How To Use AdWords™ To Make Money From Affiliate Programs
You can successfully mix your Google AdWords™ expertise with the potential of affiliate programs.
Ever since Chris Carpenter wrote his legendary Google Cash, tens of thousands of people started to exploit this gold mine, making thousands of dollars each month with almost no effort (and that's quite amazing, as we bet most of them had almost no other knowledge about doing business online).
However, on January 5, 2005, Google AdWords™changed its policy regarding affiliates and things got a bit more complicated.
This is good and bad news altogether.
The good news is that the competitive potential is bigger. The bad news is that you can't lead the clicks directly to the merchant's site. You can't redirect either. You have to build your own landing page(s).
Is There a Life After January 5?
As you have probably noticed, all the affiliate gurus on the web praise the living before the date of January fifth 2005 and curse what's left of it after this date. Why's that? Let's put it this way: before January fifth, you could make money from affiliate programs without owning a product and a website. After that, you must have your own website, or at least a landing page. Before January fifth, you had to know only about keyword research, targeting, writing ads and bidding. After that date, you must also learn about creating web pages.
So to speak, before January fifth you had to read only one book: Google Cash. After that, you found yourself in the position to read two books: Google Cash and Make Your Site Sell :)
Thus, the changes are not that dramatic. Further, we still see the possibilities to obtain and maintain an affiliate income using Google AdWords™.
Why AdWords™ Is the Perfect Match for Affiliate Business Today
Our advice is that you build a website (landing page). Suppose you are going to, here are 7 reasons to keep selling your affiliate products through AdWords™:
You can promote more affiliate programs on the same site. Just maintain the topic.
Having your own website is like working for yourself. You can develop your own brand. A brand that is so powerful that it can sell other brands.
You generate your own traffic, besides what you get from AdWords™.
You have a base to build credibility upon. Customers will keep coming back to see what you think of this and that, because you know your business.
You get linked to by other users that appreciate your content. You get free traffic.
You are in the position to negotiate better conditions for your own customers with the merchants (eventually).
You sell more.
How to Do It
The Internet users today are going through changes; they become more sophisticated. You are probably already surprised about your highly targeted traffic tending to ignore what you long thought to be “words that sell”. In the end, you are out there to sell more, but you can't until you write better content.
Pick up your affiliate program.
Think of a smart way to promote it.
Build solid, content rich landing pages that promote the program you are affiliated for .
Drive targeted traffic to your landing pages through Adwords™ campaigns.
Once you learn about landing pages, you can start making money with affiliate programs even better than in the old days. Even if you don't have any clue about it, you can learn in a few days — just use Ken Envoy's “SiteSell” service or, if you are really lazy, get a copy of Google Landing Page Generator.
Not Convinced? Still Want to Be an Affiliate Without Building a Site?
If you still want to be an affiliate with no landing pages, then we have no option left but to tell you about the things that you really shouldn't do, and then about two possible strategies you may adopt.
First of all, remember your ad has to link to a webpage. Because you don't have your own, it has to be that of the merchant. According to the new affiliate policy, AdWords™ will pick among all affiliate ads the one that has the highest CTR, and will not display any of the others. You can't use technical tricks like redirect or change URL. AdWords™ rules are against them and sooner or later they'll have your ad discontinued. Plus, if your competitors decide you don't play fair, they have the right to tell.
In this case, there are two things you can do:
Place First Among Affiliates
To do that, you have to beat all the competitors. You have to constantly get more clicks than any of them, so that the AdWords™ algorithm pick your ad instead of theirs. This is really hard to accomplish when you have very competitive keywords. But it's not impossible.
Advertise Where There Is Low Competition
That means you should look for keywords that nobody (or very few) are using yet, write ads for them, and link to the merchant's site. This technique has even more advantages because you can get your ads on the first position for only five cents the click. The downside is that “undiscovered keywords” are hard to find. These keywords may also be of lower popularity, but that shouldn't bother you as long as the CTR is OK. If you decide to go on this path, our advice is to use AdWordEqualizer. You'll love it — it simply tells you what and where to sell!
Read The Super Affiliate Handbook by Rosalind Gardner to learn how to do all this properly.
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