If you want to make money in 2013, you want to bookmark this series
I’ll show you how to make more than $200 with your newsletter and blog to pay for your Aweber subscription
Part5: Strategies To Make Over $200 With Your Newsletter THIS Year – Various Sources
Last week, I talked about how you will make over $1,000 in a year with an investing newsletter. To be honest, I’m probably making over $10,000 a year with mine. I have several strategies implemented to increase my chances of converting sales on a monthly basis.
But I’m well aware that not everybody is comfortable running an investment newsletter. I work in the financial industry and didn’t even feel comfortable doing this at first! I had to prove myself with my blog and build a following until I realized one day that thousands of people were following me because I write solid stuff about investing! For this reason, I’m also going to provide you with my tricks on using other kinds of affiliate programs. Overall, you’ll see that it’s pretty easy to earn hundreds, read thousands of dollars from your newsletter no matter what topic you write about.
If your blog is about personal finance, there are tons of ways you can promote valuable affiliate programs. The key here is not to promote hundreds of programs but rather find a few very high value products that you believe will be useful for your readers. Your readership is not dumb; they will know if you are trying to score a quick buck off them or if you are genuinely writing about a good product. If you tried the product, it’s even better!
The method I prefer is to highlight a common problem you see from your readers:
Can’t pay my bills on time at the end of the month
I pay too much interest
I’m sick of being raped by my insurance broker
My personal finances are a mess
I want to buy a house but I can’t afford it
I can’t stand my student loans
Should I invest or pay off my debts?
Couple money management issues
I want to become financially free
Do I need life insurance?
I could probably list another 10 if not 20 problems but I think you get the picture by now. The key is to identify one problem and write about it. If you are able to include emotion in your post, that’s even better.
For example, if you pick the topic “I pay too much interest”, this relates to the burden people feel at the end of each month when they receive their credit cards bill. The fear they have to open those envelopes and the anxiety experienced when they try to pay off these bills but their darn account is still showing a $100 balance. Write about how shameful you felt when you had to borrow on a credit card to pay another one’s minimum balance. How it got worse when you had to borrow money from friends and family to pay off both cards. With such a “dramatic” post, you will engage your readers. You will create a bond between your story and theirs. In fact, most debt and credit card stories are similar. It’s just a matter of coming out of the closet and talking about your story.
Then, once your reader truly feels that you actually share the same problem, you come across with a solution. In the best case scenario, you come with the solution you have successfully used and link to that affiliate program. I know… I’m day dreaming a bit right now. Most of the time, you didn’t use the exact same product because perhaps the one you used doesn’t have an affiliate link.
This is where the fun part begins! You must find a real solution to this real problem with a real affiliate program! Most of the time, you can easily find something similar. There are tons of budgeting software (Ready for Zero, Quicken), 0% balance transfer credit card (Discover is probably the best bet), consolidation loan companies and savings accounts (Ally, ING, etc) that can be used to setup a solid debt repayment plan.
My favorite technique is to build an autoresponder series where you will define the problem, explain the solution and guide your readers to a step by step solution. See the chart that follows:
I used this technique successfully with one of my newsletters. With less than 500 subscribers, this simple email series generated between $90 and $120 per month out of a single affiliate program: Mint! Unfortunately, Mint’s affiliate program is not offered anymore. It was paying $3 per lead for each free subscription. I’m thinking of switching my funnel to Ready for Zero as they offer a similar affiliate program for a similar product. I just want to play around with it to see how it can fit into my autoresponder series.
This is a simple funnel series but the strategy works with pretty much with any personal finance issues I’ve outlined. You can say how you got raped by your insurance agent and which websites you used to compare rates and get an honest quote for your situation.
Who never tried to sell a book on his blog via the Amazon affiliate link? But the real question is who really sold enough books to make enough money to get a check from Amazon? Hahaha!
It took me 2 years to get my first check from Amazon…. TWO YEARS! All right, shame on me; I never pushed too many products sold via Amazon. Still, I’m pretty sure that you never log in to your Amazon affiliate program to see your balance. But here’s what I’ve discovered from Amazon after I received my first check:
I generated my first sale on November 2010 and earned a huge payout of $0.48!
I got my first check on November 30th 2012 for $147.65 (yup! Two years for less than $150!)
I got my second check on January 31st 2013 for $113.75
My current unpaid balance shows $117.68 (which means I will receive another check shortly)
Do you know how I went from making $6.15/month on average (24 months to make $147.65) to $61.26/month? That’s 10 times better than my previous average! I started to sell my own products on Amazon!
Here are two twists for selling your own books on Amazon:
#1 You can use your affiliate link to earn additional commission on your own book. This is responsible for a good part of my “new” source of income.
#2 Amazon tracks your affiliate ID with a cookie for 30 days. So everything your visitors are buying will be linked to your affiliate account!
From September 12th 2012 to February 12th 2013, I’ve generated $367.53 in commissions. $205.29 was generated from my own book commissions and $162.24 was indirect sales (i.e. visitors buying anything but my book). So ,if you only consider the $162.24, it means that my affiliate association with Amazon is now generating $27.04/month instead of $6.15. Amazon commissions alone are enough to cover my mailing list fees!
It will take some times before you can make money with Amazon, but by selling Dividend Growth, I have learned that each time you include an Amazon link on your blog or newsletter somewhere, you increase your chances of making money.
Amazon has mastered the art of online marketing and they do all the hard work for you. It’s a solid and well known business. Therefore, you chances of having your visitors buying from Amazon are much better than buying from your own site.
Another great way to monetize your mailing list is to use private and semi-private deals. By private deals, I mean 1-on-1 agreements you craft with an advertiser. I have done one personally for my investing newsletter. Since I have a strong readership in the investment area, I was “big enough” to contact a company an offer them a deal. Before you can do that, you will have to prove a higher number of subscribers (in the thousands) in a specific niche with good open rate stats. These metrics are easily available through Aweber mailing list services.
Semi-private deals could be easier if you are only starting your mailing list. “Semi-Private” are smaller affiliate programs offered on an invitation base or spread with a word-of-mouth. A good example is the campaigns offered by Only 72. They usually run 1 or 2 campaigns per year offering a huge package of books and online courses for a ridiculous price. The concept is to package enough books to offer a $1,000 deal for only $99. The idea is that it’s only available for… 72 hours This is a very cool offer to share with your mailing list if the products apply to your niche.
I believe there are several other semi-private affiliate programs like this one, it’s only a matter of finding them. What is very interesting is that you run 1 or 2 campaigns per year so you don’t burn your audience, especially when you offer such high value for such low cost!
Most private and semi-private deals will be good if you run a marketing campaigns instead of simply including them in your autoresponder series. But that’s another topic for my next post for this series hehehe!
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