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If you're following our affiliate marketing blog series (and you're seeing this for the first time) then, start here at The Affiliate Marketing Guide. This is part two in our series: how to find affiliate products to promote.
Before you start looking for products, make sure you know these two rules for affiliate marketing. If you get in when you see dollar signs, you'll get out when you don't make money as fast as you want.
Rule #1: Affiliate Marketing is a long-game. Treat it as a business from the start.
Rule #2: Pick a niche that you love to talk about (like yoga, gardening, baseball card collecting, fitness, music, trading stocks, investing, antique collecting). If you don't enjoy the topic, you will bounce.
Before You Pick Affiliate Products to Promote
Let's say I'm a life coach or a doctor. The highest paid doctors and life coaches all have one thing in common. They specialize.
They specialize in one area & they get really good at that one area. So when you go to see a life coach, that life coach will refer you to a life coach who helps people lose weight or stop drinking. When you go see a doctor, that doctor will refer you to a doctor who specializes in the heart or brain.
As a result, they charge more and make more money. When you try to be everything to everyone, you end up being with a confused audience trying to figure out where you're going.
So this is what I want you to do. Narrow your focus to a smaller sub-group.
When you enter your niche, write down all the problems that you can solve for your audience. Create a list of all the problems that they want solved today.
Think about your content as a “curriculum” that you have to present to your audience. You're not going to just barf all your knowledge on them in one blog post. Now, organize that content so it stacks on each other and you can reference the previous content for each stack.
Example of Affiliate Sub-Niche
Last week, I called a friend of mine who wrote our health insurance policies about 15 years ago. I need new coverage for 2020.
Health insurance is huge with affiliate marketing. Most health insurance companies pay $75 per application. That's why you get so many robocalls regarding health insurance because that's simply a numbers game.
Say yes, fill out the application and I get $75.
But… how would you go about getting those $75 apps? Do what my friend did and narrow your niche.
She became the Medicare Supplement Specialization Expert. Now, all the blog content and YouTube content becomes easy to create because you're just solving health insurance problems for everyone 65 and up.
MASSIVE MARKET! NARROWED FOCUS…
Whether you’ve decided to use affiliate marketing as your main business model or you’re looking to promote affiliate offers alongside your own offers, the key to success is to get everything set up the right way.
How to Find Products to Promote
NOTE: For this guide I’m going to assume that you’ve already chosen a niche. If you haven’t done this step yet, then do your market research to uncover profitable niches. If you have no idea where to start, you might begin with large, evergreen markets such as make money online, weight loss, golf, dog training, gardening, home improvement and similar markets. Then carve out a smaller niche for yourself (e.g., weight loss for women over 40).
There are two ways to approach this:
- Find an affiliate network first and then search for a product. Reputable affiliate networks include:
Affiliate Networks Primarily Digital Products:
- ClickBank: one of the oldest and most reputable networks that takes care of everything (tracking, paying affiliates, etc.).
- Impact: one of the easiest platforms that I have found and has a ton of digital products (Envato, Leadpages, and Camtasia).
- JvZoo: Large digital product database with an emphasis on online marketing markets. JVZoo is not my favorite simply because of the quality of their info-products, but their software products are amazing (webinars, funnel builders).
- RevenueWire: ecommerce for subscription businesses.
- If you’re unsure of the vendor, use a network such as Clickbank.com, which pays you directly (rather than you having to wait for the vendor).
Affiliate Networks Primarily Physical Products:
- Digital products usually pay better than physical products, with commissions around 50% and often even higher.
I recommend a combo of digital and physical products, here are the top affiliate networks:
- Search for a product, and then check out the network. If you have a type of product in mind already (perhaps uncovered during your initial market research), then you can search these vendors to find products.
How to Apply for an Affiliate Program
Near the bottom of most brands, you'll find a link to “become an affiliate” like this.
NOTE: All of these are reputable networks. In most cases, you will need to submit an application, so get your site up and running first. Most affiliate program managers will take a look at your website first, so please if you need help getting your blog setup, click here to start a profitable blog.
How to Do Your Due Diligence
Over the last 15 years, I have fallen into a few time wasters & complete scams. Be sure the product and vendor have a good reputation before you start promoting.
Take these steps:
- Search for the product name in Google and look for evidence that the product has a good standing in the market. Be careful that affiliates aren't bashing the product JUST to get traffic to THEIR product.
- Search for the vendor’s name and website in Google to be sure the vendor is honest and reputable.
- Check the sales letter and overall sales process for commission leaks, such as extraneous links or cookies being deleted and replaced with another affiliate’s cookies.
How to Check for Affiliate Commission Theft
An affiliate commission squeeze is when a vendor purposely puts up a squeeze page to redirect traffic through their affiliate link. I recently went to promote Clickbank University and discovered this affiliate commission squeeze.
It worked like this:
Clickbank University has an hour long video for a sales page. Their sales page included a “squeezeout” page in between the sales page and the order page. When I clicked through to the sales page, another cookie was stored and another affiliate got the commission.
Clickbank said they couldn't recreate the problem, so I decided NOT to promote that product (even though I bought the product). Let me screenshot the recreation to show you how this works.
Create a Detailed Review of the Product
Don’t even think of promoting something until you’ve purchased, reviewed and used the product. If you wouldn’t recommend it to your best friend, then don’t recommend it to your audience.
However, there are ways around this.
If your goal is simply to create a television comparison blog or a web hosting comparison blog, then, you'd want to list as many brands and companies as you can find. Then, create comparison reviews for each company's TV or each hosting company's hosting packages.
How to Add Value to THEIR Offer
Now that you know how to check for affiliate theft and find reputable products & services. No matter what you’re selling, you will have a lot of competition. You can stand out from the crowd by adding value to the offer in the form of a valuable (related) bonus. This will be something exclusively yours.
For example, if you’re selling a bodybuilding course, then here are three ideas for bonuses:
- Create a set of lifting videos.
- Offer a bodybuilder’s cookbook with delicious, high-protein meals
- Offer a meal-planning app.
If you buy from my link, you get these bonuses on top of the amazing product / service that you found.
Set Up a Lead-Generation System
You’re not going to send your traffic directly to the vendor’s page. Instead, you’re going to get people onto your mailing list, build a relationship with them, and then promote a combination of your content, your affiliate promotions and great information.
Here are the pieces of your affiliate marketing system:
- Lead magnet (aka “freebie”). This should be tightly related to the affiliate offer, so that anyone who wants your lead magnet will naturally want to buy the affiliate offer. Naturally, your lead magnet will include links to your affiliate offer.
Example of a Lead Magnet for Your Affiliate Sales Funnel
For example, if you’re selling an in-depth course on traffic generation, then you might create a lead magnet with “27 Surefire Traffic Generating Tips.” To create the landing page, I recommend Lead Pages (the pro version saves you a ton of money).
Lead Pages Pro costs $15 per month for one site & you get unlimited traffic & unlimited pages (where the competition limits your traffic, your pages and charges you six times more). Also Lead Pages delivers your lead magnet ensuring that your lead gets YOUR lead magnet in their inbox every single time. No other page builder does this. Click Here to Get Started with Lead Pages
- Lead page. This is a short sales letter – sometimes just a headline, a handful of bullets and a call to action – which tell viewers the benefits of your lead magnet and why they should join your list now to receive it.
- Autoresponder series. This is a series of around five to seven emails that are related to the main offer. Each email is mixture of content and pitch. You can easily set this up with Aweber. (please keep in mind that if you purchase anything through our link, we get an affiliate commission and we have an affiliate agreement with the vendor)
Your autoresponder series could be a five day crash course on “how to lose weight” or “how to setup an autoresponder series” or “five day blog business” or “how to get bigger biceps in five days”. Then, drip the series through the autoresponder.
Drive Traffic To Your Lead Page
Once everything is set up, then you can start driving targeted traffic to your lead page. This includes:
- Setting up a blog and using content marketing and search engine optimization to drive traffic.
- Setting up social media pages (e.g., Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.). Yes, I said TikTok. Every time a new platform comes up, take the time to view the content THEN create the content specifically for that platform.
- Using video marketing to promote the lead magnet. (Use sites like Vimeo.com and YouTube.com to distribute the videos.)
- Viral marketing.
- Guest blogging.
- Interviewing the vendor on a live webinar. Then distribute this interview as a lead magnet to further build your list.
- Purchasing advertising on niche sites, or by using Facebook and Google AdWords. When you purchase advertising, go for buying keywords. Here's a list of buying keywords.
Many affiliate marketers make the mistake of driving traffic directly to the vendor’s pages, but that results in low conversion rates and wasted traffic. A better idea is to build a mailing list (which is an asset), and then build a relationship with your mailing list subscribers. You can then promote multiple offers on the backend over the span of months or even years!
Summary – Three Steps to Your First $1,000 Affiliate Commission
Your first $1000 in commissions is easier than you think. To recap, here are the three steps to earning affiliate commissions:
- Create an affiliate marketing sales funnel with a lead magnet, tripwire, core offer and multiple backend offers.
- Craft a lead generation system with a lead magnet, lead page and autoresponder.
- Pick ONE traffic source, master it, and then add another source.
And yes, it really is that simple.
Share and Conquer,
Download this Post Free Report: The Affiliate Marketing Guide
Download this Post Free Report: The Affiliate Marketing Guide
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