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Vol. 1 issue #133 Jan 06, 2005



Turning Content Into Cash
© 2005 by Jo Han Mok


Let me ask you a question. Is your focus on getting
referrals and sales, or on building loyal, repeat

If you’ve mastered the PPC engines, you might be able
to get away with taking the lazy man’s approach to
affiliate marketing and make some decent money.
However, if your desire is to reap enormous profits,
you’ve got to put in more work than that. You need to
learn the difference between pushing a link and
pushing content.

If you think about it, your business is really in
content and education. Your sales come the commission
paid on the merchant’s products, but your product is

A great model to follow: a super scaled-down version
of About.com. That is the quality and variety of
content we’re considering here. If you haven’t visited
that site lately, take a moment to familiarize
yourself with it (http://www.about.com/). Notice how
each topical section is tight and highly focused?

Also, pay attention to your reaction as you browse the
site. You’ll see an abundance of information, in fact,
more than you can read in one sitting. Now, think
about recreating this feel on your own site. What can
you offer your visitors that leaves them feeling in
control, interested and wanting more? What can you do
to build a devoted audience that comes to you time and
again for the information you provide to them?


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Industry marketing

This is very important. Offer your visitors enough
information so that they feel they’re making their own
informed choices in the buying process. Of course, you
can still “pitch” to them in your newsletters – but
content helps you sneak in through the back door of
their unconscious resistance. It gets them on the same
page with you.

Let’s move it one step further. When you build a loyal
audience, an audience absolutely in love with your
site, you get repeat traffic and you get word of mouth
referrals. You get links. Even the search engines are
more likely to boost you in the rankings when you
provide this level of informative content.
Essentially, you build your site as an authoritative
hub on a specific topic.

So the question is, how do you make it work?

Obviously, I’m not recommending that you try to build
a site as large as About.com.

In fact, I don’t recommend the general approach at
all. You need to find a niche and acquire products for
that niche – or, if you’re working in reverse, take a
look at your existing affiliate programs and develop
content around the products.

You can start with as few as 10 targeted articles. Try
to add 2 to 3 new articles per month and let your
content grow over time.

If you aren’t a writer, you can source content from
reprint article distribution sites or have content
custom written for you by a ghostwriter.

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What type of content should you post? Remember that
your job is to educate the consumer (and, of course,
pre-sell them at the same time!). Therefore, you need
articles which inform and entertain. Think about the
information you would normally send to your subscriber
list, and start posting that information on site.

Here’s a good example: Let’s say you’re an affiliate
for an insurance company. Here are potential article
titles you might have on site:

“Ten Steps to Choosing the Right Health Insurance”

“Insurance Nightmares: What do you do when your
provider won’t pay?”

“HMO’s and PPO’s: What’s the Difference?”

"How to File a Claim”

“You’re Out of Job: Should You File for Cobra?”

You could add additional tools to this as well, like a
free calculator that compares a person’s current
insurance costs to that of the average insured
consumer their age.

Opportunities for referral link placement abound in
this model. You can push your own program, build
revenue through Adsense clicks or place other
strategic links which tie in well with article


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The one thing you don’t want to do is leave your
visitors hanging without a personal touch from you.
Content alone is a bit “cold” without personalization.
Notice how About.com uses a community “guide” model?
This is the role you’ll take on with your visitors.
So, you need to have an autoresponder set up to start
collecting leads – build a base of subscribers.

In fact, it’s not a bad idea to place a picture of
yourself on site and devote your landing page to an
introduction. This is an ideal place to nab potential
subscribers. Let them know you’re there to guide them
through the maze of content. Not everyone who visits
your site will understand all of the information
provided, but you can be there to speak personally to
them through your newsletter and guide them on the

Running a site on this scale can be a lot of work. It
may not be the model for you if you prefer building
mini affiliate sites. However, if you’re devoted to a
particular area of interest, this model can sustain
you in profit for a long time to come.

Jo Han Mok is a frequent guest and featured speaker at
Internet Marketing bootcamps and conferences on
subjects such as copywriting and Joint Venture
Marketing. Find out how he helped a 'techno-geek'
achieve financial freedom at http://www.PowerAffiliateMarketing.com



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