I’m going to share a strategy here that is so ridiculously simple – and powerful – that literally anyone could do this, and with even the most half-baked effort, start to make real money with affiliate marketing.
I call this the Conduit Method
Not only is it incredibly simple – it’s also leveraged. In this case, the merchant isn’t really one who’s benefiting from your efforts. You’re actually “using” their efforts, their ad spend, their other affiliates and so on to your advantage.
It’s also incredibly effective.
For example, I have a site that’s not even 90 days old (still a PR 0) and it’s already earned $1,061.84 in commissions – all from free, easy traffic.
Let’s get started…
Introduction – Why “Conventional” Affiliate Marketing is Hard
A lot of people think that affiliate marketing in general is hard.
And to be honest, if you’re doing it the ‘traditional’ way (promoting a product from a related content site), it’s going to take a lot of traffic & effective pre-selling before you start seeing any kind of sizeable results.
Assuming, of course, that the product being promoted converts well…
Since traffic generation and conversion aren’t exactly the easiest factors to master as a beginner (or with a small budget), traditionally, successful affiliate marketing IS quite hard.
Even if you’re building a list, building relationships and so on – you still need the traffic. The volume. Traditionally.
It’s possible, but it takes a lot of time and effort to get there.
Plus, you’ll be competing with swarms of other motivated affiliates for the same keywords, rankings, PPC placements, link partners, etc. etc.
It’s a long way to the top.
But not with my simple “conduit” strategy…
Part 1 – The Conduit Method – Explained
The best way to explain how this works – and why it works – is to first of all take a look at what actually happens when people decide to purchase something online…
Customers are either searching for a solution to an issue, OR – they’re introduced to an offer in the midst of “hanging out” where they’re interested.
This means that customers are first exposed to online products either through a SEARCH ENGINE (Google, Ebay, Amazon, etc) or through an OFFER (Google PPC ads, affiliate sites, banner ads, newsletters, etc.)
And what happens then?
Either they buy on impulse, or they leave and don’t buy – OR – they research the product to make a purchase decision.
And this is where the conduit method comes in…
When soon-to-be buyers are researching a product, they’re usually on the verge of BUYING something. Either the product in question, or something else that is possibly even better.
What they’re looking for is a mixture of proof and justification. They want their money to go to good use, but they also want to help themselves internally justify the purchase.
(Because nobody researches a product unless they already WANT it.)
So they head to Google and type in “Widget x200 review”, or “Widget x200 does it work” or whatever.
What they’re looking for is some actual user feedback, opinions, complaints, red-flags, or – ideally – the “green light”.
And this is exactly where you first meet this visitor.
You simply become the CONDUIT for an inevitable sale…
Part 2 – The Conduit Method – Shooting Fish in a Barrel
If you haven’t guessed it already, what we’re doing here is reviewing products – with a very important twist:
We’re not trying to sell the product, we’re actually intercepting a sale DECISION in progress and giving them what they want – proof & justification.
So your job is to simply make a “FACT SHEET” for each product that you want to obtain “research traffic” from and clearly present it on your dedicated product-info page. The purpose of this page is to obtain organic search engine traffic from long-tail keywords, so be sure to include:
* The product name
* The person associated with the product (author, developer, etc)
* The merchant’s official domain name
* The brand/company name
* The version history (especially with software)
And so on. Don’t just stuff keywords, but make sure to naturally include as much detail as you can because it will give the search engines something to serve up to people researching that exact product. The basics of onsite SEO apply here.
In addition to the typical “review” (product overview, features list, etc), what you want to do is search foractual user feedback yourself and then take some of the (positive) comments and use snippets of them on the review page.
Here’s an example of how this might look for a supplement product:
“…well worth the price, I noticed way more muscle mass in a few weeks, and I’d been working out for months prior…”
— Actual user comment from ExampleSite.com Forum
“…this stuff tastes awful but I’ve found that it works even better than creatine…”
— Actual user comment from SampleMuscleSite.com Forum
“…I gained 9 pounds in muscle mass in a month, which for me is incredible – it definitely works…”
— Actual user comment from Epinions.com User Review section
And so on.
Obviously, you want to find real user comments to reference, and with very short, abbreviated “snippet quotes”, you won’t run into copyright issues (although this definitely isn’t legal advice, so do your DD). And regardless, you could always just paraphrase it and include it in your own review.
The whole point of doing this is to come across as a REPORTER rather than a reviewer yourself.
Don’t “sell”, so tone down the big headlines, hilites and big-ass buttons.
All you’re doing is assembling facts, making it easy for the search engines to find you for product-related keywords and making it EASY for the visitor to make a purchase decision!
Example: I have a site like this with only 12 product-pages (the site is a PR 0 all around and only 3 months old) and it’s already made exactly $5,061.84 in commissions from just 4,151 unique visitors (just logged into my stats to check) since it went live. It’s in a profitable, saturated market.
That’s an average of $1.22 per organic visitor.
I have been building a mailing-list with that site also, which is now at a whopping 162 subscribers.
How much would 4,151 unique visitors earn you with Adsense?
Even with a typical “regular content” affiliate site?
This strategy rocks, as you can clearly see.
Let me give you 5 more reasons why the Conduit Method is by far the simplest way to earn major cash with little overall effort from affiliate marketing:
1. You’re Riding The Product’s Exposure
Instead of simply sending a merchant all your hard-earned traffic, you’re actually siphoning their marketing efforts by intercepting people making a purchase decision after they’ve already seen the offer.
The more popular the product gets, the more “spin off” research traffic you’ll be lapping up.
You’re profiting from them, for a change…
2. This Beats the Typical “PPC Review Landing Page” Strategy by a Mile
Not only is your traffic free and ultra-targeted, you’ll usually get more of it because with organic content, you can “bid” on as many trademarked terms as you want!
Just by including them in your review, headlines, etc – this makes your page visible when users search for specific keyphrases. PPC ads are often blocked from bidding on trademarked terms, or using the official domain as the display URL.
NOTHING is stopping you from ethically mentioning product names, trademarks, brands, etc. in your site content so long as you’re using the proper “R” or “TM” symbols and disclaimers.
3. Creating EFFECTIVE Unique Content is Brainless & Systematic
Instead of struggling to come up with effective articles that will pre-sell visitors and all that crap, all you’re doing is making one “fact sheet” after the next with the SAME, duplicatable approach.
You could have a 100-page site loaded with unique, highly-targeted content in NO TIME if you really think about it.
4. Feel Like Building an Email List? Check This Out…
Not only are you prequalifying people that are making a purchase decision with your content – you’re also largely focusing solely on the only type of visitor that matters in the niche anyway:
So if you’re building a newsletter with your “Conduit” site, then your subscribers will, by default, be more of a serious crowd than more “generic” visitors.
5. ZERO Guesswork
Like I said previously, the Conduit Strategy literally “leverages” everything from the merchants. The selling has already been done, as well as the demand.
All you’re doing is assisting with the final decision – and if nothing else – “getting the click” and registering your affiliate cookie in their browser!
There’s no question as to whether this “works” or not. If the product is selling, then it works – period.
It’s just a matter of capturing this specific type of traffic.
Alright – so let’s get started.
Here’s how to take this strategy and make it work for YOU…
Part 3 – The Conduit Method – How To Get Started NOW
I’ll keep this section nice and short…
1) Choose a profitable niche with lots of products. At least 20 or more products should be available in the marketplace. See any major affiliate network for product/niche ideas.
2) Build a site where each product is “reviewed” with a fact-sheet, actual user comments are referenced, and affiliate links are placed prominently at the TOP and BOTTOM of each page. Every product should have its own dedicated page.
Note: Even if products don’t have an affiliate program, still include them. You’re after that targeted “decision traffic”. Just recommend something that’s monetized on those pages or build a list.
3) For the index page (home page) of the site, either promote your opt-in, your top product or whatever you want. Also make sure to include a site-map.
4) Build links “softly”. Don’t go and mass-submit 500 articles. That’s a great way to get sandboxed and have to wait MONTHS before you see any traffic.
Just submit to free directories, submit a few initial articles, join LinkVana and/or 3WayLinks to automate the link-building naturally and perhaps throw in a bit of relevant (non-spam) forum-posting or blog commenting to help speed the indexing process.
You’ll want to build some links that point DIRECTLY to your product-info pages as well. This is where LinkVana and “soft” article marketing can work great. Same with using sites like Squidoo and so on where pagerank is passed.
5) Monitor your traffic and sales. It will take a good week or so until the first trickle of visitors from Google start showing up for product-related keywords, and it will slowly build over time as your site gains authority and age (this takes several months).
But even a “trickle” is enough to profit from initially. Remember that these aren’t just ‘visitors’. These people are making a purchase decision.
If you’re seeing the traffic (from targeted product-research keywords) and not the sales, then there might be a conversion issue. Either your site doesn’t seem believable, or your links are too hard to find.
For this reason as well, I suggest using a “regular” HTML site for this and not a blog, for conversion purposes solely.
It’s easier to control layout, and that top-fold area is SO crucial, folks. Always make sure that you can profit from your visitors without them having to scroll down or search for a link.
Especially when they’re in “research” mode.
Who knows – maybe they only need to see your HEADLINE. Having a link right there for them could be the difference between making a sale or losing it to their “Back” button.
6. More Do, Less Think.
What I’m saying here is really, really simple, it works – and I have the results to back it up.
Many people will look at this and think that it can’t be this easy. That I’m “holding something back”, or that there’s some magical secret that the successful affiliates have which others don’t.
Too bad for them – all the better for you and I.
Meanwhile we’ll be setting up one site after the next – with practically ZERO research or planning (other than sourcing products and duplicating the formula), and we’ll be intercepting inevitable sales while so many others work their ass off building sites with half the content and a fraction of the sales.
Just think about it – making $100,000+ a year with this strategy is more about MATH and VOLUME than it is “chance” or “skill”.
It simply depends on how many sales you want to intercept.
By the way, that 12-page site I mentioned above generated 3 sales today, bringing in an extra $142 in commissions.
From 34 site visitors total, as of 11:55 PM PST
I hope that gets some ideas spinning for you 🙂
One thing I forgot to add under “5 more reasons why the Conduit Method is by far the simplest way to earn major cash with little overall effort from affiliate marketing”
Here’s the 6th Reason why it works so well:
6. Product Researchers Will Look at Multiple Pages of Search Results
Unlike your average searcher, people making a purchase decision will search high and low for a REAL product review. One that isn’t obviously biased or blatant.
This is why for this strategy, you don’t necessarily even need amazing rankings. If you keep it “factual” and non-chalant, many people will simply find you deep in the search results on their quest to get the truth.
For this reason, I’d suggest using title-tags such as:
“XYZ Product – Facts, Company Profile & User Feedback”
“XYZ Product – Consumer complaints & comments”
(Yes, even a negative word like ‘complaints’ may work well for this. If you were researching a purchase, would you click on something that said ‘consumer complaints?’ – YES, you would.)
And you could even include some complaints – but if the product is otherwise good save for the odd complaint or whatever, then choose complaints that focus on trivial stuff like “I called the office and was on hold for 10 minutes – you’d think their support would be better considering the quality of XYZ…”
And so on.