Affiliate marketing is a means to become financially free, choose your own hours and write your own paycheck. So why isn’t everyone doing it and how easy is it to do with little or no experience?
There are several reasons to become an affiliate marketer but many people don’t do it because either they don’t believe it is possible for them or they can’t get behind the idea of it and how it works. For me the most exciting thing about affiliate marketing is what it offers in terms of a portable income stream which can be operated anywhere. This is something which you can have with any self employed internet business however and there are many people who simply write articles online for a living or perform some other creative endeavor on their laptop for their income. Sites like Odesk.com and fiver.com cater to this and if you have an online skill of some sort you can market it and compete for work against other people offering a similar online service.
What sets affiliate marketing apart from this is the ability to leverage your time and create many online income streams which run independently of each other. With a service you are still trading your time for money and when you stop writing or creating content for someone, you stop being paid. With affiliate marketing you can set up income streams which can then be scaled upwards for a greater market reach. You can get paid for work you have done previously and sell products and services even when you are not at your computer ‘actively’ working.
How to become an affiliate marketer
Becoming an affiliate marketer requires some learning and understanding but in basic terms all you are doing is promoting other people’s products online. There are various ways to do this but the big money lies in list building. Many affiliates make money by writing blogs and creating content which is then linked to related products and services. When someone buys a product or subscribes to a service which the affiliate is promoting, they earn a commission.
Affiliate marketers typically write blogs, create content such as videos, e-books and articles and setup advertising campaigns to promote and sell various products online. Because the affiliate doesn’t own the products they don’t have to personally sell anything or send anything physically or store anything. They are simply referring customers to products which they are likely to buy. Because many products online are digital products, that is, they can be downloaded or accessed only via the internet, the owners have much lower costs than say, a physical shop.
They can then pass on a much higher commission to the affiliate because they are doing the job of finding the customers. It is typical to earn a 40% commission on many digital products and with some products and services charging a monthly fee, you can also earn a residual commission on any subscription products which you can sell.
Becoming an affiliate marketer is fairly straight forward. All you need to do is start a blog and promote a product. However there are right and wrong ways to go about this and you can waste a lot of time if you don’t know what you are doing. Having a website is a good start but many affiliates don’t even have one and can make a lot of money simply by creating adverts and sending people to landing pages building their list of subscribers. Once they have a substantial number of active subscribers to their list they can promote goods and services while offering value to the subscriber. Sending out emails to huge lists of subscribers with affiliate links in them is how the top affiliates earn thousands of pounds with a single click of their mouse.
This process doesn’t happen overnight of course and there is a lot of work involved in building a list of good quality leads who continue to pay attention to your emails. Only by offering something of value and finding people who are interested in what you have to offer, will you be able to build a large list of quality subscribers.
Building trust as an affiliate
List building involves giving people what they want and offering value. There are thousands of affiliates using the internet as a means to make a living. You need to offer something which will keep your subscribers looking out for your emails in their inbox and keep offering value over the long term. By consistently giving value and not just trying to ‘push’ your sales onto your subscribers, you will eventually build trust. If you gain the trust of your subscribers they will be more likely to believe in a product you are promoting and purchase it over the long term.
The number of websites and emails which offer something and then try to hard sell is often overwhelming and it can easily turn you off the idea of buying something online. My first purchase in the area on making an income online was from a guy called Robert Evans. I bought a book from him because he had already given me huge value with his free videos which explained many ways to build online income streams. By gaining my trust from giving me a huge value I bought from him knowing what kind of service he was offering. Often when looking to purchase online it can be difficult to know what exactly you are getting.
My current mentor Stuart Ross talks about over delivering in value and I subscribed to his mentorship program because he gave such huge value when I bought his app for only $30.
Build trust first, sell later
Many online marketers make the mistake of trying to hard sell to everyone and anyone and this is a mistake. To build a sustainable income from the internet you need to build relationships, like in any other business. Most of the products I have bought online are from reputable places such as Amazon and Ebay and people are much more comfortable with buying from large name companies like these now. Almost everyone has purchased something from the internet at one time or another. However if they are looking to buy from someone they don’t know, they are much more hesitant. As individuals selling internationally on the internet, we need to prove ourselves to be trustworthy before we can expect to build a substantial income from it.