Perhaps you’ve seen this before. You’re in a “learn online marketing” type forum. A person publishes a post complaining that they can’t make a dime online. But in their signature line they have something along the lines of “I Made 50 Million Dollars with This” followed by their affiliate link.
Affiliate marketing is a business that requires self-motivation and focus. For many of us, these are learned skills. Once you are aware of the the mistakes that can cause a lack of profits and productivity, you will be better able to grow your business and be profitable long-term.
Contact the company directly. If you use a product or service and want to recommend it but you can’t find evidence of an affiliate program, consider approaching them and asking if they are willing to set one up (maybe with your help). Highlight your audience and the value of your recommendation. Explain that an affiliate program is simply rewarding happy customers (you!) for promoting, and they don’t have to pay until a sale is made.
Start with a blog, where your content is always available. By itself, an email list can be hard to start if there’s not a place (like your blog or website) where potential subscribers can get to know you first.
Publisher / Affiliate / Affiliate Marketer / Associate / Partner – They spread the word about and promote the product or service. (In this post, I will be talking about affiliate marketing from the perspective of the Publisher.)
If you’re a newbie to building sites, the easiest way to set up a site is by using WordPress. The WordPress CMS is very easy to use and while coding skills can come in handy, for the most part you will not require any tech knowledge to set up your site.
Mistake #4: Promoting products that are irrelevant, low quality or unhelpful. If you lose trust by promoting bad products, you lose readers. If you lose readers, income across all income streams decreases. Only promote things that truly benefit your audience.
The beauty of affiliate marketing is that you don’t have to invest the time and effort to create a product to sell. You can begin selling something as an affiliate as soon as you have a platform to sell it on.
Mark, WordPress isn’t just for blogging. You can build a static site using WordPress and have your blog integrated so users just need to click on a tab to see your latest posts. That works better than setting up a redirect or sending them to another site or having to cobble something together yourself. There are tons of additional plug-ins for WordPress to enhance its features and capabilities.
You will vastly improve your chances of making a good income as an affiliate marketer if you use as many available communication vehicles as possible. Email is one of the most effective communication vehicles there is. Even more so than your blog or website.
A company’s website. Think of a product or service you want to promote. Go to the website of said product. Look for a link (often in the footer) that says “Affiliates,” “Affiliate Program,” “Referral Program” or something similar. Follow the links to sign up.
When I first started, my overwhelming (and totally naive) impulse was to fill my pages with words and links that screamed “BUY THIS NOW!”. I didn’t help the reader learn why they should have this product. I only wanted them to click a link which would hopefully lead to a commission for me.
Restrictions & consequences. Many affiliate programs have notoriously vague terms and conditions (I’m looking at you Amazon) and yet publishers are always responsible for knowing & following them. If you don’t, you can get kicked out of a program without warning which can obviously hurt your bottom line.
The best part of all this is that the way that I teach you how to do affiliate marketing makes it a win for everyone. A lot of people worry about getting involved with affiliate marketing because it might make them look slimy or too salesy.
2nd tier. If you are an affiliate for a particular program and you refer others to sign up for that affiliate program, a 2nd tier program will pay you when the affiliates you referred make sales. For example, I am an affiliate for Ultimate Bundles. If you join their affiliate program via my 2nd tier affiliate link here. I will get a small percentage of any sales you make going forward.
In addition, some market segments use a specific payment model. For example: the financial space generally pays affiliates a flat fee, while travel is typically based on a percentage of the total order that the affiliate sends to the merchant.
A way to communicate with people (like a blog, not social media). Sometimes this is called a platform. It might be a blog, a website, an email list or some other online presence where people listen to what you have to say.
Let no one tell you that email marketing is dead. An email list is crucial for every affiliate marketer. You can start building up your email list with a lead magnet (like the information products mentioned previously) or even just by encouraging your audience to sign up for your updates. You can then push your content to this audience via email and also direct them to your affiliate offers. Don’t be sleazy about the sales, but if you build up enough trust with your email audience; when the time comes, they will not mind purchasing a product from you.
Great, practical tips. I especially like #8. I went through much the same thing when pricing my ebook. It goes to show you that who you’re marketing to, their life style and values all have an impact.
To sum it all up, making your first affiliate commission requires a bit of work but if you break it all down and follow it step by step, it won’t seem so overwhelming at all. Here’s a quick recap of what you need to do:
Nothing breaks a reader’s trust more than being led to a promotion that will blow up their inbox. Put yourself in the shoes of a potential customer and see what will happen if they follow your advice.
Ignore the “butterflies” that are sure to fly by on a constant basis. They will just distract you from your project/campaign at hand. One completed and profitable campaign is worth so much more than 50 almost half-finished campaigns or projects.
Sometimes you find out an advertiser uses an affiliate network when you apply to an affiliate program directly. For example, if you want to become an affiliate for Genesis WordPress themes, you might go to the StudioPress website (StudioPress makes Genesis) and click the “Affiliates” link in the footer like so:
The final component that completes the affiliate relationship triangle is the consumer. The consumer is the one who actually sees the ad and then makes an action (either by clicking a link or by submitting their information via a form) that takes them from the publisher’s website to the advertiser’s to complete the action, which we call a conversion.
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PID (publisher website ID) is used to identify the publisher’s website. A CJ publisher may have multiple PIDs under one single CJ account (e.g. if you maintain multiple websites, you will have multiple PIDs).
Keep your company’s business goal should also be top of mind. If your goal is attracting new customers, then maybe affiliates driving that type of traffic might be offered a better rate. And you may want to look at having different commission rates for different types of affiliate s- such as coupon affiliates, PPC affiliates, and super affiliates. Each of these groups has different strengths and will need to be addressed separately. You can also offer split commissions, whereby the commission is divided among multiple affiliates that participated in the process.
Once you are cleared to promote a particular product and you understand the terms for that campaign, look through the list of available graphic and text links for that product. Copy the HTML code provided. This code has your unique ID in it. Use this link whenever you link to the product.
The products and services you will be promoting to your audience must be relevant and good quality. Make sure you believe in them and know everything about them, because this will be crucial to you delivering the sales pitch to your audience. You need to build trust with your audience so make sure the products and services you choose to promote are trustworthy enough.
These are great because they are an easy stepping stone into a sales funnel without jumping immediately to a sale. A lot of people are willing to grab a freebie. If the advertiser is skilled a nurturing them in the sales funnel, they are more likely to purchase in the end.
For example, when I have promoted the Genius Blogger’s Toolkit in the past, my bonus, Shorten the Toolkit, is my list of the best resources in the Toolkit (after going through every resource personally).
Hi Abdul! As you say, it’s really hard to figure out what to budget at first. It really depends on your niche and choice of keywords, and can range from five dollars per day to virtually any number you can imagine. It’s best to start researching your keywords or ad packages with the ad networks you’re interested in and see firsthand.
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