How To Make Your First $1000 As An Affiliate…

by Justin Goff on March 15, 2011 · 81 comments

This post will be the “kickstart” you need to make your first $1000 online…

When I started as an affiliate online, I was a 20 year old college student at Ohio State.  I had a poker affiliate site running and was making a few dollars here and there.  But I never really broke through and started to make good money until I started to focus on a few specific things…

Just last week I was hanging out in San Diego with a few of my internet marketing friends…. In between some of our beach sessions, I started talking with them about blog post ideas for Shoe’s blog.  One of the things that kept coming up was they both said I need to make an “exact” blueprint to getting started online.

Hanging out in San Diego I found this cool pup chilling at the beach...

I’ve said this before, getting started online is the hardest part.  Going from 0-10 sales per day is a lot harder than going from 10-100 sales per day.

So over the next few weeks, I’m going to do a series on “How To Make Your First $1000 As An Affiliate” – and break down exactly what you need to do to make your first $1000.  Sound good?

Let’s Get Started…

Before I give out my big tips, you need to agree to a few things here with me…

1.  You’re willing to put in at least 2 hours of work per day (this includes weekends)

2.  You’re willing to do stuff that might be boring and tedious…

3.  You won’t quit before you make your first $1000

If you agree with all of those, then you’re ready to get rolling…

Justin’s 3 Step Process For Making Your First Dollar…

1.  Find an offer to promote…

  • I’m going to give a shameless plug for my fat loss product on Clickbank since it converts very well.  Also I understand this niche the best so I’ll be able to give you the best advice on how to make money with it…  Feel free to promote any product you want that fits the following criteria…
  • If you want to promote a different product here’s something to focus on – find a niche that solves a problem.  The big 3 are always good places to start (health, wealth and relationships).  Whatever you do, don’t follow the old adage of “do what you love and the money will follow”.   That’s complete bullshit.  Market forces determine how much money you can make, not whether or not you “love something”.  If you happen to love something that is in a good niche, then you have the perfect niche for yourself.  I happen to love fitness stuff, so the 31 Day Fat Loss Cure is right up my alley…
  • Another good tip is you should try to find a niche that has a magazine based around it.  In MOST cases, if there is a magazine in that niche then its a profitable niche and you’ll be able to make money…

2. Drive traffic to your offer…

So let’s use the example of you promoting The 31 Day Fat Loss Cure.  And I’m going to assume you have no money to use for paid traffic.  Here’s the best way to make money with this offer…

Task 1: Pick off the easy sales with SEO’d blogs or articles…

The easiest way to make sales is to have pages that rank for what I like to call “money keywords”.  Instead of trying to rank for something generic like “fat loss”, you’re better off trying to hone in on a small keyword such as “31 day fat loss cure review”.   When someone is searching for these terms, they are actively looking to buy the product.  This means your conversions will be MUCH better than for general terms like “how to lose weight”.

And better conversions means more money for you!

So to get started,  here’s a few of the best converting keywords for our site (straight from my Google Analytics)

  • 31 Day Fat Loss Cure
  • The 31 Day Fat Loss Cure
  • www.31dayfatlosscure.com
  • 31 day belly fat cure
  • 31 day fat loss plan
  • vic magary
  • vic magary fat loss
  • vic magary scam
  • 31 day fat loss cure scam

So what you need to do here is pretty simple.  Take the keywords I just gave you and either make a site with multiple pages on it for each keyword or make a bunch of Squidoo lenses, HubPages or press releases.

This is where the grunt work comes in.

If you want to make good money writing SEO articles you need to write A LOT of articles.  I recommend at least 4-5 per day.  Basically all you need to do is crank out an article in 20-30 minutes.  Get a kitchen timer and set it for 20-30 minutes and then crank out a quality article in 20-30 minutes.  This will get easier as you become a better writer.  Copyblogger has a great post about how to write an article in 20 minutes

In your articles what you’ll want to do is base your article around the keyword you’re writing about – and then write a good 500 word article about that keyword.  Make sure you put lots of links in the article (with your affiliate link) going to the product.  You also want to make sure you end the article with a good call to action to get them to go check out the website (with your affiliate link of course).

I don’t wanna overwhelm you with too much stuff right off the bat, so get started on this right away.  Here’s a quick wrap-up for what you need to do…

1.  Pick your product to promote (find an in-demand niche that will last)

2.  Get a list of keywords together for that product (make sure you get “buying” keywords and not just generic keywords)

3.  Write 4-5 articles per day on your “money keywords”  (do this on article sites like Squidoo, or on your own blog/website)

I’ll be back next time with step 2 of the process…

- Justin

full disclosure

About the author...

– who has written 26 posts on ShoeMoney.com.

Justin sells the highest paying fat loss product on Clickbank called the 31 Day Fat Loss Cure. Get more info on being an affiliate here or check out the best damn podcast about the crazy world of Internet Marketing


Justin recommends you check out these amazing posts:

  1. Shoemoney Featured Post 2 Simple ways to reduce spam complaints
  2. traffic-jam-web How To Outsource Your Traffic Generation
  3. bad idea My Top 10 Worst Ideas To Make Money

{ 81 comments }

1 Eddie Gear - The Guy With An Attitude

Hi there Justin,

This is wonderful. Thanks for sharing your tips, ideas and insights. I hope to one day make a decent living with my blogs. Thanks again.

2 d3so

what if we don’t want to write all that and have money to spend.
SEO is a very slow and tedious process.

3 Backlink Checker

Ok, interested how this will go! Ill keep an eye on it.

4 Justin Goff

thanks man…

5 Trung Nguyen

Sadly I do not make any money from Affiliate program.

6 Alessandro

Thanks for sharing this basic but essentiail SEO information. In the end it doesn’t look difficult. But I would like to ask a timeframe from day zero to say $1000/month from your experience: 1 year? 2 years? 3 years time?

7 Justin Goff

6-12 months if you’re hammering out 4-5 articles per day.

It will quickly escalate too. Most of the people I know who hit $1000 per month, usually hit $3000 per month shortly after that.

8 Brian

When you tell people you will teach them isnt there a fine line to what you can tell them. If they master the niche too then they will become your competitor. I am sure that is not what you want. I have never really been successful in converting.

9 Austin

Well no! I think one of the keys to real success is in generosity and being happy to share what you know. If someone makes the big time because of the way s/he implemented something learned from me, no problem: I don’t see that as having a new competitor, I see that as having a powerful new colleague and ally!

10 wpMantra.Com - Best of WordPress

Your link http://ww.31dayfatlosscure.com/affiliates retuns 404 Not Found.
www.

11 BossReyes

Nice post, definitely something that is proven to work.

No one will actually do this, but if one does do it, they’ll reap the benefits of hard work.

12 House Rental On Craigslist

I especially like this part. I can’t tell you how many people I try to show this to and they refuse to put the work in. Slow and steady gets rich but not in an instant.

If you want to make good money writing SEO articles you need to write A LOT of articles. I recommend at least 4-5 per day.

13 Filip

Justin,

with your experience, how long does it take for articles on article sites like Squidoo to really pick up some traffic ?

Off topic: the commentform says :

If you’re going to enter an email, remember to use http://
?? That´s new to me …
I guess it should be :
If you’re going to enter a website, remember to use http://

Thanks,

Filip

14 Justin Goff

depends on what keywords you write them for, and also how many links you get. But you can pick up traffic in 30-60 days usually with some good links.

15 Adam

I fail to see how doing something you don’t enjoy doing just to make money is a good idea. That’s what a regular job is for If you pick a product that you have no knowledge of and are in it just for the money, it will flop, and fast. You have to be at least slightly interested in what your doing, or your wasting your time.

16 Justin Goff

“If you happen to love something that is in a good niche, then you have the perfect niche for yourself.”

Reading is your friend.

17 Adam

“Whatever you do, don’t follow the old adage of “do what you love and the money will follow”. That’s complete bullshit.”

I think I read the above somewhere, but can’t put my finger on it :)

18 Justin Goff

I’m not sure what you’re getting at.

If you pick a business solely on the basis if you “love” it or not, you’re not being very smart. As I said in the post “love” wont determine how much money you can make.

Market forces determine how much money you make. So just by doing what you love doesn’t guarantee you’ll end up with money.

Too many people get swayed by that B.S. mantra.

19 Adam

I’m just saying that doing something solely based on greed is a recipe for disaster and heartache. At least if there is some heart behind the effort, your effort will not be in vain.

20 Nikki

Thanks for the info. I look forward to reading the rest of your post.

21 Jamie

How do you get people to follow you on Twitter when you really don’t have many friends?

22 Justin Goff

I dont use Twitter. I dont really see the ROI in it

23 Ed

ROI might be sooner than you think. Twitter is free. If you have a wp blog, the WordPress plugin to automate your tweet is free.

24 Austin

Hi, first set up an account with Twellow.com – it’s free (make sure you give a full, honest and interesting profile without a sales pitch) and then search and follow as many people as you want in the categories you’re interested in. Most will follow you back. Then sign up with socialoomph.com. and automate following those who follow you, automate your welcome messages, explore the various tools and choose what works for you. Then tweet like crazy (you can tweet via both these sites, you can also pre-tweet) about things that will be of real interest to your targets. No direct sales pitch but always tweet your link. @ people whose tweets you like & retweet for the same reason. A little every day is the way with this. Don’t expect too much too soon but if you keep at it, you’ll have loads of followers and loads of targeted clicks.

25 Chad Nicely

I agree with the above statement, and I agree with your post. You have identified the key components to make money selling ClickBank products, but in order to create a good sales copy on your blogs, or review sites you really need to have your heart into that product and have a good understanding. Somehow you have to appeal to people emmotions and I think it is much better if you can do it and keep your integrity.

Oh and hey this good looking gal over here on the right side of your blog is driving me nutes! ;) Cheers, Chad

– Chad

26 James G

Wow, i like this post, i will learn a lot and waiting for step 2,
Thanks for sharing this

27 Steve Smith

Justin, no offense, but this article is seriously lacking. First, you have a broken link to your site. Second, you mention that you should do something to make money, not do something you love. Isn’t that exactly what people are trying to get away from? People want to LEAVE their 9-5 job that they hate, but do because it makes them money.

I’m not sure which is worse: Justin’s article, or Shoe’s willingness to post it..

28 Justin Goff

Again, if you actually read the post you would understand what I said.

I am NOT advocating doing something you hate. What I am saying is that you shouldn’t be fooled by the bullshit mantra of do “do something you love and the money will follow”

The real world does not work like that. If you happen to love something that’s in a good market, then even better – but don’t think that just because you love something you’re going to make money doing it.

- Justin

29 jonas

I don’t think this is a hard concept to grasp… Justin you are spot on maybe people need to look at it differently. People hate 9-5, people like me I work at a bank and I am constantly being told what to do and how to do things and what to say. And to boot I have to stay in a cubicle from 9-5. with Affiliate marketing I can work from home watch my kids grow up in front of me instead of facebook all while pitching some skin cream I could care less about. Yeah I love skin cream if it keeps me at home. If you don’t want to be successful stay at your 9-5.

30 David

Doing something you “don’t love” is quite different from wanting to escape from something you “hate”. The lure is not so much what is fulfilling, or not, for a lot of people. The lure is can I make more money doing something I like “better” than what I’m doing now.

Personally, I will take an upgrade any day. A little more money and a little more like with each thing, and pretty soon you ARE doing what you love and getting paid very well to do it.

I applaud the article. I just wish it was posted all at once. But, keep ‘em comin’ back is the name of the game…

31 lukuge

“If you happen to love something that is in a good niche, then you have the perfect niche for yourself.”
yeah,i think it’s right,it’s useful for me,thank you!

32 Astrid

“Get a list of keywords together for that product (make sure you get “buying” keywords and not just generic keywords)”
Can you please explain what you mean by “buying” keywords? Thanks!

33 Justin Goff

someone searching for “31 day fat loss cure” is in buying mode, while someone looking for “fat loss” probably is just looking for information

34 chris

When will part 2 be coming? :)

35 John

“”Whatever you do, don’t follow the old adage of “do what you love and the money will follow”. That’s complete bullshit.””

^This… I have to say I’m getting sick of people like Gary V running around preaching this.

At some point you have to face the music… boring stuff makes money. It’s fine if you want to follow your passion… meanwhile I’ll do the boring stuff that I’m not so passionate about and make more money.

36 Steve Smith

Justin, your response to Adam, where you say ‘Reading Is Your Friend’, really makes you look like a child.

37 Nikki

I understand what Justin and so many others are saying about not just trying to do what you love. What if doing what you love is not profitable? Just because you love something doesn’t mean it is profitable. Also what if doing something you do not love will bring you more money than doing what you love?

And what limitations are you putting on yourself focusing in such a narrow area. If you look at a lot of businesses and hear their stories about how the owner got started, it is not doing what they loved but instead an opportunity to make money in a area that didn’t have anyone to fulfill the demand.

38 Austin

Fascinating debate about what is essentially a good article. Clearly doing something you love is a happy thing. But so is making money! I ‘run two races’ at the same time. I have a website built around a genuine niche interest that I also make money from because my natural enthusiam for the subject makes the work easy and attracts exactly the people who might want to buy the stuff I sell. I also run another project that involves sites in other niches that I’m not especially passionate about per se (which make more money) but I am passionate about this work of affiliate marketing in itself. The changing internet marketing world and strategies fascinates me and I just love watching my little empire grow. So, a little ‘drudgery’ is necessary but isn’t really drudgery anymore because I love the results and know precisely what I’m working for. I guess if you’re not very successful that could be a different story. I like the post and will be back to see if there are any little gems for me to pick up in the rest of the series. Enjoy yourselves guys, life is brief and there’s no time to waste griping about what other people do – just get on and do your thing!

39 Debbie

I have been seriously looking at the ShoeMoney Plan, but I have a question. I have no website, or product, or service (that I know of), how can your program help me to earn money on the internet? I would really appreiciate anyones input or ideas that would be of use to me.
Thanks in advance.

40 Austin

Hi Debbie!

Get yourself a free website. There are loads of possibilities. Then use your website to publish original articles and reviews relating to your affiliate program and products, whichever you eventually choose. Always add you affiliate link. You can promote your chosen program in loads of free ways via free classified ads, social media, article publishing, blogs and commenting. On the other hand you don’t necessarily need your own website at all, you can just drive traffic to the program via your link and some programs (such as my own) give ready-made hosted sites to their affiliates. A little research will turn up literally hundreds of ways to promote your link and then it’s just a case of finding what works and going with it. It does take time to build but if you sign up on a good team you should get good support. I’m sure that Shoemoney Program would be an excellent way to start. All the best. If you need any help or advice (and you’re serious about becoming an affiliate marketer) then please get in touch – and read this site as it is packed with good stuff and great people!

41 Marco Lee

I mean surely, this is just the process and I can say, it is tedious and boring; The more reason people don’t succeed on it.

We must stick to it until we know what works and what’s not. We must stick to it until we have our first major income online.

42 Kyle

So i’m curious about the article writing part of this. I I thought this whole google change has affected the article content. Do you think it has affected anything?

43 Phil

Yes its tedious and boring. But, to succeed at anything in life let alone the internet affiliate world, you have to put time in and work at it… Looking forward to your next update…

44 James Keiser

Really looking forward to the other steps.

Another thing if I might add is stop doing tons of researching and just take action, this is something I struggled with when I first started as an affiliate. I would stay on forums 24/7 and never take action.

45 Austin

I totally agree with that, James! I think most of us have been there at some point. Little and often I have found works for me – but that little has to be something which directly counts as affiliate work not just pootling about ‘doing research’! I’m not against research, you understand, but yes, the balance has to be in favour of promotional activity. Driving traffic. That’s our job!

46 Xuantuyen

agree with your opinion, and so forth … perseverance will succeed!

47 Tilen

Thanks a lot for the tips. I’ll sure use these techniques and try to make my first $1000 as an affiliate marketer :)

48 Tony

Do you plan on talking about ppc?

49 Exposure PR

Well I wanna know how to earn $1000, please let me know. Thanks!^^

50 Chiropractor Hayward

I want it too! it is impossible

51 Calgary Home Business

Seeking out higher value links from strong authority sites will expedite this process. Don’t just look at article marketing as your primary form of SEO- look at a more holistic approach.

52 Emmet Gibney

Writing a “quality” article in 20-30 minutes is highly suspect, especially when your goal is really to just crank stuff out in hope of boosting your SEO. I’m not arguing against the effectiveness of your tactics here, I just think that this is the reason why the internet is full of so much crap and why Google’s search results don’t show the best results anymore.

The reason why most people fail to make money online is because they hate the process. That’s why the old adage of “do what you love and the money will follow” IS TRUE. Because if you’re doing something you love then you’re less likely to give up and move on to the next money making tactic. Understand these concepts is important, but if you’re looking for results by creating assembly line content in a soulless manor you’re not going to be very inspired to work through “the dip”.

If none of your “niche” interests are big money makers then you better love business for business sake. That way if you’re creating a business around fat-loss, or “how to get a girlfriend”, and you aren’t interested in those niches, then at least you’re loving the business building side of things. If you don’t love business, and you’re just studying this stuff because you are lazy and don’t want to work anymore then you’ll probably give up anyway.

53 Ulnyr

My first $1000 as an affiliate raw material buy

54 Lynn

Fascinating side line discussion about passion, loving what you do, purity, self righteousness, negativity, economics, $1000, 9-5 drudgery and life…. But a question about the main topic… the wonderful article! I have done some of this but find it hard to write 4-5 articles a day on the same topic and keywords. I actually write for Demand Studios so the writing isn’t difficult. It’s how to alter the article content every time. Could you address that? And thank you for this information! Well written, clear, concise, and hopefully profitable for all not arguing the facts of life. BTW – those reading here do have a passion for SEO, affiliate marketing, web design, working at home, freedom from 9-5, so this is a very good example of “do what you love and the money will follow”. Sometimes the topics you have to promote aren’t your passion, but I am passionate about the process as a whole. Again, thank you for your blog and I will be following your main site from now on.

55 lisa lafrance

How do you do a press release, and where? Also, should we be setting up a landing page or blogg? Do we do the articles on our own site or on hubpages?

56 meisy

Sorry, but this article is total bullshit. I don’t even trust that you ever made 1000$. For example – write article in 30 minutes and every day 5 articles – where is quality? Where is some benefit for reader? You’re just a generator of text. You can see bullshits in every single sentence.

57 Justin Goff

Do you really think Shoe would let me write for his blog if I didn’t “walk the walk”?

You can write a quality in 30 minutes, it just takes practice. Quit watching tv, get off Facebook and just write.

- Justin

58 Calgary Home Business

I remember back when this was called “BUM marketing”. It’s funny how times have changed.

If someone can wrap their heads around basic SEO, the long-tail keywords are the next logical steps and the first easy targets. Makes sense, doesn’t it? :)

59 Nancy

Justin,

Great article. Can you give suggestions on how to alter each of those 4-5 articles a day when the content is the same subject. That has been my difficulty in the past when writing for article sites.

60 Mark

It’s definitely realistic to focus on that first $1000 barrier, as it is probably the hardest part. Once you cross that barrier things tend to get easier… At least it means you are doing something right.

People need to understand that when they write there will be stuff that actual interests them and some stuff will be for their readers.

Thanks for the post Justin.

61 Finch

It’s a good point about looking for magazines to determine whether a niche is profitable. Definitely something to think about when looking over the shelves.

62 Adrian Childers

I love how your motives are so self interested to promote your own product while at the same time providing extreme value to the audience about how to make money with affiliate marketing.

63 Ashish Patel

hi justin,
awesome post :) thanks for sharing. I made a related post on my blog, the idea is same to use long-term keywords that converts well.

Ashish Patel

64 un fabrikaları

thanks a lot of for post

65 Pat Busch

After reading the inforrmation on your help pages—I feel that this in not something for me. Please refund my money immediately.

Thank you————–Pat Busch

66 jasmine

Hello Justin im so confused ive never done blogging i have no idea where to start or how to start for that matter.. Everything sounds easy but when it comes down to actually doing it im stuck i dont know how to start..

67 Shannon

I`m just wondering with this strategy, how do you determine if a keyword is too competitive and how many searches should it be getting? Also, after you post these articles to your blog or squiddo or wherever, where you continually keep posting the 4-5 you are writing throughout the day for 6-12 months?

68 Alberto

Justin,

I have a Spanish blog and my problem is to find the right product to promote in Spanish … do you think to translate your product to Spanish language?

69 Lisa

Well here it goes I don’t think I could be any lower so I just tried to spend my last 80.00 dollars on this and I think I just got access for not much! So this will tell all. I sold my house about a month ago and have been staying in hotels and in my car since then. Not where I want to be in my life. Lets see what you got!!!

70 abris terrasse bois

One of the most opportune websites I have discovered for know-how within this distinct niche market. I’ll be coming back every so often for new posts.

71 Marcus

Good post. Keep ‘em coming!

72 Barry Walls

While I think that this method will work, there are examples on some forums of people writing articles every day for years and earning less than $5k a month.

In addition, most people simply won’t do it due to 2 reasons. The first is the long range payoff and the second is the uncertainty in the payoff. It takes a tremendous amount of staying power to stick with a strategy like this, day in and day out for up to a year.

How about writing 5 or 10 articles a day for webmasters and selling them for $10 or $20 each first, which would give you a $1000 income in a week or two to invest in other parts of your business as you climb up the learning curve and build your bankroll?

73 Bloomington Health rates

You make it sound so easy. Maybe it is. I guess the key is indeed finding a product that people will buy.

the 5-10 articles per day, however, is a challenge.

74 Tim

Great post! Thanks for the good tips.

75 Doug

Do you have to pick one product or could you pick a whole category like writing about all Xbox action video games or fixed gear bike parts as two random examples?

76 lyndon

Thank you that interesting web-site, although i possibly could certainly not discover the rss feed

77 Shosh

what logo is the best selling for your 31 day fat loss? Could you email it to me?

thanks!

78 jan

come on, who can write 5 articles a day, thats very unrealistic and bs story

79 DAVID

i am 16 years old ..can i make a 1000$ ?

80 Sunny James

Hey Justin
why did the 31 day fat loss cure leave clickbank is it still being sold?

what else are you promoting

81 Tony

I agree with Adam. Why don’t you do something you LOVE and find out how to MAKE money with it? Now that is a recipe for success. Otherwise, it’s just another shitty day, with the exception of driving a nice BMW and drinking a glass of expensive champagne to relive your stress. It doesn’t have to be exactly what you love, but along the lines of it. I think too many people make the mistake of actually not doing something they are passionate about.

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