Today we welcome Slade Elliot (also known as The College Dropout) to Digital Marketing Revealed. Slade is an internet marketer and he has released Affiliate Web 2.0 – a guide to building an affiliate marketing business. And even better – its available free of charge!
Hi Slade. How long have you been doing business on the internet for?
I have been doing business on the internet for over 3 years now. Initially it started as a hobby while I was in school and after unexpected success, I dropped out of college and gave it my total focus. I now work full-time in internet marketing and have done for over two and a half years.
Why the internet as a channel for your business?
The internet is used as the channel for my business because the possibilities are endless. You could say I had a light bulb moment when I realized the 24/7, 365 day nature of it and how the internet ‘never sleeps’ so to speak. Certain marketing tactics I use could probably be used offline but my interest is in expanding online because it is what I know well.
What are your main areas of business?
I dabble in many areas of internet marketing too numerous to mention but my strongest avenues are affiliate marketing, article marketing, email marketing and product creation.
Can you explain what affiliate marketing is?
Affiliate marketing is promoting other merchants products while receiving a commission in return. Sometimes commissions can earned simply by sending referrals and other times a commission is earned when the customer purchases a product through your affiliate link.
What does an affiliate marketer need to be successful?
Success rarely happens overnight. That being said, if you follow a systematic series of steps to conclusion you’d be shocked at the level of success you can reach. You can’t be afraid to fail. I consider over 90% of my online experiments failures but I learned immensely from them. Learn to fail quickly. In other words, once you realize something did not work, learn from it and quickly move on.
If you were to summarise the various steps, what would I need to do to get started in affiliate marketing?
The best advice is often the simplest. Follow a blueprint that others are having success with and follow it to completion yourself.
The most basic steps are signing up for an affiliate program, setting up a website, driving traffic to that website and then cashing on when customers buy through your affiliate links. Don’t overcomplicate the process.
Do any particular products or services sell better via affiliate marketing?
I work in tons of different niches. The best niches always fall under two categories.
The first is that the niche is evergreen. This means that demand for this subject matter never dies no matter what is happening in the world. Examples would be relationships, sex, products that satisfy basic needs, etc.
The other is products that desperate people buy. Many sales online are ‘desperation’ sales because a person has a problem they want solved immediately. The combination of these two characteristics often results in a hot selling product.
How do you generate traffic to an affiliate marketing website?
The most tried and true method is through article marketing. The newer social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook are also effective. It is also a good idea to build a list of hungry subscribers in your niche and send them to your websites. Backlink building is the granddaddy of them all because then you can rank in the search engines for profitable keywords which is the best way to get tons of traffic.
What sort of content do you recommend for an affiliate marketing website?
Original content is always preferable on an affiliate marketing website. It is not vital but you will have a much better shot at ranking highly in the search engines. Prominent links to the merchant you are promoting is critical. Visitors to your website should be able to get to the merchant quickly and easily with no confusion.
Can you tell me what sort of revenue an affiliate marketing website might generate?
Many factors go into how profitable an affiliate website can be. I’ve had several make me absolutely nothing and many others rake in thousands like clockwork. It depends on your traffic level, search engine ranking, how good your pre-sell is and most importantly how great the product itself is. Sell what is already selling well and you’ll make money.
You have created a report called Affiliate Web 2.0.
There’s the old saying “write what you know.” I wrote the Affiliate Web because I have used all the methods in it myself many times over. It isn’t composed of things I have heard or stories I have read. I’ve always thought the best blueprints are the ones that the author has used and continues to use himself.
What kind of research did you do to establish a business need for Affiliate Web 2.0?
My research wasn’t really research at all. I had plenty of material to write about based on my own experience, my own successes and failures. The Affiliate Web 2.0 is the result of my years of trial and error in affiliate marketing.
Can you tell me what format Affiliate Web 2.0 is in?
The Affiliate Web 2.0 is a PDF document and also contains some add on mindmaps and diagrams. I wrote it in Microsoft Word and then copied it over to OpenOffice to convert it into a PDF document. Pretty basic process.
What are your main methods to market Affiliate Web 2.0?
I have marketed the guide in a variety of ways. I have sold it to a subscriber list in the past with great success. The Warrior Forum has been invaluable for sharing it with others for free. I continue to promote it with articles and forum posting as well as the occasional reminder to a few of my lists.
Word of mouth is always the greatest buzz that you can create for a product. When I decided to stop charging for it and offer it for free, the interest level in it grew immensely. I’ve had several people tell me they were referred to it by a friend.
Is there anything you would do differently when launching another product?
I’m not one for big product launches. I leave that to the big time gurus. I have launched many other products since the Affiliate Web 2.0 but the majority of them are in niches outside of internet marketing. It’s always valuable to have an army of affiliates waiting to promote your new products. You can create this ‘army’ by building a list of strong affiliate marketers and compensating them well with high commissions.
What are your future plans, either in internet marketing or otherwise?
I am always looking to expand my business. There are always things that can be outsourced and I try and delegate more and more tasks so I’m not a bottle neck for my own business. It becomes very easy to think you have to do everything yourself but learning to let go and allow others to grow your business for you is eye opening.
Slade’s Affiliate Web 2.0 is a step-by-step internet marketing blueprint for setting up affiliate websites in a precise manner that allows for maximum profits. It involves creating ‘webs’ of affiliate websites that capture subscribers and bring in lots of sales.
Once you have learned the basics of affiliate marketing and how it is done, it outlines what kinds of products to promote and how to find the ones that will sell. It also covers how to find profitable keywords and the search parameters one should look for to rank their websites in the search engines.
Lastly, The Affiliate Web 2.0 goes one step further and details how to expand your business to $350 days and what it takes to do that. The combination of all the steps leads to a full online business plan that can be followed from beginning to end. It’s an ‘all in one’ affiliate marketing guide.
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