TL;DR: I was lucky. Timing is everything. I found an affiliate program which is niche and in demand, and wrote a tech blog post to exploit it.
Back in May of this year, I got a tip on this little cryptocurrency called Ethereum. I threw a couple hundred bucks at it @ $40USD and rode the free train up to $400 over the following months to eventually sell my tiny holding for about $2000. I got lucky.
I got even luckier in my search for an Australian website that would allow me to buy and sell Ethereum.
At roughly the same time as I was going ga-ga with my new found tiny fortune, I found CoinSpot. This simple looking cryptocurrency exchange was allowing standard Australians to sign up, get their account verified, and make their first trades in Ethereum (plus Bitcoin and other cryptos) very quickly and easily. Integrated with a 3rd party payment provider that hooked up to your bank account, it couldn’t be any easier to get your skin in the game with this new revolution. Viva la crypto.
I wrote a quick blog post (How to Buy Ethereum and Bitcoin in Australia) how to get started with Ethereum; originally targeted at getting setup with Coinbase; and realised shortly after that CoinSpot offered an affiliate program. Bingo. I re-screenshotted my how to guide with CoinSpot screens, and re-did all my links. A few cleverly timed postings of my blog post in /r/ethtrader and some Australian Facebook groups, Twitter, and even LinkedIn, saw some massive traffic for the first week.
I amassed 27 whole signups from 25th May to 31st May.
At first I thought this was nothing. CoinSpot’s affiliate interface showed that I had earned a whole $20 for my efforts. I was content with this and didn’t think much of it. Until I received an email the following month, telling me of my first affiliate payout…$192!!!!
“Shit”, I thought. That kickstarted something in me. The following months saw a few additional posts, getting involved in some more crypto communities, and riding the wave. I tracked almost everything. I would login daily and record the number of affiliates and amount earned (even if the value was shown incorrectly, I devised a spreadsheet that gave me a rough approximation of expected payout at the end of the month based on my # of affiliate signups).
Month two rolled around, and a much higher payout of $380 hit my account. I was on to something, I thought. I churned out more blog posts, started additional websites with similar content and affiliate links, and cross linked the hell out of my posts between my new sites. I learned pretty quickly that I was truly lucky with the timing of my original posts; the peak for Australians looking to buy Ethereum was somewhere between May and July, and since then it’s been a struggle to maintain additional signups.
One thing I have excelled at during this time, is working with my Google Analytics account and search query data to optimise the hell out of my site(s). I mucked up my site’s Google Analytics code at the start which didn’t help (refer image below, I hadn’t been tracking data for months!!) but the reports in my dashboard show an exciting stat that I hadn’t thought about previously; initially, you can see where I began to post my article, and an influx of traffic acquired from mostly social sources, converting over the past few months to a much higher and strategically more valuable source of traffic being organic search.
Fast forward to November, and my most recent payout of $837. I’ve now got over 300 affiliates signed up. I’ve hit critical mass and have stopped my efforts promoting this site.
What I have learned from this little exercise is that affiliate marketing does work. I had played with it numerous times in the past 10 years, but never had a specialised subject or knowledge of how to make it work. Even now, I still don’t really have it. I’ve spent the last 6 months educating myself on how to monetize my site, and to come up with additional ideas for similar affiliate marketing opportunities. Unfortunately I’ve failed numerous times with new sites and posts to try out these new ideas; but I’m going to keep trying. Every month that CoinSpot payout comes in, I get a bit of extra capital to start something new. It’s been a blessing.
Thanks for reading!
EDIT: As of end of November; Ashley reported in over $2700 in affiliate revenue, with 13/December month to date revenue exceeding $4000!!!
I did it with Ethereum, and there will always be a new shiny thing for people to jump on
There’s no point flogging a dead horse, I have hit a brick wall trying to blog and promote this particularly good affiliate program, so I’ve moved on to other programs
CoinSpot now forms just 1 passive income stream for me. It lit the fire and I’ve moved on to a few other ideas and started a few communities
Some people hated what I was doing, saying I was exploiting people with affiliate links and so on; yeah, I get it. I thought I was doing a good deed educating people, but I too got educated by people who pointed out how blatant my affiliate linking was, and also I learned about a hell of a lot of other cryptocurrency stuff along the way – including, much better websites to trade on then.
You either have it or you don’t. If you’re in the right place at the right time, opportunities will present themselves to you – take a risk!