How to Cash in on the Christmas Spending Spree

The year is coming to an end.

Heck, time does really fly, doesn’t it?

January was here the other day.

But hey look– December is here, fast approaching.

It is high time that you need to review the things that you have done for your online business throughout the year. Also look into how much you spent vizaviz what you earned from it.

Let’s be honest.

Things have been tough for all of us. Me included.

2020 was really tough for all sectors and industries. Shops were closed. Commissions were slashed. Salaries were halved. Businesses came to a halt and people were fired. In masses.

We should be grateful that we can still hold our necks high and that we did not drown in the murky waters that 2020 came with.

How to Increase Your Affiliate Marketing Profits this Christmas

Now as we fast approach December, it is time to think of ways to make good use of the December shopping craze. Yes it might be different since people have less purchasing power and they might just decide to hold off the Christmas spending spree since they are not sure of how next year will pan out.

But trust you me, people will still end up buying things for their loved ones.

So as an affiliate marketer, how are you priming yourself to earn more commissions from this shopping craze?

Try pins that are targeting Black Friday and Christmas spending

Pinterest is one awesome tool that you could use to target lots of people who are looking for ideas on how to spend money buying gifts for their loved ones this Black Friday as well as on Christmas.

If you go to Pinterest, you will find lots of marketers who are already cashing on this end of year spending craze.

Join the bandwagon and create visually appealing pins that when clicked will direct your customers to your sales pages so that they can buy products off your affiliate links.

You could also create a roundup post of ‘best Christmas gifts’ on your blog and then create a pin that directs your readers to this page.

You will find that a certain percentage of the people clicking on your links will end up buying the products that you recommend and so you will earn a commission.

Try black Friday deals and post on social media

Amazon Black Friday is on the 27th November, 2020 and you could seriously cash on this.

Expecting to leverage on search engine traffic might be too late unless you have a high DA website that is going to rank easily for the keyword ‘Amazon black Friday 2020 deals’ but you could still make a kill by using social media.

Think of great pins as well as Facebook ads that target an audience in your niche.

Add a banner on black Friday/Christmas deals on your sidebar

For the past two years, I have always added a ‘Amazon black Friday deals’ banner on the right side bar of my blog and I always find people clicking on this and even ending up buying products from Amazon through this banner.

And once the black Friday is over, I change it to ‘Amazon Christmas deals’ which also have great success.

Maybe you too could try these strategies out and see what happens.

How to Deal with Rejection in blogging

In this blogging career, you have to accept and deal with rejections.

Lots of them.

Some affiliate marketing programs will reject your application. Some will do it with a good reason. Others will just ignore you. And there is nothing that you can do about it.

Some ad networks will reject your sites too. It could be that they do not show ads on your niche, you have not reached the traffic threshold or just that they are not accepting applications at that time of the year. Others will tell you that they want to approve you only if, 60% of your traffic is from first tier countries such as the US, UK, Canada and Australia.

How you deal with all these rejections determines how successful you will be.

My rejections and what I have learnt from them

I was rejected by Mediavine.

That was back last year when they were accepting sites with at least 25000 sessions per month.

I had hit the threshold since I was at 28000 sessions and I thought why not apply to Mediavine so as to supplement my amazon affiliate income.

They asked me for access to my Google analytics reports and I did grant them this.

And then the rejection email came.

Most of their ad partners were not interested in my niche.

I swallowed the bitter pill and looked elsewhere.

Lesson: To get accepted in Mediavine, first hit their traffic targets. Currently they are accepting sites with at least 50000 sessions per month.

You also need to blog in niches that their ad partners are interested in (I surely do not know what those niches are).

I was rejected by Monumetric. I applied to their program sometimes in July this year. Their reply was that they were having so many applicants and that their ad partners had become too selective in sites that they want to work with.

I looked through the email and decided to try something else.

Lesson: Be patient and cast your net elsewhere. There are so many fish in the ocean

I was rejected by the Shareasale affiliate marketing network.

But they later accepted me in.

When the amazon associates program cut down rates to their affiliate marketers, I looked for other places where I could be sending my visitors.

Luckily, Shareasale had a merchant whose products were similar to what I was promoting.

I applied to Shareasale through my Gmail account but they rejected. Later on, I was told that you need to apply through your domain email.

I did that but was still rejected.

The thing is that they have an auto rejection filter especially if you state that you are not from the US or UK.

Lesson: Contact the merchant you want to promote and ask them to speak with the guys at Shareasale to approve you.

I was ignored by Ezoic.

I pressed on and looked for them through all their social media handles namely: Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin.

They finally allowed me in although I later left the network since it was slowing down my site.

Lesson: Follow them through all email and social media channels till they yield and give you that approval

I was not given a nod of approval by Google Adsense at first.

I read through blogs that tell you how to apply to Google adsense and found out where I was going wrong.

Lesson:

Have privacy policy, contact us and about us pages before applying to Google adsense.

They want you to look professional and real before they give you that nod

I was not accepted by amazon affiliate program.

Yes, 2 Times before they gave me a nod of approval

Lesson:

Play by the rules and create a site that they are going to love

Apply again and wait.

Why I liken Blogging to Losing Weight

Hey guys,

Did you know that I have been blogging since 2017?

Yep, it has been quite some time riding this bumpy blogging train.

Other than blogging about blogging on this site, I also maintain three other affiliate niche sites that make a good chunk of my earnings. The earnings are from commissions accumulated from recommending products to my readers as well as ad income that I earn when readers see or click on my ads.

This year (specifically in September), I decided to start losing weight.

I had gained so much during the corona virus pandemic period when I was home, eating a lot and working from my laptop.

To be specific, in March I was weighing 75kgs and here I was in September weighing 85kgs.

A whole 10kg gained in 6 short months!

My stomach was well, so huge that I was very embarrassed about my body shape.

The first few weeks of doing squats, lunges, running round the field, pushups and eating sparingly were really painful. And I was really starving but I just had to do it.

But those painful, hungry weeks reminded me of my blogging journey. That everything good that we see in anybody’s life required effort, pain, tears and sacrifice to perfect.

Why Blogging is like Getting a Chiseled Six Pack Physique to Me

In this post, I will actually be comparing a blogging journey to losing weight.

  1. Goal setting in both blogging and weight loss

In both scenarios, you need to clearly set out your goals.

And the goals need be SMART.

I know I now sound like your high school motivational speaker, don’t I?

You know the acronym SMART that translates to goals that are:

S– Specific

M-Measurable

A- Achievable

R-Realistic

T-Time bound

Yes, when you start blogging for money, you need to clearly define how much you wish to be making from the venture (specific), when you need to start seeing the results (measurable), how you will push yourself to getting there (achievable), how it is going to be possible (realistic) and how you much time you give yourself to measure your ROI (timebound).

Luckily with SEO, I could use tools such as Ahrefs, Google search console and Ubersuggest to see how well my keyword rankings were doing.

For earnings, Amazon, Ezoic and Google AdSense are able to keep up your earning reports so that you have a picture of how you are performing.

In weight loss, SMART goals apply. You need to map out how much you need to lose (specific), how heavy you are currently(measurable), how possible it is to get that weight (achievable), how committed you are to losing the weight (realistic) and how much time you have to getting that dream physique (time bound).

To do this, I created an Excel line chart that would track my weight loss progress so that I would record it weekly and see how well I was doing.

Line Chart showing my weight loss over weeks
  • Discipline to work on something daily and stick to a plan

When you are blogging, you need to have the discipline to blog for days, weeks, months and even years even if no revenue is coming to your pocket. But with a vision that everything will pan out well, then you need to stick to that plan that you have created and go on with it.

  • Slow but sure

Revenue from blogging or even ranking your blog on Google takes time. But do not worry. Cherish the small milestones that you are making as well as the little wins you get.

In weight loss, celebrate every little ounce of weight that you lose. Some weeks, things will stagnate but do not worry. Continue in that journey.

It is okay to be slow but sure.

  • Sacrifice

When you are starting your blogging journey, you might have to spend some money to kick start things. You would need to buy a domain name as well as pay up for your hosting.

At the same time, you might need to buy content if you are good in writing up articles, optimizing your SEO or doing CRO.

To pay these monies, I needed to sacrifice and trust the process. For the very first six months or even one year, you might not be earning any dime from your blogging venture but you will be investing a lot.

Do not give up. Trust the process

In weight loss, you will have to sacrifice your leisure time to working out. You would need to deny yourself candy, sweets and take up lousy vegetables and detox juices.

  • Motivation

If there is one thing that really motivated me to start blogging, it is the success stories of other bloggers who had made it.

I did read posts by Spencer Haws, Tung Tran, Doug Cunnington, Patrick Mahinge and I just loved looking through their earnings reports that they posted online.

This kept me going.

Dreaming.

Working.

Working hard.

In weight loss too, you need to be motivated by the journeys of other people who have lost weight, who have toned their bodies and got admirable chiseled physiques. You can get these personalities on YouTube and you will just be stoked by their six packs, nice thighs and flat tummies.

  • Accountability partners

Just like weight loss, you will need accountability partners when you are blogging.

These people are going to keep your blogging goals and activities in check.

Everytime you fail to blog, they should ask you why you did not blog as you had promised to do.

In weight loss too, I had this work colleague who also wanted to lose her belly.

We do exercise with her and she will continually ask me why I did not attend training for the day.

Getting the Best Niche Ideas for Amazon Affiliate marketing

best niche ideas for amazon affiliate marketing

Most amazon affiliate newbies find it hard to select the niche they are going to blog about.

I too was there before I found great hacks that I now use.

Where can you get the best niche idea for your next affiliate site?

Before you even think of purchasing a website domain and hosting, do keyword research and create content, you first need to think of the niche that you are going to blog about.

A niche is nothing but a topic that clearly stands out through your blog.

For example I am going to blog about mattresses in my blog, then my niche could be said to be the sleep niche.

If I start a blog about sweaters for toddlers, then my niche can be said to be toddlers.

[su_note]Once you select  your niche, you are marking out what you can blog about and what you cannot blog about.[/su_note]

Search engines will also know that you are an authority in a certain niche and so they will trust you for knowledgeable content about the same. Your readers also know what kind of blog posts to expect from you and they will therefore feel inclined to subscribe to your email lists if the niche is something they are interested in.

So, where do you get your niche ideas. I will explore some of the places that I go to when starting a niche blog.

  1. Your Surroundings

Niche ideas are everywhere. You just need to look around where you are at. Niches can be about home improvement, school equipment and stationery, hospital equipment, art decorations,automotive parts etc.

You just need to think about the pain points that you have heard while struggling to improve your home, to get car parts or to secure your home property. When you find those pain points, know that you are not the only person who is troubled by such things. Other people are also sailing in the same boat and you could be their savior when you start a blog that addresses exactly those problems.

  1. Reddit and forums

I like reddit in that there are so many subreddits with people looking to addressa common pain point. You could visit these subreddits and identify the problems that the members are going through so as to address them.

Forums are also good in getting your next niche idea.

  1. Niche hacks

The very first niche site that I ever created was about testosterone. I got the niche idea from nichehacks.com, a site that was founded by Stuart Walker. Stuart has a large collection of niche ideas where he explores the search volume per month, the income expected as well as the search trends.

  1. MotionInvest

MotionInvest is a site flipping business founded by Spencer Haws. Webmasters will be selling their blogs there and you can always look through the sites, see what they are selling and copy the niche ideas.

  1. Human proof designs

Human Proof designs is also another place where they sell readymade sites with already ranking content. You can always browse through the readymade sites and steal the niche ideas. Since they are already ranking and have content, you might have to work harder than they so that you beat their acquisition of backlinks as well as content depth.

  1. Empire Flippers

Just like Motioninvest, empire flippers is another place where they sell sites. You can steal the niche ideas, create your own blog and beat that competition.

  1. Amazon

Amazon is another place where you can get a ton of niche ideas. Just go through the different categories, look through the products and come up with a niche that tries to sell those products.

 

What next after identifying a niche

Once you have a niche idea for your next blog, it is time to do your keyword research.

I would suggest using the following keyword research tools

  1. Ahrefs (my personal best)
  2. Ubersuggest
  3. Answerthepublic
  4. Keywordeverywhere

Once you have your list of keywords, you can then go ahead to create in depth content with a view of addressing the reader’s needs, making sure that the site is well optimized for SEO and that the content is converting.

On Page Hacks To Increase Affiliate Sales

how to Increase Affiliate Sales

As a blogger, once you start earning from your blogging hustle, you want to better the income so that you can get more money trickling into your account. Fortunately, this can easily be done by implementing a few conversion rate optimization hacks on the web page itself. I will suggest some of the hacks that I personally use on my Amazon affiliate sites.

  1. Better premium theme

Whenever I am starting a new niche blog, I use free themes. The sites therefore are not that pleasant to look at. But when I start getting organic traffic to the site, I dig into my pocket and buy a premium theme.

But why?

Well, to rank on Google, you do not need a premium theme. All you need is sound SEO strategies.

But when you start getting traffic, the next thing you want is conversions and free themes are not very good with conversions.

Some of the popular premium themes that help with affiliate marketing conversions include Rehub, Generatepress, Elementor, Thrive Architect and Astra.

  1. Use tables to compare products

I use tablepress plugin to create some good looking tables that compare different products on my web pages. In the tables, I compare the product features as well as the prices for each. I also insert a call to action button for each product so that when clicked, the reader is taken to Amazon.

Other than the free tablepress plugin, one could also buy premium plugins such as amalinks pro and AAWP that help with comparison charts.

  1. Use of beautiful call to action (CTA) buttons

[su_button background=”#6296d0″ color=”#f5f2f2″]This is a CTA[/su_button]

I have been using shortcode ultimate plugin to create some outstanding CTAs for my web pages. At one time, I also used max buttons plugin but I like the ultimate shortcode plugin since other than creating the CTAs, you could also use it to create boxes, highlight text etc.

  1. Geo targeting all affiliate links

Whether you are using Amazon or any other affiliate program, you really need to look into geo targeting your affiliate links so that you will not be leaving any money on the table by ignoring customers from some countries.

When I started using genius link on my Amazon affiliate site, I found out that I was leaving at least $50 per month by not geo targeting my links.

If you are in Amazon affiliate marketing, you could also try Amazon onelink since it serves the same purpose.

  1. Better your copy

You might be getting lots of traffic but not getting any money.

This can happen when your copy is badly written and no one trusts the reviews. They will not end up clicking on your CTAS.

To better your review content, you need to really research on your products, use them and give an honest review or hire expert writers who are going to do the writing for you.

  1. Use Amazon native ads

For readers who are using Amazon affiliate marketing, you could better your earnings by inserting Amazon native ads so that users can see them and click through to the Amazon store.

  1. Use Amazon mobile pop overs

I have already looked at how Amazon mobile pop overs can better your conversion rates and therefore your earnings.

You need to give it a try on your Amazon niche site.

  1. Compare prices from two merchants

I have found that when you give your readers the option to compare product prices from two or more merchants, they are highly likely to click through on your affiliate links where you have the best prices.

  1. Recommend the best product using a sticky sidebar widget and having it as a featured product at the top of post

If you are writing a review post on the ‘best mattresses under $500’ where you go through 10 mattresses, you could have one of them as a featured product at the top of your post as well as using a sticky sidebar widget where you say that it is the best mattress.

Some readers might not be interested in reading through the entire post but will just click through the links for the featured products.

 

4 Examples of Highly Successful Amazon Affiliates

I keep saying this; that for a complete online marketing newbie, Amazon affiliate program should be the first place where you start.

We will examine the truth of that statement as we look at our 4 amazon affiliate success stories.

amazon affiliate success stories

[su_note]The Amazon affiliate program is not only easy, newbie friendly but also has a ton of customers. So for anything that you recommend and have good (presold) traffic, you can be sure to earn good money.[/su_note]

I talk about presold traffic since you need to ensure that the person reading your review site is really interested in buying the products that you are reviewing. Going through your review should not be the first time that they are hearing about the product you are writing about. The best source of presold traffic is search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo.

While people might see your pin images on Pinterest and go on to your site and get convinced about buying your products, it is never the rule but rather an exception. People on Pinterest will, yes, get piqued by the visually appealing review pins you have done but they are not really intending to buy your products. At times though, they might buy.

On Google, one will only search for ‘best mattresses under $500’ if they are indeed interested in that product and so when they bump into your site reviewing mattresses under $500, they are highly likely to click on your call to action buttons and go ahead to buy what you are recommending.

Advantages of Amazon affiliate marketing

  1. Getting in is easy since all you need to do is create a blog which you can do so at $25 and then go ahead to select your niche, put up content, rank and bank.
  2. Amazon is well trusted and so people who you push to the store are highly likely to make a purchase.
  3. It is easy to scale and explode your earnings on Amazon using these strategies.
  4. It is genuine and legit so you are assured of your earned income  unless you get into their bad books.
  5. You can earn from whichever country you are in whether developing or developed.  I wrote a guide on how people from developing countries can get paid by Amazon.

Let’s jump into our 5 examples of successful Amazon affiliates and their sites

5 Amazon Affiliate Success Stories

  1. Spencer Haws of Niche pursuits

earnings made by Spencer Haws for own the yard in December 2019

If there is one guy who is really inspirational on matters to do with Amazon affiliate marketing, then it has to be Spencer Haws of Niche pursuits.

Related: Read my Amazon affiliate success story here

Spencer blogs about how his blogging process, reveals his sites to his thousands of readers and goes ahead to reveal his income from these very sites.

I am always challenged by how highly effective he is in niche selection, keyword research as well as outsourcing writers to do his niche sites.

In December 2019, he revealed that his 1 year old site made $1991 from Amazon affiliate marketing.

You can find his journeys at nichepursuits.com

  1. Luqman Khan of 10beasts.com

ugust august 2016 earnings for 10beasts by Luqman Khan

If there is one man who gob smacked everyone in the online marketing world with his highly earning affiliate site, then it has to be Luqman Khan. Luqman created this crazy affiliate site named 10beasts.com, earned so much from the site within a short period, sold it, had it penalized by Google immediately after he sold it and then went ahead to remove the penalty and reinstate the site.

You can find him at nichepie.com

  1. Doug Cunnington of nichesiteproject.com

doug cunnington 2017 earnings

I am a big fan of Doug Cunnington of nichesiteproject.com where he takes about how one can grow their Amazon affiliate site to a five figure monthly salary. He has this easy way to look for keywords that will rank with little effort. He calls it the keyword golden ratio and true to his words, I have always used it with lots of success.

You can find him at nichesiteproject.com

 

  1. Tung trang of Cloudliving

Tung Trang started online marketing as a student. He is a big name in amazon affiliate marketing where he tried the $10k per month challenge. Though he got a Google Penalty for his site, he has gone on to start other successful amazon affiliate sites.

You can see his blog posts at cloudliving.com.

Key takeaways from these 4 highly successful Amazon affiliates

  1. Great content and design for your site

As most bloggers say–content is king! And so is it, in amazon affiliate marketing.

So if you are looking for tips on how to be a successful amazon affiliate, think great content.

Affiliate sites are all about answering questions that readers might have about products before the make the final buying decision. You therefore have to put out great converting content that is going to convince the reader to click onto your affiliate links and go ahead to complete the purchase at Amazon.

To churn out great content, you could either hire expert writers who have used the products, or researched extensively about the feel, look and efficacy of the product. For new bloggers, buying the products so as to review them or have them looked at by experts might be too expensive and therefore, you use option number two; research extensively about the product and describe it as though you have held it in your arms.

  1. Diversify your earnings with other affiliate programs as well as ads

Depending on one online income is a danger in itself. You should always diversify into other income streams so that if you were to be pushed away from one, you can always rely on others. Spencer Haws talks about how he uses ads on his review sites so that other than earning from the Amazon affiliate program, he is still able to earn from Ezoic and Google Adsense too.

Luqman talks about how he was able to geo target his Amazon affiliate links with genius so that he would be able to earn from Amazon UK, Canada and US.

  1. Diversify your traffic sources

Depending on one traffic source could also pose a danger. You are not to rely on Pinterest or Google alone. Try to look for other alternative traffic sources so that if an update pushes you out from one traffic source, you have other places to look up to.

4. Keyword research is everything

 

Without proper keyword research, you will start a blog where you stand no chances of ever ranking or making a penny.

Now no one wants to do this. To avoid that, you need to invest in proper knowledge of niche selection, keyword research and also think of buying premium keyword research tools such as ahrefs.

examples of people earning big with amazon affiliate program

11 Ways to Explode your Amazon affiliate income

ways to explode amazon affilaite earnings

Once you get approved into the Amazon associates program, you want to work on your earnings so that you can reach your first payout. After reaching your first payout, you want to go ahead and earn your first $100, $200, $300,…,$1000, $5000 and even $10000 per month.

how to 10x your amazon affiliate income

In this post, I talk of some of the strategies that I have used (and are still using )to scale my Amazon affiliate earnings.

So lets dig into them:

  1. Use Amazon native ads

Amazon has these native ads that they say will increase your affiliate income.

Have I seen them work for me? Yes, I have.

The ads are native in that they seem to be part of your site. You can add them before reviewing different products in your ‘best xyz products’.

 

amazon native shopping ads

All you need to do is login to your Amazon associates account and go to Product Linking then click on Native Shopping ads.

There are three types of native ads: search, recommendation and custom.

I like using the custom ads where you search the products that you review and they will be displayed with the star ratings as well as the prices.

  1. Using mobile pop overs

I have already discussed in an earlier post how you add Amazon mobile pop overs into your site to increase earnings.

You see most of the people visiting your site and clicking through to Amazon store are most probably on mobile. So why not have something that will show them a featured product at the bottom of the mobile screen as they scroll so that you increase their chances of buying the product.

 

According to Amazon, mobile pop overs have been shown to increase click through rates by 30%.

  1. Write more content reviewing other products in niche that you are ranking for

If you are using Google search engine, you will find that you are ranked in the first page of the SERPS when Google feels that you are an authority in the niche and are providing the best solutions to what people are looking for. If this is your case, then it is high time to go out writing lots of product reviews in that niche.

Say for example that you have ranked for the best mattresses, duvets and pillows. Then it is clear that Google feels that you could be an authority in the sleep niche. So why not go ahead to write about best bed covers, mattress toppers and bed risers.

  1. Better your SEO and diversify your Traffic source

 

If you are primarily getting your traffic from Google then you could diversify your traffic and try Pinterest or even Quora.

At the same time, you could better your rankings by bettering your SEO. Say for example that you are ranking position 8 for a keyword, you are sure to getter more traffic and hence earnings if you were to move to the top three positions.

 

So how can you better your SEO?

 

  • Build more backlinks to your site

You can build more backlinks to your site. These backlinks could either be blog comments, links from a private blog networks, forum links or collaborate with other bloggers in your niche to get guest post backlinks.

  • Increase topical relevance for keywords that are almost ranking

Say for example that you are ranking on position 15 for the keyword ‘best bed covers’. You have tried everything to move the keyword up the serps but nothing seems to be giving in. Well, you could try to increase the topical relevance to move the needle.

You can do this by creating more content on bed covers and linking out to the pillar page that you want to rank. For example you can create three posts on 1. How to clean bed covers. 2 How to select the best bed covers. 3. How to repurpose your old bed covers.

  • Scoop featured snippets

Bloggers who get the featured snippet search results enjoy more traffic as compared to those who are in the other top 10 positions. You can always grab the featured snippet by working on your page schema.

  • Updating old content

Google loves fresh content. If you are ranking for a post on ‘best mattresses’ that has 15 products and 1500 words, you can always add 5 more mattresses and to up the content to 2000 words.

However as you update old content, look out not to alter the keyword density.

  • Improve your on page optimization by having the focus keyword in the SEO title, meta descriptions, h2s, content as well as in your image alt text.

 

 

  1. Localize your Amazon affiliate links either with Amazon Onelink or genius link

amazon affiliate link health

If you are getting some earnings for the keyword ‘best mattresses’ from Amazon USA, you could probably also be getting some earnings from Amazon UK, Canada, Australia, Mexico, Italy and India if you are ranking on the serps of those countries.

You could always check whether you are ranking for a certain keyword in a certain locality using ahrefs.

Once you establish that you are indeed ranking for the keyword in any of those countries, create an Amazon associates account for those countries and go ahead to localize your site affiliate links with genius or Amazon onelink.

I use genius link since it is easy to install, seamless to use and has a better ROI as compared to Amazon onelink. It is however a paid tool and so for people who want to localize their Amazon affiliate links freely, they could always use onelink.

  1. Diversify your earnings with ad income

If you are getting enough traffic to drive sales to Amazon through Search engines or pinterest, then it means that you could also earn from ad networks such as Google adsense, ezoic and mediavine.

The easiest program among these three to join is Google adsense since all they want of you is that you are getting a traffic of 100 views per day, have the necessary legal pages such as privacy policy, contact us and about us.

For ezoic, they require that you have at least 10,000 views per month and be adsense approved. For mediavine, you will need to have at least 50000 page views per month in order to join.

Mediavine have the best rpms but it is usually harder to join and they might reject you even when you have the over 50000 sessions per month.

  1. Join other affiliate programs that have better commission rates

After the Amazon affiliate income commission cuts, I joined shareasale. Though they do not have such a good conversion as compared to Amazon, they have better commission rates.

I for example am in the health niche where Amazon are giving a measly 1% commission. For some of those health products, shareasale are giving me a 10% commission.

 

Join Shareasale here to triple your commission rates

 

So should I ditch Amazon and move over to shareasale?

No, Amazon has won the trust of many people and therefore the conversion rate is very high.

I therefore need to be creative and work on comparing the products on shareasale and Amazon so that readers can make their own choice over where to buy the product from.

 

 

  1. Psychological Call to action buttons

You need to do a/b split testing on your CTAs to see the ones that are better at conversions. You might need to change the call to action button colors, sizes as well as positioning on your site.

Neil Patel talks about how to tweak your CTAs into what he calls psychological.

  1. See where your readers are clicking with heat maps so as to position your CTAs there

You can tell where your readers are clicking on your site by use of heatmaps. Once you identify those exact positions, then you can place your heat maps at those positions. Some of the most popular heatmaps that you can use include hotjar and crazyegg.

  1. Have comparison charts above the fold of your site.

For ‘best xyzs’ you can create comparison charts and place them above the fold. I have found comparison tables placed above the fold to always increase my click through rates.

  1. Create new affiliate sites and replicate your success

Once you have created a site, ranked and made money from the Amazon affiliate program, you could always try to replicate that success by creating another affiliate site.

You will find that for your second and subsequent sites, you will be able to rank easily and see your earnings faster than you had seen in your first site when you were still a newbie.

How To Set Up A successful Blog at $25 Only for Beginners

How Beginners can Cheaply start a wordpress Blog to Make Money

If you have been following my series of blog posts, you by now know that blogging can be a profitable thing especially when you target a certain audience who will be reading your blog religiously and helping you make them bucks.

So you are now convinced and want to start an affiliate site or maybe a site where you earn through ads from Google adsense or ezoic but are not sure the cheapest way to do so.

Well in this post, I will tell you exactly how you can start one at the cost of $25 only for the first year.

Disclaimer:

In this post, I will be assuming that you have already done all the preliminaries about affiliate marketing.

The $20 the cost does not include: keyword research cost, content creation, premium theme or building backlinks.

The cost is only for buying a domain name and hosting your website files.

But these are the most important. Once you have them, you can have your site running.

I believe that with the right knowledge, you can do your own keyword research, write your content, use a free theme and build your own foundational backlinks to rank a low competition niche.

Now that is out of the way, let us look at what the $25 will help you do.

Selecting and buying your domain name at $6.98 from Namecheap

Yes, you will be buying your $6.98 from Namecheap.

But before you go right to buying it, you need to think about the domain name.

  • It needs to be brandable.

Sometimes back, webmasters would buy exact keyword match domains (EMDs in short).

You can still do so.

But it is limiting in that you can only blog about one thing.

Say for example that I want a site where I will be reviewing the best sofas and therefore name my website exact match domain as bestsofas.com

It will be limiting in that I can only blog about sofas. I can never go to other things such as reviewing the best curtains, dinner chairs or wall clocks for your house.

At the same time, SEO experts have argued that Google is highly likely to penalize your site if you are using an exact match domain (EMD).

So what would be a brandable name for person reviewing best furniture for your home?

I would go for names that have no meaning in English say for example: houhou.com, leslyi.com, sofix.com, besto.com etc

  •  Short domain name

The website domain name needs to be short and precise.

Go for something that has at most 6 characters.

In our examples above, houhou has only 6 characters, sofix has 5 while besto has 5 too.

Short domain names are easy to remember for your readers.

Now, that we know what to look for in a domain name, let us look at the exact process of buying your $6.98 domain from Namecheap.

It is pretty easy.

Just click on this link to visit Namecheap.

Enter the brandable, short domain name you want and check for its availability

 

 

If you do not already have an account, Namecheap will ask you to create one.

Provide all your details and go ahead to checkout.

Provide your loaded credit card details to complete purchase.

Once the purchase is successful, namecheap are going to notify you via email.

Shared Hosting with Namecheap at $17.50 per year

Once you are done with buying a domain name, you can go ahead and buy your $17.48 namecheap shared hosting.

Click on this link to visit the namecheap shared hosting page.

Select the stellar shared hosting for one year.

Now that you already had an account while buying a domain name, you do not need to create another but log into your already created account.

Provide the details required and checkout.

start blog at 25$

Setting up your wordpress site with the domain name and the hosting

Now that we have a domain name and hosting from namecheap, connecting the two is easy peasy.

We do not need to change any nameservers since they are already pointed to namecheap hosting.

So, what we need to do is set up wordpress for the site and start things out.

When you buy your hosting, namecheap gives you access to a cpanel which is where you install your wordpress.

Login to the cpanel and scroll down to softcalous apps installer where you will find the wordpress software ready for install

Click on the wordpress icon

 

Click on install and set up your wordpress site name, description, username, password and admin email.

You could also select the site theme that you want to use

Once done, you can click on install and there you have it, your wordpress site.

All you now need to do is login to the site everytime you want to upload content, videos or images.

By default, the login url is sitename.com/wp-admin.

Setting up Necessary WordPress Plugins

Now that we have our site, we are not done yet.

We need to set up some wordpress plugins that all SEOs have found to be necessary in any blog.

They include Yoast plugin that helps with setting up meta descriptions and seo titles. We also have contact form 7 that helps you with having a professional contact page.

So how do we go about it.

Login to your wordpress dashboard and while there click on plugins.

We will try to install yoast plugin in this our example

You will search for ‘yoast plugin’ in the search section and a list of suggestions will appear.

We are interested inthe first suggestion.

So, I will click on ‘Install now’ button.

Once installed, I will need to activate it.

So, that’s it.

You may need to learn how to use the Yoast plugin to update your post meta descriptions and seo titles from here.

The procedure for installing contact form 7 is also the same but you might need to learn how to make a contact page from this video

 

Now all that we are left with is setting up the permalinks.

Permalinks show the structure of a url.

For example, the permalink for this post is http://freelancinghackers.com/beginners-cheap-wordpress-blog-to-make-money/

By default when you install a new wordpress, it would not show this.

It would be something like http://freelancinghackers.com/%20/6%/2020%

This you will agree with me is ugly.

We need to set up that permalink to reflect the postname.

So how do we do it?

Just login to your wordpress dashboard, go to settings then click on permalinks

You will find that you are using the custom permalink.

Change to postname permalink by clicking on it

And that’s it.

You can now load your content either as pages or as posts.

Once you have some good traffic, you could sign up with the amazon associates program so as to start earning.

 

Wrap up on Starting a Blog at $25 only

We have looked at how to cheaply start a wordpress blog at $25 only for beginners.

We have said that you need to buy a namecheap domain name that is currently going at $6.98 and also get shared hosting that is going for $17.28 for the first year.

We have also looked at how to set up the wordpress blog with a free theme plus necessary plugins.

We have also looked at how to set your permalinks from the ugly default to something cool that has only the postname.

how to start a blog at 25 dollars and earn

Amazon Vs Shareasale: Which is a Better Affiliate Program

Lets face it.

When you start an affiliate site, you want some quick return on your investment.

You want to join an affiliate program that pays you well and promptly.

amazon vs shareasale

Amazon vs shareasale: Which should you Join to See Higher Earnings

 

I informed you that since the amazon associates program cut their affiliate commission rates, I was going to look for alternatives. And well, I did look around.

I tried to sign up with Target, Walmart as well as shareasale. The former two however did not please me since their affiliate commission rates seemed to be no better than amazon for the products that I am promoting.

 

Sign up at Shareasale for better Affiliate commissions

 

With shareasale though, I was able to find one merchant who snugly fits what I do, have better pricing for my readers and will offer me better commission rates. It is a win-win for all.

Now shareasale is a big affiliate marketing program with over 4000 merchants registered into the program. Unlike amazon, you will have to do double applications:

1. Apply to shareasale and get accepted

2. Apply to individual merchants and once approved, start promoting their products.

I should point out that this was rather hectic for me.

The merchant who snugly fits into what I do took so long to accept my application. I was also at first autorejected by shareasale. I however tweeted and emailed them with a detailed descripition of what I do and the promotion methods that I use. I also pointed out that I was previously on amazon associates program and therefore knows the ins and outs of affiliate marketing and SEO.

They accepted me.

The next headache was applying to the merchant. They were silent. I tried to inbox them on facebook. Crickets. Another email. Crickets. A tweet. Crickets. I almost gave up

Then luckily, someone in the company noticed my emails. They accepted me into the program.

I started adding their affiliate links into my site. I did not completely remove my amazon affiliate links. No, I just did a price comparison so that a customer would feel obliged to click to the merchant site as opposed to amazon since the merchant have better pricing.

How to Get Your Shareasale Application Accepted

From my autorejection at shareasale, I have gathered a few tips that you could use to make sure that you are accepted into the program

  1. Make sure to use your domain email eg james@freelancinghackers.com as opposed to using a generic hotmail, yahoo or gmail email address as a generic email address will get autorejected.
  2. Ensure to adequately describe what your site does and how you promote products either via SEO, Pinterest or Facebook marketing
  3. If they still autoreject you even after doing all that send an email to shareasale@shareasale.com from your domain email

Here is the structure of the email I sent them:

Email Subject: Application as an Affiliate Marketer

Hello Shareasale,
James here, founder of domain.com.

Domain.com is a site that reviews products in the ….niche where I advise readers on what to look for when buying….. I also write advising them on how to use….

I am writing applying for consideration into your affiliate program so that I can promote products for merchant A and B.

Currently I am using Amazon Associates program but wish to move since they have lowered commissions for affiliates. Your merchants are offering better commission rates as well as a better pricing point for my readers.

Currently, I am getting a traffic of about 3000 viewers per month.

I use search engine optimization to rank on Google, Bing and Yahoo. I also promote my content via Pinterest and Facebook.
I am ranking for keywords such as
1……..
2……
3……
This shows that the readers have a buying interest.

Attached, please find a report of the orders I have referred to Amazon over the past one year.

Please do consider my application positively.

I look forward to working with you.
Thanks in advance.

Earnings

At the moment, I have not amassed that much in earnings from shareasale. I have only made $13 from 4 sales made through 38 clicks. It is still early days to make any conclusions on the conversion rates.

Earnings from shareasale

Maybe when I have over 1000 click throughs, then I can come back and analyze the conversion rates as well as what I have earned from the program.

The good thing is that I am getting a whooping 10% commission from shareasale as opposed to the measly 1% that I was making with amazon for the same products.

Join Shareasale here to triple your commission rates

 

Amazon Shareasale
24 hour cookie 30 days cookie
Easy to get in since you only need to sign up and start selling Kinda tricky and hard since you need to apply to shareasale(could get rejected) before applying to merchants
Better conversion rates since amazon is trusted and renowned Conversion rates for merchants sites might not be that good since most are not well known and therefore not trusted by readers
Payment after 60 days Payments done after a month on the 20th
Account can get closed if you are unable to sell 3 products in 180 days I have not heard of any account closure due to non activity
Payments via check and direct deposit Payments via check and payoneer

 

Receiving Amazon Associate Earnings as a Non US resident

How to Receive Amazon Affiliate Payments if you are in a third world country

Sometimes back, it was practically impossible to get your amazon affiliate payments if you were living out of the first tier countries (read Europe, Australia and America). For someone like me in Africa, you would have to have a relative or friend in the US whom you would ask to receive the payments on your behalf and then they would wire it to you.

Now that is not something that you want to do with your hard earned money. Not especially if this person in the US is not very trustworthy.

However, with time, things have got changed and become simpler. One way to receive amazon associates earnings that I can vouch as seamless, easy and reliable is Payoneer.

Payoneer is a financial solution that allows you to create virtual bank accounts in the Americas as well as Europe while you are still in Nairobi or your home city.

How to create a Payoneer account

Now creating a Payoneer account is pretty easy. All you will need is provide your personal details, address and email which you will be receiving payment notifications. You also need to provide a unique password which you can renew after a duration of time. Of late they have enhanced the security of your account by asking you to provide your phone so as to send codes for 2 factor authentication purposes.

They will also send you a payoneer Mastercard branded account upon your request. With the Mastercard, you can withdraw your funds from any Mastercard branded ATM. To get this Mastercard, you need to provide your real mailing address since it will be mailed to you. You can always request for another card incase the first one fails to arrive.

So lets go step by step

register payoneer

You need to click on the register button that is highlighted in orange

Next, they will want to know why you are registering a payoneer account. Now as an affiliate marketer, choose that option and then indicate that you will be paid by publishers

Now, give your personal details including email and location address.

You will then be asked further questions and once done, they are going to review your application and revert to you via the email address you supplied.

What I like about getting my Amazon associate earnings using Payoneer

  • You will get a whooping $25 when you sign up through my affiliate link. Yes for free. I too will receive it when you start earning and get your first $100 payment
  • They will provide you with a virtual US bank account. You can use the same bank account to get payment from other companies such as shareasale, upwork that use direct deposit for US users
  • You can withdraw your funds in local currency or USD using your mastercard at Mastercard ATMs
  • Good foreign exchange conversion rates
  • I am able to withdraw cash from payoneer to my local bank account in hours.
  • I am able to get payments from not only US but also UK, Canada, UK and Australia.

How to add Payoneer account to to your Amazon Associates account

As you are signing up as an affiliate with the amazon associates program, the last item that they will ask is you to enter your payment details.

Now head over to Payoneer and get those details. Copy paste them as they are into your amazon associates account and you will be done.

Here are my details for payments coming from the US

How to add Payoneer account to to your Amazon Associates account

Now copy those details to your amazon associates account dashboard

If you are getting traffic from UK, Canada and Australia, you would also want to create more amazon associate accounts for those countries and then request payoneer to give you bank accounts to add to your respective associate accounts.

Now, using genius link or the free option of onelink, you will be able to localize your links and therefore get earnings from these countries too.

Again, head over to payoneer and click to receive payments from the said countries then copy paste the payment details to your respective amazon associates accounts.