Making money online is one of the most audacious goals out there. To be untethered from an office and work from anywhere there is internet access is a dream come true. I never thought I’d ever make a sustainable income stream online until I was hiking in Santorini, Greece back in 2011. A client e-mailed me to advertise on FS while I was sipping an overpriced $10 beer at a bar. I put up the code in 30 minutes, and he sent me a $1,250 Paypal 15 minutes later. It was then that I knew maybe, just maybe I could make a living online!
Selling links is not a sustainable way to make money online anymore. We’ve seen Google wipe out a massive amount of sites due to link building practices that violate their terms of service. While I continue to believe every single site owner can do whatever they want with their own sites, if you want to gain search traffic from Google, then it’s best to play by their rules.
For the past three and a half years since I left my day job, I’ve experimented with affiliate advertising. At first, I was reluctant, because it felt weird pushing a product. So instead, I decided to thoroughly use each and every product for several months before really writing about them on my sites.
Affiliate advertising is the best form of advertising because if you find the right products, they naturally complement the content on your site. I strongly suggest writing articles first, without having an affiliate product in mind rather than write an article for the main purpose of making money. This way, your article is much more natural. Readers can tell if you’re just writing another product review post for money, or if you truly feel the product provides value to your community.
Despite being a user of all the products I highlight on my site and spending hours testing new features and functionality, I felt I could do more to build the trust of my readership. Thus, I’d now like to introduce you to the “authority affiliate” model.