Do you feel that?
That little needling niggle in the back of your mind?
You’re not sure what, but something is pulling you to change. Not in a go-all-religious-kinda-way, but to shift gear, to embrace your calling, to finally achieve what you’re truly capable of:
You lie awake at night pondering your options. You’ve got millions of ideas sparking off. You know it’s your task to put them to the test, methodically analysing like a rocket scientist.
But you’re afraid.
You’re afraid of quitting your job and living without a safety net.
Afraid of the concerned, disapproving looks your friends and family will dish out you when you tell them you’re giving it all up to be an entrepreneur.
And afraid of how dependent people will become on you when you begin to impact their lives too.
And most of all . . .
You’re afraid you’re wrong about yourself!
Maybe that needling niggle you have is just a delusion.
Maybe your ideas are rubbish.
Maybe you’re just a fool with false hopes, and this whole fantasy of becoming an online entrepreneur is just that: fantasy.
So, you do nothing.
You cower in your supposedly safe little job, working your arse off for someone else.
You read entrepreneur magazines and blog posts.
You drown your thoughts with burgers or booze or binges, all the while reminding yourself you’re doing the right thing.
But are you?
“No,” a little voice whispers inside of you. “No, this is all very, very wrong.”
OMG . . .
TODAY is all change.
That’s why Greg and Fiona are teaching me to be an online entrepreneur by showing me the easiest way to earn a sustainable income online.
Time to play catch up as this post is the third in the series.
Here’s where to read Part 1, which explains why affiliate marketing is by far the easiest way for a beginner to start making money online.
And here’s where to see Part 2, which delves into affiliate marketing lingo and the steps you need to take to succeed as a winning affiliate marketer.
Let’s crack on then . . .
Recall, there’s three steps you need to focus on as an affiliate marketer or online entrepreneur:
- Choose the right products to promote
- Choose the best places to advertise
- Monitor your statistics
Affiliate Marketer’s Candy Store
Let's build your online marketing strategies. What's the most important first step to get right as a successful affiliate marketer?
Select great products to promote using the best affiliate programs! Right?
1. More commissions for you
2. Happy buyers are repeat buyers
3. They’re much easier for you to promote
So how do you go about selecting the right products to promote to ensure success as an affiliate marketer?
If you’re new to affiliate marketing, our best “getting started” tip about choosing the right products to promote is:
Promote Products You’re Passionate About
What that means is: SELECT A PRODUCT WHICH YOU USE YOURSELF AND YOU LOVE AND BELIEVE IN, and promote it with all your heart.
That’s the very best place to start.
The Best Affiliate Programs
The best affiliate programs are the ones you profit from very quickly. You profit quickly when you promote a product you love. Learning the process of marketing as an affiliate will be loads easier, and fun too, if you promote something you know and love.
Too many people overlook promoting products they use and like! This is a huge opportunity that most people overlook. It's easy to build online marketing strategies when you endorse what you sell.
The reason we say “promote something you use” is simple. If you use a product, and rave about it, then other people will love it too. You’ll be able to personally recommend it from first-hand experience, making an honest and open endorsement of it.
The reason why this is so powerful is, it will be easy to create ads for something you believe in yourself!
Simply list your favourite benefits of the product and write a short sentence about each one of the things on your list.
You’ll be able to use this list when you promote the product – whether it be a tweet, or a status update on Facebook, or in an email, or in a little classified ad.
If you get stuck what to write, simply ‘borrow’ the promotion material that’s already written for the product. Look at the sales page or the marketing materials provided by the merchant.
Why reinvent the wheel. Right?
Get This Right At The Outset . . .
One of the first things we promoted online as an affiliate is Aweber, because we use it ourselves, and swear by it. We still promote it to this day, and love receiving regular chunky commission pay-outs that keep on getting larger and larger.
Aweber is an autoresponder email system where you pre-load email messages, which get sent out automatically when someone joins your list.
It’s known as a CORE PRODUCT, because all online businesses building a database, or list, of prospective customers need an email autoresponder platform.
Whether the online business is an Accountant, a Dietitian, or a Dating Site, they need to build a list, and stay in touch with the people on their list via an autoresponder so people eventually buy from them.
So Aweber is a CORE product.
Other types of core products include web hosting, or a one-stop-shop for online businesses called Digital Business Lounge.
Simply select a great core product to sell that you use yourself, and people will buy it because it’s a must have product for their business.
A second type of product to promote is called a FEEDER PRODUCT.
Not Baby’s Bottles . . .
A FEEDER product is one that feeds your prospective customer onto their next purchase.
So it could feed onto the need for another core product even!
For example, we LOVE Sucuri's cloud based firewall to protect our websites. We’ve used them for 5 years now after having been hacked too many times than we care to remember. So, we ‘swear by’ their faultless service, sense of security, and customer support. Promoting Sucuri is so simple because we whole-heartedly endorse their products, and it’s a no-brainer because we know if someone signs up for website protection or website cleaning, we know they have some form of online business.
So what other products or services will they need, d’ya think?
Well, what about:
- A professional WordPress theme to appear credible online
- A WordPress training course so you're not held ransom by a Web Developer
- A professional plugin to help with keyword management so your site pops up organically in the search engines
- A cloud based firewall to super protect your website from vermin hackers
- An autoresponder to send out email messages so you stay in touch with prospect customers until the time is right for them to buy
- A copy writing course so you can write email messages that have people reaching for their credit cards
- A platform that has 1,000's of proven high converting offers, some paying up to 100% commissions
- A software platform to create lead capture pages so you can duplicate them in seconds and tailor them to each of your marketing campaigns
- A software platform to help with tracking and split testing
- And a proven Affiliate Marketing Training System to rocket your results
See how a feeder product naturally leads on to related products?
Like Feeding Candy To A Baby
When you’re smart and consider your customers’ needs, you can easily build funnels into your online marketing strategies. In other words, ‘funnel’ a core product into a feeder product, because the core product naturally “feeds” onto further sales.
In brief . . .
To create that funnel, you’ll need to set up a follow up email system (you’ll need Aweber for that, of course) where you promote the main product such as web hosting. After that, write emails offering people a series of products relevant to their online business needs, which are your feeder products.
Just a quick word of caution though . . .
There’s no limit to the number of products you can promote as an affiliate, just make sure you start with one, learn how to market it effectively, THEN build up your portfolio from there.
Core and feeder products are just the beginning . . .
There’s a whole world of products, in dozens of profitable markets or niches, listed with the best affiliate programs, and on reputable platforms which are free to register with.
Picture . . . a kid in a candy store!
Proceed with care!
Because when you promote one core product with all your heart it's far better than attempting to promote too many products half-heartedly.
And Here Are The Candy Stores . . .
Our favourite affiliate marketplace platforms are:
Commission Junction – renamed Conversant
And you can find a whole host of lower cost products to promote on the Warrior Forum (be careful though – there’s a LOT of tempting products there that can distract you from your affiliate marketing role!)
You may have heard of Clickbank to, but there's a lot of crap on there and it's reknown for having high refund rates.
There's also Amazon Associates too of course, which is one of the best affilaite programs, however the commissions they pay are small and the cookies have a short life.
This Free Training Affiliate Marketing Training Is Delivered By One Of The Best Affiliate Programs Online Today
The Fool Proof Way
You know how we said to promote products you’re passionate about?
We strongly suggest you promote products in a niche you already have a passion for – AND – buy the product yourself first, before promoting it, so you have a first-hand user experience to go by.
That’s hugely important!
Because it’s responsible!
And you get a true ‘feeling’ for the product and, therefore, a true connection with the needs of your prospective customer.
We also advise you to get in touch with the merchant – and ask them questions.
Ask how long their product has been on the market for, and does it still convert as advertised, and do they keep updating the product (if necessary) plus the marketing materials. Get to know them. And get a feel for the truth in their replies. If they don't bother to reply to you, take it as an indication that it might pay to steer clear of that product.
Your Handy Check Sheet
So, in addition to promoting something you’ve experienced yourself, here’s our Affiliate Product Selection Check Sheet to use when you browse these affiliate marketplace ‘candy stores’:
Look out for the following:
A. Lifetime Commissions
Wouldn’t you rather “sell” once and collect affiliate commissions month after month, year after year?
So look out for products and services in the best affiliate programs that have a monthly recurring fee structure – so things in the online world that are like a monthly gym membership, or a monthly gas or electric bill, or a monthly lease rental.
However, just because a merchant has a recurring fee structure themselves, doesn’t mean you’ll be getting recurring commissions. Good example: LiquidWeb
Even though it’s a monthly service, their affiliate commission structure is based upon the number of sign-ups you drive to them and you’ll be paid a flat fee for each sign-up.
On the other hand, Aweber offers 30% of the monthly fee your referral pays them – PLUS, once customers sign up with Aweber they generally keep the service for a long time because once established with Aweber it takes a lot of effort to move to another service provider!
B. Cookie Duration
Check out how long the affiliate cookie remains active on your referrals computer.
Obviously the longer it remains active, the better it is for you!
60 days is common – and, when you think about it, if someone hasn’t bought within 60 days, then they’re probably not ever going to buy.
The best affiliate programs tend to have lifetime cookies – so you keep getting paid as long as a customer buys from the company/product you referred them to.
An Amazon.com cookie last only 24 hours, BUT . . . Amazon pay you commission for ANY product your referral buys from them in that 24 hour period! And you know how talented Amazon are at doing upsells?
C. Back End Products
Does the merchant have a string of back end products. And more importantly do they pay affiliate commission on the sale of those products to the customer you introduced or referred.
If so, you can go ‘all out’ with your advertising of the initial product because you know the back end product commissions will increase your bottom line. However, you do need to know the conversion rates of each of those back end products.
Remember – although you're dealing with real people who have real problems, it’s still a numbers game.
As hinted above, the best affiliate programs have lifetime cookies. Team that with a funnel of back end products and you've got yourself a money machine.
D. Refund Rate
Before you promote any offer, ask the merchant what the refund rate is. You must factor it into your costs. The best affiliate programs have low refund rates in the order of 1% and below.
E. Conversion Rate
How well does the traffic you send to the affiliate program sales page convert into customers?
If the conversion rate is too low, it may be the merchants’ sales copy is not so great. Or maybe the price is too high. Or maybe there’s no payment terms.
Whatever – these are things you have no say in. We mention them here because we believe it’ll help you to know what has an effect on the conversion of prospective customers into customers.
The best affiliate programs will tell you their average epc (earnings per click). So for every person you send to click onto the vendors website, the average epc is the average amount you could expect to earn per referral.
F. Payment Timing
How long does it take for you to get paid?
VERY important! Obviously.
Some merchant platforms pay you the instant the customer pays them. Loads of merchants pay monthly in arrears, and some take 2-3 months to pay up.
Don’t discount the slower payers – as they could have excellent products – which might be very profitable. Aweber is one example.
But you do need to consider the timing of your cash flows – and consider the possibility you'll have to pay marketing and advertising costs today, and not get paid for a couple of months.
The average payment cycle for the best affiliate platforms are monthly, in arrears.
Affiliate Marketing In A Nutshell
Some of these conditions may not seem to be affiliate-friendly. So just remember – as an affiliate, all you have to do is help bring in the customer, and the company does everything else: order processing, collecting payment, shipping, manage refunds, and customer service.
For you, promoting as an affiliate is a no-brainer as you get to earn a sustainable income while working from home (or wherever you please), you set your own schedule and you don’t have a boss to answer to.
CLICK HERE for Part 4 which covers where, exactly, to advertise your affiliate links so you can drive traffic to your affiliate offers.
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