Text from my newsletter of 18th April.
If you prefer to listen:
These are challenging times for small businesses!
The growth of inflation is restricting peoples’ spending and increasing the cost of borrowing.
Partly, that’s the result of the economic stimulus programs that were put in place to help businesses over the pandemic, but the war in Ukraine and the sanctions on Russia are adding fuel to the fire.
Add in the disruption to global supply chains, and increasing geo-political tensions, and many businesses are facing a difficult, unpredictable, few years.
Mine certainly is.
The events and changes in Hong Kong over the past 3 years have caused 40% of my website customers to close down their businesses and leave.
And no new businesses are coming in.
Now, more than at any time since I set up my business, I’ve had to look for additional revenue streams to provide resilience.
I have a Plan B (already in place) and a Plan C.
My Plan B is to revive my affiliate marketing activities, which I started working on some months ago.
It was a logical choice, because I originally got into it as a side hustle, way back in 2003.
But here’s the thing:
If you’re already running a website for your business, you could incorporate affiliate offers into it and immediately create a new revenue stream. And it wouldn’t take much effort.
A simple example:
Let’s say you have a gardening business and a website that promotes it. You could join the Amazon affiliate program and advertise gardening books.
You would then earn a commission every time one of your website visitors clicked on the Amazon link and bought one.
And you would only have to copy and paste the snippet of code from Amazon into suitable locations on your website.
Whatever your business, you could quickly create a new revenue stream from your existing website, by advertising relevant affiliate products.
In case you’re interested, I’ve described the affiliate business model in detail in this article.
It’s written for people who are starting from scratch. But if you already have a website that’s attracting visitors, you already have an audience: you just need to find relevant products to include and advertise.
Of course, if you have a high enough volume of website visitors, you could sell advertising space directly, rather than via an affiliate program.
Whatever you choose for your Plan B, I do recommend you dust it off and get it ready to roll.
Most business owners I know already have theirs in place, or in the works.
This week’s links
I’ve covered affiliate marketing in the first two links this week, both of which are written for people starting from scratch.
Again, if you have a website that’s attracting visitors you already have an audience, so you’re well placed.
I’ve also covered why you should trust your marketing gut, rather than analytics, and how to keep your business safe from ransomware, a growing threat to all businesses.
How to create a niche affiliate site that earns 4 figures a month
Jenny Abouobaia goes through 6 detailed steps to create a niche website through which you promote products as an affiliate:
8 ways to come up with infinite content ideas
To be successful at affiliate marketing you need visitors to your website.
One way to get them there is to regularly publish relevant content, but that can be tough to sustain.
Blake Emal goes through 8 techniques that enable him to produce endless amounts of quality content:
Forget the analytics – trust your gut
Rand Fishkin shows, with an example from Liam Moroney, why analysing data from tracking tools is not reliable and, worse, can lead you to make bad decisions.
Trusting your gut is just as, or more, effective for small businesses.
How to protect your business from ransomware
In 2021, 37% of US businesses suffered a ransomware attack.
Don’t underestimate the emotional shock of being suddenly locked out of your data – Itai Elizur describes 4 simple ways you can protect your business.
Just so you know: this email may contain affiliate links. If you click one of them, and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission as a ‘thank you’ from the product or service provider. I only link to products or services that I use, or have used, and am proud to be associated with. There is no additional cost to you.
Cool (and smart) people and businesses to follow
Smart, current and insightful tips from:
Telephone Line is one of my favourite ELO songs – it’s beautiful. Here they are performing it live at Wembley Stadium:
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