Affiliate marketing turns out not to be the crock I thought it was. I guess that’s a typical response: when things don’t work out as expected we blame the thing that we can’t conquer. Ok. I am inclined to!
Turns out, affiliate marketing is a viable business model and I have no doubt people are making reasonable money doing it.
For me, affiliate marketing has been a hit and miss affair. Mostly miss. Which is why I gave up on it. More than once.
So the question is not “why?”, but “how can I do better?”
Now most marketers will tell you to pick a good product first. That didn’t work for me. Why? No one knew who I was and I had next to no one to market to! So, here are 3 tips based on what I’ve learned to make better affiliate results for myself.
Focus on building your profile and your list.
How? Visit relevant Facebook groups, G+ circles, forums etc and contribute. If you’re shy, start by just liking posts. Then start to comment in a small way. Then start to add to the conversation.
One thing that worked for me was making little graphics. It might be a quote or it might be an image saying “Congrats” posted as a reply to someone’s achievement. Doesn’t need to be complicated. What I tried to do was just be seen frequently.
While doing that I looked about my hard drive for some PLR that I could fashion into a small report, guide or ebook. I then rewrote, formatted the PLR into my own report and popped that as a front end offer on my website to get opt-ins.
That started to get me a trickle of sign ups either through my meagre efforts or through people connections on social media. So I focused on building my reach and reputation.
Focus on Your Area
Niche. Target Market. Audience. Space. Doesn’t matter what you call it but you can’t be all things to all people. You need to draw a line in the stand and say “this is what I’m about.”
Now that doesn’t need to be narrowly defined although it can be. It does need to be defined however. That’s been a struggle of mine and in the past I’ve prevaricated on what I would stand for online.
My corporate life has been loosely in the Personal Development industry and my qualifications are aligned to that space. I’ve been a professional Speaker, Trainer and Coach. You would think I would naturally gravitate to that online … but I haven’t. I compartmentalised my online and offline lives. Facepalm.
So now I have learned to ‘stick with my knitting’ and develop my major areas which are within Personal Development and Writing which is where my future will lay.
So, my future plans will be to represent products that I am comfortable being associated with which service those areas.
That doesn’t mean I won’t affiliate with vendors in other areas such as IM. That just won’t be my main focus once I reposition things.
The lesson: pick an area you have some passion and feel for and go for it. You can always change course later if need be. In the meantime at least you will have a focus rather than be tempted by every offer that comes your way.
Focus on established vendors with different price points
Find quality products in that space you select and build your affiliate system with those. Look for products from vendors who have been around, have a low refund rate and a decent commission. Some will give you 100% on front end. This means they are effectively buying your leads from you. Ideally choose ones with lifetime cookies. This means you are credited with future sales for prospects you introduce into their funnel. This means less work for income for you!
Ideally ensure your vendor has more than one product. When someone buys from one supplier they are more likely to buy other products. That gives you a better chance for future sales. It also means that different prospects are attracted to different price points. Some may only be looking to spend say $7-$27 while others may have a need for a higher priced product like software or a coaching program. I have found it is easier to sell the lower front end than the higher priced mid-high products. Less resistance from buyers. But, if the product isn’t worth it, a higher refund rate!
It’s taken me a bit to learn all that. I’ve also learned to offer vendors with whom I have a good connection, a bonus they can add to their product – or – offer people who buy through my link a bonus. Those bonuses will be well branded and linked.
Why do you think I have learned to offer these bonuses?