Content Strategy, Executive's Corner

Even in an age of Adsense, sponsorships, and companies like BuySellAds, affiliates remain the most cost effective way to sell your website traffic. I was told that on the very first day that I started to publish blogs. Back then, I didn’t believe it. Surely, I thought, it’s easier just to stick Adsense up and then profit from that. Surely there is more money is selling CPM banners?

It took me just a few weeks to realize I was wrong and now, several years later, more than 90% of the money I make on my websites comes from affiliates. The power of affiliates lies in the fact that you don’t need huge traffic to make money. It’s the quality of the traffic that matters. If you focus on the right industry, the right keywords, and the best affiliates, you can make a sizable profit even with 3,000 hits a month.

But what are the best industries? I have listed a few top picks below. I’ve focused on the ones that pay the highest based on the returns they generate as well as the money they offer, because a program that offer you thousands to sell a product that no one will ever buy is no good to anyone.

Stocks, Shares, CFDs, and General Trading

This is an industry that I have personally invested in and one that always generates a solid income, but there are pitfalls. “Trading” is a rather general term and one that encompasses everything from stocks and CFDs, to precious metals. Not all of these are high paying and very few are easy to convert into leads.

For instance, precious metal affiliates work on very small commissions and a small percentage of a small commission obviously doesn’t add up to much. The BullionVault affiliate program is a prime example of this.

Share/stock trading companies tend not to have affiliate programs, but you can find some great forex affiliate programs.

These will pay between $500 and $1000 per lead on average and because they offer all kinds of incentives to new members, it’s fairly easy to generate leads.

Outdoor Gear

This is a very lucrative industry on the whole and it’s one that’s growing year on year. For many, outdoor recreation is more than just a hobby, and as a content manager you can tap into that obsession.

The best thing about this industry is that there is a wealth of relevant subjects you can write about, all of which serve to bring those targets visitors into your website. You can cover extreme outdoor pursuits like mountain biking and sailing; you can cover hunting and fishing; or you can simply write about picnics and camping holidays.

You will earn 10% to 20% commission on all sales generated and the best thing about that is that the average family is happy to spend in excess of $1,000 on quality outdoor gear for every member of the clan; and the average hunter/angler is happy to splurge if it means they have the best tech. Orders are well over $100 and with good content you can generate at least 1 sale per 100 hits.

This means that even at the bottom end you can still make $100 a day just from 1,000 hits.

Supplements

The alternative health industry is big business and if you can join at the start of a new fad then you can make a killing from just a small number of targeted visitors. A close friend of mine was one of the first to cover chia seeds as a health food. There were other articles out there, but he did it on a large scale and while he didn’t really contribute to it becoming a fad, once it was one it was his site that was pushed to the top of Google.

That site sat in the shadows for two years and out of nowhere it turned into a six figure project. You can do the same with many other potential fads or you could just join them when they are at their most popular. You can earn as much as 15% selling standard products like melatonin and valerian and more if you promote those “As Seen on TV” products.

In my experience, they are best avoided. The products aren’t very good, there are many customer complaints and the companies rarely last, taking your earnings with them as they disappear into the night. But you can make a pretty penny by focusing on affiliates like bodybuilding.com Affiliate Program and by selling simple but effective products.

Health Clinics

Rehab clinics are a niche that is only just beginning to be exploited. Addicts will happily spend thousands on good, effective rehabilitation clinics and if you can tell them about those clinics and direct them to the right places, you can earn from that. What’s more, you’re also doing your bit to assist with an epidemic that is sweeping the country and causing chaos in every corner.

You can earn hundreds and even thousands of dollars from a single lead and there are many niches to cover. It’s not just rehab care either, as referrals to plastic surgery clinics, hair transplant clinics, and other health niches can also earn a lot of money.

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