Yes, if you do it right…

The simple but also probably quite infuriating answer to the title question is that ‘yes, if you have a good product and good article marketing strategy’. You have likely come across this kind of useless but also insightful answer before – for instance when researching other questions like ‘How much can I earn with affiliate marketing?’ or ‘How many articles do I need to write?’. Affiliate marketing, I have found, is a world full of such questions but, unlike most other commentators, in this article I plan to elaborate a bit more as to why exactly you cannot have a definitive answer. This is to say, why exactly is it impossible to generalise about the success article marketing can bring? In turn this can help us to determine whether article marketing is a marketing method right for your current or prospective business, and how exactly this success will be best achieved.

My experience in affiliate marketing…

Firstly, a bit about my own background in affiliate marketing. I have been in the affiliate marketing business for nearly four years now and now make around 10,000 (about $17,000) a year through my websites – I don’t see myself as a super affiliate by any stretch but I do think this amount of money is something a lot of would be affiliates aspire to. I aim in my articles to help others emulate my success and promote those products that I have found useful myself, on my own journey. I personally detest who sellers who market their products using their own success, and would firmly discourage you from any product representing a get rich quick scheme. In fact I predominantly use article marketing, along with email lists, to market my range of affiliate products over different sites. I have had both successes and failures with my techniques and now feel I am knowledgeable enough to impart some of my ‘wisdom’ (or something like that) on others.

Lessons learnt…

I would like to start by referring back to some of my original sites, many of which have been unsuccessful – from these I have learnt many lessons as to what makes a successful affiliate marketing strategy and knowing them could save you a lot of the time I wasted. The first piece of advice is to really try and find, and then promote, a product that you believe in, and which you would use, and have used, yourself. For a start this means the sales copy of the affiliate programme is good and the product will sell, if marketed correctly (you bought it yourself after all didn’t you?). It also means you have a working knowledge of the product and can offer insights and advice which others, who only promote the product for profit, cannot.

In an online landscape where content is king this factor cannot be underestimated; it also helps therefore to know the industry yourself to some degree before jumping in – this might only require a few hours research but very often the marketers who don’t know their stuff are found out pretty quickly. People will respect your heightened expertise (in comparison to standard, uninformative reviews) and in the end will be more likely to click through and eventually to buy a product you recommend. If you can input this level of expertise into the Site Build It format you give yourself a website capable of making good money with affiliate marketing – I will say quickly that SBI will save you a great amount of work, and cut out a lot of the effort, in putting together a quality affiliate site, leaving you to get on with the promotion and article writing.

Selecting a product suitable for article marketing…

The product selection is key to any affiliate’s success but there are other factors which are also extremely important to make an article marketing strategy useful. My first learning curve with article marketing came promoting a programme called Rocket Spanish – this was a programme I used myself and would recommend to anyone. However the saturation of the market was a huge obstacle – just searching for a review of the programme in search engine directories throws up a huge number of articles. To penetrate a market like this with article marketing is extremely difficult and which eventually I gave up on – writing for highly targeted traffic on a niche like that proved practically impossible.

This is a major problem with a marketplace like ClickBank – there may be a few gems but promoting a few different products with sky high gravity I have found none to be particularly successful. I do however promote one product with gravity 75-76 with which I had excellent results. There are however many equally useful, and hence lucrative, affiliate products out there so my advice is to do some research and try and find one which isn’t overly exposed to the market already.

Keep relevant and targeted towards sales…

I did try to overcome the problem of an over-saturated market by writing articles about wider Spanish topics such as grammar, and methods to learn the language. Having learnt Spanish for many years I was well qualified to do just this but still found I ran out of article titles quite quickly – this is something you need to avoid if you’re looking to write in quantity especially. These however taught me another lesson also – keep your content relevant and try, as far as possible, to include some form of pre-sell. If your articles are of excellent and useful content they may not necessarily be bringing the ‘right kind of customers’.

By this I mean you may be flooding your website with new traffic, but (and it’s an important ‘but’) they are only in search of more free tips, rather than purchasing your recommended product. Therefore the niche most suitable for article marketing is one where the customer seeks out the helpful information you can provide, but also there this information leads naturally to a sale of a particular product you recommend. This really is key and is the one sentence you should take away from this article, if nothing else.

The article marketing process – you get what you put in…

The rest of the process then becomes fairly standard and repetitive, but it is essential you stick with your marketing strategy. This means writing high quality articles with useful content as frequently as possible. I am not going to go into the ins and outs as to the general blueprint of a perfect article but here are a few pointers. I recommend answering a commonly asked question first of all but ensuring also that your title stands out – for instance you may see adverts saying ‘don’t buy product x before your read this’ or ‘product x is a scam’.

These are perfect examples of attention grabbing headlines – we all read these kinds of adverts just in case we’re missing some really vital piece of info (invariably however we are not). We can however use this same formula for our articles, make the title intriguing or essential and you ensure your article won’t blend into the lower reaches of the search engine rankings. I also recommend providing a good amount of useful and interesting content (between 1000-2000 words) – this highlights your expertise and quality articles are selected for republishing (and hence greater exposure) on a more regular basis.

Persist, you’ll get there eventually…

My final advice, if you are to have any success at all with article marketing, is to persist. Like any other business you can’t expect success overnight and with minimal effort put in – the process gets easier eventually as you get used to writing and is highly enjoyable when you start to see results. I wrote about 20 articles a week when I was starting out (not always posting to article directories) but didn’t see returns on my hours invested until about 6 months in. I kept trying different products and eventually hit the jackpot (a product both of my own skill and also a bit of luck I like to think!) – I am however still writing about ten articles weekly for my newest sites (having sold two recently) and hope to bring in more and more revenue. The more time I put in, following the guidelines I have outlined in this article, the more success I am sure I will have. Finally I would like to say a big thank you for reading and I hope you have found the article useful for your own efforts in article marketing.