The online file storage industry is in a boom phase right now. Most households have at least one personal computer and at least one person who knows how to use that computer. Additionally, we are using our computers to do more things. The computer is not just a nerd-toy anymore; regular people around the world use computers to pay their bills, store family photos and get work done.
In other words, there’s a growing market for online storage and backup. More people are using computers and more people are saving important things on those computers. Naturally, the demand for file storage and backup is growing.
You don’t have to start your own online backup service to get in on the action. In fact, you can start making money without risking anything up front. All you need is the time it takes to sign up for a couple of file storage affiliate programs.
How It Works
Most online storage services have affiliate programs that pay money for every paying user you send them. How it works is you visit the website of any major file storage website and look around for an “affiliates” link somewhere (usually near the bottom of the website). Click on that link for more information and to create a free affiliate account.
Once you have an account, you’ll get a unique link that you can give to your friends or post on your website. That link will tag every customer as having been sent by you. You’ll receive a commission for every visitor who visits the storage site and signs up for a paid account.
I think that the only major storage tool without an affiliate program is Dropbox. I’m guessing they are so popular that they just don’t need an affiliate program. The good news is there are plenty of alternatives: SpiderOak, Mozy and Backblaze just to name a few.
Signing up for an online storage affiliate program is easy. The hard part is getting people to sign up and pay for online storage subscriptions. The main thing is to get your affiliate links in front of as many potential buyers as possible.
One option is to just go around the internet posting your affiliate links wherever you can. That’s not a very good option, though. For one, you’ll probably be banned from whatever websites and forums you plaster your links on. Secondly, this method doesn’t hit your target market very well.
The best way to get signups through your affiliate links is to set up your own website. You can set up a free blog on any number of blog services or get your own domain name. You can get your own domain name and website hosting for something like $50 a year. That’s the best route because it gives you full control over your own content.
Getting Targeted Traffic
The key to getting signups through your file storage affiliate links is to target the right audience. I mention above that a website is the best way to go. However, you won’t do very well if you set up any random website and stick a few banners on it. You need to set up a website that caters to an audience that would be interested in online storage.
For example, you can set up a blog that talks about computer security and privacy. In that blog, you can cover all aspects of security, including the need for backup. Recommend a few backup services, plug in your affiliate links and start making money.
That leads me to the next point. I don’t think sticking random banners all over a website is a good way to get people to sign up for online storage. I’ve always had more success by writing posts that help sell online storage services. For example, a post titled “The 10 Best Cheap Storage Tools” will perform better than a banner on the sidebar of some other random post.
I take a similar approach with my own file storage website. The main money-making pages are reviews of storage services. Lots of people search for reviews of specific services, so I have written in-depth reviews of all the most popular storage services.
In addition to reviews, I also blog about computer security and tech news. Some of those blog posts recommend specific file storage services, other blog posts simply provide readers with interesting information. By mixing it up like that, I make sure my website is actually a useful resource as opposed to a banner farm.
Of course, there’s more to it than that. You’ll also need to work on building traffic and running a website that your visitors find useful. It takes time to make money with websites, but it is very doable. The most important thing is to write useful articles and make your website a valuable resource for readers.
Wes Burns runs a profitable file storage website that you can visit here. The ultimate goal of the website is to make money, but he also works to make sure the website is a useful and interesting resource.