You may or may not know that since 2005 I have been making a fulltime income as an affiliate marketer so I've seen a thing or two in the industry.
And because of my experience I'm asked quit often many questions about affiliate marketing and what it takes to be successful.
Now unfortunatly many people will fail at affiliate marketing. Yeah that's probably not what you wanted to hear. But it's the truth.
People start out like gangbusters with high expectations but eventually give up because things are not going according to their master plan.
And that master plan is the making money part - and it's not happening like it's supposed to.
I can tell you from my own mistakes and from what I've learned from other affiliate marketers I've talked to over the years. The reason most newbies fail is because of these three things:
- The wrong mindset
- The lack of or improper training/skills (this is the biggest problem)
- Unrealistic income goals
Like I said I've been a fulltime affiliate marketer since 2005. And I've learned a lot about marketing in that time, in fact I'm still learning, simply because the internet is always evolving.
So to help you I've put together a collection of what I feel are the 10 most important tips on how to start with affiliate marketing and succeed in 2017 and beyond.
Let's get to it. Now these are in no particular order.
1) Run Your Business Don't Walk It
What do I mean by that? I've come across a lot of people that go into affiliate marketing with the attitude of "I'll dip my toe in the water and see how it goes".
So they don't go into affiliate marketing with the attitude of building a real business.
Well you're already set yourself up for failure. Simply because you don't have the conviction needed to build a thriving online business.
This "well I see what happens attitude" is why many people fail at affiliate marketing. Because they have no real skin in the game, so if something happens or things don't speed along like they think things should.
That can be reason enough to quit. And then they can tell themselves "I tried affiliate marketing and it doesn't work, it wasn't my fault"
Wake up call - "It was your fault!!"
You need to take building your business seriously. Now you don't have to go into things with a do or die attitude, but it wouldn't hurt you either.
I think one of the problems is that starting out building an affiliate business does not cost a heck of a lot of money to get going. In fact you can get going for free.
Becoming an affiliate for companies cost nothing, and you can get training, hosting and a website for free to start your business right here.
So with very little capital invested people feel they're not risking much so if things don't work out, it's not a big loss, and onto something else.
But it is a big loss.
It's the loss of building your own thriving business where you're in total control of your financial destiny. If that's what you want and I'm talking about creating a fulltime income online. Then you must take your business seriously and start running it right from the get go.
I bet many people would not have such a casual attitude about their business if they invested $100,000 in the real world to start a business. I bet they would live, eat and breath their business.
I doubt very much if things did not workout right away, they would say "Ah the heck with it I'll try something else".
So right from the get go - take building your online affiliate business seriously and Run It - Don't Walk It!!
2) Focus On One Niche First
There are so many opportunities in affiliate marketing. And because of that I see this happen over and over again. People think if one niche will make them money then being in multiple niches will make them more money.
Well in theory that's true. But if you're just starting out focusing on just one niche is the smart thing to do. Trying to manage multiple websites in multiple niches when you're just learning this buisness is a recipe for disaster.
Until people get into building their business I don't think people truly understand what's involved and the workload related to building their business. Now multiply that by more than one niche.
If you're in multiple niches then right off the bat every niche is lacking the true care and attention it needs to succeed, and then months later they wonder why nothing is working.
Or they can't believe how much work it takes to care for multiple niches, and again they wonder why things aren't working out.
And guess what? They quit because they are so overwhelmed and burnt out.
Laser focus on just one niche. Devote all your energy to that one niche, get it to profit and then build that profit. Once that niche is making money and I mean real money. Then you can look at other niches if you want.
And when and if you decide to go into another niche, you'll have the skill set and expertise from what you've learned building your first money making niche to make this new one a success and probably succeed faster.
But you really don't need to be in multiple niches. All it takes is one niche to make you a fulltime income.
So make sure to Laser Focus On One Niche First When Just Starting
3) Own The Products You Market
Man I see this a lot. A person gets into affiliate marketing and they don't even own or use the product(s) or services(s) they're marketing.
Big mistake in my opinion.
Honestly how can you recommend a product or service to me or anyone else if you've never used that product or service? To me you truly can't!!
Well I guess you can. But your recommendation will not have as much validity compared to someone who owns and uses the product.
Everything I market and recommend I own and use. I know these products inside and out. And because of that people trust and respect me when I talk about them.
And by owning the product I can talk about them at a deeper level and talk about things a non-owner would know nothing about.
I can defend the product because I have the personal positive results of the product. I can show social proof and I can even show it's flaws. Every product has flaws nothing is perfect.
So make the effort to you Own The Products Or Services You're Marketing
4) Get The Proper Training
For many people affiliate marketing or online marketing in general is very new.
So this does make people vulnerable to shall we say questionable training and flat out scam products and programs.
There is no denying there is a learning curve when it comes to online marketing and this is where many beginners get tripped up.
The online world is plagued with garbage scam products claiming that they have the secret to making money online. You don't have to work, you just set up a few things and your online money dreams will come true.
Well that's a load of crap.
There is no secret to making money online. There is no push button set it and forget program for making money online. Never has been never will be.
But if you're new to online marketing and you have not been exposed to these scams and can't recognize a scam pitch when you come across one it's not hard to get sucked in and get taken for a good chunk of your money.
Hey I got scammed when I first started online, but then I found the right mentor and got the right training and I never got scammed again. And NEVER can again!!
And if you have been scammed don't beat yourself up about it. These marketers know exactly what to say and what buttons to push. They tell you exactly what you want to hear.
When you see and read things like:
- You can make X amount of dollars in 30 days with no effort
- Get floods of traffic with a push of a button
- Receive $3500 - $6500 or more a week
- Million dollar blueprint
- This offer will be gone tomorrow
- We're not sure how long we can offer this deal
- Want to make a fulltime income by the end of the week?
This is all scam language.
The big red flags are when the product owner tells you, you can make money overnight and with no effort or uses false scarcity saying this offer will be removed so you better buy now.
Or you're watching a video and the majority of the video talks about the lifestyle you can have and the money you can make. But really never talks about the program or how you make money.
And if you ever see some putz (girl or guy) in front of a mansion, big car talking about their lavish lifestyle - run far and run fast - that's right from the scammers handbook.
Or you hear this story "I was living in a van under a bridge and now I live in a 10,000 square foot house". The jackass from Empower Network used that BS story and scammed a lot of people.
And don't fall for the scam when they say this page or video is coming down so you need to buy now. Or you see a count down counter. Trust me the site will be there until it gets shut down by the host, the scammer is not closing anything down.
So to protect yourself from getting scammed simply slow down and take a day to put on your detective hat and research the program/product you're thinking of buying/using.
First place to start is in Google and search for reviews. But stay away from reviews that say things like "don't buy this product until you read my review". More often than not this person is an affiliate for the program/product.
Add the words like "scam" or "ripoff" to your search. Go to forums. Even places like the Rip Off Report can be a good resource. Heck you can even create a blog post here and ask the WA community.
The point is do your homework before you open your wallet.
Also avoid programs that charge you to promote their product. Many times these are disguised as MLM opportunities posing as affiliate programs when in fact they are Ponzi Schemes. Again Empower Network is the perfect example of a Ponzi scheme program.
So absolutely make sure you get the most up to date training you can. And of course we all know that's right here at the WA.
5) Focus On One Core Marketing Strategy
Everyday you're probably been hit with the latest marketing strategy. And of course more often than not the person pitching this new strategy says it's the latest greatest thing and what you're doing is old news and you better do this.
And this is where I step in and say bullshit.
Like everything it's usually someone trying to sell you on some new program or service.
Remember when periscope came out?
Everyone was talking about it. And not to long after that every so-called Periscope expert now had a how to course about Periscope.
And now you barely hear about it. The fizz is gone, and that's because there is no real money to be made promoting their useless programs for using periscope.
Yes there are a ton of marketing strategies. You have Social Media, you have Video, you have, PPC, you have Media Buys, you have Ezine Advertising - you have, you have....
But you don't have to do all of them. All you need is 1. You'll have far better success if you become 90% good at one thing then 10% good a 10 things.
Personally my 2 main marketing strategies are written content and video content marketing. I do both because I can convert my written content very easily into video content.
That's what I focus on. In fact in one of my niches all I did for that niche was videos.
I created 1 new video every week (now it's once very 2 weeks) and uploaded it to YouTube. Just focusing on this one marketing strategy in this one niche I created an additional $50,000 in income by the end of 2015. And it's grown in 2016 and will keep growing.
Do you think I would have had that sort of success if I was trying 10 other ways of marketing? No, there's no way because my focus would have been all over the place.
So you need to find a marketing strategy that you can dive into and focus on. Become the expert in that one core area of your marketing.
Why do you think the focus here in the WA is content marketing? Well first off it works, but becoming the master of content marketing will get you where you want to go with your business.
Now I'm not saying you can't try other marketing strategies, of course you can. But before you spend to much time on another strategy - master your core strategy first, and then once you have that in place and can do it with your eyes closed.
By all means if you want to learn another marketing strategy go ahead. And the advantage of the WA is there are other classes dedicated to other methods.
But even with that said if your core marketing strategy is giving you the results you want, then in my opinion what's the point of learning a different method. If it working keep using it, it's just going to get better for you anyway.
So master one marketing strategy.
6) Have A Schedule
This not only applies to affiliate marketing this applies to working online in general.
Having a weekly schedule will have you working smart not hard. We all think we can multitask and get several things done at the same time and on the same day.
I speak from experience, that rarely happens and what usually ends up happening is you get half or none of what you wanted to get done for the day and you wondered how it happened.
Now just starting out as an affiliate marketer there is a lot to get done. But by breaking things down into manageable chunks you'll be just fine. And then having a schedule for building your business will have you further ahead of most people.
This is one reason I'm such an advocate for the wealthy affiliate for beginner affiliate marketers it provides clear manageable steps of setting up and growing your affiliate business.
Using me as an example here's my latest weekly schedule:
This is the day that I voice, produce and do everything related for my video's.
Tuesday & Wednesday:
On these 2 days I create content for my site.
This is my keyword research day.
This is learning day. I set aside this time to learn what's new and what can potentially increase my skills as a marketer to keep growing my business.
Because I have this schedule I get everything I need to get done to grow my business. I'm not all over the place when it comes to my business.
Oh and don't get caught up in time wasting activities such as:
- Chasing the latest online business opportunity
- Checking your email throughout the day
- Hanging out on social media (biggest time waster ever!)
- Hanging out on YouTube or other streaming formats
- Hanging out in chat rooms/fourms (even the WA)
- Texting on your phone
Of course I'm not saying you cannot do these things. But there is a time and place for everything. When you're building your business - build your business.
Once you have your tasks done for the day - you can do anything you want online or off.
You'll be a lot further ahead if you create and stick to a schedule.
7) Make Wise Product Choices
It's pretty safe to say this is a very critical part of your overall affiliate business success. And there are two key factors to choosing the right product.
- The products quality/reputation
- The commission you earn
I have to admit it can take some time to find the perfect balance. On one hand you want to be associated with a product that is of the highest quality but you also want to make money.
Obviously you certainly don't want to be associated to a crap product. Because your reputation as a marketer is attached to the quality of the products you represent. You also have to remember you're going to be marketing this product for a very long time.
So it has to be a product you believe in and as I mentioned earlier it's one you should ultimately be using yourself. So that's why taking your time when sourcing out a product is so important.
Now there are countless places to source out products.
For big brand name physical products more often than not you'll find that they have their products or service available through affiliate networks.
An affiliate network simply acts as an intermediary between affiliates and the companies. It's also easier for you as an affiliate because you'll have access to hundreds of companies with just as many products all in one place.
With all affiliate networks you need to apply for access to the network. Once you've been approved to the network you'll have access to all the companies within that network.
However you still have to apply to each individual company within the network to become an affiliate for that companies product.
There is a ton of affiliate networks. Here's the one's I've personally used:
Now I do want to mention one other affiliate network and that's ClickBank. The reason I want to mention ClickBank is to recommend it but with a caveat.
With Clickbank you simply need to create an account. And all ClickBank represents is digital products. I been both a vendor and an affiliate.
Now with that said here's that caveat.
Not everything that ClickBank has in their network is of the best quality. There are crap products.
Now they have cleared out a lot of garbage products so there there still some really good products with great commissions and new products being added all the time.
So make sure you do your due diligence about any product you decide to represent from ClickBank. And yes you have to do that with any affiliate product no matter who it is.
The quality and reputation of the product you're going to represent is very important. As I mentioned earlier the products you associate yourself with are a reflection on you.
It's pretty simple. If you market crap products you're going to be known for representing crap products. And it works the other way just as much. Market great products and you'll have the reputation of representing great products.
Not rocket science.
One thing I've seen many affiliate marketers do is get sucked into representing a product because it's offering a very high commissions. Don't let that happen to you.
If the product is crap or it doesn't sell, how much you could make is not worth your reputation or the amount you could make.
The Commission Amount
As an affiliate you want to maximize your return on your efforts. So you need to consider the commission that is being offered to you as an affiliate.
Let's say for conversation sake your goal is to earn $5000 per month. If for example you're an amazon affiliate. And as an amazon affiliate their commissions range between 4% and 8.5%.
Let's do some simple math. Let's say you're selling a product for $100 and with amazon you're making the top commission of 8.5%
In order for you to earn $5000 per month on 8.5%, which would be $8.50 per sale. You need to sell 588 units each month or just over 19 units per day. (the total would be $4998.00)
This is certainly doable and there are members here making this type of income with Amazon, but please know it will take time.
But now let's change that up and you're an affiliate with a company that offers you 25% commission for a $100 product. Now you're earning $25 per sale.
In order to earn the same $5000 per month now all you need is to sell just over 6 units per day or 200 units per month.
So do consider the math.
You'll find that within most affiliate networks the companies within these networks offer commissions on average ranging from 10% to 20%.
Whereas within ClickBank you can find products that offer commissions as high as 75%.
You also have the option to source out a private affiliate program. This of course would be an affiliate program offered by a company that is not in a affiliate network.
When sourcing out private affiliate programs simple do the search as follows. In Google type the name of the company or product name and then add "+ affiliate program" to your search query, without the quotes.
So your search query would be: "company/product name + affiliate program"
But like any affiliate program make sure you do your due diligence prior to investing all you marketing efforts with a private affiliate program. Unlike affiliate networks you're not as protected.
Now I'm not saying private programs are not worth associating with, I'm just saying do your homework.
I represent a few private affiliate programs, the WA being one of them. And like any product or service I use these products and services. So yep, I certainly did my homework first.
One last thing when it comes to earning commissions. Try and find programs that offer recurring commissions.
These would be memberships programs where the customer has to pay a monthly fee in order to use the product or service.
Representing affiliate programs that have recurring commissions gives you a residual income each month. Now you have money coming in at the start of each month before you've sold anything new for that month.
Now you know how some marketers can take a month off and still make money and even increase their monthly income.
I have several recurring affiliate programs I belong to. In fact most of my affiliate programs are residual programs including the wealthy affiliate.
Food For Thought
Still on the subject of commissions don't discount high ticket products or services. And I mean items that cost $1000, $5000, $10,000 or more.
There is this big misconception that people won't spend that kind of money online. And this is simply not true. This misconception comes from a lack mentality.
There is a price point for everyone. And I speak from experience because I'm an affiliate for a high end service starting $25,000 with upgrades to $75,000. And I make multiple
sales every month. And have been for years.
Heck I know a guy that sales a product for over $150,000 and it makes 10 to 15 sales per year.
So where are these high end affiliate programs?
You can find these private affiliate programs within your own niche. You simply have to reach out to the experts in your niche and strike up a JV deal with them.
So take your time and make wise product choices.
8) Be Patient Young Jedi
I kind of touched on this in point 1 and that's where many affiliate marketers quit because things are not happening fast enough.
Despite all the chatter and sales pitches from the self proclaimed so-called gurus. Building a online business takes time. It's not going to happen over night. Things take time to develop.
It takes time to learn the steps of building your business, it takes time to generate traffic, it takes time to build the trust of your audience so they will buy from you and it takes time to build up your income to a full time level.
Everything takes time. In fact some of the things you do today may not show results for weeks and in some cases months. That's just the way it is.
It took me 18 months from the time I found my mentor to where I could quit my day job.
Sure I could have quit my job much earlier but my goal was to make 3 times as much online as I was making at my job before I quit. Your goal may be different. But regardless, it took time. But it was time I was willing to invest to become my own boss.
And that was back in 2005 when I quit and I've been making a fulltime income online ever since.
Many people wants things to happen right away, I find lots of people expect to be making money in less than 30 days. Well sorry to burst your bubble for the majority of people that's not going to happen.
You can reasonably expect to be making money within 12 months with the right training and of course that's offered right here. How much will you make? I can't answer that anyone that can is just guessing or blowing sunshine up you ass.
Sure it some cases it can happen sooner, but I'm not here to give you false expectations.
Don't get impatient - keep taking at least one positive step towards your business goals each day and you will reach them.
In fact you'll be light years ahead of most people knowing it's going to take time to build your business. This is going to give you the edge. Give yourself 6 months to a year to build your business.
When you think about it a year is not that long be in complete control of your financial future. Compare that to where you'll be in a year financially with your current job. I'll think we can agree it's a year well spent.
So be patient young jeti.
9) Share Your Story
No one likes to be sold. I certainly don't like it and I'm pretty sure you don't either. So as an affiliate you don't want to do something that you don't like being done to you.
The most successful marketers affiliate or otherwise simply share their story. They tell people their personal experiences with the product or service they're using. And in doing so they're also recommending said product or service.
Can you see why owning the product is so important? You can speak from a place of truth and conviction. You're not selling you're helping - BIG difference.
Zig Zigler said it best:
"You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want."
When people ask me about affiliate marketing and where to start. With no hesitation I tell them about the wealthy affiliate.
And I can do so because I'm intimately involved with the tools, training, resources and the community of the wealthy affiliate. I know what it has to offer and I'm proud to be associated with the WA.
I share my stories and the things that have happened since being a member of the wealthy affiliate. I don't sell anyone on the wealthy affiliate. I just recommend the wealthy affiliate and give them all the information they need so they can make their own decision on whether the WA is the place for them.
It's up to them to do what they want to do, it's not up to me. Never has been and never will be. And you have to be of the same mindset.
Not everyone is going to like what you're marketing. And that's ok. Because there will be just as many that do. And those are the people I focus on, I don't worry about the rest it's a waste of time.
So don't sell people help people.
10) You Need The Proper Mindset
This is probably the biggest thing that prevents people achieving everything they want to achieve. Not only as an affiliate but in every area of their lives.
I've already told you it's going to take hard work, determination and persistence to build your business. And there's going to be those days where you're going to be at the edge and may think of quitting. That's when you need to be the strongest.
And that strength does not all come from will power. It comes from having the right tools in place to help you get through those challenges.
I can tell you of epic failures I've had. Ones that would stop many people in their tracks. Hell they almost stopped me. But because of having the proper mindset I was able to push through those challenges and keep moving forward.
Two of the most powerful tools you can have in your mindset arsenal is understanding your "Self Talk" and knowing "Why" you're doing what you're doing.
Your self talk is that running dialogue in your head. What you say to yourself everyday determines your destiny. And having a powerful "why" is your anchor to success.
Now I did two very in depth posts inside the WA about both of these topics and I highly recommend you give them a read.
And this goes beyond the scope of building a successful affiliate marketing business. As I said understanding these two very powerful principles will help you in every single area of your life.
You can click the individual links below to read these post.
Set yourself up for success and create the proper mindset.
Well that's it. Those are my 10 tips for succeeding with affiliate marketing. I hope you found this post helpful.
And I wish nothing but abundant success for you.
I believe in you!