If you don't have an affiliate marketing website you'll need to set up at least one. If you don't, you'll be stuck with direct linking from the ad to the merchant's sales page. Yes, that still works, but the choice of WADS for that model is shrinking.
If you do have a couple of websites, you can go ahead and start applying the ALOFT Method to them. But don't skip this page though, because it has some great ideas for new websites.
If you already know how to use Wordpress or some other site builder, each new website shouldn't take more than a week to set up. That includes everything, even the content, which can be outsourced. But before you start, its important to talk about categories and markets.
Top level categories include things like finance, home, recreation, business, health, science, arts, sports, etc. Subcategories get a little more specific. Niches are small and tightly focused.
Subcategories work best for the ALOFT method. Top level categories are a little too broad. Niches are too narrow. The subcategory is just right. They are also fairly easy to set up and not too overwhelming to think about.
For example, a subcategory of health is personal fitness. You could sell things like home gym equipment, yoga stuff, weights, mats, supplements, clothing, workouts, diets and more. You don't have to include top level health category content like medical advice and nutrition.
Keep it simple and focus. Remember that the ALOFT method doesn’t rely on SEO for traffic, so you don’t need a lot of original content. 20-30 pages will do, but it has to be researched and written by professionals.
The purpose of the website is to "look pretty" to the affiliate managers so they let you join their affiliate networks. To look good to the WADS so they let you join their advertising networks. And somewhere to store all the contextually related landing pages that you'll be creating for the offers.
Now here's the sneaky part. You never show your landing pages to the affiliate networks or the WADS networks.
Show the networks your home page with links to all your internal pages and articles. It looks like a normal website of 20-30 pages. It has sidebars and article pages with display ads on them. To the networks, this looks like where their ads will appear. In reality, the heavy lifting is done by hidden landers.
Your website's internal pages do not link to the landing pages. You do not want the search engines, merchants, affiliate networks, etc finding them. The landing pages can link out to the rest of your site, but never link the site back to the landers, so they can remain hidden from spying eyes.
Do not try to write the privacy and policy pages yourself. Get the Legal Forms Generator by internet lawyer Mike Young. Just enter your company address and push the button. Copy and paste the HTML into your site. Done!
Here is a quick breakdown of some markets that I've used for the ALOFT Method. Hopefully they'll jump start some ideas for you.
Employment: job search, post a resume, resume writing services, resume tips, interview tips, job postings, etc
Entertaining: bartending, barbecue, parties, backyard, holidays, swimming pools, yard furniture, etc
Entertainment: sports memorabilia, collectibles, costumes, tickets, music gear, etc
Finance: loans for personal, cash advance, business, credit cards, reverse mortgage, insurance for life, home, term life, etc
Vacations: booking hotels, cruises, flights, travel tips, luggage, destinations, attractions, language courses, etc
Relationships: tips, advice, gifts, flowers, events, books, counselling, dating membership sites, etc.
Nutrition: vitamins, herbs, supplements, diets, food, home gym equipment, gear, apparel, training systems, etc
In the employment niche I can promote a number of affiliate programs. Each has their own landing page. Since the landing pages are not accessible from the main site, I can promote dozens of job related services, without them finding out about each other.
I also created a PDF full of resume tips. It's easy to customize this for each offer. I get an email address, or a survey question answered in exchange for the report. I also set cookies for the product or service, and for retargeting additional products.
Think about what job seekers need. It could be a resume writing service, a payday loan, a car loan, somewhere to submit the resume and look for jobs.
Then think about what the employer needs. Things like interview tips, what questions to ask, body language, somewhere to post the job opening, and find the resumes of people looking for work.
If you dive into it and start writing down everything you can think of, you'll find hundreds of things you can sell in any subcategory. Check into a directory like Best of the Web at botw.org and dig into the listings there. Or start on Wikipedia with a search for finance, health or employment and feast on the ideas from there.
All it takes a 20-30 page site that looks good and reads well. Get that set up and you'll have no problem gaining access to ad networks, affiliate networks and all the best affiliate programs. Then once you have one running, set up another so you can run offers in more categories.
I respect Michael’s work because he doesn’t talk about theory. He’s a successful marketer and all his strategies have been developed from much study, combined with his own trial & error experience. I applaud his willingness to share that wisdom with us.
Show up every day. Work. Pay attention to results. Think. Learn. Adapt. Desire to improve. There's no magic beyond that.