Of all the ways for both new and seasoned service-based entrepreneurs to earn extra money in their online business, affiliate marketing is often the go-to choice.
But many of them get sucked into “get-rich-quick” schemes often because they’re looking for a fast-track to success.
If you’re thinking is like theirs, I hate to break the bad news, but there is no fast-track. However, with planning and hard work, you can build a steady recurring stream of income that will roll in even while you sleep.
And who wouldn’t want that?
Here’s how to start making it happen.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. This means, at no cost to you, I may earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. I only recommend tools or resources that are beneficial to my biz and I believe would be the same for yours. I am not paid to endorse these companies. You can read my full disclosure here.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
For those who may not know what affiliate marketing is, I think, Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income defines it best. He says, “affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by promoting another company’s product (or service). You find a product, promote it to others, and earn a piece of the profit for each sale that you make.”
I want to emphasize that while you earn a “cut” of the sale, it is not at the purchaser’s expense.
In other words, there is no cost to the purchaser for the commission you receive from the company.
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s dive into four sure-fire tips to help boost your success as an affiliate marketer.
1 – Promote Only What Compliments Your Niche
If you haven’t already taken time to get clear on your niche and the audience you intend to serve, it is essential you do this before you start promoting random products and services willy nilly. Otherwise, not only will you lose out on attracting clients for your biz, but also on revenue that you could potentially earn from your blog, email list, etc. Let me explain what I mean.
I’m a business coach who helps service-based entrepreneurs launch, grow and scale their business so they can earn good money, build a thriving biz and ditch their soul-sucking 9-5 (on a timetable best for them) without all the overwhelm.
Therefore, the services I offer and everything I write about in my blog, share on social media, and provide in my emails are all related to my specified niche. Consequently, when someone lands on my website/blog or social site, they know what content they’ll see and learn.
Having this narrowed focus allows me to attract clients and seamlessly promote products and services within my particular spectrum.
If I were to recommend a weight loss product or share an offer for a cooking class, it’d not only confuse my target clients and readers, but my marketing would also fall flat because those offers don’t relate to my business.
Therefore, its best only to recommend products and services that compliment your niche and audience.
2 – Establish “Like, Know, Trust” Factor
Unless you’ve already built a tribe of adoring fans who happily fill their cart with the offers you promote through affiliate marketing, a majority of your website/blog visitors or subscribers will not pull out their wallet and make a purchase for no reason.
Thus, you must establish a “like, know, and trust” factor first.
a. Be of Service
Join Facebook Groups or other networking sites where daily discussions take place and contribute good, solid advice to the burning questions at hand. Do this daily and often throughout the day as time permits.
As a result, you will gain a reputation as someone who is an authority and generous at the same time.
If the group allows participants to promote their businesses, then you can point consumers to your squeeze page or a blog, where you discuss the subject at hand in depth. Of course, you offer the affiliate product there, too. But you give tons of value in exchange for that traffic.
That said, if the group doesn’t permit you to promote yourself, don’t do it.
In the end, your being of service will speak volumes and “pay off” in due time.
b. Share Valuable Content
While your website has a “Home” or “Start Here” page, it doesn’t mean that’s the page your visitors land on first when coming into contact with your site. Therefore, you want to ensure each page on your site grabs your readers’ attention and offers valuable content. If you do it right, you’ll leave a good first impression with your intended audience, which is a key step of building the “like” factor.
Another area where you’ll want to grab attention and share valuable info is in your emails. After all, that’s where a good portion of affiliate marketing occurs, so if your subscribers aren’t opening their emails or you don’t keep them engaged with good FREE content first, you’ll lose out on a goldmine of potential sales later.
3 – Up Your Marketing Game
Affiliate marketing involves more than slapping a few products or ads on a page and thinking they’ll automatically sell themselves.
Depending on the items you promote, much of the hard work may be done for you, namely the product and sales copy. So if you have a natural talent for marketing or you feel like you can develop your promotion strategy easily enough, it’ll be no sweat off your brow to market.
On the other hand, many entrepreneurs and bloggers will be dabbling into unchartered territory as a first-time affiliate marketer and aren’t sure what to do. Similarly, there are thousands upon thousands of products and services that don’t offer pre-written scripts. In either case, it will require you to learn skills and do the legwork first.
That legwork includes but is not limited to:
** Pro-Tip ** – A rule of thumb when creating content for marketing purposes …
- use everyday words that speak directly to your core audience, not “jargony” business language.
- outline how their business or life changes by using the products you’re recommending instead of leaving it to chance that they’ll figure it out
For example, one of the products I recommend for biz owners is Freshbooks, which is as an all-in-one small business invoicing and accounting software.
So in my marketing, I describe this tool as “Freshbooks offers you the opportunity to …
- make your business look more professional with customized invoicing
- get paid faster
- cut down on paper records
- record business transactions on the go and
- has everything you or your accountant need to stay organized year-round + be 100% ready for tax season.”
Consequently, the language is easily understandable and paints my readers a picture of how this tool makes their accounting tasks less stressful and will also help increase their bottom line sooner rather than later.
4 – Join a Network
As I’ve already mentioned, there is a plethora of items and services ripe for promoting through affiliate marketing. But how do you find them all?
Here’s one A-list player that offers a bevy of significant companies from which you can choose and start generating recurring income.
ShareASale is an affiliate marketing network. What this means is once you join and are approved as a member, you can search their website of over 3900+ Merchants spanning 40 different categories to find products.
As you scroll through, you will find a brief description of each company and the service or product they offer, as well as the amount they payout for affiliate purchases + other information.
Now one thing worth noting is that while your ShareASale membership gives you access to the merchants, you must still apply for an affiliate program with your preferred companies.
The process to apply involves answering a few questions such as “how do you plan to promote (blog, social media, etc.)?”, etc. Once said company approves you, you will gain access to tools (website banners, links, etc.) for your marketing.
There is no cost to join ShareASale. Hence, it should make your decision to join a no-brainer.
In Conclusion …
Affiliate marketing money doesn’t grow on trees, but it comes close. With a planned strategy that includes …
- Research and selection of the right products to promote within your niche
- Efforts on the front-line to establish the “like, know and trust factor” with your audience
- The perfect marketing combination of a well-written blog post or landing page, strong sales content for your email + an email system that runs on autopilot, and tools to drive targeted traffic to your site
- A rinse and repeat of your hard work behind the scenes
You’ll have built a robust framework that’ll help you earn extra money outside of your coaching programs or service-based offers (or whatever your business offers), reaping recurring profits for years to come.
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