What are the secrets of affiliate marketing?
For years I struggled to learn affiliate marketing. I started over 10 years ago and started by building websites that I hoped would rank in Google’s free search engines. Back then, courses taught this strategy because it used to work well! Over time and with the millions of websites and affiliates trying to rank your content, this strategy became increasingly difficult.
I did, however, rank up a few websites and make a couple of sales here and there. But I was by no means making a living and had spent many hours watching videos and learning over a long period of time. I was there in the towel many times but I knew it was something worth pursuing.
One of the secrets of affiliate marketing is to stick with it until you get some results. Learn from your lack of results but keep learning and never stop. My strategies were flawed in the first instance. I expected an easy win. I suspect many people go into affiliate marketing expecting the same thing.
Over time, I slowly realized how much time and effort it takes to make affiliate marketing work for me. I learned that just because I wrote an article, it wasn’t necessarily going to be seen by millions of people! In fact, most of my articles were never even seen. I didn’t know how to promote them and get them seen. I just hoped everyone would come, because, well, I was special and it was just going to work! How naive!
One of the “secrets” to affiliate marketing is building an email list. I got the best results once I had a list of subscribers and promoted a product with paid advertising. This is probably the fastest way to see results in affiliate marketing. Content creation takes time and there is no guarantee that your content will gain a large enough audience to start selling anything.
Building an email list is vital for anyone who wants to build a real business from affiliate marketing. Without one, you trust your website visitors to buy from you after they land on your website. This only gives them a few minutes to make a purchase decision. Put them on an email list and you can extend this time frame to months and even years ahead. Additionally, you can build a relationship with your subscribers by offering them value, knowledge, and information that they may find useful.
Paid advertising is another ‘secret’ of affiliate marketers. I avoided paid strategies for a long time because I had no confidence in the products I chose. I didn’t know how to run paid campaigns and I was afraid of losing money, because I didn’t have much! So I stuck to the ‘free’ marketing strategies like writing articles and creating videos. However, the results were very limited due to the strategy I used and the niche I was in.
It takes much longer to get traffic if you focus only on organic strategies. Paid traffic is instant, but again, it takes time to learn and master.
The other ‘secret’ to using paid traffic is choosing the right products to promote. Again, this was something that took me a long time to understand. Having products that continue to pay, even after their initial sale, is an important key to making affiliate marketing work for you. Initially I was selling products that only paid me once. Also, I only made $40 or so from the sale of a $100 product.
I later learned that top affiliates choose bigger items to promote for better commissions and choose memberships to sell so they can earn ongoing commissions every month. A subscription product that pays you a small amount every month is worth much more than a single product that only pays you once. For every customer, you can earn residual income, potentially for a lifetime. 100 clients turns into real income due to the ongoing commissions you receive each month of your membership.
Upselling is also another affiliate marketing “secret”. An upsell is basically a product that is sold to a customer after they have already purchased from you. Even if you’ve been to a fast food franchise, you’ll know that they always offer an upsell. “Do you want fries with that?” it is an additional sale. “Would you like to increase the size?” it is an additional sale. By offering many products to existing customers, you can earn much more than selling just one product.
An existing customer is much more likely to buy from you because they already paid for something. Top affiliates know the power of upselling and benefit from more commissions from each customer. Personalized repetition is an important factor in most businesses, so you should consider your affiliate marketing business as well.
Here is one final affiliate marketing secret. Most affiliates starting out will focus on getting someone to their website to convert them into a subscriber. They will spend a lot of time working on the number of visitors to your website. But there are two factors to convert a visitor into a subscriber. The number of people visiting your website is one factor. The subscription fee is another. You can convert many more visitors into subscribers simply by changing your subscription offer.
Cross-testing various subscription offers and, in particular, making a clear call to action with a profit-driven ‘gift’ offer is the best way to measure this. So don’t focus entirely on building traffic because you can make more progress by creating an attractive giveaway offer to build your email list.