Affiliate marketing 101 – How to make money like an affiliate ninja?

Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to make a passive income with your blog. If you don’t know what it is: you basically sell someone else’s product to other people for a certain percentage cut of whatever you sell.

So if you signed up to the affiliate program for Amazon affiliate or Hostgator or CJ.com, and promoted their products on your blog with special link, every single person who clicks your link and buys something will makes you money.

You earn a cut of how much the product was. Now think of doing that, but on a larger scale.

That is what affiliate marketing is all about; promoting your special links and making a lot of money.

But for most bloggers, it is not easy to make money with this method. Just because you have an affiliate link to a product doesn’t mean you will make any money from it. It’s about how you approach it.

You have the capability to choose anything to try to sell to your readers. But, just because you find a cool product that will make you a lot of money per sale doesn’t mean you should go right up and use it.

It’s actually possible to make more money promoting cheaper products than it is expensive ones, because more people may be able to put out the money for something less expensive than something that costs a lot.

But there’s still even more to it than that.

How to choose a product?

The first, and most important step to affiliate marketing is picking an actual product to market. As long as you follow these 5 basic rules, you won’t have a problem finding the perfect product to sell on your blog.

1. Perfect product knowledge

Never, ever try to promote something you don’t know about. You don’t have to use it yourself, but you need to know everything about it.

If someone ask you “What’s so great about product?” and you have no idea: You’d be speechless, “It’s not like I know anything about it! I just want your money in my pocket!”

If you couldn’t tell them anything about it, why should they buy it through you, or even at all?

Know your product as well as you know your own website!

2. Community building

Just in case this hasn’t been drilled into your head yet, I’ll say it again: your visitors and subscribers (= community) are what make you money! So, if you don’t have a community of people reading and taking action on your content, save affiliate marketing for another day.

If you have no one to pitch to on your blog, why try at all?

You need to remember what your primary focus is: to have a community. If your community is in set, and you work hard – you will make lot of affiliate sales.

3. Determine what kind of spenders

There is one thing you need to know about your community: what their budget is. You need to identify what kind of spenders in your community are.

Lets see what kind of things they say about you, or even if you write a review of a product one day and they make comments regarding the price of it (ex: “It worths every penny you pay!” or “High proce , low quality”).

If you know what range of wealth the people in your community are, you can better determine a good product to sell to them.

4. One-time fee

This is a pretty important factor that many don’t take into consideration. Promoting a product that has a one-time fee is actually a very smart marketing trick (but you get money once and never again).

Selling products with prices like “$49.95″ or “$22.95” it eases the mind of the potential buyer and you can sell more.

It is much easier to promote a product with a pitch “It only costs a one-time fee of $49.95″ than it is to say “It’s only $22.95 a month”.

Nobody likes spending money with monthly subscribe! Sending my money out once sounds great, and nearly everyone else there.

There are great services that require monthly fees: CRM services, hosting, SEO tools.

But for starters, you should sell products with a one-time fee only.

5. High commissions

The percent cut you get at every selling a product needs to be reasonable. If you sell a product where the price is $500, you will want a very good cut of that.

Try to find affiliate offer where the cut for selling is at least 50%. You don’t have to find a top-selling product to do so, but it won’t really matter as you will most likely be so proud you made the first bucks!

Making own product with affiliates

Choos­ing the right prod­uct to pro­mote is only half the affiliate war. Things get a lit­tle more tricker now as it’s time to start the hard work: mar­ket­ing that prod­uct.

Unfortunately the affil­i­ate link is not some­thing that goes viral around the web.

Most people hate the affiliate link, but it is powerful piece of full marketing channel that needs constant pro­mo­tion.

Silly thing to use “tra­di­tional forms” of mar­ket­ing: blog com­ments and forum post­ spamming.

An affil­i­ate link is some­thing you want to get out there, but not too far from your own blog or per­sonal brand.

If you want to pro­mote on other people’s blogs, be sure to leave a link to that arti­cle in a blog com­ment, or in your forum sig­na­ture. But not an affil­i­ate link. Save them for your blog.

Convincing readers

The best way to mar­ket an affil­i­ate prod­uct is through the ele­ment of per­sua­sion.

Per­sua­sion is the most pow­er­ful tool in affil­i­ate mar­keting, it is impos­si­ble to sell anything to anybody if you aren’t convincing.

In what­ever way you decide to con­vince peo­ple that they to buy your prod­uct, work on accom­plish­ing these things in order to see best results:

  • Make them feel like they are mak­ing a profitable invest­ment.
    When you buy some­thing, do you feel like you’re mak­ing an invest­ment or a com­mit­ment? When you buy a book, or even food - which is it? They are both some­thing of value, you made an invest­ment on them so you can gain some­thing from them. Try­ing to con­vince some­one to buy some­thing just because they should feel com­mit­ted to do so is not very effec­tive or convincing.
  • Tell them they need the prod­uct NOW, and why:
    You basi­cally want peo­ple to think “Oh, I want to buy this NOW, and I can achieve my goals or dreams!” Maybe that’s too bold of a state­ment, but the point is you want peo­ple to think that they need what­ever it is you’re sell­ing immediately or they will regret it later.
  • Make them feel like they’re miss­ing out if they don’t buy now: State­ments like “Every­one is using it” or “Join the thou­sands of oth­ers who…” aren’t cheesy ways of mar­ket­ing things, they’re per­sua­sive forms of text that work. Con­vince some­one that they need to be part of this “move­ment” and pur­chase a prod­uct that will truly ben­e­fit them.
  • Prove to them that it has worked for you, or some­body else:
    Reviews and suc­cess sto­ries are all silver bul­let­proof ways of doing this. Peo­ple want to be rest assured that if they are mak­ing this invest­ment in a prod­uct, that it has worked for not just you, but others.

Once you can start to get a feel of how you should mar­ket to your audi­ence, it’s time to get the feel of actu­ally doing some­thing; of mar­ket­ing.

Best way to pro­mote products

There are at least three solid plat­forms to mar­ket your affil­i­ate prod­ucts on. The great thing about these plat­forms is that they are all yours.

You have been work­ing on them for as long as you can remem­ber (maybe with the excep­tion of the last one), which leaves you in per­fect posi­tion to uti­lize them in any way you want.

1. Your own blog

Your blog should be the biggest stage for your affil­i­ate links. That is where all parts of your com­mu­nity will end up, and that’s where the most traf­fic is going to out of the 3 sources in this list.

There are more ways in which you can use your blog to pro­mote affil­i­ate products.

  1. Blog posts
    It is not uncom­mon at all to find an affil­i­ate prod­uct and write about it on your blog. You can see many articles on the internet about “Best WordPress premium themes 2016”, “Best cheap hosting for bloggers”, etc. It’s all about the affiliate links.
  2. Post footer block
    You know that place at the end of your arti­cle? They are good places for plac­ing your relevant affil­i­ate links. If you can do it in a nat­ural way where it is connecting with the con­tent, then you can see some seri­ous results.
  3. Blog footer
    Affil­i­ate links (hosting, theme or template, online services) in the footer are one of the only excep­tions to the “no-ads pol­icy” as they inte­grate in a nat­ural way.
  4. A “Best of” page
    Cre­ate a page filled with best affiliate offers into one. You can get some extra income with just a little work.
  5. Best content placing
    Put your most popular con­tents’ list in the most notice­able places of your blog mixed with some noteworthy affiliate links.

2. Social media

Start to use Face­book, Twitter and LinkeIn to pro­mote the affiliate prod­ucts. These are also the places where often a huge part of your com­mu­nity hangs around. So, get a good prod­uct in their faces without spamming.

You rarely want to use these websites for too hard of an affil­i­ate mar­ket­ing cam­paign. Instead, send out a link that has a post with some of your own affil­i­ate links to your fol­low­ers on Twit­ter or friends on Facebook.

Or pro­mote your prod­uct and share the affil­i­ate link (with URL shortener) straight up to your fol­low­ers.

But, don’t do that too often and don’t make it sound like spam! I hate the aggressive affiliate spammers and ban them immediately from my connections.

You are lim­ited on social space, so you have to get cre­ative. But, the more cre­ative you get, the more clicks you will receive!

3. Your own subscribers

When you don’t have own list to pro­mote prod­ucts in, you don’t have a very strong way of directly com­mu­ni­cat­ing with other peo­ple and say­ing “Hey, look this great prod­uct I just found!”

Your blog and your social net­work sites are per­sonal, but an email goes directly to every person.

Be smart: if you pro­mote just affil­i­ate prod­ucts to your subscribers, your emails may go to spam folders fast. You need to pro­mote them as lit­tle as pos­si­ble, but when you do pro­mote them - you do it big!

Final thoughts about affil­i­ate marketing

I hope, you have learned that there is in fact much more to affil­i­ate mar­ket­ing than just pick­ing a prod­uct and pro­mot­ing it randomly.

The good affiliate method involves marketing plan, per­sua­sion and most of all patience.


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