Passive Income…!! This is the dream of the majority of the bloggers. Sitting on a beach at Pondicherry and writing blog posts while getting the money periodically credited in your bank account. Sounds fascinating, right?
Coincidently, this is doable and a lot many bloggers are making tons of passive income. In this post, I’ll walk to through one of the best passive income source- Amazon associates. First, let me show you some proof.
Amazon Affiliate Earning Proof
Honestly speaking, I’m not showing my income proof to brag. Moreover, I only make a minority of my earnings with amazon associates. However, there is a big reason why I’m showing this report. Here, I want you people to understand that you too can make money from a real blog using affiliate marketing.
These days, the problem with the online/digital marketers is that they have never earned any money from a real blog. I mean, they are just earning money by teaching others “how to make money”. Ask any other popular online/digital marketer about their own successful blog in any other niche (lifestyle, fashion, finance etc) and the truth will be revealed. They won’t have any another successful blog in the real niche (other than the ones where they teach blogging). That’s why they will never understand the real problem that most bloggers face.
Before starting this blog, I’ve started two blogs. One failed and the second become successful. First one was an entertainer website and second was in the finance niche. And even here, I’m only sharing the earning report for my real blog- Trade Brains. As I’ve faced the problems myself, that’s why I can truly understand the difficulties. Moreover, I also understand the true potentials of a blog as I’ve also made money through them.
Anyways, enough of my philosophies! Here is the earning report of Trade Brains from Amazon associates for the last year (2017).
Yes, I know that isn’t much. But as I’ve already told you, amazon associates only contributed a minority of the earning from Trade Brains blog. Moreover, this is a totally passive income. I didn’t focus much on affiliate earnings last year. Just wrote a few affiliate blog posts and placed some links in between. That’s all. Nevertheless, as my blog is getting more and more traffic, my monthly Amazon affiliate income is exponentially growing.
Now that you have understood that you can earn good passive income through amazon associates, lets further learn about this affiliate program.
Affiliate marketing is an arrangement by which an online retailer pays commission to an external website for traffic or sales generated from its referrals.
In simple words, affiliate marketing for bloggers is a way to sell products without owning or creating one. Here, you are just diverting your blog traffic to some specific products, which are owned/created by someone else and making profits on sales.
It’s really simple to make money from affiliate marketing for blogger and it requires only 3 steps:
Find a product or service that you like
Promote that product/service to your blog readers
Earn a small profit (as commission) for each sale that you make.
For example, let’s say you are a photography blogger. And you use a specific DSLR Camera in all your photoshoots. You can promote this camera using an affiliate link from Amazon. If any of your readers buy this camera using your link, you will get a commission for that sell.
Here are the commission rates offered by Amazon associates–
Clearly, you can notice from the above table that you can earn a commission up to 12% on the sale of different products. The highest commission is on the Men’s apparel and clothing products. Further, you can also conclude that the fashion or lifestyle bloggers who promote these products can make a better income.
Let’s say a blogger is promoting a sports shoe worth Rs 3000. Here, he/she will get a commission of Rs 300 per sale. Moreover, if he/she is able to get 100 sales on that product in a month, they will make Rs 30k in a month. (Moreover, you can always promote multiple products).
Why my commissions were low from Amazon associates?
My write-in finance and investment niche. The only products that I can promote on my blog are books. Further, the average costs of books are between Rs 200 to 500. Therefore, for each sale, I would have made a commission somewhere between Rs 20 to 50.
Now, even if I’m able to make 200 sales (double sales than a lifestyle blogger) in a month, still the net income will be between Rs 4k to 10k. That’s why my income from Amazon associates was low.
Overall, the income from amazon associates depends on your blogging niche. If you are just starting your blog or planning to start -I’ll definitely suggest you to carefully choose a niche which you can monetize easily.
Few Simple Tips to Increase revenue from Amazon Associates.
The biggest tip to increase your revenue from Amazon associates is to select a profitable niche. However, here are a few other tips to increase revenue from amazon associates—
Look at the reviews of the product on Amazon before promoting. The last thing you want is to get your reputation hurt by someone else crappy product.
Write the product review and share your honest opinion about the product. (In my case, I wrote book reviews for few of the popular investing books).
The links in between the posts work the best. This is because when a reader gets involved in your post and you suggest something really awesome, he/she will be inclined to check out that product (and maybe even purchase it).
Amazon associates is an amazing way to monetize your blog and earn passive income. You can sell thousands of products through your blog and earn a decent commission. It doesn’t require any additional work or efforts.
All the money that I earned last year through Amazon associates were totally passive. This year, I’m planning to try out a lot of experiments to increase my revenue from affiliate marketing. And, I’ll keep sharing my learnings.
Building backlinks to your blog is a very imitating and time taking process. It takes a lot of time to build a large number of backlinks to your blog.
However, if you want to improve your ‘search engine’ visibility and boost your blog traffic, building backlinks is a very important process that you cannot ignore.
What is a backlink? It is an incoming link from one web page to another website. When a webpage links to another website by providing a link or citation, then it is called A backlink.
In this list, I’m ‘not’ going to give you the list of 100’s of websites from where you can build backlinks to your blog, which won’t help you to improve your search engine ranking.
On the contrary, I will give you 6 Pro Tips to Build Backlinks to Your Blog, which actually works and will help you to get ranked ‘higher’ on google.
So, if you are interested to build ‘quality’ backlinks to your blog, please read this post till the end.
6 Pro Tips to Build Backlinks to Your Blog
Here are the 6 pro ways to build backlinks to your blog which will actually help you to improve your search ranking:
1. Guest posting on the right sites.
Guest post is still the best way to build backlinks to your blog. Just write a ‘good’ content and get it posted on a high domain authority website/blog.
Here are few of the advantages of writing a guest post:
It will help you to get backlinks from reputed websites/links.
Guest posts will boost your blog traffic as you can divert the traffic of the big blogs/websites to your blog.
Getting your blog accepted on an authority website will increase the reputation of your blog. Plus it will create an awareness & social presence of your blog in your community.
Now, while writing guest posts, it’s always recommendable to write for reputable blogs/websites.
Although writing for ‘small’ blogs or the blogs with ‘similar’ ranking as that of yours, will also create backlinks, however, the quality of the backlink won’t be same as that from a reputed website.
While building backlinks to your blog quality matters.
Further, it’s a lot of time to write a good post. Therefore, if you have written an amazing post, it makes more sense to either get it published on a high authority website or to publish it on your ‘own’ blog for your readers.
Nevertheless, if you not able to get your guest post accepted to any reputable websites, then you can start with the small/medium authority blogs. They won’t help you much to improve your Google search ranking, however, you have to start somewhere and even that backlink can help you a bit to create some backlinks and get little traffic to your blog.
How to write guest posts to build backlinks to your blog?
There are 3 simple steps to write a guest post on reputable websites:
Make a list of all the high authority websites/blog in your niche and collect the list of the email of their owner/editor.
Send a mail to the owner/editor requesting a guest post with a suggestion of at least ‘3 Topics’ on which you are interested to write. Also, include the links of few of your best blog posts to increase your credibility.
Wait for their reply and once getting accepted, write an amazing blog post and submit it to their website.
Although it seems easy to submit guest posts, however, here are few things that you need to know:
Study the blog/website where you are are requesting the guest post. You do not want to suggest the ‘topics’ to write which has been already ‘published’ on that website.
The acceptance rate of a guest post is quite low. You might have to send a hundred emails per month to get the 4-5 guest post accepted. But do not worry, there are tons of website out there and you can always reach out to the next one if the previous blog owner does not accept your guest post request.
In most of the time ‘referrals’ matter. If you can get someone to introduce you to the website owner/editor, then they are more likely to accept your guest post request.
That’s all. Follow these points and you will easily be able to get some of your guest posts accepted to the reputable sites.
Even if you are able to write 2 guest posts per month on high authority sites, you can create quality backlinks, which definitely will boost your search engine ranking. And obviously, blog traffic will also increase.
2. Backlinks through Infographics
What is an infographic? IT is a graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge intended to present information quickly and clearly.
Infographics are a good way to build backlinks to your blog. All you need to do is to create an amazing infographic, which explains a lot of information and get it shared on different blogs.
The key point here is that creating an infographic takes a lot of time. Therefore, most of the bloggers avoid creating one.
However, due to the ease of studying infographics, if you include it on your blog, your readers can find it very quick and easy to grasp the information.
Here is an example of how you can build backlinks to your blog using infographics.
Let’s assume you have a fitness blog. If you write about ‘yoga’, you can create an infographic for the ‘Yoga exercise’.
Now, the poses are difficult to explain by writing an article, however, if you have created a good infographic, it’s self-explanatory to the audience.
Most of the bloggers in the same fitness niche might also write about yoga. However, they will not be willing to create a time-taking infographic.
So, what will they do?
They will just google search few ‘yoga poses’ and include it in their blog post and will try to explain most of the things by their ‘writings’ in the post.
However, for such bloggers, you can give them a better alternative.
Send them an email with the image of your infographic and tell them that you are ‘okay’ with them including your infographic in their ‘yoga’ post. All they need to do is a little mention of the source i.e. a link to your blog.
If your infographic is amazing, most of the bloggers will readily accept to include the infographic in their blog post and you will get a backlink to your blog.
If few of the reputable websites are accepting guest posts or including the links of your competitors on their website, then the chances are they will also accept your guest post or will link your blog, where ever they find it relevant.
For example, if one of your competitors has 600 backlinks and you know each one of them (using ‘Ahrefs’ or other websites), your life can be a lot simpler as a blogger.
If you reach out even 200 of those websites which has give backlink to your competitor, the chances are that you will create 20-30 backlinks fast and easy.
The best part of using this strategy is that you don’t even have to research yourself. You are just ‘stealing’ the backlinks of your competitors.
Further, you can apply the same approach to a dozen of your competitors and build hundreds of backlinks effortlessly.
Using this strategy, you can easily build backlinks to your blog fast, which are also high quality, and hence can improve your search ranking and beat your competitors.
4. Write Testimonials or get interviewed
If you notice the testimonials given by many people, they always include a small description about themselves in the end. Like where are they from, their profession and their website.
You can take advantage of this to build backlinks to your blog.
Let’s say some high authority blog/website is selling some product/services to their readers. On the sales page of that product/service, that blog is providing testimonials to create a social proof for the readers.
Then you can write a testimonial for that product/services and include a link to your blog in the description.
This way to build backlinks to your blog is quite trending these days.
You can find a number of websites which provide SEO, social marketing, email marketing, link building services, have added a testimonial from their previous customers.
Similarly, fitness blogs which offer coaching/consultancy also display the testimonials of the people who have improved their health due to their coaching.
Further, other niches like photography, content creators, logo designers etc also add testimonials on their website and link their clients.
All you need to do is to write a testimonial for these websites and build backlinks to your blog.
Another way to build backlinks to your blog is by getting ‘interviewed’.
The only downside of using this approach is that you should have some interesting story to share. If you hadn’t done anything worth telling the audience, why will anyone ‘interview’ you?
Moreover, if you are a small blogger, it’s pretty tough to get interviewed.
Nevertheless, if you able to get ‘interviewed’ on an authority blog, they will definitely write a description about you and will link to your ‘blog’ there.
Overall, writing testimonials and getting interviewed are both effective ways to build backlinks to your blog.
5. Blog commenting:
This is one of the most popular and simple ways to build backlinks.
Simply visit the blog in your niche, read their article and write a relevant comment.
Most of the blog comments have 4 options to fill- ‘Name’, ‘email’, ‘website’ and ‘comment’. Do not forget to include the link to your website in the description. Otherwise, there will be no use for writing that comment for building backlinks.
Further, please note that here I’m suggesting blog commenting, not spamming.
Always write a relevant comment about the post like what you liked about the post, what the author missed, any suggestions, what you didn’t understand about the post etc.
Most of the blogs have a comment ‘moderation’ feature, which means that your comment will never get ‘accepted’ by the admin if you are just spamming.
Note: The quality of backlinks by blog commenting is inferior. Most of the blog comments offer ‘no follow’ links. And it’s the ‘do follow’ links that matters more in order to build backlinks to your blog.
Read more about ‘no-follow’ and ‘do-follow’ links here.
Nevertheless, even ‘no follow’ links can help you a little to build backlinks to your blog.
6. Link exchange
Link exchange is a good way to build backlinks to your blog. It is simple, yet effective.
Here’s what you need to do to build backlinks to your blog using ‘link exchange’.
Reach out to the blog owners with ‘similar’ domain authority in your blog niche.
Ask them for mutual benefits i.e. you will create a backlink for their blog and they will link back to your blog.
Further, also ask for a guest post-inter-change. Guest post is even better than just ‘link swap’ as it will help you to drive traffic and create a ‘social presence’ for that blog audience. Suggest that you will write a guest post on their blog and will accept a guest post on your blog.
As this ‘link exchange’ will mutually benefit both the blogs, the chances are that many of them will accept your request.
An important point to note here is that while asking for ‘link exchange’ always prefer the blogs/website with similar authority/reputation as that of your website.
If you are exchanging link with blogs of low authority, it won’t help you much to improve your search engine ranking.
Further, if you asking to exchange link with blogs of way ‘high’ domain authority than that of yours, they won’t accept the offer. And why should they? This link exchange won’t help them in their ranking.
That’s why the key rule to link exchange is to go to the blogs/websites with similar authority.
Here are the 6 Pro Tips to Build Backlinks to Your Blog
“But how did you do it? No one is signing up on my forms. I’m rarely getting one or two subscribers in a day?”, Gourav asked peevishly.
He has been taking a few blogging tips from me for the last two months. In fact, I was the one who motivated him to start blogging.
“What are you giving them in return?”, I asked politely.
“I’ll be sending them my weekly newsletter…. I’ll send them the best articles published every week”, Gaurav replied energetically.
Gaurav owns a tech blog where he gives reviews on the latest electronic gadgets and technology. In the last two months, he has written over 40 blog reviews.
“No, I mean what are you giving your subscribers right away when they sign up….
…What you’ll be giving them in the future is of no value to them unless they really get it. As of now, they don’t know how valuable your weekly newsletters can be… What are you giving your potential subscribers instantly- for an exchange of their personal email id?”, I tried to explain the question further.
“Ah… a promised… of useful newsletters in future”, Gaurav smiled awkwardly.
“Haha, but that’s not enough Gaurav!! You need to give your potential subscribers something valuable right away to motivate them to enter their email id in your opt-in form…
…Most people are now habituated to ignore these opt-in forms as they are everywhere. No one bothers to sign up for these forms anymore. Until and unless you give them something of big value for FREE, their reflex will be to close that form.”, I added.
“But I’m giving value to them through my blog posts. I have written so many awesome contents. Why won’t they subscribe then?”. Gaurav replied quickly.
“Because they can come back and read your article whenever they want. Why share their personal email information for that?…
…Unless it’s really something ‘that’ valuable, no one will give their precious email id. When was the last time you subscribed for any email list without getting any ‘amazing’ thing for FREE?”
“I signed up on Snapchat for free…” , Gaurav smiled wickedly.
“I know why you joined Snapchat, buddy 😀 ….
… anyways, the point is that you should give something valuable to your readers for FREE to get their email id in exchange. Many people also call it a lead magnet or bait. But, don’t mind the term…
…This FREE valuable thing can be an ebook, checklist, guide, tool-kit, resource list or anything that can be useful to the people. But the bottom line is that it should motivate people enough to give their email id in exchange.”
Finally, after a half an hour of explanation, Gaurav slowly stated grasping the concept that I wanted him to learn. This was something that I learned the hard way. And that’s why I didn’t want Gaurav to repeat the same mistake that I did for a long period of time.
The Shoddy Beginning of My Email List Building:
I started my blog Trade Brains in January 2017. However, until April 2017 I didn’t place any sign-up form on the blog to collect emails. The first time when I placed the opt-in form on my blog was May 2017.
During the start, I placed the sign-up form on my blog just because I read on many marketing websites that every blogger should collect emails. Therefore, I also placed an opt-in form asking for ‘Name’ and ’email-id’ with a sign-up button. I didn’t monitor the number of sign-ups for the next two month. I was happy that I’ve placed the sign-up form on my blog and was dreaming that my list will be built soon.
However, at the end of June 2017, the result was totally different than what I expected. There were less than 200 subscribers, even though my blog was getting a monthly traffic of over 20,000 pageviews per month.
After reading the report, I started learning a lot about how to build a massive email list. I just could not believe that I wasn’t able to convert the majority of my blog traffic into the email subscribers.
And that was really hurting me from inside. At one specific moment of time, I even started considering that my blogs were not good enough and that’s why people are not subscribing to my newsletters. However, the pageview stats were saying a completely different story that my subscribers count.
How I really build my email list of over 18,000+ Subscribers?
I got sincere about building an email list from July 2017. I read over a hundred of famous marketing blogs like QuickSporut, Backlinko, Social Trigger, Shout me loud etc to learn the different strategies and tips to build the list.
And then I learned the beautiful concept of lead magnet…
A lead magnet is an incentive that marketers offer to potential buyers in exchange for their email address, or other contact information. Lead magnets usually offer a piece of digital, downloadable content, such as a free PDF checklist, report, eBook, whitepaper, video, etc.
I write blogs in investing niche – Stocks market investing and personal finance. And the most valuable topic in this niche is- “How to select stocks to invest for consistent returns?”
Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned investor, this is the topic that will fascinate anyone related to this area. This is the golden question which everyone is looking for.
And I am giving away an 18 page of a comprehensive guide on this topic for FREE on my blog.
I wrote a post of over 4,000+ words, added lots of relevant pictures and converted it into a pdf. It took me around 5 days to write this massive post… And I am giving this pdf to all my subscribers for FREE.
Anyways, those hard work of 5 days- helped me build a huge list of over 18,000+ subscribers and beyond (It is still helping me to build the list bigger).
In short, there’s a very simple formula to build a gigantic email list. Give something really valuable to your subscribers for FREE… in exchange of their email id.
Few Important Guidelines to build a huge email list:
Giving something valuable is just the formula. However, you should also know how to use this formula effectively. Otherwise, if you put the wrong values in any formula, the results will be wrong, won’t they?
Here are few important guidelines to build a huge email list:
1. Add Multiple Opt-in Forms on every page (without any guilt)
I use three Opt-in forms on every single page of my blog. My main aim is to increase the subscriber list. So, I put it everywhere- shamelessly. Even if a single ‘off-placed’ Opt-in form helps me to get 4 subscribers in a day, I can get around 1500 subscribers from it in a year.
You can’t be both shy and also wish to collect emails automatically. If you want to build a huge list, then you have to ask to give the email id from your readers. Place your Opt-in forms everywhere- Header, Footer, Sidebar, After post etc.
2. The pop-up form works the best
First of all, I would like to mention that Google doesn’t hurt your ranking for using pop-up forms. Many of my articles still rank in the first position and first page of Google for multiple keywords.
Moreover, most people are now used to ads and pop-up. They won’t get annoyed seeing these forms. So, use the pop-ups freely.
Now, I’ve experimented with opt-in forms on headers, sidebars, embedded between articles, footer, scroll bar and a lot of many places. However, the conversion rate (visitors converting into subscribers) of the pop-ups are the best.
That’s why if your main aim is to build a big email list, you should sincerely consider placing a pop-up form on your blog.
Quick Note: If you are feeling a little diffident to show a pop-up just after a person enters your blog, then you can always use the exit pop-ups. These pop-ups only show up when the readers are about to exit (if you move your cursor towards the top of the browser to close the tab, then it will show a pop-up in between). Further, as your readers are already going to exit, what harm can you do by showing a pop-up at that moment? Most of the marketers use exit pop-ups these days. Its conversion rate is high (but not as high as a regular pop-up form).
3. Use opt-in in ‘About’ Page
The people who visit your ‘About’ page are really interested to know more about you. And if they like your story, they will readily become a subscriber. Therefore, always include a sign-up form on the ‘About’ page of your blog.
However, the only problem here is that very fewer people will actually read your about page. If a person is looking for a quick answer on your blog (through a google search), he might not be ready to read your about page.
Nevertheless, for the other population of people who reads your about page, the conversion rate is quite good.
4. Add social proofs
“Join 18,000+ Subscribers” vs “Join our Newsletter”. Which one is more appealing?
The first one, right?
Here, the fact that 18,000+ people have already subscribed to this newsletter, acts as a social proof and makes the people think that it should be really something awesome- that’s why so many people have subscribed for the list.
In short, just add the numbers and it will help you build even a bigger one.
NOTE: Don’t worry if you have just 1,000 subscribers when you start this strategy. Just be honest and write the numbers. Further, it’s good to have some social proof rather than none.
5. Create a FREE eCourse
This is my final tip. Again- here you are going to give a great value to your subscribers. Although it might take you a lot of time to build a good course. However, the conversion rate of email courses is ‘damn’ high.
In my case, I didn’t start the eCourse to build the list. I created the 7-day eCourse with an expectation that people will read the emails every day and if they liked it, they will come back to my website and engage with me if they have queries. Doing so, I wanted to build a trust and relationship with my readers.
But, woohh!! The conversion rate of that free course was really good.
Again, the conclusion is the same… People love getting valuable kinds of stuff for free.
The eCourse helped me a lot in increasing my subscriber count. Further, it also helped me in building a consistency and momentum among my subscribers to frequently refer my blog– which additionally helped in increasing the repeat traffic.
When I first started blogging, I was always astonished while seeing the famous bloggers having 100,000+ subscribers. But now that I have got a successful blog- Trade Brains, I can say that building a massive email list is not that difficult.
A huge newsletter subscriber is a side product of having a successful blog. If you are already getting a good traffic on your blog, it’s not much burdensome to turn them into subscribers- ‘if you know the strategy’. Just add value to your reader’s life and you can easily convert them into your loyal subscribers.
Enough Said! Now you know all my secrets. And it’s your time to act right away- Start building your list. Good luck!!