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Affiliate Marketing Explained Simply For 2017 Results

affiliate marketing explained simply

Affiliate marketing explained simply…you’re in the right place.

First thing for you to digest:

Successful folks have a long term outlook. They don’t say, “I’ll TRY this for a couple weeks and then quit if I’m not rich by then”.

They’re also willing to test different offers, learn new skills, such as how to do proper keyword research when driving traffic to their chosen offer, how to become better at email followup, how to become better at both free and paid advertising, etc.

If you’re interested in how to start affiliate marketing and promise yourself to think long term and learn new skills, let’s look at what this type of marketing is so you can avoid common mistakes

Affiliate Marketing Explained Simply…

Put simply, marketing as an affiliate means you’re becoming the “middle man” between someone who has developed a product or service and the folks interested in that particular product or service.

That’s it…you market the product or service and when the people you’ve attracted through that advertising buy, you are paid a percentage of the commission made.

The skills you need to become good at are

  • marketing
  • email followup with your potential customers

I lump network marketers into the category of affiliate marketing, too. If you’re in MLM did you create a product or service? No, you’re simply the middle man!

You can either run around bugging people at Starbucks or calling people you haven’t talked to in 25 years…or you can get good at online marketing and target the folks best suited to buy your company’s product…

…in other words, use the affiliate marketing tips below & dominate your company rankings.

How affiliate marketing works

Realities of the Business

Before you can expect to make any money as an affiliate marketer, you must first learn how to drive traffic to an offer.

The merchant you’re selling for will usually provide you what are called “landing pages” or “capture pages”. Network marketers are given a “replicated website or store”

Click here for details about why replicated sites don’t work

These landing pages allow you to capture the email addresses of your prospects.

This is a must because one of the realities of the business is that if you only send your traffic to a sales page, about 1-2% of the people you send there will buy immediately.

If you don’t capture some of the other 98% so you can follow up later, you’ll die in this business.

Click here for an example of a capture page I use for a system I promote that teaches folks how to drive traffic, followup through email, and become successful inside their business (this page is specifically aimed at network marketers).

That’s exactly what you must do. If you don’t eventually learn how to “brand” yourself, follow up properly through email, then your traffic generating skills will be wasted over time.

Quick Recap

I’ve provided you a quick overview of affiliate marketing for beginners. Again, here’s the process:

  • Drive Traffic To a Capture Page
  • Follow Up Through Email
  • Build a Relationship With Your Prospects as You Move Them to Your Sales Page from the Email Follow Up
  • Make Money

affiliate marketing explained
Let’s Dive In Deeper

Ok, so you’ve got the basics…affiliate marketing explained simply. The challenge is that you might not know what’s meant by “drive traffic”.

I find that this is where the online world gets interesting. I’ve been online since 2004. I’ve seen it all. I’ve coached folks in niches ranging from local business owners to network marketers to Clickbank affiliates to “you name it”.

The common theme is everyone wants a couple affiliate marketing success tips and tricks…

…and then jump into “selling & making money”.

What I get angry at are all the “gurus” who perpetuate this myth that you just,

“Buy my system & make huge commissions starting NOW BABY!”

It’s the same bullshit inside network marketing where folks are told things like:

  • Everyone needs this.
  • Your friends and family will buy & join.
  • The guy at the gas station will buy & join.
  • Your high school buddies you haven’t talked to in 15 years will buy & join.

Oh, yeah? How’s that workin’ for ya?

Let me get “real” with you:

You will never turn a quality, consistent profit in online/network/affiliate marketing until you take this seriously and learn how to generate your own traffic.

How To Generate Traffic To An Offer

All right, if you’re still with me it means you’re not the person looking for scammy, spammy, dumb crap that doesn’t exist.

Great to have you here! Nice to “meet” you 🙂

Now we can talk “brass tacks”.

If you want to kick ass selling stuff online you need your own social media HUB. No, I don’t mean:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Periscope
  • Snapchat
  • YouTube
  • LinkedIn

Do you need to move into “working” those social channels eventually? Yes, but it’s not where you start because you don’t own and control your social media profiles.

I’m assuming you want to build a solid affiliate marketing business that will bring you profits 5 and 10+ years from now. The way to do that is to start a blog inside the niche that your product offerings place you in.

You “own” your blog.

You can say what you want on your blog without some faceless Facebook stormtrooper in a bad mood shutting you down for violating a 1000 page Terms of Service agreement you never bothered to read.

The biggest thing is that as you build your blog page by page your traffic will grow. Soon, you’ll have free search engine traffic providing you prospects interested in what you’re selling.

This is one of the biggest affiliate marketing secrets most folks gloss over…probably because it takes work to grow your blog…but it’s SO worth it for your future affiliate marketing success…

Don’t Take My Word For It

chris brogan start with a blog

If you haven’t heard of Chris Brogan, Google him. He’s a social media/traffic generating expert. He’s written books such as The Impact Equation: Are You Making Things Happen or Just Making Noise?

Why Is a Blog Essential For Network/Affiliate Marketers?

Great question!

Remember above when I mentioned the landing pages (for affiliate marketers) or replicated websites (for network marketers) that each company you’re reselling for will provide you?

How will you get your best prospects to land on those pages in order to buy from you?

I want you to stop and just think hard about that for a second.

How’s it going to happen?

You’ve just joined some Magic Guru’s Amazing Work From Home In Your Underwear Best Product In The Entire Universe affiliate program.

Your “guru” has promised you riches inside his “never done before” Business In a Box.

Your “guru” has promised that money is about to flow like never before. All you gotta do is share his “magic landing page”.

OK…NOW THINK!

Where will you share this Magic Landing Page (or magic replicated site if you’re in MLM)?

Let’s Spam Twitter & Facebook!

Yup, that’s what happens.

Network marketing companies and “guru” affiliate product creators are notorious for saying B.S. like,

“Just share this link all over your social media profiles and watch the money roll in cause EVERYBODY needs this. “

So you go to your Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn account and start pasting your coded affiliate link all over.

The result? Crickets…or worse, complaints…or even worse Facebook eventually bans your company URL because of all the complaints…now you can’t even spam any more folks…bummer!

That’s Why Network/Affiliate Marketers Need a Blog

Here’s what works: you identify your niche.

Selling personal development ebooks? You’re in the personal development niche.

Selling Avon? You’re in the makeup niche.

Selling weight loss info? You’re in the weight loss niche.

Selling paint-by-number paint supplies? You’re in the hobby painting niche.

See what I mean? No matter what you’re selling you need to identify your niche. This then allows you to position your blog content so it’s attractive to the people already interested in your topic.

And that’s the KEY. A properly positioned blog will attract only the best prospects for what you’re selling. They are actively typing into a search engine keywords that are basically questions about solving a problem they have.

Key Affiliate Marketing Secret: You simply blog about the solutions to those problems and you’re now generating quality traffic of people who will naturally be interested in what you’re selling through your affiliate marketing endeavor.

You Must Become a Problem Solver

Become a Problem Solver

Your job as an affiliate marketer is to identify the problems the product you’re reselling solves…become a problem solver. That’s it…pretty simple actually.

  • Then, you start a blog.
  • Then, you blog about those problems. You give helpful tips and info that will gain the trust of your readers.
  • Then, you simply recommend your affiliate product as the ultimate solution to their problem.

Affiliate Marketing Example

For example, let’s say you sell a monthly membership offered by an expert dog trainer.

Start a blog about dog training. Perform a little keyword research to see what people are asking the search engines about.

Let’s say you see that people are typing, “how to stop my puppy from peeing on the couch”.

Great! You create a blog post offering 7 tips that will help a puppy owner keep their puppy from peeing on the couch.

In that blog post you’ll suggest they click over to your landing page that offers a free trial of a great monthly membership where they can receive ongoing dog training tips from an expert dog trainer.

Pretty simple actually.

Now It’s Time To Use Social Media

Once you have a quality piece of dog training content on your blog, NOW you use your social media channels.

Rather than spamming your social media contacts some generic landing page that doesn’t connect with them AT ALL, you can provide them VALUE by linking them from a social media post over to your blog post.

Now you look like a helpful “advisor” instead of a scammy affiliate marketer.

Because you ARE being helpful…and you’ll stand out from everyone else who doesn’t know how to market properly.

As long as you’re building social media profiles that attract followers who are puppy and dog owners, you’ll do fantastically well.

Those folks will click from your Facebook page or Twitter profile and LOVE your free tips about keeping their dog from peeing on their couch.

When you recommend your monthly membership product they’ll actually listen to you.

Will 100% buy? Of course not! That’s the silly “get rich quick” thinking that gets folks in trouble.

But some will. Over time your traffic numbers will increase. More people following your blog = more people buying from your blog.

Start getting good at the next step, which is building an email list, and now you’ll make more followup sales over time.

Again, your blog is your marketing HUB.

You create awesome content, attract free search engine traffic, promote that awesome traffic on social media and then you attract leads and sales on the blog.

Reverse Engineer The “Gurus”

Think about the folks online who are successful.

Don’t they all have blogs they sell their stuff on?

Even the huge people in network marketing who preach offline marketing techniques are using the INTERNET to build their teams and sales.

Isn’t that interesting?

They’re getting YOU to join them or buy their stuff ONLINE, then teaching you to go bug your Uncle Bob.

Hmmmm…

What If You Don’t Have a Niche Yet?

So far, I’ve been talking about how to be an affiliate marketer for a product you already know you want to sell. What if you don’t know what to sell yet?

First, make sure you choose products you’re passionate about. One big affiliate marketing tip for successfully making money online is to work inside a niche you enjoy.

You’ll be investing time and energy on your blog and social media profiles. There’s nothing worse than working on an area of life or business you don’t enjoy. If you’re not passionate about the topic it’s unlikely you’ll ever do the follow-through work needed to succeed.

I made this affiliate marketing mistake myself about 7 years ago when I attempted to earn money re-selling inside a niche I wasn’t passionate about. I’ve seen clients fall into this trap, too.

So, first brainstorm your interests & passions.

And it should go without saying that you should only recommend products you believe in 100% to add value to the lives of others.

As well, only promote products that fit your overall blog topic. If you have a blog about knitting you’re not going to try and sell a handbook teaching folks how to become better golfers. Your visitors interested in knitting will be like, “whaaaaat?”.

Research Inside Affiliate Networks

Many affiliate networks exist. These are simply websites where you can go and find products to promote. Folks with products to sell list their products there and folks like you can decide to promote those products on your blog.

Here Are a few Affiliate Networks To Get You Started

Commission Junction (CJ.com)

CJ has a WEALTH of products to choose from in an amazing array of niches. Sign up here as an affiliate (publisher) and take a look.

Clickbank

Clickbank has offerings inside many niches. You’ll find quality e-books or even memberships (for ongoing monthly commissions) to promote. BE careful, though. There are also many scammy products there. Find the quality products, though, and you can earn commissions as high as 75%/

ShareASale

ShareASale has many different types of products you can promote. I’ve promoted products ranging from basketball training aids to re-selling the Thesis Theme I use on this very blog. You’ll be able to find a wide range of products to promote here.

Amazon Associates

You’ve heard of Amazon, right? You can earn money re-selling anything Amazon offers.

Rakuten (used to be LinkShare)

You should be able to find products to promote with the above resources for just about any niche you’re interested in.

Another way to find affiliate products is to go to the website of a product you’d like to promote and look for a link called “Affiliates” or “Affiliate Program”. You’ll often find this in the footer area. If they have an affiliate program they’ll explain how to join at their Affiliate Page.

How To Build Your Blog

You’re going to buy hosting through one of the many available hosting companies. Attach WordPress to your blog. Start blogging.

Actually, it’s a bit more complicated than that. You’ll have to learn how to navigate your host’s back office in terms of how to attach WordPress, learn which plugins you need, etc.

I’m a paid blog traffic/social media coach. Teaching this stuff is what I do for a living. You might enjoy my post that takes you through the process for starting your blog.

Or, just click here to buy through the hosting company I personally use. If you do, I’ll waive my $149/hour coaching fee and provide you a complimentary coaching session to help you get your blog started correctly.

 

 

So, that’s affiliate marketing explained simply…well, as simply as humanly possible!

By the way, did you learn something new today about affiliate marketing? Let me know in the comments below how you’ll now use that knowledge to earn more money online…

If you think others can benefit from understanding this knowledge I’d greatly appreciate it if you shared it with them!

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • worldstar_reader

    Matt, this post rocks! You have made it even clearer that affiliate marketing is not as complicated as most people want to make it seem. It is the best place in my opinion for anyone to get started with an online business.

    • Matt Zavadil

      Very happy that the post was helpful. Affiliate marketing is pretty simple in terms of concept. Once you think through how you’ll position yourself as a problem solver, etc, it’s then just a matter of working it hard in terms of generating traffic, creating lead flow and converting.

  • Matt this is jam packed with great information to start and run a profitable affiliate/network marketing business. The blog suggestion is the most crucial piece. Thanks for sharing.

    • Matt Zavadil

      Glad it was helpful, Janet. Yes, your blog is the only piece of Internet real estate you can truly “own”. All rented space like social media should point back to it in order to provide value to your followers. Thanks for your comment!

  • Azam Hamdoon

    This is a great post Matt, you very well touched upon the basics when it comes to marketing online where you need to capture leads and then follow up through email. And I totally agree with you while having social media presence it extremely important to have your blog irrespective of doing affiliate marketing or network marketing

    • Matt Zavadil

      Thank you for your kinds words Azam! Greatly appreciated.

  • I am loving this post, Matt. Affiliate marketing is a confusing topic for many people, but you managed to break it down very nicely here. I’ve bookmarked your site for further reference. I look forward to learning more from you!

    • Matt Zavadil

      Hey Rachelle…thanks for your kind comment and for bookmarking my blog. Have a great one!