5 All-Important Truths About Affiliate Marketing
If you've read my monthly income reports, you know that affiliate marketing makes up a huge portion of my overall income.
In 2014, I generated more than half a million dollars from affiliate marketing alone.
Affiliate marketing is great because you can better serve your audience through the promotion and recommendation of other people's (or company's) products and services, and when people buy through your recommendation, you earn a percentage of that sale.
This means that you can get started right now.
BUT, before you do any affiliate marketing from this point forward, please read the rest of this email. Although it's easy to recommend other people's products to your audience, it's not as easy to earn a consistent income from it.
Here are five truths that I learned about affiliate marketing that will help you moving forward.
Truth #1: Trust Comes First, Commissions Come Second
It's simple: The more your audience gets to know, like, and trust you, the more commissions you will earn from your future product recommendations.
The trust you earn can help your audience overcome the fears that they have with certain products. If they are on the fence, your recommendation could be the push they need to finally make a buying decision.
Trust comes from providing value that matters, leading by example, being honest, and most of all taking the extra time to make sure that the products you recommend are ones you know will help.
When you make commissions the driving factor of what you choose to promote (instead of serving first) you risk losing trust with your audience altogether.
Truth #2: Other People Also Recommend That Product
Unless you're the only affiliate promoting a particular product (which can happen), it's likely that other people in the same space as you will also recommend the same products that you do.
So the question is, how do you make your recommendation more special? Here's what you can do:
- Include special bonuses to go with the product. Perhaps it's an add-on to the product, or a quick-start PDF guide to get people up and running with it much faster. I've also done very well offering a bonus webinar during special promotional periods too.
- Offer to answer people's questions that they have about the product. People who ask questions are almost there and if you can help them figure out it's for them, there is a high probability they will purchase through your link.
- Similarly, offer support for the product, as well. If people know you'll be there to answer questions about it after they purchase, they'll be more comfortable buying and are likely to buy from you.
- Share more about the product than anyone else. Treat it as if it were your own and buyers will be more confident in your endorsement.
- People like you for you. Don't worry about what others do to promote the product. You can get inspiration from what they do, but don't copy just because it works for them. It'll take some experimentation, but your own voice should come through your own promotions, and you'll see conversions at a much higher rate as a result.
Truth #3: People Want to Know What It's Like Before They Get It
You know those videos that you see sometimes on YouTube or social media where people are literally filming themselves opening up a package with some new toy or electronic device in it?
Those kind of "unboxing" videos get millions of views! And you can get the same kind of attention with an "unboxing" of the product you're promoting as an affiliate too.
Why do people love those?
Because people love to see what they're going to get before they get it, and depending on the product, sometimes it easily sells itself through a demonstration.
Why share a link, when you can share images or a video about what the product can do for them. Not only that, if you post that video on YouTube you'll get even more traffic seeing your stuff and possibly going through your link.
Truth #4: The More Options You Give, The Less Likely People Are Going to Buy Anything
Sometimes you may have the option to promote different brands or types of the same kind of product to your audience.
Pick one that you believe is the best recommendation and stick with it.
When you give too many options, people start to become indecisive and you lose out on an opportunity to help someone, and obviously the commission that comes along with it.
This is why Bluehost is the only shared hosting company that I recommend, even though I know there are many more great companies out there and even ones with a higher commission rate.
I've used Bluehost since the beginning and I trust them to take care of my audience, so why confuse my audience with other companies to choose from?
Stick with one solution per problem you're solving for your audience, and you're going to make your life, and your audience's life much easier.
Truth #5: You Have Power
One of the difficult things about being an affiliate is that once your audience clicks on that link, you're no longer in control of the experience your audience has through the buying process.
With that said, however, you do have power to reach out to your affiliate manager or the company you're promoting if you feel there's a better way. There have been several instances where I've offered a suggestion or recommendation to improve the buying experience on a site that I'm an affiliate for, and many times that increases conversions all around.
It's a win for everyone!
One of the best things I've recently starting asking for are custom landing pages. When people click on a link on my site, the page on the company's site may have my face on it, or a quote or at least the logo so there's some continuity there. It helps the person feel like they're in the right spot, and they are more likely to convert as a result.
Of course, you don't always get what you ask for, but at the same time if you don't ask, you don't get.
And lastly, if you happen to be what might be considered a "super affiliate" for a particular product, meaning you know you pull a lot of sales and volume for a particular company, you may get to a point where you can negotiate special affiliate commission rates beyond what is advertised.
I've done this for a few of the products I'm an affiliate for, and over the course of a year a small incremental change can add up to a lot of money!
Affiliate marketing is awesome and can be very lucrative, but it's not easy. I'm hoping these truths have helped you understand what it takes to really succeed with affiliate marketing and make it a significant part of your overall monetization strategy.
I mean, there may be products out there right now that can serve your audience and they have no idea it exists. Be the one to find it for them, and be rewarded with commissions and a stronger relationship with your audience at the same time.
If you're looking for even more info about affiliate marketing, check out my ebook below:
Cheers, and thanks again! You rock!