When I First Started With Digital Marketing…
Back in 2005, the affiliate marketing world… Well actually, the Internet Marketing world in general, was a very different place. I wrote this post because I would’ve made a wealth of revenue MUCH, MUCH sooner, had I used these 8 affiliate marketing tips, that I plan on sharing with you today.
This was a time when someone could make a single 5 page website and make thousands of dollars a month with Google AdSense ads fairly easily, and all organic search. Google AdWords were still inexpensive, and you could still easily “blackhat” your way to the top of Google without much fear.
Twitter wasn’t a thing, and Facebook wasn’t nearly the monster it is today. Software like XsitePro and Traffic Equalizer (shout out to those who know what I am talking about, I applaud you), allowed you to rule the market.
ClickBank was, as it is now, still a power-house for finding affiliate programs and the Warrior Forum still survived through all these years.
You could play the game of quantity of quality, and while short lived, you could still get very livable results. But there was a problem with this… a HUGE problem. As with everything in life, Digital marketing evolved, just as the search engines did, just as Facebook did, as well as all the competition out there. My hope is that with these 8 affiliate marketing tips, you can avoid making the same mistakes I had made early on.
Affiliate Marketing Version of “Live Fast, Die Young”…
So as a young entrepreneur, I had managed to “break” the Google code in ranking my sites, quickly and effectively. By creating a mass amount of long-tail keyword “mini-sites”, that were highly optimized, it didn’t take me much time to get a vast amount of 1st page, if not 1st-ranked websites in Google. “Awesome!”, I thought… it worked, so I wasn’t concerned about the long-term. As long as I kept spamming out B.S. content sites full of affiliate links, I had money in the bank.
I had always been a sort of “guerilla” marketer, hiding behind the scenes. As an affiliate marketer had little to no intention on building a following or building a brand… you know…. the things that help keep long-term returns and build relationships. I also was horrible at networking “which honestly, still isn’t my strongest asset.” My email list, which I barely had, I gave no attention to. I found a system that worked, and I made a TON of money, but I didn’t nearly live up to a potential that I could’ve.
There is a lot of grey area when it comes to affiliate marketing. Hell, there is a ton of grey area when it comes to any form of digital marketing. With that being said, there is a “right” way and a “wrong” if you want long-term results.
Now let’s go over 8 Affiliate Marketing tips. Tips that I wish I would’ve followed years ago. Tips that you can use so that you don’t repeat these mistakes.
Affiliate Marketing Tip #1 – Invest In Training!
I’ll admit it, I was a stubborn “know-it-all”, sometimes I still can be, but I’m learning. I feel one of my biggest fall backs was that I never invested in “quality” training. I mean, sure I read blogs and books. I browsed forums too. But I never invested in “high-end” training, nor did I have a mentor. Everything was “self-taught”. If you can take anything from these affiliate marketing tips, is that you need to invest in yourself. Your brain is by far your best asset! Olympic champions don’t just watch a few videos on YouTube, they search out the best training and mentorship/coaches available.
Getting professional training is a great way to step back and re-assess what you are doing right… or doing wrong. If I had taken advantage of this concept, and didn’t just “assume” I knew exactly what I was doing, I could’ve turned 10X more the profit.
As an affiliate marketer, I highly recommend the following courses, some are free while others are more high-value, high-end courses. Of course, the high-end courses are going to be more complete and likely give you the detail you are looking for. The so called “ah-hah” moments and the “fill-in-the blanks”.
Affiliate Marketing Tip #2 Network and Build Relationships
With this affiliate marketing tip, when I say network and build relationships, I don’t just mean at seminars. (Which is definitely included in this). I mean with your peers, with your subscribers and visitors. I mean on social media and all walks of your digital marketing business. Also, they don’t just have to be affiliate marketers.
As mentioned before, I was a guerilla marketer early in my career. I wasn’t much for reaching out to others. Whether that was with other entrepreneurs or with those on my email list or any other person for that matter. You can’t live life and thrive without reaching out to others. You will never grow and you will never evolve. A HARD lesson to learn!
This literally was crippling for me as it didn’t give me any opportunity to experience affiliate marketing from anyone else’s eyes. I mean, sure you can go to anyone’s website and imitate, but you never get the advantage of having a diverse understanding of those in your field.
Tip #3 Build Your Email List!
If you haven’t started, you need to follow this affiliate marketing tip now! Your subscribers want to hear from you. This also ties in to that “building relationships” talk we also just had. Start building your subscriber base early on too. You may only start with a few subscribers, but you need to start somewhere.
Having an email list is probably one of the most profitable steps you will take as an affiliate marketer. This gives you a direct connection with the people who are most likely interested in what you have to offer. It’s important to give them a ton of value too. Don’t just promote any crap you find. Find products and services that you, yourself would use.
If you don’t have a list right now, no problem, you can start by using someone else’s list. This is the concept of solo ads, like Udimi. This harnesses other peoples email list to promote your offer. Just make sure you have an email capture form on that landing page and you will be certain to start getting subscribers.
A word of caution, solo ads are great when you are just starting to build a list, if you would like some subscribers fast. However, you always run the risk of getting subscribers that are already burnt out from receiving tons of offers. The best way to create a list of buyers is to grow them organically or by highly targeted paid ads.
If you are looking for a great email marketing service, I highly recommend AWeber. This service is completely free for your first 500 subscribers, at which point you could be making more than enough money to warrant the inexpensive upgrades they offer.
Affiliate Marketing Tip #4: Focus on High-Ticket & High Value
It’s so much easier to make 10 $1000 sales than making 1000 $10 sales. Each provide the same result in the end, but the latter requires much much more traffic. In addition, if you are selling a product that makes you $1000, then it is likely it is going to provide your visitors with much more value than a simple $10 product would. Am I right?
This requires some research, and in many cases, I recommend participating in whatever you plan to promote. Go ahead and take that $2000 course, especially if you can promote it afterwards. If it’s crap, trash it and never look back. But if you find that “gem” that everybody needs on your list, then make that your cash cow!
Let’s also talk about the compound effect of subscription offers. Subscription offers are nice because they continually provide you income every month. When thinking “long-term”, this is a highly effective way to create a sustainable income from affiliate marketing. Remember, think “quality and value” over “quantity” – In other words, don’t do like I did… it’s too much work!
Even in the content on my websites and posts. I no longer make those 3-8 page websites anymore with 500-1000 words. I go for the gusto! Always strive for Quality that may take a little more effort, but reap greater rewards.
Tip #6: Harness Video and Social Media
There is a trick with this affiliate marketing tip and a word of caution. Using video marketing and social media is absolutely crucial in todays Internet marketing realm. But here is the catch! Focus on becoming the very best at 1 or at the most, 2 avenues for traffic at a time. Don’t try to be a jack-of-all-trades by becoming the best YouTuber, Blogger, Instagrammer, Facebook-pro, Pinterest-person, etc. etc… Choose a platform and become a literal master at it, before moving on to anything else. Trust me when I say you’ll get a thousand times better results.
That’s not to say you can’t put a little automation when posting, that posts to other platforms. However, if you are going to focus on video marketing to promote your affiliate offers, you want to give that 95% of your attention. Later on, when you have established a phenomenal following, then maybe move on to other platforms. Or, you can hire someone else to manage a different platform for you. One of my biggest downfalls, and part of the reason I wrote these affiliate marketing tips, was because I spread myself waaaaaay too thin. I did much more work than needed for a portion of the results. Like I said, I still had made great money, even when I started, but I could’ve saved so much time, money, effort and energy had I only done things right.
Affiliate Marketing Tip #7 – Build Your Brand – Focus on Long-Term
Remember when Google did all those crazy algorithm updates, like “Panda” and “Penguin”? Remember the “Google Slap”? (If you don’t know what those are, I highly recommend you look them up).
The Internet is always growing and changing, and what works now, is NEVER guaranteed in the future. This was a painful and hard lesson I learned early on. Imagine having a bunch of income-producing websites on the 1st page of Google, then overnight… they ALL disappear! Sounds painful, right? Well this is what happened to myself and countless other digital marketers online during the early days. You could go from making $100’s or $1,000’s a day to $5 and $30 a day, literally overnight. It was a mess to try to pull myself out of that hole and a valuable lesson learned.
This affiliate marketing tip will allow you to stay afloat, even when all goes south. While I said, it’s important to focus on one platform, it is only until you are able to master it and become a master of another. While keen focus is essential, eventually you never want to have all your eggs in one basket. In addition, had I been successful in building a brand and being known, these issues wouldn’t have hurt me nearly as much. I’d be able to bounce back with little to no effort. This is why I also mention in affiliate marketing tip #3, it is so important to start building a list NOW.
Search engine algorithms change, paid advertising platforms raise prices or change policies. The Internet is an ever-changing beast. If you have those connections made and prepare accordingly by creating a recognizable brand and a subject matter expert, you won’t have to worry nearly as much about losing 1 avenue of traffic.
Power Tip#8 – Don’t Stop and Always Be Consistent!
This sounds cliché, and it probably is. But this is a HUGE mistake most affiliate marketers make.
Affiliate marketing is a lot of work. Especially if you are a WordPress blogger. It takes time to build a list. It can take a huge amount of time to see traffic on your blog. You can create thousands of social posts and get little to no reaction. THESE THINGS TAKE TIME, EXPERIENCE AND EFFORT! While affiliate marketing is easy in many aspects, it is still a skill set that takes time to become masterful at.
All too often new digital marketers will start strong, put in a ton of energy, and when they don’t get the results they were hoping for, they give up. The problem is, they were probably right at the point where the downhill slope began, and they quite moments before getting there.
When you feel like giving up, tell yourself “This is how I should feel right before getting results”. If you keep creating content and creating a name for yourself and representing your brand, it is literally only a matter of time before it picks up traction. In the meantime, take a deep breathe. Then consider your skill level and maybe attempt at “continued-learning” by taking a class or reading a book. But in the meantime, continually produce content!
As a habit, I spend time on promotion, every single day, even if only for 30 minutes. Then, I commit myself to training every single day, even if for only 1 module of training. Hone your mind, and create, create, create!
Other things to consider:
- Become affluent in sales funnels and how to integrate them in your everyday affiliate marketing business. Need help understanding funnels? Read this article ironically called “What is a Click Funnel“. You’ll need this skillset if you want to make the most out of your digital marketing efforts. Also if you want FREE Funnel training, check out this FREE Course.
- Take this course on affiliate marketing and other 2 million-dollar business models. Their training programs will show you everything you need to know to turn your affiliate marketing business in to a cash-producing empire.
- Trust in the process and take action. While learning is important. It is just as important to act! Don’t wait until you are a pro before taking any action. Money loves speed and the more you produce today, the more benefits you’ll reap in the future.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post! I am confident that if you follow these 8 affiliate marketing tips, you’ll be many more times likely to succeed in this lucrative business as an affiliate marketer.
Don’t forget to download this FREE eBook on Creating Wealth with affiliate marketing!
See you at the top!
~ Gabe Killian