Too often people have the wrong idea about making money from affiliate marketing. The general impression is that all you have to do is sign up and the money will start pouring in. And it pops me right back to square one.
What are you passionate about?
The best businesses are built on our passion. When what we are passionate about is also something we are good at, that is a great way to make our income. We cannot just put up a sales page and expect things to happen. We cannot just choose a bunch of unrelated products and expect to sell them. Well, maybe some people can, but only a handful and that’s because they are already great marketers and simply like to sell.
You primarily sell to your list
New marketers seldom realize that you primarily sell to your list and if you don’t have a list, you’ll have a hard time selling anything. 80% of your sales will come from 20% of your prospects so a smart marketer spends the majority of her time attracting people to her list and cultivating a relationship with her present list and designing programs and services specifically for those prospects and their needs. These are people who know and trust you so that when you recommend a product or service, they can trust your word.
Are you a smart marketer?
You can’t be all things to all people; you’ll end up being nothing to everyone. You can’t write targeted copy, you can’t post on relevant blogs, you can’t even find your target audience unless you have identified them. And the smaller the better. Niches are riches. A smart marketer continues to identify and narrow her niche.
How affiliate marketing can work
My most lucrative affiliate associations are with products and services I use that would be helpful to my clients if they used them. For instance, because I coach people in content strategy for their web sites, I have an affiliate association with the shopping cart I recommend, the merchant account, the web hosting company, and the blog hosting company I use myself and can enthusiastically recommend. My clients come to me for internet marketing information. They do not expect or want me to try to sell them vitamins. Stick with what you yourself use. Stick with those programs that will bring value to your prospects Then you can genuinely share your enthusiasm and people will be attracted to what you have to offer. Keep your affiliate selections relevant to your target audience
Build your list
Back to square one. If you have a list, great. If you don’t, you need to build one. And it’s not just about having a list, it’s about having a pre-qualified list, people who see what you offer and give you permission to keep them posted on what you offer. That is done either through a web site with an opt in box or blog postings on a specific topic that builds your RSS feed list. Whichever you choose, you have to have one major topic and one target audience.
For instance, I can have a niche as a holistic health resource and find all sorts of affiliates to feature. I can have a niche as a marketing expert (I do) or a copy writer (I’m working on it) but each niche will draw a select audience and you want to be certain you focus your content and affiliate resources to their specific needs.
Have your own affiliate program
If you have active services and a number of products, it’s great to have your own affiliate program. However, like anything else in busyness, you need to support your affiliates with html banners and text links and suggested email copy and special promotions. You have to cultivate your relationship with your own affiliates just as you cultivate your prospects.
The resource page on my web site is filled with affiliate links. Sure I recommend things that don’t have an affiliate program, because I am in service to my web site visitors and want to give them as much value as I can. But when I can, it’s an affiliate link.
Follow your passion
I still think the desire to do something simply to earn money is a poor choice. People won’t buy just because you want to sell. They buy because they want it even more than they need it. They buy when you can get them caught up in your passion and excitement about the product or service they might purchase. Emotion sells. My suggestion for what it takes to earn money as an affiliate – follow your passion, stay in service and choose affiliate associates that fit your niche.
Cara Lumen, The Vision Distiller, helps you focus your passion and distill your vision into a specific and profitable course of action. Her specialty is internet marketing, content strategy, and signature product development. Through her Magnetic Marketing Method, Cara offers innovative, inexpensive, and impactful ideas for the pro-active entrepreneur. Learn how you can become a Success Magnet at www.caralumen.com