Do You Make Proper Use of Affiliate Marketing?

A friend of mine came to me recently for advice. He runs several websites and even gets lots of traffic, but not a lot in terms of monetary returns. He isn’t selling anything on his sites but he does have banner ads and a few other revenue sharing streams of potential income.

screen shot showing a representative sample of the site's content

He asked me to take a look at a couple of his sites. The first one I looked at is a recipe site about ethnic cooking. It gives lots of recipes and cooking tips for local dishes from all over the world.

I like the concept but it took me about 1/10th of a second to recognize two potential opportunities that he isn’t currently taking advantage of.

The first problem is one of positioning. The site targets mainly immigrants, helping them to find recipes to make dishes from their homeland. I could be completely wrong but that seems a bit to me like putting up a site to teach Americans how to make a burger.

Even if I am wrong and immigrants really do need a resource to find these recipes from their homeland (and don’t already have relatives still there who they can contact for such recipes), the real key is that lots of non-immigrant Americans enjoy ethnic food. This site completely ignores that demographic. I think proper marketing to what I’ll blanketly call “white America” could yield a nice little spike in traffic if done well.

That’s all well and good for generating additional traffic but if it’s traffic that still isn’t generating income then it’s just more people.

Which leads me to my second observation.

Many of the ingredients used to make the recipes featured on this site are not easily obtainable at your average grocery store in “white America”. So I suggested to my friend that he find sources to buy the ingredients, specialized cooking utensils and anything else featured on the site. Especially the hard-to-find stuff.

Once he’s found those sources, forge an affiliate relationship with them. Then lace the recipes with hyperlinks connecting readers with the resources they need to actually make the recipes.

Just looking at the one screen shot above, there is the potential to embed many affiliate links.

Multiply that by the 7,000 or so (and growing) recipes featured and he has the potential to start earning a tidy little income.

I told him that he doesn’t need to find a few people to hand over thousands of dollars. He could be just as happy with many thousands of people each giving him a nickel here and a few pennies there (in affiliate commissions).

Mind you, these two observations took me literally less than one second. I didn’t even explore beyond the first page of his website.

How much better could you be doing if you had a true marketing professional help you figure out alternate ways of leveraging what you have to offer?