involved in?

Top 5 reasons to become an affiliate

    1. Earn money as a side income or part time worker.
    2. You can take advantage or information that you already know and you can make extra money by utilizing this knowledge.
    3. You can create an opportunity to learn more about a hobby or interest that you have an interest in, become an expert in a topic you already have an interest in.
    4. You have an opportunity to build an asset that can yield returns for years.  It can truly be a business that generates a good amount of recurring income for you.
    5. A very low cost way to create a business, and you can get started today.

What skills do you need to have a successful affiliate program?

  1. Technology – You will need a basic understanding of internet technology such as a basic understanding of links, website architecture, and basic design concepts.  These all aren’t necessary, but they may help you go farther and you can develop them over time.
  2. Your topic area – You will need to work towards become an expert in your area of interest.  The best affiliates will have a passion for their niche, product area, or category that they are marketing for.
  3. Ability to think like a marketer – When you get involved in affiliate marketing or publishing, you are essentially a cog in the chain of retail sales.  What does this mean?  It means that you will be assisting in the sales process for any customer who lands on your website, or content, and follows on to your affiliate partner to make a purchase.  Often, when the potential customer is on your website, they will be uncertain about whether they should make a purchase or not, or they may simply be conducting research.
  4. Ability to stay persistent – Most successful business owners will tell you that they achieved their successful due to having a will and determination to never give up.  This mindset is essential in creating a strong affiliate marketing effort.  The reason for this, is that you will most likely not see results for a little bit of time, but this is expected.  You will need to setup a business, create your content, list or publish your content, market your content, and get that content listed and promoted within the search engines.  WOW, does that sound like a lot?  We’ll I would argue that it isn’t a lot, but it will take some time, so be prepared to be persistent.


Get Sidetracked to Make More Money!

Getting sidetracked is such a hard aspect, but a challenge of everyday life.  It’s hard because I don’t think anybody is immune to it, it just happens to people in different aspects and in different degrees.  You see millionaires & billionaires who are business people that get into politics…are they sidetracked?

Well this leads me to the next question…what does it mean to be sidetracked?  Essentially, being sidetracked means that FEEL you are taken off of the course from what your ultimate goals are, and you start down another path towards another goal.

As a small business owner, an employee, or just in everyday life you’ll definitely encountered issues that make you unsure about your path forward, and you will question if you are getting sidetracked from a bigger goal you have in mind.  For example, you may be at work, and thinking of your next vacation…or on vacation and thinking about the work piling up on your desk.  And aren’t these just the inverses of each other?   Why do we worry about work when we aren’t there, or daydream about fun stuff while at work.

Let’s hone in on the issue of getting side tracked, and I think it needs to get further clarification of what really falls into this category.

The following are my opinions….

  1. Is daydreaming at work sidetracked?…..No
  2. Is thinking about work on vacation?…..Yes
  3. Is playing video games?….Yes
  4. Is working on a side business?…..No
  5. Is studying for a certification?…..No
  6. Is taking a class for fun?…..No
  7. Is watching TV for countless hours?…..Yes
  8. Is trying a business idea you lack confidence in?…..Maybe
  9. Is hanging onto a failed business or idea too long?….Maybe

I had an epiphany one day many years ago, that led me to realize that the events of life…are just that…events that we all encounter.   Many things that happen in life are just part of life, events that happen in everyday living and everyday life.  What I mean by this is that as we all ebb and flow through life, we will encounter life’s choices and forks in the road.  When we make these decisions we need to make them with confidence that we are making the right decisions.

So we can’t too hung up on vacations, worrying about work, the stress of trying to get ahead in life.  Let’s face it, improving your career and your wealth are not easy endeavors, and they can be struggle.  And you must keep in mind that your efforts will not  always work out in your favor…but just because something doesn’t work out, doesn’t make it a failed cause…or worse…being labeled as a “sidetrack”.

I would argue, that if you believe in what you are doing, and have faith that it may yield something positive in your life…don’t label it as a sidetrack.  For me, I go through entrepreneurial phases in my life where I get really into finding that next great idea, or thing I want to spend time on.  Along the way I come up with some great ideas, and some not so great ideas.  I’m sure that all of us who are entrepreneurial minded do this.  As I compile a list or new ideas, I also go through the process of filtering out ideas, and narrowing down the possibilities that I may want to work on.  But none of these ideas or the process of finding new ideas are sidetracks.

Here is where some of you may get sidetracked, and this is a point in the process where you want to make sure that you spend time finding the right project for you to work on.  You’ll want to test this idea, and make sure that it meets your short, medium and long term goals.  Or at the very least a few of the goals.  If you just blindly start to work on every project that floats into your mental field, then you will definitely be falling into the concept of getting sidetracked.  The reason for this, as you get more experience with branching out and starting new projects, you’ll find that many of them just aren’t as great as you initially thought.  Or, you’ll realize that once you put your great idea into Google, there are a dozen other companies a few years ahead of you in the development cycle.  So, don’t overlook or underestimate the importance of screening out your ideas and narrowing the possibilities that you want to invest your value time into.

Some times I spin my wheels working on grand plans that never yield anything.    The process of finding a great idea that can make you money, or move you ahead on your journey through life is a process.  No successful self made person, gets an easy path…it’s a struggle.

I push back on the concept of “side-tracked” and I hope you do to.  Because remember, as a person who is struggling to get more out of life you will start down paths that quickly turn out to be false hopes.  Make sure that you don’t get too hung up on these and start to feel like your stagnating or that you are getting sidetracked.

Keep your chin up and keep forging ahead.  You will make it there…I have confidence in you.  Remember that great success is often forged out of epic failures.  Don’t give up and always move forward.

Getting Sidetracked Can Make You Money!!!

So, when you are in the plain vanilla life that you’ve been living, maybe you’re too scared to branch out and try something new, maybe you’re risk averse.  (being risk averse is a smart thing…but that’s another post).  When I started my second business, it was a internet development & consulting company.  I started by focusing in 1999 on how to make websites, and not just any website but database connected websites.   It was a mild learning process, as I had already been programming since I was a kid…so it wasn’t a huge jump for me.

But the moment I started this business and started telling people I quit my job and started an internet development firm…I guarantee you a lot of people thought…”He’s getting sidetracked.”  He isn’t working at the investment company…he’s wasting both time and money.  But little did any of us know at the time, that sidetracked turned out to become a very enjoyable career for 10 years until I exited the business.  A lot of people, who are branching out into a new found career, or taking a leap of faith into something that is new for them…may very well be labeled as a “Sidetrack”.  But don’t let these nay sayers deter you from your dreams goals and aspirations.  Now, as we briefly touched up above and a CYA by me.  Don’t go quitting your good jobs…OK?  You have a whole series of things that you must do before you make that leap of faith.   Subscribe to this blog, and we will help you along your journey.

If I had never been labeled as a “sidetrack”, then I would have never found a new business that I really enjoyed and that was profitable.

How to Start a Blog using WordPress on Bluehost

Starting a blog on Bluehost is not simple, but it’s also not too difficult either.  The experts at Bluehost have lots of experience with setting up WordPress, so you’ll be in good hands if you choose to start a WordPress Blog on their hosting service.  Wordpress is a great software to start an online site with, and it’s the software that this site is running on.  So, feel like you’re making the right choice by going with their software, because you are.  It’s a full featured and robust software that will allow you to create an unlimited site using it!  Don’t delay, and get started with Bluehost today!

Creating a website can lead to so many good things for you as a person, and professionally.  You will be able to control your narrative, and define how the world sees you and what you have to offer.  I love websites, but more specifically, I love blogging.   So, let’s discuss the difference between a blog and a website.  Well, at its basic level a blog simply defines a set of features that a website has prebuilt into the blogging software.  The best blogging software out for people to download and install very easily is WordPress, and this is a great software that you too can use at it is free to setup a use.  Better than that, is that many hosting companies, like Bluehost for example have simple point an click installations that get you off the ground running.

With that introduction out of the way, lets start by discussing what is BlueHost, what is WordPress, and why do you need to use them both together.  Blue host is just that…a hosting company.  The reason that you need to focus on a good hosting company, is that without a good hosting provider, you aren’t going to get to far with your blogging or website efforts…trust me.

Creating a Blog using WordPress is simply the best way to start adding content to a website.  There isn’t a better software tool out there to quickly get a fully functional content management system that will allow you to write pages, enter photos, and videos, in less than 1 hour.  You will find that it is just so easy, and fun to use a website editing software that is really like no other, in its ease of use, simplicity, and full of features to make your site look very professional.

Starting with WordPress is Easy

As I mentioned before, WordPress is a software that simplifies the process of operating a website.  Keeping it simple, will save you both time and money.   There is an online login where you can administrate most all of the content on the website.  You’ll be able to easily add a new post, add a new page, or edit/delete as well.  Once you get it setup, you’ll find that adding content is as easy as 1,2,3.  Wordpress also makes it easy to add powerful features using the “PLUGIN” feature of the software.  A “plugin” is often a 3rd party app that isn’t part of the native WordPress software.  The reason that WordPress offers these plugins, is so that website owners can extend the software and customize each installation for a specific use.  Great huh!  Well, don’t get too emotional with excitement just yet, there is still a lot more that this powerful software has to offer.

Advanced WordPress Installation on Bluehost

As we just mentioned above, Plugins, in WordPress can help you to quickly power up and boost your sites features and functionality.  I always like to search on WordPress.com for plugins, as this is the source where you can typically find the best add-ons and some comfort for what you are installing.