Free vs Paid Traffic Sources

Getting started with affiliate marketing can be a bit challenging to a n00b. There are tons of “gurus” out there on the web who claim to have the secret recipe to making millions from internet marketing. Yet, most of these guys’ biggest source of income are their how-to courses, go figure.

Needless to say, you can get started without dropping a dime on knowledge that’s already freely available out there on the web. You just need to spend some time researching and reading up on the various topics, and form a good plan for your traffic methods.

Most beginners will want to start with free traffic methods, and build up the volume to reinvest in paid traffic sources for long-term scale.

Free Traffic Sources

  • Blogging – A great method for building up followers and targeted mailing lists for a campaign.
  • Websites – Similar to blogs, but with a bit more content and structure. Usually in the form of a service, directory, or resource for learning about a topic related to your campaigns. Good for contextual links, ad placements, and content gateways for mailing lists and incent offers.

Paid Traffic Sources

  • PPC – Pay Per Click (Adsense, Facebook ads, Plenty of Fish, Chase Clicks, etc.)
  • PPV – Pay Per View (TrafficVance, DirectCPV, etc.)
  • Email Marketing (Aweber, Senderr, eInfer, Constant Contact, iContact, etc.)

The Basics of Internet Marketing

Many of the people in my personal life have no idea how I make money on the internet.

Most know I run a web hosting company and host thousands of websites. They figure, “that must obviously come with some level of residual income”, but beyond that they have no idea what my internet operations entail.

So, drum roll please….

BIG REVEAL: A growing chunk of my income comes mostly from my online marketing campaigns in profitable niches, and my various online marketing & affiliate efforts in general.

What this means is… I push traffic on several large mainstream networks, my own three networks, and several lucrative internal affiliate programs.

“Cool” you might say, what the HELL does that mean? Push? Traffic?

So, okay, let me try and break it down for you a bit. If it’s something you find interesting… it might just change your life!

Internet marketing is pretty simple at its core

Buzz terms aside, the core of the traditional “affiliate mindset” boils down to a simple “performance-based” model.

In other words, just like in the real world of “kick backs” and “finders fees” if you can refer an online visitor to make a sale, or get them to perform some action, you can get paid for it!

You put an offer in front of a visitor, they perform an action… you earn money. As a merchant, your ideal “action” is that the visitor converts into a paying customer and buys a product or service.

As an affiliate, it could simply be a person filling out their zip code for a search, or entering their email and pressing go. The exact action is specific to the campaign, and your role in it.

As an affiliate, an offer you might promote could literally be as simple as a web page with a text box asking for the visitor to enter their email to win a free iPad, or any popular prize.

Other common offers are debt and educational campaigns, which ask for someone’s contact details so that an organization can follow up with a phone call and further information.

When a person completes a form, or whatever the action required in the campaign terms, an affiliate receives a conversion, and gets paid by the network or advertiser.

As you can guess, these conversions can stack up pretty quickly when you have a good method of promotion, and ultimately put a lot of cash in your pocket.

The Modern Affiliate Lifestyle

The professional affiliates job is much like any other marketing career, but with much more freedom. The basic idea is to run campaigns that drive many targeted individuals to an offer you think they’ll be interested in, and likely to convert, which then earns you a large return.

Beyond that, it becomes a science (and art) of campaign optimization, efficiency, scale, cash-flow, and a bunch of other goodness you’ll only learn from hands-on experience. This is putting it stupidly simple, but that’s affiliate marketing in a nutshell.

If you’re serious about making large volumes of money on the internet, this is all obvious. Connect the dots, and your wallet gets fat overnight. For most newbies, they think this a load of crap. How can it possibly be that easy?

Basic… doesn’t always mean “Easy”

Just because the basic concept is easy to follow, doesn’t mean actually putting it into practice is always as easy as it sounds.

Any full-time affiliate will probably tell you life wasn’t always that carefree and lavish. They probably put numerous hours into researching, experimenting, reading, making money, losing money, learning lessons, discovering new methods, and so much more.

There’s a lot of time and effort that can go into learning a thorough understanding of internet marketing, and the mechanisms and industry behind it. It usually takes even longer to begin applying that knowledge, and making it tangibly profitable.

Most people like to assume affiliate marketing is a lazy job, since you can do it from your home, in your pajamas. While this can be true in some instances, most online workers know the affiliate industry for what it is, a lucrative and worthwhile career. Most people in the online affiliate marketing industry know life is all about working smarter, not harder.

So get started, it wont happen by itself

The biggest thing stopping you from making money online is simply the fact that you’re not doing anything to push yourself further towards your goals.

If you coast through life, wishing you had attained all these great things, it simply doesn’t happen.

So get motivated, get on the AllHatter internet marketing forums, start reading my blog, and search google for affiliate marketing. Or, if you’re confident you’re ready to start making some serious money online, apply at my two public advertising networks, ChaseClicks and CPA Dough and mention you heard about them from my blog!

Of Mice and Men

To get back in the swing of things on this blog, I’m going to commit to updating again regularly, at least a few times a week. As suspected, the reason I haven’t been blogging for fun much lately, and you can probably already guess why.. yes, the usual excuse.  It feels like work has been a bit all-consuming lately. I’ve been working hard to wrap up a few projects that seem to be dragging on this year. — What happened to my commitment last year to NOT take on any new client work until I had a team in place to and could focus on my projects too? Textual sigh. — Regardless, I’m thrilled to be seeing some light near the end of the tunnel, having just wrapped up 2 more of the remaining client jobs on the table.

With the last of the main clients jobs out of the way, I intend to groom several talented web programmers and designers who I can sub out various project tasks to. I’m also working on assembly a larger virtual staff if anyone reading this blog is interested. I’ve had great success this year with monetizing my websites and networks. I’ve also established several of my own ad markets and online advertising networks, which are growing tremendously quick.  I’ll most likely be writing a lot more about them and related topics. As I mentioned a few posts ago, I was considering covering some SEO topics, and decided I will might as well go ahead and get started.

I’ll be touching on some internet, web design, and programming basics, as well as some SEO, online marketing basics, and maybe even some more advanced stuff as time goes on. I seem to be quite regularly discussing this topic with people lately, and might as well start establishing a strong base of content to direct people towards. In fact, it’s almost disheartening I haven’t written more on my private blogs in the past, I wish I had. But hey, gotta pick up somewhere right? Well, until next time. Happy surfing!

Have any SEO or Internet Marketing topics you’d like me to cover on my blog?