Let’s face it.
Making money any time, from anywhere—even while we sleep, is something that we always dream of.
Well, that’s the concept behind Affiliate Marketing.
The idea is you promote other people’s product and you earn a commission if people actually ended up buying that product.
It requires less upfront cost by just promoting other people’s product. That is why around 90% of people, being an affiliate is how they got started.
In fact, I also started as an affiliate marketer. But I’ve learned it the hard way. Fortunately, today I’m going to help you kick-start in affiliate marketing, and how to become a successful affiliate in 2019.
But before we go on the steps in becoming an affiliate. You must first understand what really is affiliate marketing and who are the parties involved in its system.
Are you ready?
Table of Contents
What Is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is the process by which an affiliate promotes other people’s (or company’s) products and earns a commission for every sale that he makes.
As an affiliate, you find the product that you personally like, then you help them market that product. Meanwhile, you earn an piece of profit from each sale you make.
The price of the product is typically the same even if the customer purchased it from an affiliate. It is because the commission is already part of the retail price.
How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?
An affiliate marketing system is consist of 3 parties:
1. Product creator/retailer
2. The affiliate/advertiser
3. The Consumer
Each has different role and value. Now let’s look at all the parts of an affiliate marketing system, and learn how they interact.
1. Product creator or seller
Sometimes known as the merchant, the vendor, or the retailer. It can be a big company, like Bluehost—a hosting service, or a solo entrepreneur that sells courses. Essentially, anyone can be a merchant. You just have to have a product or a service to sell.
2. The affiliate
The affiliate, also known as the advertiser is the one who markets the seller’s product. An affiliate can also be an individual or a company. It will try to market to the consumer on whatever platform they prefer, such as a social media network like Instagram or a content blog.
3. The consumer
The consumer, also known as the customer, is the one who buys the product. They are the drivers of an affiliate marketing system. Without them, there are no sales, hence, there are no commissions.
Sometimes a consumer doesn’t really know if they are buying from an affiliate system or not. But other affiliates will chose to be transparent with the consumer by disclosing that they are receiving commission for the sales they make. Some affiliates don’t, and prefer to work in a background.
Why Become An Affiliate Marketer?
1. The beauty about affiliate marketing is that you don’t have to invest the time and effort to create a product. You just need a platform to begin selling something as an affiliate.
2. You don’t need to have customer support because you don’t own the product.
3. From zero to little upfront cost. You can get started quickly without much hassle. Unlike other businesses which require capital to finance the product being sold.
4. Affiliate marketing is very flexible and scalable. You don’t have the limit on what products to sell. As long as it interests you. Your income depends only on your goals.
4 Steps To Be A Successful Affiliate Marketer in 2019
At this point, perhaps you already understand the process of an affiliate marketing system.
Below are the steps on how to become a successful affiliate marketer. It will help you jump-start your path on becoming an affiliate. Ready?
There are a lot of different ways to be an affiliate online. But what I’m gonna teach you is what I believe to the most reliable and sustainable way to build a long term affiliate business. This isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme, but it’s gonna be a great way to slowly and surely build up your business and ensure that it continues for a long time. These are the four steps in this process:
Step 1. Choose Your Niche
Choosing your niche, if you still don’t have one, is the first thing you should do.
The most important thing about choosing you niche is that you should spend a lot of time in research about it. A lot of people want to get started right away and they are really get excited so they don’t spend much time on it. They just pick a product and immediately start promoting it without thinking about the sustainability of it or whether it’s something that they really wanna be in.
You should ask these questions to yourself first:
- What am I interested in?
- Do people spend money on this niche?
- Are there products to promote on this niche?
What are you interested in?
If you are not interested on the subject then you’ll not gonna be able to stick with it. Know your hobbies and passions. If you like fitness, do something about it. What are the problems you’re interested in solving? What is that thing you want to do for the rest of your life? Choose that as your niche.
Whatever you pick, make sure you’ll stick with it. Because you’ll need to consistently create content and be involved in the niche and its community.
Do people spend money on this niche?
People spend money to all kinds of different niches. But there are few niches that you may not be able to monetize at all.
What you want look for to see if there’s money to be made in the niche are things like advertisers. Look for advertisement in magazines, newspapers, or in social media. If you can see that people spend money for advertising in that niche, then there’s certainly money to be made in it.
Are there products to promote on this niche?
Of course, you can’t be an affiliate if there is no product to promote in that niche. You could promote digital or physical products, or both. It’s your choice. One of the famous retailer for digital products is ClickBank, and they have a really good affiliate program.
Secret To Success In Identifying Your Niche
A lot of people try to go too broad when they are starting out. The problem is that it’s too competitive. It’s harder to gain audience and be recognize as an authority in that niche. You want to narrow it down!
If you too broad you’re gonna be competing with huge businesses and huge celebrities that have a lot of money and already have built an authority. You need two levels deeper. That’s where you can become a top five authority in that space. But also make sure that you still have large enough market to work with.
Weight loss for busy moms could be a better niche than health and fitness. The idea is you need to dig deeper, at least two levels, in order to be in a less competitive niche.
Step 2. Build Your Platform
The next step after choosing your niche is to build your platform. A platform is a site or a channel where you can start to share your thoughts and ideas. It is where you interact with people and you establish your authority.
Why You Need A Platform?
1. To have control of your brand and business. Don’t just use third parties when promoting a product, like sending a traffic from twitter or Facebook ads. You want to have your own website or own platform for people can come back and find you. This is a much better long term strategy than relying entirely on outside parties.
2. Trust and reputation. If you have a platform where people can see your valuable content, they will trust your recommendation a lot more. They’re more likely to click your affiliate links or take your referral seriously.
3. Easiest path to success. This is the best place to sell. If you have a platform, they’ll view as an expert. Therefore, they will have more reason to trust you.
Kinds Of Platform
These are just some of the platforms you could try. You can choose only one of these. The best way really is to build multiple platforms in multiple different channels, and let them support each other. Make the blog/website the centerpiece. So you always have your own website to send people back to. Read my guide on how to start a WordPress blog.
Below are the things you need to consider in creating your platform.
Three Key Steps In Platform Building
1. Create a brand
When you are building your platform, you really wanna put some thought into what type of brand it’s gonna be. Know how are you gonna present it to people.
You have two different options:
- Personal brand
- Business brand
There are advantages to each of these type of brand. Obviously, if you are putting your name on it, it makes you very trustworthy. However you would have a hard time selling if you remove yourself from it.
Business brand is much easier to sell and to bring in other people to help you. But it would be little bit harder to build it up to become likable and trustworthy.
Therefore, put a lot of thought in deciding how to create your brand. Also think about things like what style of brand do you want. Are you gonna position yourself as the expert? Or you’re gonna position yourself as somebody who’s investigating and learning about the topic and sharing what you learn as you go?
2. Create your website
As I suggest, a website/blog should not be optional. You have to have your own website to send people back to.
3. Build a list
This is one of the things that so many affiliates failed to do. It causes them to leave a lot of money on the table in the long run.
To be a successful affiliate, you want to get people to subscribe to your website. In this way, you’ll be able to reach out and contact them. This is the way you’re gonna be able to effectively communicate with people from your platform.
Step 3. Grow Your Audience
Do Your Research
The first step in growing your audience is to really do your research. You need to understand who is the audience that you’re gonna be speaking and promoting products to. These are the questions that can help you identify who really your audience is, are:
- Who is your ideal reader/visitor
- What do they look like, talk about, care about, hate, fear, desire?
- Who do they hangout with, talk to, argue with, idolize, want to be?
- What products, brands, or personas do they love and hate?
- How do they talk? Formally, informally, passionately, analytically?
- What lingo do they use (i.e., keywords)?
Think about their emotional state rather than just their demographics. Don’t just think about gender or age, think about what really motivates them. Know who they idolize and want to be. Those are gonna give you some great ideas for the type of topics you could talk about, and the types of products they might be interested in.
The first question to answer when you’re trying to identify how to grow your audience is, why are these people coming to you? Why are they seeking out your site? What are they hoping to get out of it?
The second question is, why should they listen to you, as oppose to all other experts? Know what do you have to offer to them that makes it worth their time and effort.
Great Content Is The Foundation
Your content should be great and original. It should be honest and valuable. Give them something that’s actually useful. Otherwise they will not comeback to your site. Don’t waste other people’s time. Make it results-oriented. You want to deliver content that will actually help people achieve their goal.
Add Value To The Community
Adding a value to the community is a big piece in growing your audience. Participate in forums. Have real conversations with people Network on Facebook and Twitter. Do guest post on blogs in your niche which is good for reputation. Attend events and conferences and meet amazing people in your industry.
Stay In Contact With Your List
You want to stay in contact with your email list. Share other great information and resources. Ask them questions that you can use to serve them better content. You should add value before promoting products to them. How you treat your list affects your reputation. Be a hero to them.
Rookie Mistake: Trying To Monetize From Day One
This is just a bad idea because it ends up that you look like you are trying to make money rather than connecting with people and sharing your message. Focus on building your audience, putting out good content, and connect with important people in your industry. You’re gonna have a plenty of time to make money once you have an audience in place.
Step 4. Promote Products
This is the final step in becoming a successful affiliate marketer. Still with me?
Before you start promoting things, make sure that you only promote what you believe in.
You want to get access of the product first. You can either buy the product or you can ask the vendor for new copy. Most vendors if they care about their affiliates, they’ll provide with a review copy.
It’s always a good idea to try to checkout the product first, otherwise it’s gonna be very difficult to compete with other affiliates who have actually tried the products. Below are some ways on how to promote products.
Ways to Promote Products:
- Banner ads
- In Content Referrals
- Recommended Resource Page
- Promotions to you list
Banner ads is the easiest to do when you want to promote products. But it is also the least effective method. You can ask banners from vendors. If they don’t have, you can just ask someone to create it, like in fiverr.com.
Ads like this should be relevant and stand out visually. You can put those banner ads in your site, then attach affiliate links to it.
In Content Referrals
This would be where you would briefly mention a product in your content. Your not providing a full review, just a recommendation statement. This is one of the most profitable method.
When you’re writing reviews, it is much more believable if you actually say what you personally think about it, and even shows any result that you got.
The great thing about reviews is that they can really help pre-sell the product. If your audience trusts you and listens to what you have to say, they’ll be ready to buy based on your recommendations.
But when you are writing a review, you should be honest, transparent, and very specific. You should cover both the good and the bad about the product. Also, talk about who it’s right for, and who it’s not. You want to tell people who should be buying the product. Don’t make it sound that it’s the right product for everyone.
Recommended Resources Page
This is where you put your mini-reviews in one place. If someone really likes you and trusts you, and wants to know all your recommended software/products, this is where they go. You can have them all in one place.
Also, it’s important to build a rapport telling your audience that some of those resources may contain affiliate links. It creates trust. Most of the time, people will credit you for what you’re doing. Below is an example of a disclaimer.
“Note: Some of the products and services below contain affiliate links, which means if you purchase them, I get a small commission. You can rest assured I only promote things to you that I really like and personally use. If you buy through this link, I appreciate it. It really helps support what I’m doing.”
Promotions To Your List
Promotions to your list is still the most reliable and profitable method. The deliverability of email is extremely high compared to social media or ads. It’s more likely that people are gonna see it.
When you promote through an email, you highlight the benefits what they’re gonna get, not features. Personalize your recommendation, just like in other ways of promoting products. Make sure it’s clear. If possible, you can include results of other people who already bought it. Plain texts emails work fine, no need to be fancy.
Give your audience bonuses when they buy from your affiliate links.
Bonuses add more value to the audience, and it also help you as an affiliate protect your commission or sale. If someone is thinking about a product, but they’re not entirely sure, a good bonus can get them to go ahead and buy it now.
Bonuses also make your audience love you even more. If you are giving them more for free, not just recommending a great product, that makes you look like a hero.
It also add more value to the product, making your readers more likely to achieve their goals. It’s always a win win. It makes you look good. It makes your audience feel great.
Some ideas for things that you can offer as bonuses could be:
- Your step-by-step guide to using the product
- Tip sheets
- One on one Q&As
- Cheat sheets
- Video training
- Vendor-provided bonuses
Woohh! That was a hell of a lot of information! Congratulations if you made it this far.
Again, these are steps in becoming a successful affiliate marketer:
Make sure your niche is less competitive. If it is, it would be harder for you to grow your audience and to rank in search engines. Be present on different platforms, and make those platforms support each other. But make sure to really have your own website. Grow your audience by providing valuable content for them. Don’t just promote product, but also provide bonuses. An email list is still reliable and profitable.
Nevertheless, it’s not just about promoting the products, or about how you go about building the platform and growing your audience. But it is also about respecting your audience. Think of them as actual people with actual needs, desires, and goals. Make sure that in everything you do, respect your audience. Always do the best that you can for your audience. That’s gonna be what gets people trusting you, and actually buying when you promote things. Always keep that in mind.
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