I’ve talked a lot about how expats can make money online. It’s time to prove it.
I’m going to be showing you exactly how I make money online with one of my smallest, most simple web sites. We’ll be looking at Philippine Expat Guide for this case study.
I chose the Philippine Expat Guide site because it really is such a simple web site to build, and it requires very little maintenance to keep running and generating income. It’s a good example of a simple affiliate marketing site that anyone can build in only a few days.
We’re going to look at how the web site was built, how much it cost to build it in terms of money and time, how it is monetized, and how much it can be expected to make over the next year.
The web site is quite simple. It uses WordPress blogging software as the foundation for the site. It uses a free travel WordPress Theme that I’ve discussed in more detail in another post. It doesn’t use any paid plug-ins or anything really fancy.
The site only has three pages of content, and some very simple graphics. I wrote all the content on the site, and the graphics were provided by the affiliate program. You do not need to know anything about writing HTML code or programming or databases to build a site like this, and you sure don’t need graphic design skills. You don’t need any expensive software like Photoshop – you only need a little time, a domain name, a web host and a little knowledge.
I think the best way to approach a project like this is to start with the product. Once you have chosen the product you want to market, you can easily determine the rest of the project’s requirements. The product will drive the research for the correct keywords and key-phrases, and the domain name you will need to register.
Let’s start with how I chose my product. I’ve been doing affiliate marketing for quite a long time, and I know I want to promote something that I am interested in and already have some knowledge about. I don’t want to have to learn a new topic from scratch – that can take a very long time and time is money. Since I live in the Philippines as an expat, the Philippine Expat Guide e-book seemed like a natural choice. I also wanted to promote a product that is backed by a solid affiliate program. There are many programs to choose from, and my current favorite is ClickBank.com. They have great tools for affiliates, and the site is easy to search. They provide great information about each product making your research much more efficient.
Since I used ClickBank, we’ll use that for this case study.
Please open ClickBank.com in a new window, and I’ll walk through the major points that you will want to know. You will need to create an account so you can enter the Product Marketplace. Don’t worry – there is no obligation by creating an account. Just use an existing e-mail address, or make a new one at yahoo or gmail, and sign up. Once you have your account, go ahead and log in, and click on Marketplace in the little menu at the very top of the page.
From here you can search for products using the search box at the top, or you can browse using the categories list in the left side bar. I use the search box and sometimes products are hard to find through the categories.
So, think of something you like, something you already have knowledge of, and something that you think other people would want. To keep this simple, I’ll continue using the Philippine Expat Guide for my examples. You’ll want to play around on the site and find your own products.
Type “expat guide” in the search box (“Find Products”). You’ll the search results list come up in a moment. Scroll down a little and you’ll see the entry for “Philippines Experience: Basic Expat Training Manual”:
When you see the results, pay attention to two things in particular. Look at the average sale – this tells you how much you can expect to make on each sale that you refer. Also, look at the other highlighted area called “Grav”. “Grav” is short for Gravity, and on ClickBank it simply mean how well the product is selling for other affiliates. In short, the more a product sells, with fewer click-throughs, the higher the “Grav” value. A higher grav means an easier sale. So obviously you want a product with a high grav value
The Philippine Expat Guide has a decent grav value of 2.92. When you search for your products you would optimally find something with a grav of 10 or higher. So why did I chose this product with a grav of only 2.92?
Well, grav matters, but there are other things that matter just as much. First, as mentioned earlier, you want to have an interest in the product, and second, you need to have knowledge of the product. Third, you need to look at how much competition there is for marketing that product.
Try this – clear the search box and then go to the left sidebar. Set the grav to 50, and submit your search. Your search results should start with a product with an amazing grav of 731.36 called Quick Click Commissions. I actually purchased this product just to see what it really is. I won’t give you all the details here, but I would suggest you do not buy this product. This is another of those “get rich quick” products, and you’ll notice that some of these have the highest grav ratings on ClickBank.com. Why? Because the sales are basically from other affiliates looking to get rich quick. Let’s say I want to promote that product. I can create a facebook page about it, set up a web site about it, and promote it to you. I can tell you how great it is, show you some mocked up ClickBank earning reports, and tell you how easy it is to make money with this new secret. Well, if you are smart, you won’t buy it, you’ll promote it! So who actually buys products like this? People who want to get rich quick and really have no clue about all the nonsense that people are selling, or how internet marketing really works. The fact is, if you follow what this product tells you to do, you probably will make some money. It’s not rocket science. It does work. But you won’t make $385,000 in your first year. Sorry, not going to happen. The guy selling the product will likely make a ton of money. That’s a great topic for another article – creating your own products. But let’s keep this simple and get back to the case study.
So anyway, grav is important, but watch out for products that are designed to get affiliates to promote them to other affiliates, and so on.
So, we’ve chosen our product. Now we need to do some key-word research and find a good domain name for our web site.
With the Philippine Expat Basic Training Manual, I wanted to get as much traffic as possible in a broad way. Just from experience I knew that no one will be searching explicitly for “Expat basic Training Manual”. I wanted something much broader, so I started checking for the availability of domain names like “philippine expat”, “philippine expat guide” and so on. I actually found three domain names that seemed really good – expatphilippines.com, philippineexpatguide.com and philippineexpat.com. I just built expatphilippines.com first.
So how do you actually perform key-word research?