When I started out online, I needed a blueprint affiliate marketing handbook to help me navigate through the many hurdles. After all, affiliate marketing isn’t easy. It should be easier than everyone makes it though, and it would be; if only there was a blueprint affiliate marketing handbook.
So in this post, I’m going to do just that: create a blueprint affiliate marketing handbook which anyone can follow.
Blueprint Affiliate Marketing – What I Wished I Knew Back Then
When I started learning about affiliate marketing I was full of hope and excitement at all the money I would be making! Back in the naughties (early 2000), there were many courses promising the moon to affiliate marketers entering the field! Thankfully there are stricter rules around exaggerated claims around earnings.
I took many of these courses expecting a quick buck, but was disappointed many times. I did make money from some of them, but it was always short lived and it usually required a huge amount of work. Not that I was afraid of working mind, I was happy to work hard if it meant I could earn from my laptop. But the main problem was knowing which direction to work in!
There’s a lot of things which can go wrong for affiliate marketers. There’s plenty of pitfalls in learning the skill of selling other people’s products over the internet. Take a look at my article 23 affiliate mistakes newbie affiliates should avoid.
But I digress; back to blueprint affiliate marketing! My main take aways from all of my ‘failures’ in affiliate marketing were:
- Knowing your direction is vital – without a sail a ship is lost
- Time Shouldn’t be wasted on meaningless activities
- You need drive and mental clarity
- To sustain your focus you need a plan and a vision
Affiliate Blueprint – Beginners
When I started out as an affiliate I was full of scepticism. Plus I didn’t have any money. I was deep in debt and I was in near constant fear. This isn’t a great state to begin building a business from. In the Forex trading world there’s a saying “Scared money is lost money”.
The same holds true for affiliate marketing. If you’re absolutely petrified about spending money, and desperate to make it, you absolutely are not in the right place to begin an online business. Get a job, balance your payments and come back later!
You also need a direction to paddle in with affiliate marketing. This is one of the most important things. Without a solid direction, belief and desire to achieve, you’re almost certainly going to fail. If you’re full of scepticism and doubt, you’ll struggle to trust anyone and make any progress.
Finding a mentor or a mentorship program is the biggest step you can take in overcoming many doubts and sceptical beliefs which will hold you back. It will also give you direction and a ‘go-to’ resource which is equally as valuable.
If you can’t afford to get help and guidance, it’s easy to spend years of your life searching the internet for answers and to never get anywhere. I tried this for several years and I’ll never get them back!
Marketing – What Every Affiliate Needs
Every affiliate marketer should get good at marketing. This is the only skill they need to master. There’s several benefits to being an affiliate marketer: You don’t have to speak to customers, deliver products or have any products of your own. But you won’t get paid unless you shift product – bottom line. So you’ll need an education in marketing. Find affiliate marketing mentors who can help you overcome the mental and technical barriers to success.
Every affiliate marketer should seek knowledge in marketing. They should aim to become a ‘black belt’ marketer!
Giving Not Getting
When I become an affiliate I was desperate to ‘get’ from it. It was this very sentiment which held me back from actually succeeding. I was always ‘desperate’ to achieve. What I didn’t understand was the many underlying beliefs which were perpetuating my problems. Doubt, fear, uncertainty and negative self beliefs haunted me for years. I was always trying to ‘get’ because I was working against an unconscious behaviour pattern and belief that “I wasn’t good enough”.
If only I could get more money, get a girl, get a well paid job etc, etc. It was a belief which haunted me for years until I uncovered it. You are good enough, more than good enough.
When you start switching your focus from getting to giving, things miraculously change. With affiliate marketing this is true too! Think about how you can help and give. Think about how to tune your business into something bigger than just money.
Every successful business of merit started with an intention which was bigger than money. Microsoft is a technology company whose mission is to empower every person and every organisation on the planet to achieve more. Steve Jobs vision of a “computer for the rest of us” sparked the PC revolution and made Apple an icon of American business. Start with your “why” and you will pursue your business long enough to make it successful. Put the money first, and you’ll more likely quit and drop out.
Blueprint: Affiliate Marketing Strategy
There’s a couple of main strategies which you should contemplate as an affiliate too. I started promoting products from Amazon and later realised that these were n’t the products which wealthy affiliates used in their businesses. Amazon has a huge range of products. (See the book above).
That’s very useful to monetise a website for specific things. However, there’s a downside. Amazon pays 3-10% commissions to its affiliates. Digital products pay much more – 40-50% commissions. If you sold a product for $100, what would you rather get for making the sale: $3 or $40?!
Then there’s subscription affiliate programs which pay you ongoing commissions for previous sales. Recurring affiliate programs are better still than digital products, which only pay you once.
Many of the low paying affiliate programs limit your ability to market through the paid platforms too. It’s simply not viable to use many of the paid marketing platforms to send customers to physical products which only pay tiny commissions.
With high commission affiliate programs, you can more easily offset advertising spend against income. Plus, it’s easier to scale a high ticket program and earn the larger incomes from being an affiliate. Take a look at the highest paying affiliate programs list.
Blueprint: Affiliate Marketing – Which Marketing Strategy?
There’s many ways to skin a cat, as the saying goes! A bit cruel that saying! Which strategy should you use as an affiliate marketer? Well this depends on a number of factors. If you are selling small value products, you won’t be able to use the more expensive paid marketing platforms. Again, this is another reason to use high ticket products which offer recurring commissions.
Ideally, you would buy a ready made sales funnel which contained all the highest priced digital products in it, with recurring commissions. Then, use a paid marketing platform like Facebook or YouTube. Test and measure all your marketing efforts and find a profitable one. Then, increase budget and scale up, testing and measuring on the way.
However, budget can limit your ability to do this. You need budget just to test adverts, so you can lose money using this strategy. The goal is to find a relationship with your sales funnel where you put in $5 and make $10 consistently. Then you can start increasing the budget and scale up! Some affiliates have learned this so successfully that they are spending tens of thousands of dollars every month on advertising – they know they’ll make a profit on the sales they generate.
Other Marketing Strategies
There are other marketing strategies you can use too. If you can’t afford a high ticket sales funnel, you’ll need another strategy. Free strategies like blogging or video marketing, take time, but can bring you free traffic. With blogging, expect to work hard over several months before you see a growth in your traffic. You should be creating content regularly over long periods of time for some of the free strategies to start generating results.
It depends on your personal situation whether you choose paid marketing or free content generation. Just don’t expect a one page website to get you any sales. Be realistic. If you don’t have time to create content every day, you’ll need to use paid marketing. If you don’t have the money to do this, expect to work hard on building your content.
It can take some time before you make any money with affiliate marketing. You can also have some early success too, even without much work. One of my first sales came from a free blogging site Hubpages.com after I wrote a product review on it and linked through to the product. How Long Does It Take To Make Money With Affiliate Marketing? This is a difficult question to answer and it really depends on your strategy.
With a high ticket funnel and paid marketing, you can start making sales within 6 months at best. With content marketing expect it to take much longer and to be working much harder.
Blueprint; Affiliate Marketing
Remember that affiliate marketing can and does work very well. More and more people are using it to create more time and financial freedom in their lives. So it’s worth pursuing and getting the right knowledge from the start. Winging it and going it alone can cost you dearly.
A good analogy is like a rocket set on a trajectory to the moon. As an affiliate marketer, you can easily veer off route without the right knowledge and direction. A small degree out of course can set the rocket out millions of miles on its journey. As the rocket sets off, tiny alterations are continuously made in its course, to keep it on target.
Like the rocket, your trajectory is best set by your ongoing knowledge and education. Without this, you can easily spend months and even years on the wrong activities which hold you back and keep you from growing.
Getting the right education upfront is therefore paramount to your success as an affiliate. Access an online training and education program here.