Yes, it is possible to make good money with affiliate marketing. In fact, you can make a full time living with affiliate marketing. Many digital marketers are doing just that.
So, where or how do you get started? I have some helpful tips here to help you get started on the right track.
The secret is, follow the same formula that works for any online venture, be it affiliate marketing or selling your own products or services.
First, you need a solid product or service that customers want to buy.
Next, you’re going to create a funnel to convert your traffic. Then, you’re going to build traffic, test to optimize your funnel, and when you’re profitable, scale the entire thing.
Sounds easy, right? But you and I know this takes time and effort. There is a reason why 90% of affiliate revenues are made by just 10% of affiliates. Let’s go through the steps, one by one:
Step 1: Picking the right product to promote
Want to make money quickly? Then start as an affiliate, promoting pages that have already been optimized for a product proven to sell.
This is one of two places where so many people go wrong with affiliate marketing. They grab the first good looking product they see and start promoting it like crazy, not knowing why it’s not converting worth a darn.
Choosing the right product is extremely important. The right product and mediocre traffic will make you money. The wrong product and highly targeted, stellar traffic will leave you broke.
Some things to think about when choosing a product:
- The amount of money you make per sale.
- The amount of money you make as a result of rebills.
- Quality of the product. Low refunds = more money and less list burnout.
- Good affiliate resources
- Prebuilt Funnels
- Marketing Creatives (banners, email etc. that you can use)
- Affiliate training
It’s always good to review products you’re interested in promoting. If you can’t get a free review or trial, you have to purchase the product. Go through it from start to finish. Pull out points that will be of interest to your readers, so that you can speak knowledgeably about it when you promote the product. Do you LIKE the product?
I mean really, would you recommend your best friend BUY it? What about your mother, daughter or your boss at work? If you don’t personally like a product and believe it delivers on its promises, then DON’T promote it. Remember, your reputation is everything online.
Step 2: Decide How to Promote Your Chosen Product
This is the second area where most affiliates screw up. They paste some banners on their site promoting the product and then wait for the sales to come pouring in. Except that rarely happens.
Then they try using content links – recommendations embedded directly in their text. If you do a good job of building trust throughout your article, then your conversion rates will likely be better than if you were using banners.
Next, affiliates marketers become more sophisticated and they start writing product reviews. If the review page has enough SEO to get it to page 1 of Google, then it’s almost assuredly going to make sales. The key to reviews is to write them as a genuine reviewer would write them – not as a sales person would write it.
And of course, you need a steady volume of traffic to SEE your review. Traffic on review keywords tends to be low and competition tends to be fierce. And there’s no way to scale reviews, making it hard to grow your traffic.
Using the above 3 methods, (banners, content links, reviews) you won’t get a lot of content shares because most people don’t like to link to, or share stuff that sells. This means you’ll have to pay for traffic or become really good at SEO.
So, what’s an affiliate to do?
Build a Value Rich Sales Funnel
Twenty years ago, there was a method of online marketing that entailed giving away free content, adding value, and then selling to the people who wanted the free stuff.
This method still works. The key is to keep your front end clean of any sales pitch. Think of yourself as a media company, offering free content to your readers.
Offer lead magnets through content upgrades, opt-in pop-ups, bonuses on other people’s products and retargeting. Once you have their email address, THEN you can start linking to your offer from your thank you page, and also begin your email sequence promoting your offer.
I know what you’re wondering… “If I only make my offer to those who opt in for the free offer, I might be losing sales.”
Most likely, no.
If they aren’t interested enough to get your FREE offer, why would they PAY for something on the same topic?
Here’s how your funnel might look when you get it completely set up. Please note, you don’t have to do ALL of these things immediately. Just add in steps as you are able.
Or, use the tool I use to easily build funnels using a drag and drop funnel builder. It will create your pages and link everything together for you.
Send traffic to your blog post that offers a content upgrade (lead magnet).
This traffic might come from Facebook ads, Google ads, be organic (such as guest blogging and social media) and come from content distribution networks such as Outbrain, or TrafficIvy.
You can also use solo ads and this other lead source I use.
Some people will grab the lead magnet, other won’t. If they don’t, then retarget them using a service such as AdRoll to get them to come back and grab the lead magnet.
When they do give you their email address in exchange for the lead magnet, redirect them to your affiliate offer. If they buy the affiliate offer, their email address goes into your main list. If they don’t buy, they get a follow up series encouraging them to take another look at the affiliate offer.
This system keeps your front end clean of commercial offers. Now you can get plenty of links and shares because of it.
You can target trending topics and high traffic keywords related to the problems your affiliate offer solves.
You can completely avoid PPC if you want.
You’re building an email list – meaning you OWN the audience. Maybe they don’t purchase your initial offer, but you can continue to demonstrate value, build rapport and sell more things to your list.
How do you get traffic?
SEO: If you’re creating content, you may as well optimize it for the search engines. Take a basic SEO course and you’ll find this is not as difficult as you’ve been led to believe.
Facebook: Odds are, your audience is already on Facebook. You can get cheap traffic by paying for it or build an engaging fan page and drive your traffic through organic reach.
Content distribution networks: Taboola & Outbrain can help you get your content seen, especially if you have a wide-ranging topic, but they can get expensive if not careful.
There are a few free alternatives like TrafficIvy, and SocialAdr. They require that you share the content of others to get credits, so your content can then be shared. So it will take some of your time. Or you can buy low cost shares on these platforms. In fact, I was able to grab you a discount on TrafficIvy
Your own social media accounts: Whenever you post new content, remember to tell everyone on social media. And don’t just tell them once – share the content several times over the course of days or weeks.
Guest blogging: This can work really well, especially if you plan ahead. Place ‘how to’ articles on your own site, and then guest post in a way that allows you to link to those articles.
For example, your guest post could be on how to plan for a week long bike trip, and it could link to articles on your site that cover roadside emergencies, how to get the best camping deals, and how to monetize your trip so you get to go for free.
Side Note: Some will tell you that you can make money online without a website. I call B.S. on that. You may make some quick short term money (doubtful). But to build a long term consistent income you need to have sales funnels, thank you pages, download pages and more. Plus you want a blog, which is the best way to get organic SEO (Free) traffic. This one tool has all of that.
For all four of these traffic methods to work, be sure that your content is clean of promotions (aside from your opt-in), give value and establish yourself as an authority. This is going to make you stand apart from nearly all the other affiliates out there.
Getting the Opt-in
I hinted at this in ‘guest blogging’, but here’s how to get your opt-ins – create complementary pieces of content that go with your original article.
If your article is on 3 tips for getting traffic, your opt-in piece might be on…7 more methods. If you the kept reader engaged during the first 3 tips, they’re almost certainly going to want to read the next 7 as well.
Consider using opt-in pop-ups, since they tend to convert better than using a sidebar or even top bar opt-in. At the end of your content, issue a great final call to action, such as offering your content upgrade.
And for the people who don’t take the offer on your website, add them to a retargeting list on Facebook, and send them to the opt-in page to download the bonuses. To create all of this, you might consider using the Builderall suite of digital marketing tools.
Your Thank You Page
Once people opt in, it’s time to redirect them to a thank you page where you…are you ready for this?… finally promote your offer. Yeah!
The key here is to bridge the offer with the lead magnet. The worst thing you can do at this point is confuse your new subscriber into thinking they now need to PAY for the lead magnet they just signed up to receive.
Making it clear that the offer and the lead magnet are two different things is simple:
Place wording, perhaps in a banner, at the top of the page that indicates the lead magnet and the offer are two separate things. For example, you might write: “Important: Read this page BEFORE you use the Magic Weight Loss eBook (Please allow 10-15 minutes for delivery)”
You can then explain why the lead magnet – while being a good start – is not going to cover everything they need to know to achieve the result they’re looking for. Let them know why they should take the offer you’re presenting along with the lead magnet, to get the very best results possible.
In the case of a lead magnet on traffic generation, your product might show them how to convert a higher number of those visitors into sales.
Or in the case of a lead magnet that outlines a diet plan, your product might be a high intensity interval training program that will give them maximum results when combined with the diet.
Your thank you page is introducing the sales page – it isn’t the sales page itself. It’s important to set them up to be receptive to the sales page, rather than just throwing them headfirst into the sales situation with no prior warning. The more receptive you can make them to your offer, the better your offer will convert.
I’ve even seen marketers use a series of pages to walk the new subscriber to the sales page. By the time they get there, they’re already 3/4ths sold!
To build these landing pages and thank you pages, you might want to use Builderall.
Your email list
You’ll notice that instead of throwing traffic at a sales page, you’re collecting email addresses so that you can continue to market to them over and over again.
This begins with the offer you just made. While some will take it, many more won’t, and that’s okay. You now have the chance to follow up repeatedly and show them why the offer makes good sense for fulfilling their needs. You already know they are a good fit, since they downloaded the related lead magnet. Now you just need to overcome their objections with stories and questions and answers.
For example, you might do a four-part autoresponder series like this:
Email 1- Features and Logic
This is where you send them the link to the lead magnet again, just in case they missed it the first time.
Ask them if they saw the offer, give them bullet points on why this offer is right for them, and add in a powerful testimonial.
Finish up by asking a question or starting a story you don’t finish. The idea is to create an open loop that gets them to open the next email.
Email 2 – Play with their Emotions
Remember the question you ask or the story you started in the previous email? Here’s where you give the answer or finish the story.
Then you help them to visualize the success they will have with the product, and all the things they can do when they allow this product to solve their problem.
For example, if the product you’re promoting is about driving traffic, then you can paint pictures of them driving hordes of eager buys to any offer they choose.
Or if the product is about weight loss, you can have them visualize what it will be like to be slender again, to fit into their clothes, to look and feel younger, to be attractive to others and to have tons of youthful energy.
Bring out all their positive emotions and link those emotions to the product you are promoting.
Email 3 – Frequently Asked Questions
Your FAQ email is a great place to not only answer questions, but also to clarify points and bring out information that will help your readers to make a buying decision.
Keep your FAQ a reasonable length – 3 to 7 questions is good.
Email 4 – Scarcity
It’s time to encourage your readers to take action right now. You might offer a discount if you can, or a limited time bonus that’s going away at the deadline.
Remind them that they need something new to fix their problem. If they could have fixed it with the information they already had, then they would already done that. They need the help, and this is the answer.
You might use a countdown timer to create real scarcity. Limited access does increase sales, usually dramatically, so be sure to use it.
Always write with the expectation of helping people – not of taking their money. It might sound like I’m splitting hairs, but readers will feel the difference in your writing and respond far better when they know you’re on their side.
Once you’ve done all of this, it’s simply a matter of repeating the process. Create a new lead magnet that leads to a new product, and offer that new lead magnet to your current subscribers, as well as to your new traffic.
If you use this method for every single affiliate product you promote, you’ll get results. Yes, it does sound like a lot of work. But remember that you can use each of these lead magnets for years to come, to continue building your lists and making your sales for you. And you can do this in as many different niches as you would like, too.
Or, you can do as I am doing, and promote just one main affiliate product, that has recurring income. Plus you can use this tool yourself to create the funnels, and to gather email addresses. Use it to email your leads, and even sell your own products. Use it to create blogs, membership sites, and eCommerce stores. You can even start your own affiliate program and have others promoting your product for you. It’s all you need in one package.
Remember to use Facebook and other retargeting services to greatly increase the number of subscribers you get. Tweak your headline and ads for maximum effect, and you could see extremely high opt in rates. This is because they’ve seen you and your ad before, and now you’re becoming familiar (and trustworthy) to them.
To track where your conversions are coming from, be sure to create a new affiliate link each time you place a link.
Once you know which emails, ads and pages are converting, you’ll be able to do more of what works, and eliminate or change what doesn’t work.
Always use some sort of click tracking so you know where your traffic is coming from. When your funnel is successfully running, you might create more SEO content for related keywords to bring in more traffic. Blogging is a great way to create that traffic.
And you might want to expand that autoresponder series we talked about earlier.
A/B split test your opt-ins pages and pop-ups to increase your conversion rates.
Always keep testing new funnels. I remember a marketer who created around 60 funnels before one really took off and went viral. Yes it took him a while, but now he’s making at least 5 figures per month! All due to that one funnel. This could be you if you don’t give up, stay focused and keep building.
Alright, your first step in all of this is to pick a product you believe in – one that you can feel good about recommending – and then get started on building your lead magnet and sales funnel.
I believe in this product, I can highly recommend it, and it is my main concentrated focus. Plus, I use the tool each and every day. I use it for web page hosting, funnel building, autoresponder, blogging, and…too much to list! It has at last count 27 tools, and is constantly growing.
The price is ridiculously low for all you get. It will be an incredible investment into your business.
And yes, it does have an affiliate program…that pays 100% on the initial sale, and then pays you monthly recurring income. Paying 100% commission on the initial sale is unheard of for an affiliate product (that doesn’t have multiple upsells).
I challenge you to find another affiliate program that pays 100% on the initial sale. Sorry, a $10 “JvZoo” or “Warrior Plus” product with multiple upsells doesn’t count 🙂
Today, you can get a 7 day free trial to check it all out.
Just so you know, I am a trained, Certified Partner on the platform. I know and trust the platform. I will be around to personally help you get the most out of the Builderall suite of digital marketing tools.
It is still possible to make good money with affiliate marketing, following the correct strategies and using the right tools.
To your business success,