Is Affiliate Marketing Worth Your Time?
Disclosure: This post is about affiliate marketing which may contain affiliate links. Meaning, if you purchase something from the link, I may receive compensation at no extra cost to you.
Affiliate Marketing is a booming business model today. Basically, you sign up to a company that has products you want to sell, they provide you with your own personal link, you go out and promote that link to get people to click it, and if someone buys something from your link, the company will pay a commission. Simple right? Wrong! Let me explain.
When I first heard of affiliate marketing, I thought this would be a great way to make money. And it can be. I started studying, watching a boat load of Youtube videos, reading guides, etc. The people I watched can make anywhere from $1,000 to $50,000 a month. Yes, a month. They made it seem as though you could jump right in with no money and have a turn around within a couple of months of a couple thousand. I am here to tell you to not believe the hype.
Sure, many of the people on yourtube are making money because people like me are watching their videos and trying their tactics to make it big, but just like all things in life, it doesn’t work like that.
1. Getting Started
So, one of the very first things everyone will tell you is, find a niche. What’s a niche you ask. As described by Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary is: the situation in which a business’s products or services can succeed by being sold to a particular kind or group of people.
When choosing a niche, it’s important to find things you are passionate about, so that you can relay that information to the consumer. They will see you are really into this product and not just trying to make a sale, but believe in said product.
It’s essentially a company using me as their advertiser. If someone buys what I am advertising, I get paid whatever the commission is from that company. If you haven’t caught on yet, it’s essentially sales. I can tell you from experience, that selling is hard. Especially, trying to get that first one.
2. Finding an affiliate
Now you need to find some products to promote. To do that, you need to join an affiliates. There are dozens of these companies out there. You know some of the big names; Amazon, Ebay, and Walmart all have programs that you can earn money with by referring people to their sites. Usually, you can find the Affiliates link at the bottom of their web sites like this:
In addition to those, there are also other companies out there who are the bridge to get you to a brand.
For instance, shareasale.com is a web site you can sign up with. You need to fill out all of your information, your web sites you are using, how you plan to promote, and they will look over your application. If you are accepted, then you can start looking for Merchants to apply to, to promote their product.
One of the Merchants listed on Shareasale is Survey Junkie! Its as straight forward as it sounds. You apply to that merchant and they can approve you to start advertising their product. The key to all of this is to find things you are passionate about and blog about them.ad
3. Promote the product
Once you have figured out your niche and signed up to an affiliate, you need to decide how you will promote those products. Many people are using blogs these days to help get the word out about the products or service they want to advertise. The downside is, if your blog isn’t that popular, you may not make that many sales. Blogs also take a lot of time and effort. You can’t just write anything on a page and expect people to just jump in and buy.
Think if you go to a car lot and see a car you want to buy. If you feel like you’re getting the run around from the salesman, or they’re not being truthful, you won’t buy a car from them. Affiliate marketing is the same. You have to build trust with your audience. Don’t be scammy just to make sale. The truth and honest opinions will help more in the long run.
One of the many other ways people promote products is through landing pages. Using sales funnels can help bring in customers for that product or service while also making you a commission if they buy. There are different services out there that can help you create sales funnels, but I found one that is cost efficient (which is what you’ll need when you’re first starting out).
Systeme.io is a great tool to use to create leads (more on that below), create sales funnels, send emails and almost anything you’ll need to be a successful affiliate marketer.
4. What is “Creating a Lead”
Put simply, to try and hold on to the customers who may want to buy something from you now or in the future, you need to collect their email. You do this by creating a pop-up on the page of the product (systeme.io helps integrate this flawlessly) or you create a landing page to get them to place their emails in. The best way to do that is by giving them something.
If you are trying to promote a weight loss program and you want people to sign up, try and offer a book of healthy recipes to entice them for their email address. As my father always says, sale the sizzle! You have to dazzle people into giving up that info, but always be honest and truthful. Never trick people into buying things, because that could lead to returns.
This is something that isn’t really talked about until you get deep into affiliate marketing. The saying goes, “It takes money, to make money.” In this case, it couldn’t be more true. For you to make some money, you may have to advertise the products you’re trying to promote. To do this, people use Facebook ads and sometimes google. However, when using ads, you have to read the merchants rules on using them. You also have to know what’s allowed on the platform you’re advertising on. Being able to advertise may net you more money in the long run, because it will come across more eyes.
6. Disclosures and Disclaimers
This is a critical part of affiliate marketing. Like I stated earlier, you need to build trust with the people you are trying to sell to. Because of this, the FTC has created guidelines and rules so that you let any consumer who comes to your page know, that you may be compensated if they purchase a product. It is required on your web site and should be easily found near links that lead to products or services being purchased. Its just a simple notice to visitors, like the one I posted up above! You also need to carefully read your rules or guidelines for each affiliate you are working with. They may have their own set of guidelines to follow, like Amazon.
7. Will I Make Money?
In short, eventually. Affiliate Marketing is not a “get rich quick” activity. There are hours of work and planning that goes into every way to make money. That’s not to say that sometimes, someone may hit it big after a few weeks, but for the most part, it could take months even years to make serious money. It all depends on you. How much work are willing to put into it? Are you truthful in your work? Are you trying to scam your way to the top? At times it can be difficult and even frustrating. It’s definitely not for the faint of heart. You may get to your razors edge and want to quit, but determination is always key in almost everything you do. Stick with it find your way and you may get to a point you’re happy with!
In the end, it will be up to you to decide if all of it is worth it!