You’ve witnessed or heard about bloggers or influencers who have gone on to high six-figure salaries, and now they’re set for life. You may be looking at the content you create and the websites you build, wondering whether your blog might catch fire and sky-rocket. Or maybe you take a more pessimistic view and worry that you lack the right personality or skill set, or you feel that you didn’t get in at the right time, and now it’s too late. While it’s true that achieving millionaire status through affiliate marketing might be rare, it’s possible! The new model for legendary affiliate marketing consists in niching down and finding that narrow yet committed audience that responds to your offerings and sensibility. If you curate a marketing experience that aligns with their needs and fascinations—you’re off to the races.
Affiliate marketing refers to an online partnership with a business or individual that gives you a commission each time you prompt a sale of their product. So every time you see a “sponsored post” or “affiliate link” while browsing or scrolling, you know that influencer is getting a cut of whatever money you spend once you click.
Seller entities, also known as the merchants, truly run the gamut from massive corporations to tiny independent artisans, giving you plenty of room to step in and assist with their marketing—anybody with anything to sell needs a greater measure of visibility and endorsement.
Rather than wade through a bevy of affiliate marketing books, a lot of skillful affiliate marketing comes down to common sense. You’re simply using your blog, website, social media platform, or youtube content to help businesses and brands increase their traffic.
Consumers in the modern era understand how affiliate marketing plays into their online transactions, embracing transparency. As long as marketers, influencers, and content creators are upfront that they’re getting a bit of kickback on whatever items they share, consumers are inclined to support them. A quick disclaimer is all it takes, so buyers or followers don’t feel like they’re manipulated. They often WANT to see you get that commission!
As affiliate marketing has enlarged and expanded, affiliate networks now play a role in connecting brands with the creators and makers who can bring them an eager audience of customers. Networks provide databases with access to products for affiliate marketers to promote. Clickbank is an example of one well-known affiliate network, and Amazon, of course, is the largest and most prominent of them all. You can sign up with Amazon’s affiliate program to acquire a custom affiliate link that allows you to receive a small commission on those products you direct people to.
Ready to become an email and affiliate marketing mastermind? Your goal is twofold: first, you want to create that audience or follower-base that stays with you and continues to see and support your recommendations. At the same time, you also want to build a kind of done-for-you affiliate marketing system that will automate the process as much as possible.
To begin with, consider your niche. What do you specialize in that sets you apart from other marketers, bloggers, or content creators? If you’re unsure, ask yourself, what do you know a lot about, or what are you interested in learning a lot about? Your specialty could be anything from fitness products, to jewelry, to car accessories— kitchen appliances, physical media, travel destinations, tech gadgets, lifestyle tips—you name it. Any hobby, interest, or industry under the sun has an audience of people wanting to learn more and spend money to become more involved.
Once you’ve established yourself in a particular niche, your next priority is gathering email addresses that let you connect with your audience at any time. You don’t want to simply create a bunch of digital content and then cross your fingers that they see it.
To gather that initial information, consider placing a “Hello Bar” at the top of your website. Then, when you get visitors, you can immediately capture their information with a strong call to action. Offering them a free video or video view, a lead magnet, is a great way to get those immediate sign-ups. Remember, though: visitors are flaky web surfers with short attention spans. Give them one directive and make it simple.
A solid mailing list is key to ongoing traffic and engagement— and therefore affiliate purchases. At a certain point, with a large enough following, you will be able to run diagnostics to filter your email list and see who’s opening the emails, who’s clicking through to the website, and who’s making purchases. This will help you understand the individuals you most want to target.
With direct contact to your following, you can cultivate trust and market to them using the strategy that makes the most sense. Even an email list of fewer than 500 people is enough to start bringing in worthwhile sales. You don’t want to overwhelm them with offers and information, but stay in regular contact, perhaps once a week or every other week.
Work to become a welcome addition to their routine and about the things you would look forward to receiving in your inbox. The moment you behave like a spammer, that’s when they’ll treat you as such and unsubscribe. But if you slowly gain their trust, when it comes time for you to promote something in a more aggressive way, they will feel more like they’re providing a meaningful favour for a friend, rather than succumbing to an underhanded money-grab.
With a growing mailing list, you can now invite your audience to join you for joint venture webinars. These are opportunities to promote a particular product, provide information, grow your mailing list further, and ideally, generate a large number of sales in a small amount of time.
Webinars work to showcase the features of a particular product, demonstrate different uses and inform users about your history with the product or the unique mission and values of the brand. Above all, you want to emphasise how your audience can use the product to enhance their own lives in some meaningful way.
We laugh at those tupperware parties from back in the day, but they’re a good example of the buzz you can create around a group event geared toward focusing on a single initiative or purchase. If you can get your merchant to set up a special deal you can extend to your audience—all the better! They will feel like the webinar is a special opportunity and will act fast to take advantage.
Paid advertising gets more people to stop by your website. As your operation continues to grow and expand you’ll likely move into leveraging pay-per-click advertising that advertises your domain across other websites and platforms, directing people to your content and digital materials.
Think of it as casting a wide net and bringing in new followers from other realms like Facebook and Google. To optimise conversion, just like in the old days, think very carefully about SEO. The key terms you use should be as close a match to the actual terms and phrases that people search for in relation to your product.
Skillful affiliate marketing is an ongoing process and lucrative results don’t come all at once. Your strategies always entail a degree of trial and error as every audience and niche is different. However, the more you engage with the process, the more proficient you get. Years from now, you might look back amused by how it started—and amazed at what it has become!
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