Keys To The Kingdom
In your affiliate marketing journey, it’s very important to know that you’ll encounter 3 different groups of people. Knowing who they are is very important because you need to know how to deal with them.
Each group is different and poses its own type of challenges. By understanding how the different people in the groups behave, you’ll be better prepared to handle them and be in their good books.
Let’s take a look at our 3 types of people in affliate marketing:
The ‘publishers’ refer to affiliates just like you. These are the people who create niche sites or run YouTube channels or Facebook groups. Even the affiliates who use paid ads can be considered as publishers.
The goal of most publishers is to put out relevant content or ads that attract people who will click on their links and buy their affiliate products. The publishers are your ‘competition’ and you must watch them closely.
If you have a niche site on fishing tips, where you promote fishing-related products, the other sites that show up on the first page of the search results are your competition. They could be affiliates or actual brand name companies selling their products.
You’ll notice that there can be an overlap here because affiliates can sell their own products too. Let’s look at the next group to get a better picture.
The ‘advertisers’ refer to the companies who create the products you promote. They recruit affiliates to do the selling and they also advertise on their own to boost their sales.
An affiliate who promotes other vendors’ products but also creates his/her own products to sell, now finds himself/herself in the advertisers group. Similarly, the company that’s selling fishing rods and publishes lots of fishing tips and content on it’s official blog is now a publisher too.
So, the groups can overlap. What’s important to know is that while fellow publishers can be your competition, you can also network with them to promote their products if they’re vendors too. So, now your competition has become a mutually beneficial relationship.
At the same time, the vendor whose products you were promoting, might end up ranking for a lot of keywords that you’re targeting, because their marketing is on point. So, the vendor you were trying to support, has now become your competition.
Alas, the tangled webs we weave! Generally, companies try not to compete with their affiliates. But if you notice that the one you’re supporting is posing competition for you, you’ll need to reassess your marketing strategy and see if you wish to still support them.
This group is without a doubt the most important of the three. The consumers are the people who come online looking for information and solutions to their problems. Most of them don’t come looking to spend money or buy stuff.
They want help. Your job as an affiliate marketer is to give them enough information to help them a little and whet their appetite for more information that will help them solve their problems faster and easier.
If you have a website on back pain, the content in your site can talk about the different causes of back pain and natural remedies that could help. However, if they wish to bring much needed relief, you can mention that the special ‘Pain Away Pulse Massager’ has been shown to help many back-pain sufferers.
Now, not only is the visitor better informed about his condition and has a choice of home remedies that he or she can try, but they have been subtly introduced to a product that brings much needed immediate relief.
What do you think they’ll do?
Soak in that Epsom salt home bath which is a home remedy… or get the pulse massager to ease their pain quickly?
Most of them will get the pulse massager. The content you provide is a vehicle that not only helps them become better informed, but also transports them through the invisible journey that they need to traverse to go from reader to buyer.
Understand the different people who are involved in this affiliate marketing circle and you could be much more successful in your marketing efforts.
If you are a blogger, you should definitely have your own product to sell. This could be a simple e-book or information product, or it could be a complex and high-value monthly membership or video course. Either way, as a blogger trying to create a personal identity on the web, you need a product to sell, and it needs to have your name and face on it.
Maybe you just on the website, and not a blog. Whether you decide to create your own product or not, this doesn't mean you can't benefit from affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is the quickest and easiest way to make money online, hands down. So what is better, creating your own products or promoting other products as an affiliate?
There are pros and cons for both of these Internet marketing business models, so let's take a look at them now.
Why Would You Create Your Own Products
When you create your own product, you are in total control. You decide the price, you decide what affiliates will promote your product for you, and you choose the type of product you are going to create. Unlike affiliate marketing, you are not at the whim of some company who decides to change its agreement with you, or end the relationship for any reason at all.
Having said that, creating a product of your own can be difficult. E-books are very easy to make, and are a smart way to get started in the product creation process. However, you are in charge of finding potential customers, marketing your product, handling refunds, delivering the product, while also building and maintaining a good reputation in your niche or market.
On the upside, you can create as many products as you like, as quick as you can whip them out. Sometimes with the affiliate marketing model, it is difficult to find quality products you feel comfortable promoting. When you make your own product, you can make it as value-rich and beneficial to your customers as possible.
The Benefits of Affiliate Marketing
The biggest benefit of affiliate marketing is that it is easy, simple and probably the fastest way to make money online. What could be easier than referring someone to another website, and if that person makes a purchase, you get paid? With this simplicity comes some negatives though.
You are never in charge. Even if you enjoy a great relationship with a company whose products and services you promote, they can change their terms of service, commission structure or affiliate agreement overnight. This means you can go from making thousands of dollars a week to hundreds of dollars a month, and you have no say-so in the matter.
It only takes one person to complain to the company you are promoting for them to terminate your affiliate agreement. In many cases, the terms of service are lengthy and detailed, and if you slip up in even the smallest way, you can find your agreement with a company terminated without even being able to defend yourself.
That having been said, affiliate marketing is an attractive business model because you don't deal with customers. The company you are promoting handles customer service, returns, customer satisfaction and, in the case of large affiliate companies like Amazon, they work very hard to make sure that a sale is made once you get someone to their web property.
Product creation and affiliate marketing both offer pros and cons as Internet marketing business models. Whichever you choose, get started immediately. Fussing and stressing over whether you should create your own product for sale, or become an affiliate marketer, simply means you are putting off your path to financial and time independence for another day.
If you'd like to learn more about affiliating marketing check out this free webinar by John Thornhill: https://tinyurl.com/y3a4wbcx You'll find products already created for you.
This maxim pretty much hits the nail on the head. Many marketers fail to realize that you say more when you say less. When a blog post hypes up a product or you send an email that praises a product in a way that’s over the top, you actually repel potential buyers.
It’s obvious that you have a vested interest in getting them to buy the product just so that you earn an affiliate commission. One the reader detects that you have an ulterior motive, they’ll feel that you’re biased towards the product because you’re affiliated with it.
Your motives become suspect and you lose credibility and trust. Once those go, getting the sale can be very difficult. That’s exactly why you must be subtle in your marketing.
One of the best ways to do that will be to show how the product helped you and how you benefitted from it. While it may not be possible to do this for all the products you’re promoting, you can still be subtle in other ways.
For example, if you have a site showing how to build chicken coops, casually mentioning that ‘circular saws are much better than miter saws because they’re easy to use’ will get you more sales. You just need to hyperlink the words circular saws to the product you’re promoting.
Curious visitors will click on the link. After all, everyone wants to make things faster and easier for themselves.
However, if you say, ‘you need to buy a circular saw model XXX to do this job effectively. It is the best saw that we found for the job and only costs $YYY’, you’ve probably set off the reader’s Spidey senses. They can sense that you’re pushing the saw on to them because you were too obvious.
The goal is to use curiosity and strategically placed anchor text to get the clicks. They must feel like it was their choice. That is the key. When the reader is doing things on his or her own volition, they’ll not be in a guarded state and will be much more receptive to the sales copy, etc.
As an affiliate, your job is to get the click. The sales page should do the selling. While your content can gently pre-sell the reader, it should mostly be ‘benefits oriented’. You want to sell the solution to the problem and not the product. The best way to do this is by showing how the product solves the most common problems that your audience faces.
You’ll not even need to mention where the product is sold or the positive reviews it has. If your content convinces the reader that the product is the solution that they’ve been looking for – without blatantly telling them, the reader WILL click on the links to see how they can solve their problems.
Everybody is looking for solutions. You’re just the middleman who gently guides them down the right path. That’s all there is to it. Be subtle and get that "click."
One of the secrets to successful affiliate marketing is knowing your audience so well that you can instinctively predict what products they’ll like and what they’ll avoid. To get to this stage, will require some effort and research on your part.
In fact, it’s crucial that you do it before you even start marketing to your niche. One reason so many affiliates struggle to convert readers into buyers is because they don’t know their audience. Follow the pointers below and you will be better prepared.
When targeting a niche, whom will you be speaking to? If you’re targeting the women’s weight loss niche, how old will your reader be? Is she a mother or single? How much time do you think she’ll have a day to exercise? Is she a career woman or a stay-at-home mom?
There are so many questions that you need to ask yourself so that you have a clear picture of whom you’re targeting. If you’re writing for a woman who is in her fifties, she may be a career woman or a housewife. In most cases, she’ll not be trying to lose weight after a pregnancy.
Generally, she’ll be trying to lose weight with gentler exercise programs like Pilates or Yoga. So, you can leave out hardcore interval training programs and focus more on promoting yoga DVDs, yoga mats, etc.
While some questions will overlap and you don’t need to get too specific, you must have a general idea of whom you’re speaking to. This will enable you to tailor your message accordingly.
Finding your target audience will be your next task. Just by scanning the forums they hang out in, you’ll be able to learn a lot about the niche and where there are gaps that are not being filled by the market. You can then target these areas with your marketing.
Over and above that, knowing where your audience hangs out will be helpful when it comes to traffic generation later on.
The forums, Facebook groups and other places where your audience congregates will often have questions and problems being mentioned by those in need of help. This is a goldmine of information.
Find out what common problems your market has and address them effectively. You’ll get a lot more sales and a very loyal audience.
Very often, during your research you’ll see similar products being mentioned that have helped people with their issues, and some other products will not be looked upon favorably. Take notes here and promote the popular products and avoid the stinkers.
Some niches can be related without you even realizing it. For example, the man who wishes to lose weight and get ripped, may also be doing it to attract more women. He’ll probably also be interested in guides that show him how to pick up women, etc.
This is actually a very popular industry online with tons of sales. You may wish to experiment and try promoting a pickup artist guide and see how that works for you. If it’s well-received, you know that you can start planning to market it more frequently. If it falls flat, you can ditch it and move on.
By following the tips above, you’ll become a better affiliate marketer and your content will be devoured by your readers. You’ll be the Pied Piper in your niche and your loyal readers will follow you wherever you lead them. Once you get to this stage, you’ll be an excellent affiliate marketer.
If you would like free training on affliate marketing click to see this free webinar: https://tinyurl.com/y3a4wbcx
To succeed in affiliate marketing, you’ll need all the gears in your affiliate marketing ‘machine’ to be perfectly aligned so that the machine runs smoothly and generates sales like clockwork.
In order to reach this stage, there are a few things that you must be aware of and make sure that they’re all optimized so that your marketing efforts yield the best results. Getting them wrong can end in frustration and a loss of time, energy and money.
Let’s look at the 7 steps below.
1. Create a plan
If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail. Before even getting started on the content creation or buying a domain, you’ll need to assess if your niche is worth targeting. Is it overly competitive? Are there enough products to promote? Will you be targeting long tail keywords?
You need to know your plan of attack and exactly what you’re going to do. That is your first step.
2. Research and reach
The second step is research and reach. You must do a lot of research before diving into the niche. It’s fine to even spend a week or two doing thorough research. You’ll get a feel for the niche and know just how far your reach will be. Better to be well-prepared than to get started and be unprepared.
If the niche you are in has a very small audience, your earning capacity will be limited. While you can still give it a try, it’s inevitable that you reach an income ceiling that you can’t seem to break through. So, be aware of this.
Traffic is of paramount importance. The more targeted traffic you have, the more sales you’ll make. So, you need to know where you’ll be driving traffic from and what you’re going to do. Focus a huge chunk of your efforts on getting the right traffic to your web properties.
4. Content creation and marketing
No matter what affiliate product you’re promoting, there will be some type of content creation involved. You could be writing blog posts or creating infographics or just pinning images on Pinterest – whatever the case, it is content creation and marketing.
People come online looking for information. They’re looking for content. The better and more engaging it is, the more visitors you’ll attract and retain. Your goal should always be to help the visitor out. Avoid appearing like a rapacious marketer who only hard sells and hypes products up. It’ll just turn off most people and cost you sales.
When you’re online, you must promote your content. Actively post your images in image sharing sites, share your videos in as many places as you can, get in front of as many crowds as you can, etc.
There are people on Pinterest who love gardening. There are also people in Facebook groups who love gardening. Let’s not forget all those people who subscribe to gardening channels on YouTube… because they love gardening.
Guess what? Most of them are not on all 3 sites. The audiences will be different. So, by promoting your content on different platforms, you’ll reach more people.
Analyze your traffic stats, clicks, sales, conversions, etc. Even if numbers scare you, after a while you’ll get a hang of things. Once you understand the numbers, you’ll know how to scale your efforts and improve upon the winning strategies while ditching the poorer performing ones.
7. Rinse and Repeat or.....duplication, duplication, duplication
Last but not least, find out what’s working and keep repeating your efforts. Rinse, lather and repeat. Consistency is everything and your repeated efforts multiplied over time will result in avalanches of sales.
Follow the 7 steps above and you’ll be an affiliate marketer par excellence and if you want to make 6 figures in affiliate marketing check out this free webinar by John Thornhill: https://tinyurl.com/y3a4wbcx