I’ve been around the UK affiliate marketing industry since the early days and there are so many great things about the industry every now and then I take time out to have a look around and see what other affiliates are up to and to remind myself not to take anything for granted because standing still really is going backwards in this industry.
Learning new stuff and trying out new ways of making money are two of my favourite things and two of the most important qualities anyone interested in making a living from affiliate marketing will need along with determination – lots of determination.
It’s not easy to think outside the box, especially on demand, but my background as a product designer means I’m adept at coming up with alternative ways of achieving the same result and when I suffer from designers block I buy other websites and take a look under the bonnet which gives me an insight into someone else’s mindset. Because they’re selling up there’s every chance it turns out to be a cul-de-sac but nevertheless it’s always fascinating.
My fascination with websites extends to domain names and I’m always on the lookout for new domains to support existing projects and inspire new ones so feel free to pitch yours to to me!
I’m not a domainer but I can spot a good deal when I see one. I recently enquired about a domain which the current owner thinks is worth a lot more than I do – nothing new there if you read my earlier post about domain name haggling. I asked one of my favourite web developers with domain name expertise Paul Lasikiewicz for his opinion and he reckoned the asking price was about double what I felt the domain was worth. The owner isn’t budging so I’m content to let the credit crunch bite and have another go later. Learning to play the long game is another essential skill affiliate marketeers need to learn.
Affiliate Marketing feels like a game of Monopoly to me. On the roll of the dice (my google rankings) I cruise the board buying web properties which I develop adding houses and hotels on them in the hope that people will eventually land on them I and make money.
I got chatting with Paul (this means typing in MSN in JoeSpeak) and it turned out he has been busily developing his own web properties including a nice discount code related domain Discount.org.uk and we struck a deal and now I have another code site to look after – it’s good to type!
I tend to look for domains with two keywords or something catchy that’s brandable and I’ve never been a fan of generic domains. I also hadn’t really considered org.uk domains as worthwhile properties until that purchase but Paul explained the site could rank well for searches like “[retailer] discount” and “discount for [retailer] and I can see his point so I learned another important affiliate marketing skill – listen to what other people have to say and adapt to prosper and stay in the game. I’ve since registered a few org.uk domains including billybargains.org.uk, renegade.org.uk etc.
We chatted about SEO and I realised not being a domainer isn’t my only lack of expertise – I’m no SEO expert either! It just goes to show that however much you learn about affiliate marketing (and I’ve learnt a helluva lot) you must never stop learning. I make a decent living as a jack of all trades but the challenge is to do even better. I love being my own boss, I get to choose when I work and I’m a tough taskmaster.
My conversations with Paul really inspired me and I’m working on new projects and looking forward to battling with my fellow affiliates for those top slots on all the search engines.
It’s the a4u Expo this week so I’ve been working flat out to get things done before my head explodes to free up some headspace for new stuff at the Expo sessions. I’ve already picked the sessions I want to attend and have added them to Evernote so I can read or change my itinerary from any machine or my beloved iPhone. It all depends how quickly my cold clears up, how much beer I drink and whether I’ll be able to get in or stay awake to all those sessions! I managed to soak up some useful stuff last year without any planning or effort, doffs hat to Mr Lee Mccoy, so my plan is to be just a little bit more professional this year.
For starters I’ve got some shiny new business cards to give out, assuming I remember to carry them with me, and the in/famous cantBarsed booby lady remains a key feature – after seeing her traded for poker chips at a previous a4u event I know she has legs! However, in my quest for professionalism on these overly PC times I’ve cut up some post-its and censored the sensitive areas by hand so peel to reveal or not – the choice is yours! I’ll cover them with a scratch panel next time. If you do see me wandering the Expo or asleep in the sessions do say Hi and ask me for a card.
Affiliate marketing CantBarsed style really does suit me and, like the best experiments, it’s much more exciting when you don’t know the final outcome.