In the business of internet and affiliate marketing, there are certain things that we learn early on in the process which will help us promote our service, products, and causes. We know for instance, that if we want to get the traffic we need to a webpage, we want to use good keywords. You know the ones I'm talking about, those keywords which many thousands of people search for each and every month.
We also know that if we want our webpages to show up high in search results for a particular word or phrase, we want plenty of "Do Follow" backlinks, especially in the form of contextual links, sprinkled across the internet. If you're an affiliate marketer you also know that you want to be selling products that offer a high commission and better yet, if those products are high priced. It sounds much easier to sell ten $3,000 products each month versus three thousand $10 products to make a good beginning income.
While I would agree that these basic assumptions are true, I do sometimes specifically violate them, and not uncommonly with good results. I suppose it's like diversifying an investment portfolio. Bonds and CD's may offer more security (although they aren't risk free) but small cap stocks can show you big gains if you use them strategically. In other words, even in today's rough market, even small cap stocks have value and shouldn't be ignored. Your strategy needs to be balanced.
I feel the same is true with internet marketing. We sometimes have tunnel vision that probably doesn't always play to our advantage.
In my experience, even those keywords that receive less traffic can prove quite valuable. It seems that if there are only 500 searches on a given keyword each month, many marketers won't bother with it. But what if there is very little competition for that keyword? Getting those 500 visits, especially from 500 hundred buying searchers could have some very positive results. I have a webpage about polka dot umbrellas. The search volume was only a few hundred per month when I made that, but competition was very limited. That webpage isn't a big dollar earner, but it is a very consistent earner. Making an extra $5-$15 each month is a good thing in the long run. Now imagine having 20 such pages.
With less competition, I don't have to spend much time promoting that page. My return on investment stands to be quite good in this type of scenario.
Of course this also leads to a discussion about selling lower cost products. Most affiliate marketers make a certain percentage of sales. For instance, if you sell on Amazon you may earn from 4 to 8% on the price paid for a given product. Clearly, selling ten $300 digital cameras will bring in more income than selling ten $20 bread boxes. However, a balance between the two has worked well for me. For me, lower priced items such as paper towel holders continued to sell even when the worst of the economic downturn occurred, but $2,000 LCD televisions bottomed out for a while.
In addition, with programs like Amazon, it can be important to sell a higher volume of products. With their performance related commission structure, affiliates can earn a higher percentage by selling a larger volume of products. If you sell only high dollar items, your volume tends to be lower. With less expensive items, I find I often sell more. These products may bring in fewer dollars, but their high volume sweeps me into the higher overall percentage for my sales. In the end, those low priced items give my monthly income a significant boost.
Much of my time spent marketing affiliate products is spent writing articles, posting to forums, directories, social bookmarking, and so forth to establish backlinks to my webpages where I sell products. I will admit that I'm pretty consumed with establishing as many "Do Follow" backlinks as possible. However, I sure wouldn't pass up the opportunity to establish some easy "nofollow" backlinks. Again, as internet marketers we need to remember that the "nofollow" attribute added to a link doesn't render them useless.
A "nofollow" link associated with a very useful article or informative forum post has the same power to divert readers to your webpage as it's "Do Follow" cousin. No difference whatsoever. In addition, Google isn't the only search engine in the universe. I have no evidence that other search engines necessarily discriminate between "Do Follow" and "nofollow" links. In addition, while Google doesn't pass along page rank to "nofollow" links, that doesn't mean it gives them no value at all. All that I am suggesting, is that having "nofollow" links, especially on a high traffic site, may be very valuable despite the fact that many marketers ignore this fact. Personally, I'll take traffic wherever I can get it. Bing, Yahoo, Ask, and all of the other search engines can boost my sales too.
In the long run, I think a strategy has to be balanced. Google can not be ignored, doing so would be foolish. Spending all of your time on low volume keywords would also be folly. However, I would suggest that a balanced approach may help establish a more dependable monthly income and this can be done by recognizing the value of "low hanging fruit".