Before we begin with the 5 steps let’s define two things quickly:
Passive Income is income earned while you are not actively working on your product or website.
Affiliate Income is income rewarded to you when you refer your customers/readers to another business and those users pay for something. This successful transaction from a referral is also known as a conversion.
Step 1 – Understand your audience
What are they visiting your website for? What else could they want? What is their demographic? One Page Love (OPL) readers are designers, developers, business owners and entrepreneurs. They are building websites and want inspiration. They could want tools relating to building websites.
Tip: Send out a survey once a year to your readers asking a bit about them. Give them something free to say thanks for their time and they’ll answer more in depth.
Step 2 – Find the right fitting Affiliate services or products
Seek out online services or products you think your readers will appreciate. The more relevant to your reader, the higher your conversions will be, which in turn will increase your passive income. Here are some examples:
- You blog about WordPress, you can recommend WordPress experts WP Kraken (25% of any successful job completed)
- You blog about eCommerce, you can recommended Shopify (20% recurring income or $358 per successful paying signup)
- You blog about a niche topic, promote any related product on Amazon.com and receive 4% of the cost of the product if a user purchases it. If you refer more than 7 sales in a month, your affiliate commission jumps to 6%. An example could be you are a travel blogger and you are recommending quality headphones for traveling.
- OPL recommends website hosting to host your One Page websites. There are lots of hosting affiliate programs out there. A good one is BlueHost at $80 per signup or WP Engine at $200 per signup.
Tip: When visiting any service website, scroll to their footer and search for the word affiliate. Their affiliate program link normally hangs out there. Once found go through the steps and apply. They will need to approve you which usually takes 24hrs. Sometimes it is instant. Once approved they give you a URL unique to your account.
Step 3 – Create your own adverts
This is definitely a downfall of an ad-network managing what is displayed on your website. Create spacious, clear and to-the-point adverts with great imagery. Match your color scheme and keep the font consistent with the website. Make the advert look like it’s a recommendation by your brand.
Tip: “Split Test” those adverts. This means your adverts are displayed randomly on page load but evenly rotate. There are some good WordPress plugins that can do this for you without any hard coding. The statistics will tell you which adverts were clicked more and which didn’t do so well. You’ll remove the bad adverts then create new adverts trying to compete with the good ones. It’s pretty fun stuff and over time you’ll have a solid click rate:)
Step 4 – Link those adverts to articles about the product/service within your website
This is definitely my biggest tip and I can’t emphasise how much this increases your conversions. Link your advert to an article in your own website written by yourself. Within the article each time you mention the product/service use your unique affiliate URL so the visitor is “tracked” and the 3rd party knows the referral came from you. This is an example of an advert on OPL that links to an article within the website:
The other downfall of an ad-network managing your advertising is that you are reliant on the “landing page” of the product/service after the user clicks the advert. This step briefs the user in your own friendly tone. Think of this step as “preparing” the user before they leave. They know what to expect before they even leave your website.
Tip: Test the services yourself then write about them. Don’t recommend services you don’t like. Use your same personal tone you use for the rest of the websites content. Tell them why they would benefit using the product/service. Be honest and transparent. Talk about the downsides too. This will build trust and in turn increase your conversions.
Step 5 – Keep your advertising fresh and relevant
Regular readers will start ignoring the repeating adverts. Keep the imagery fresh. Also keep trying new affiliate services and don’t be afraid to bullet the services that aren’t converting.
Tip: Subscribe to the affiliate newsletters of the converting products/services and act fast when new specials are available. Sometimes a special runs for 48hrs. Make a reminder when to remove a limited special. Being pro-active will definitely attract reader interest and in turn increase conversions.
What about the increase of Advert Blockers?
Advert blockers pick up ad-network generated adverts but don’t usually hide custom adverts within your website.
Tip: Don’t stop trying to think of smart ways to promote products/services within your content. If the service is relevant to the blog post, then link to the article within the text just like you did with the adverts.
Content is always key
The 5 steps above are really effective but will only truly escalate income if you have good content. You need keep adding fresh quality articles to your website, be pro-active online and continuously focus on growing your audience. Keep hustling.