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The Ultimate Everything You Need To Know About Affiliate Marketing

It’s easy to see the appeal, isn’t it? Making passive income from your own website by setting up affiliate links sounds like the perfect dream. It’s not as popular as it once was – but it’s still something many bloggers do and make a lot of money doing. What I’m trying to say is that ryrob.com guy makes over five five figures a month. The Ultimate Everything You Need To Know About Affiliate Marketing

Blogging isn’t the only way to make money from affiliate marketing and you should consider other options. For example microsites, email lists and video marketing could be very useful to generate revenue online.

Even if you’re not making six figures from affiliate marketing, there are still ways you can improve your site and increase your income.

If you are affiliated with the program, you’ll make money each time a sale is made. You can make money on this opportunity just as if you were an affiliate sales representative.

Now before I dive into affiliate marketing, let me tell you why you should care.

I came across the 4-Hour Workweek a while ago, and I’ve noticed that many people nowadays have the same goal.

What Is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a form of marketing in which you promote other people’s products in return for a small commission for each sale.

You’ve probably seen headings marked “affiliate link” or “sponsored post” on many of the websites you visit; or maybe you’ve already taken the first step and signed up to an affiliate program.

This is, of course, an oversimplification of Affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing can also be argued to be a form of referral marketing, or even social media marketing where you actively share your expertise about a specific product in return for money but without having to pay for the actual product.

The key difference between affiliate and referral is that the affiliate marketing makes a commission for each sale, whereas the referral is more about promoting their product rather than selling it.

If you are new to affiliate marketing, let’s cover how it works. 

First, you need to find an affiliate program that you like for the products or services it offers. Look through it and make sure there’s a payment method that suits your needs and a commission that makes sense for what you’re trying to do.

If you’re interested, sign up and the platform will let you know once you’re accepted. Once that happens, all you have to do is start creating content – they’ll provide all the custom links. When one of your visitors makes a purchase using one of those links, then you’ll get paid accordingly.

You can work with individual companies or affiliate networks, which you sign up for and choose the programs that interest you. There are a number of different options to choose from when selecting an affiliate program. Once you’ve picked one and get approved, be sure to advertise it online by using them on your blog, social media accounts, mailing lists – anywhere you’re allowed to post links.

When you complete the minimum payment level, the network will make a transfer to your account. It usually takes one of three forms: PayPal payments, bank transfers, and checks.

Let’s take a more in-depth look at the parts of a successful affiliate marketing system.

The Merchant

Not all products are being created by the same people that sell them. I’m just one of a few examples. If it’s not obvious now, I am a vacuum cleaner producer.

Or, it can be a single individual like Mariah Coz, who sells online courses to female entrepreneurs.

Starting a business is easier than ever before. You don’t even need to be a tech-savvy entrepreneur anymore. Simply create a product and sell it at an affiliate marketing program like Shopify, and you’re good to go.

The Affiliate Marketers

This party is also known as the publisher. Affiliates can also be single people or entire companies. An affiliate marketing business can generate a little bit of money when they get things done, or they could make tens of millions per month if things work out well.

Affiliates can be really helpful in getting the word out about your business. They promote your products with information that convinces customers to buy them.

This can be achieved by running a review blog of the merchant’s products. For example doing reviews on Dyson Products!

Dyson review

It could also be an entire site dedicated to finding cool products related to certain topic and promoting those affiliate products.

Thisiswhyimbroke

This is why I’m broke is one of the most popular affiliate network sites

The Consumer

Unless customers are purchasing your products, you won’t be able to make any money. This can be a hard truth for some people to accept but is often the case when running an affiliate site.

The affiliate will try to market to the consumer on whatever channel they see fit, whether that’s a social network, digital billboards or through a search engine using content marketing on a blog.

Affiliates broadcast their product through a lot of different channels such as social media, search engines and blogs. They also try to publicize their products on billboards sometimes.

When consumers purchase items from this blog, they are supporting our work and allowing us to continue to blog. Please consider our affiliate links if it is of interest to you.

Customers usually don’t end up paying a higher price because the fee that’s still left to be emailed on the customer’s behalf is already included in the retail price at checkout.

The Affiliate Network

In my opinion, it’s important to include networks in affiliate marketing guides because they often act as the intermediary between affiliates and the merchants they collaborate with.

While you could promote somebody else’s course and arrange a direct revenue share with them, letting a platform such as ClickBank or Commission Junction take care of the payment and product delivery signal that you’re getting more serious with your marketing.

Sometimes, affiliates have to register with an affiliate network before they can promote a product. For example, this happens if the merchant only manages their affiliate program on that network.

The affiliate network is also a database of lots of products that out of which you can choose what to promote.

ClickBank

Clickbank is an example of an affiliate network.

If you want to promote consumer products, Amazon is the best affiliate network for you and their program lets you share any type of product on their website.

amazon-affiliate

This Amazon affiliate program is straightforward to use. Sign up and then share a link with your friends, family and followers. If they click through the link and purchase an item, you’ll receive a commission of the sale price.

Now that we know what affiliate marketing is, let’s take a quick look at how to get your own affiliate marketing business going.

I’m imagining that there can only be two sides to the affiliate marketing equation. One of them being Commission Junction. That sounds like a really great option for beginners, too!

You can create a product yourself, then get others to promote it and you can each earn a commission on sales.

You can also work as a marketer and promote other products in order to make money.

While commissions are nice, it is hard to generate a big income just from affiliate sales. Most people start by getting some traffic and the pros to this approach are that you can slowly grow your earnings as you get better at writing copy.

That’s why I’ll walk you through the 4 basic steps to get started with affiliate marketing and even make money.

How to Become an Affiliate Merchant

If you’re interested in becoming an affiliate program merchant and earn money from your affiliates selling your product, here are the steps to take.

First, you need to think of an idea for a product. I’ll help you come up with some ideas in the next section.

Second, you have to validate your idea. Looking for advice and validation on your ideas is a good idea before you start investing your time. That way, if the idea doesn’t seem like a good fit, you won’t have wasted all your time building it.

Third, you have to create the product. Since creating a physical product usually comes with huge investment risks and work, I’ll only show you ways to make digital products. These are the best place to start because they typically only take time and cost little or no money.

There’s usually a lot of work involved in creating, producing and releasing your product. One thing you can do to promote it is finding affiliates who align with your niche market — they’re often highly trusted influencers who will promote your work. Sure helping them means you’ll need an affiliate network to help manage this, but it’s the kind of investment that pays off.

Step 1: Coming Up with an Affiliate Product Idea

If you want to be an affiliate marketer, don’t get too attached to your idea.

Instead, just look at the existing products and services that are out there. Consider how you can improve on them by bringing something of your own to the table (an idea).

You can always start with a topic you’re interested in or familiar with.

Imagine you’re a stay-at-home parent, for a second.

and you’re into lets say, building sandcastles, you can instantly see what content has been recently popular.

Other research tools you might want to consider are Buzzsumo, which shows you what’s popular, based on social shares.

shares on buzzsumo affliate marketing idea

If you go on YouTube and search for ‘build a sandcastle,’ you’ll find thousands of results.

Apparently, people really want to know how to build cool sandcastle. What could you do?

Make several videos on the topic of “How to Build The Ultimate Sandcastle! 5 Ways.” These should include instruction for making 5 specific designs.

Or, ”Here’s a list of all the tools you need to build sandcastles” that are worth blogging about.

There are also some cool strategies or templates you can use to make it easier to build sandcastles.

The question is…will people pay for it?

Step 2: Validate Your Idea

Before creating a series of sandcastle videos, you should try to validate your idea first.

How do you do that?

Simple: You ask people to pay you for it.

How do you find these people? Easy.

Paste one of the sandcastle posts from Buzzsumo into a tool like Keyhole

They generate a list of people who have tweeted about specific topics or shared links

You can then directly tell them about your idea, by hitting the reply button…

See if they like the idea, but not just that — find out if they want to buy it.

Anyone will say that they like something just to be nice.

If you get a yes on your pre-sale, you’ll need to follow up with an ask for the sale.

Saying they will spend money is not the same as spending it.

When people are interested in your product, take the time to make it happen. You can just use PayPal and say you’ll build it if you get a certain amount of orders

Once you’ve determined that people want your product and are willing to buy it, then you can really proceed and create it.

Step 3: Create the Product

There’s a lot to do before you start your business and this isn’t an entrepreneurship guide, but I want to point you to some good starters. The previous chapters have given you the tools, the knowledge of what it takes, and examples of all the different ways entrepreneurs are required for success.

I only want to give you the resources for starting digital products, because I don’t want you to waste your time and money on physical products, which may not be perfect the first time around.🙂

Online courses:

E-books:

Podcast/Audio:

These are good starting points! Creating digital products is fairly easy, since it just takes time and some investment but not much more than a service fee or one-time software price.

Once you have created and delivered your product to the initial buyers, it’s time to open up your affiliate network.

Step 4: Finding Affiliate Program Partners

The tech part is the easy thing here.

With tools like Gumroad or Digital Product Delivery, you can easily set up affiliate partners and have them collect commissions

gumroad for affiliate marketing

Another great affiliate marketing tool is Everflow. Not only does it help you recruit affiliates, but you can also use it to:

  • optimize and structure your affiliate campaigns
  • manage and track revenue and spend
  • manage and track performance, and optimize campaigns immediately based on data
  • automate your processes
  • project manage your campaigns and assign tasks

After you choose your platform, you now need to find people with a large following who would be interested in what you’re selling.

Let’s stick with the sandcastle guide example.

When you search “learn to build sandcastles”, lots of sites with the information on how to do it pop up

Loke SandCastle Lessons, which offers classes on the subject:

Partnering up with them on a sale would be a breeze because it’s a perfect fit

If you offer a product that is specific to a certain group or industry, then your pitching process will be easier because those people are who you are looking for.

Find a someone you want to partner with, introduce yourself and your product, and ask them if they’re interested in sharing revenue.

Here’s a tip: affiliate commissions of 50% or higher are common for digital products, so don’t be greedy – share the profits and everyone wins.

4 Steps to Become an Online Affiliate Marketer

Similarly to becoming a merchant, there are also four steps to start your journey as an affiliate marketer.

First, You should start doing in-depth product reviews of things in your niche. That can be done on a YouTube channel, on a blog or even just using live streams on Periscope.

Second, You need to build an email list so you can contact your audience at any time which is convenient for you and ensures they won’t miss your messages.

Third, If you’re looking for a new sales strategy that can be easier than cold calling, a joint-venture webinar is the way to go. You’ll generate a lot of sales and grow your email list, all in one day. It’s an effective way to create valuable content as well.

Finally, once your affiliate marketing business starts making money, you can scale your growth with pay per click advertising.

Step 1: Review Products in Your Niche

When you affiliate, you skip straight to the ‘I will make money’ part of being a merchant.

You already use a ton of products, so all you have to do is write public reviews about them and they’ll start getting more traffic.

You need to start out by looking at the Partner section on step 4, since that’s what you’re trying to do in this step.

Any product works.

Really.

If you like reading, review books:

Philasophers notes

Note:A special kind of review, that usually does really well, is the comparison with a direct competitor.

Give your feedback as frankly and impartially as possible.

It can take a lot of time to write reviews, so it kind of sucks that you get nothing in return. If people sense that you’re just pitching products for profit, they might get offended.

Pat Flynn mentions that creating a marketing approach that is personal to you and your audience is the most profitable, since it removes any distancing factors. You can relate better to a product and make more money than just promoting something.

It can be hard to promote products when you aren’t even familiar with them.

Note: When you’re purchasing items as a consumer, it’s usually different than when you’re buying an online course or book. Say you know someone personally and trust their work, then that’s a whole different thing.

Every time you post a blog review, you can add an affiliate link to your followers on social media by linking back to the products that you love.

You might recognize them in other blogs by their long “/ref…” tail on their links

This is usually the first step to start making commissions.

Sign up to an Amazon associate program and boom, you’ll then be able to get your own affiliate link for anything on Amazon.

Just go to the product page and click on “Share affiliate link.” You’ll get a link that’ll give you a commission if people purchase through it.

However, if you only rely on people using the affiliate links in your reviews, you need lots of traffic to start making serious money.

If you can reach your audience directly, you can market to them whenever they like and they won’t be wasting their time on your website. This means that when they finally get around to visiting, the content presented to them will be the best of the best.

This is where step two comes in.

Step 2: Build an Email List of Your Prospects

Email marketing is still one of the most popular and successful ways to reach your audiences nowadays, so don’t give it up yet.

I’ll show you a few super easy ways to get email addresses from your website visitors

The first is Hello Bar

“Hello Bar” helps boost the conversions of your website by providing a call-to-action. It will appear at the top of your website, wherever someone visits it.

You could offer them an e-book bundle (perhaps your 3 best product reviews) or a video review

Hellobar

Once they click on your Hello Bar, you can redirect them to the page where they can enter their email in exchange for the content.

Other uses of Hello Bar include attaching it as an exit gate so that if your visitor is leaving, they will see a popup before they go.

It is triggered by their mouse moving to the top area of the browser.

You can use a landing page for your lead magnet, by creating a form and asking folks to enter their email address.

Just don’t over do it.

If you give your visitors 20 things to do, it’s unlikely that they’ll do anything at all.

Just have a single call to action in your sidebar. You should offer some kind of incentive in exchange for their email address

Since you’re targeting email addresses around a specific topic like finding the best straightening iron, juice maker, etc., you don’t need to collect a lot of them. They’re worth your time!

With an email list of less than 500 people, you can still make it work and generate sales.

One thing to remember is that you need to keep your audience updated on what’s happening in your company, (at least) once a week ideally.

Take a break from sales and just give the visitors to your website the heads up when you publish a new review.

For example, email out every single post that we do on Quick Sprout with a very simple description of what it’s about:

email-example

Every now and then, send them a specific call to action to buy a product. Perhaps you just found a new favorite in the latest review and think it’s really great.

You can let your followers know you changed your mind, why and highlight the key benefits they’ll appreciate when they switch to that product.

Step 3: Educate Your Audience With Webinars

Webinars are awesome.

Lets say you want to buy a new washing machine.

What makes you want to buy a washing machine more:

  1. Reading a review on a blog
  2. Seeing a live presentation of a washing machine in action

Number two, of course!

With LeadPages, you can create a cool landing page for your webinar.

Leadpages

Do some social media promotion of your webinar before it starts and get people to sign up.

Webinars allow you to interact one-on-one with your audience, show them a product they might be interested in and answer any questions they have in real time.

You can:

  • discuss the product’s features
  • Let’s take a look at some examples of when you might find a product like ours beneficial.
  • mention the benefits and drawbacks
  • Story time! I personally believe that…
  • help your audience get the most out of your product

Imagine how excited your customers will be when they realize all the benefits of your products!

Ending the webinar with a soft sell and recommending a product is a natural way of “closing the deal” based on everything that has been said. You can share your affiliate link pointing people to it while they’re still in listening mode.

Customers won’t feel forced and you’ll still have time to make a big impression. They can still choose to back out if they want, but the sooner you get them the better!

Pro tip: Would your merchant be willing to give you a special deal in order to advertise their product? If so, they would usually provide an incentive such as a discount or special bundle in order to incentivize people.

Step 4: Grow Your Business with PPC Advertising

Once your affiliate marketing venture starts to grow, you can consider paid advertising such as PPC or Facebook ads

Conversions are all that matters here.

You can use PPC advertising to:

  • get more people to sign up for your next webinar
  • grow your email list
  • make more sales

So, keywords related to learning about your product or topic would be a good start.

You can also target your competition. For example, right under the LeadPages ad, there’s an ad from Instapage.

competitor

Since they provide a landing page generation software, people can use it to promote content elsewhere which may be more valuable to them.

It’s better to focus on SEO to get the word out in a more organic way. Targeting customers who are looking for reviews could be a good idea, but it might not provide enough results

A lot people buy things right through our links after reading a review because the % of people who do that is pretty low. But imagine paying for those reads.

The amount of profit you make from each sale is small so it doesn’t give you a lot of money to spend on ads, but that’s why we designed an intelligent way for you to increase your sales.

In most cases, your best off promoting sign-ups to your email list.

Advertising is a great tactic for getting people to sign up for webinars.

You will win in three ways:

  1. They’ll be on your email list and you can contact them again at any time.
  2. There’s a chance that they’ll attend your live webinar and buy the product
  3. You can put them on an autoresponder email sequence that encourages them to buy

For example, John Lee Dumas, from Entrepreneur On Fire, often runs webinars and puts them right on his homepage.

As soon as you opt into the webinar, he also starts sending you a series of automated emails.

He’ll offer you other courses and free tools- like a webinar course, where you’ll learn how to do webinars to make sales.

If you sign up for this, you’ll get 10 emails over the course of 4-5 days with helpful webinar tips. The lessons are free, but at the end, he offers a extensive course.

When you’ve already gone through a lot of webinars, the course will provide an incredibly in-depth understanding.

The more people who end up buying the full course through the auto-responder series, the higher your ad budgets will be. Once you establish how many people will buy, you can calculate your budget.

So, with this strategy you’ll have several chances of getting customers to buy your product.

They have a chance to buy after the autoresponder series, on the webinar, and from future emails.

Once your business has grown to the point where there are many different ways generating sales, you can start paying for advertising so more people will buy off of these existing sales channels.

In conclusion: You can make a really good money if you know how to play it right!

Check my other post about Affiliate marketing strategies.

I hope you made it this far reading, this is one of my first articles and I would appreciate your support. I hope you’ll help me help you start this journey together!

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