In my previous blog post, I made a detailed show of exactly how affiliate marketing works and how you can make money online as an affiliate. I hope you enjoyed the video inside the blog post as well. If you haven’t watched the video or read the post, I highly suggest that you go do it before proceeding. In today’s blog post, I am going to show you a real life case study where you will see details of one of my affiliate promotion that resulted in me earning $100 to $350 each and every month. This was one of the easiest recurring monthly income stream that I set up.
This post also reveals one of the key principles of making money online. The principle is that – To make money online, you need to find a hot product/service and lots of hungry buyers ready to pay for the hot product/service. The next thing to look for is low competition, this is so that you can penetrate in to the market. Once you find a hot product/service with lots of hungry buyers and once you find that there is low competition, your role as an affiliate is to act as a middle man connecting the buyers to the product/service. In simple terms – you direct the hungry buyers to the hot products/services, thus resulting in sales. And as a result you benefit by making some money in affiliate commissions.
So to make money, every affiliate must find out both the hot product/service and the hungry buyers. This is where most people get stuck. They don’t know how to find the hot product/service nor do they know where to find the hungry buyers that are interested in the product/service. The result is, they make no sales and no money. But the good news is that there are sites and softwares which you can use to find hot products and services with hungry buyers.
Todays case study of me earning $100 – $ 350 per month was made possible by me finding a hot service called “send a ball“. “Send a ball” is a unique website that lets anyone around the world to send a ball in the mail, instead of a greeting card, with their unique greeting message written on the ball. What makes “send a ball” unique is that, the ball greeting will be delivered right to your friend or relative’s door by the mail man. And I found the hot “send a ball” service by looking at the right website at the right time. Not only that, I was able to find that there were lots of hungry buyers for “Send A Ball”. And the website I used to find “send a ball” service is none other than Google’s Hottrends.
Google hottrends is a site where you can see a list of the top searched keywords in Google each and everyday. Unfortunately Google recently changed the look and the functionality of the main hot trends website. Previously Google allowed us to see the top search terms on any previous date, by simply changing the date and year. But since Google removed the trackback feature recently, I am not able to show you how the hottrends site looked when I found the “send a ball” keyword when it hit the top searched keywords list in Google on February 2010. But don’t worry, there is another google site called insights which will give you insight about search patterns for the “send a ball” keyword.
So what I am going to do is, search for the keyword “Send A Ball” in insights, reverse engineer the process so that you can see what happened on Feb 2010. As a result you are going to see – on which exact date I found the keyword “send a ball” hit the top searched list. So in the below image, what I have done is searched for the keyword “Send A Ball” in insights and set the time range to February 2010. So here is the snap shot result of the reverse engineering.
The image above shows you the exact date when I found the “send a ball” keyword hitting the top searched keywords list in Google. This actually happened when the “Send A Ball” service was featured on a popular American TV show called “Shark Tank“. As soon as it happened, people around USA started searching the keyword “send a ball” in google, resulting in the keyword reaching the most searched list in Google on Feb 6th 2010.
This is where I grabbed the opportunity while thousands of other marketers that closely watch the Google Hot trends site missed the chance. Like everything else in life, making money online is also about taking the right action at the right time. Whenever a product keyword hits the top of the most searched list, you have to run, as there are 1000’s of hungry buyers searching for the keyword on google to buy the product, which just means opportunity for you to make money.
So the first thing that I did was jump over to Namecheap.com (the service I use to register my domains) and search for send-a-ball.com, and to my surprise the domain was available. In the above image you can see that I registered the domain name Send-A-Ball.com on Feb 6th 2010, the same date when the “send a ball” keyword became the top searched keyword in Google. If you read my free ebook on How I Made $11,187 Online In 7 Days using affiliate marketing, You’ll know that registering the domains was one of the very first things that I did for that promotion as well. It’s really important because exact keyword domains have a good chance of naturally ranking high in Google. Here in our case, by registering the domain Send-A-Ball.com, I increased the chance of my site getting on top of Google for the most searched term “Send A Ball”.
Once I registered the domain, I went to the main Send A Ball site to check if they have an affiliate program which allows me to promote their products as an affiliate. Again to my surprise, there it was (image above), a link to the affiliate program. I instantly clicked the link and applied for the affiliate program which was running under the linkconnector.com affiliate platform. Linkconnector.com is a product affiliate management site where the sendaball.com site’s affiliate program was setup. So I had to join and get my affiliate links (with my unique tracking id) through linkconnector.com.
Even though I applied for the affiliate program, it took couple of weeks and many back and forth emails before my affiliate application was approved by linkconnector.com. It turned out that the delay was actually caused due to the almost exact domain name (Send-A-Ball.com) which I submitted inside link connector, when they asked for the site where I will be promoting “Send A Ball”. Anyway finally on 20th February 2010 my application for promoting “send a ball” got approved. Just for proof, here is the email I sent to sendaball.com admin on 20th February 2010, thanking her for taking necessary steps to approve my affiliate application.
And once approved, here is what happened within 7 days of approval. In the below image you can see that I got my very first “send a ball” sale on 25th February 2010. Amazing thing was that, it was my Birthday. A very pleasant surprise for Birthday.
Now let me show you what I did to make the sales happen. As I said before, I registered the domain Send-A-Ball.com, Then I created a one page website with nothing but a one sentence, an image and two flash banners. Here is how the site looked like.
Notice how the keyword “Send A Ball” appears in the domain, the title and inside the content of the site. Even with just one short sentence text, I was able to rank the site on the first page of Google right next to the original sendaball.com site, in the second or third position. If I am right all I did was build some back links from other sites towards my site, which is called back linking. What this does is, Google looks at each links to my site as votes to my site and ranks my site higher in search results. Thus my site ranked high for the keyword. The text and the banners you see are all my affiliate links pointing to the original sendaball.com site. And I believe the product owners were happy to have my site next to their site because the position next to their site was occupied by a site that directly competed with sendaball, so having an affiliate site on second position works to their advantage than losing all the sales to a competing product.
After a month or so, I also registered a couple of other cool domains like sendaballcoupon.com, greeting-ball.com, mail-ball.com etc and created one page websites on each of them, with the intention of ranking these sites for one specific keyword each. And the result was that I started making more sales and the commissions started pouring in without doing any additional work. By the 20th of every month, they send out the payments earned during the previous month. Thus for the sales I made on the remaining days of February and on March, I got my first affiliate commission of $204.20 on 20th April 2010 (image below). You can also see the recurring monthly payments from linkconnector for “send a ball” sales.
Easy money right? But unfortunately the affiliate program was discontinued, so I had no other chance but to stop promoting “Send A Ball”. But happy that I was able to try it out and generate income all these months and finally use this as a case study to let you know how easy it is to make money as an affiliate. I sure believe this inspired you to try out affiliate marketing. You can replicate the same process. Just keep watch of the most searched keywords everyday in Google hot trends, look out for any trending product keywords appearing in the top list. If you find one, go check to see if there any affiliate opportunities associated with the product. Also check to see if you can register a keyword domain, if you can find it, you can set your own passive income stream.
Set up your site, put your affiliate links, get the site to the top and reap the cash. The linking tactics (to get the site to the top) that used to work few years ago may not work this year. It is due to the changes in Google algorithm that happened in the last couple of months. Right now your site will need quality backlinks, multiple backlink anchor texts and fresh unique content. But please note that aggressive linking will also harm your site ranking, so the best way is to build natural links. This can be obtained by offering viral content in your site that people will want to share. This is what Google expects from websites. As more people start sharing your content, across various different sites, it builds up natural backlinks and your site will start jumping higher and higher to the top.
If you search for hot products and services with hungry buyers only on Google hot trends, you may not always be lucky. So this is where you definitely need an alternative solution as your whole earning depends on the niche you select. Crappy niches can only bring you crappy results. But like I said earlier, there are softwares and services which can be used to find hot products with hungry buyers. In my next blog post I’ll share with you a powerful never before revealed system that I developed to find hot money niches using powerful softwares and services. I don’t think any online entrepreneur will want to reveal this sort of secret strategies without charging hundreds of dollars in advance. But I want to give it to you free because my goal with this website is to help people generate make money online, and I am going to do it at all cost. So don’t miss my next post, it’s going to be super valuable.
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