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A Beginners Overview To Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing was the first proper money I made online around the year 2000...

I started in a journey that has made me seven figures in profits and eight figures in sales.

 

 Why is it a good business model?

  • It requires no money to get into
  • It has massive profit potential
  • It requires a very low skill set to get started
  • A lot of what you learn in this model can be transferred into most of business models online 

So what exactly is affiliate marketing?

You'll generate traffic and send it to a merchant, when that traffic buys and becomes a customer you get paid.

So it's like you're a virtual salesman or salesperson but you're not doing the selling face-to-face...

Once you’ve set up this income stream, it will be happening whilst you're asleep!

It’s a passive income stream... so you set it up once, it generates the traffic, it generates the sales and you get paid... That's the beauty of it.

What can you expect to be paid?

Affiliate commissions can range from anywhere from like very low percentages like 1, 2, 3 and 4% up to like literally 200%.

You might say there’s no such thing as 200%...

Within the affiliate or some affiliate marketing circles it’s called a bounty.

Let’s take an online piece of software for example, that people have to pay a monthly subscription for.

If the customer pays $50 to sign up for the first month, you’ll get a $100 paid out by the merchant. This is instead of them paying you saying an ongoing percentage.

The positive of getting a bounty is if they cancel after the first month, but you’ve still got your 200% bounty.

The 200% bounty is more than one month’s subscription payment, but you don’t get the backend, so if they stay for years you won't get any back-end commission.

So, healthy commission for digital products or software anywhere from about 40% on the lower end to 50%.

I personally don’t think a 20% commission for a digital product and information products or software product is that fair.

If you can get any more, great, some people will pay 70-75%, there’s all kinds of commissions.

Good merchants appreciate that generating traffic and sales is the most important part of the business and so they pay you appropriately.

 

How does it work?

You'll give potential customers a unique link that just identifies your traffic. If a purchase is made it will be attributed to you.

The main method that most merchants and most affiliate tracking software solutions use is by cookie.

When you send a customer over to a website, a cookie will be stored on their computer...

Let’s say they don’t even make a purchase that day... that’s okay because the cookie stays on their computer.

Then if they come back a few days later and makes a purchase on their website, even though they didn’t come again through your link, you’ll still get the commission tracked to you.

The cookie kind of follows the customer around and if they make a purchase from at a later date from that merchant’s website, you still get paid.

Some merchants don't have very good return days which means the cookie may not last very long on your traffics computer.

I prefer for them to make it as long as possible... obviously a cookie stored on the computer for life would be better than one stored on a computer for 2 minutes.

Typically merchants will provide a fair amount of time for this cookie to be stored...

It can be 30 days, it can be 60 days, it can be 7 days, it could be all kinds of different things.

The longer the cookie is stored on their computer the better for you, because the more chances it’s got of attributing the sale to you. 

 

What to look out for in a good affiliate offer...

Now you’d think that the highest paying affiliate offer or merchant would be the best one to go for pretty much all the time.

But it’s not always true believe it or not.

Highest conversions with a good affiliate commission will usually earn you more than mediocre conversions with a great payout. 

Lets say for example you’ve got website A and you’ve got website B.

Website A looks amazing, it’s got an amazing sales process, it really converts customers, it does really a good job of turning traffic into customers that’s website A.

Website B that does a really bad looking website, the sales text is rubbish, it’s really poor at converting.

Website A pays out $10 per sale, but Website B $50 per sale.

Beginners would typically go for Website B because it pays out $50 per sale.

You think, you're going to make more money because they pay more, but if the conversion process or the sales process is not as good with Website B, it doesn’t matter that they pay more, you’re still gonna earn less than Website A that only pays $10 because their conversion is process is excellent. 

It’s important that the merchant does not have a leaky sales funnel or a leaky sales page or sales process...

This is ULTRA important...

Most beginners to affiliate marketing don’t even know what I’m talking about.

In fact most intermediate affiliate marketers don’t know what I’m talking about.

I dare say advanced affiliate marketers definitely will but it’s really really really important.

For example if a merchant has payment links on their site that you are not paid for, avoid that merchant or reach out to them and explain you found a sales leak and ask them to plug it, if they refuse, move on, no exceptions. 

There’s ton of other potential sales leaks.

Good merchants will look to make sure you get paid for every sale you send and bad merchants will try to skim some of the sales off or avoid paying you a commission at all.

Luckily most affiliate program owners or merchants understand the importance of paying properly.

This is what you need to be looking out for, sales leaks and if you know it’s a leaky funnel, walk away.

No affiliate tracking is perfect, it’s likely along the way some of your sales will not be tracked properly, it’s just the reality of it unfortunately. 

Good merchants know how important it is to find and nurture good affiliates.

If you could show you have a history of sending lots of sales either to that merchant that you’re promoting for or other merchants that will likely do a deal if you reach out to them.

A better way of doing it is to start sending them sales first.

Send them 50 sales and then reach out to them and say "look I’ve proven I’m a good affiliate"

Be friendly about it... don’t be hostile!

Just say, can we look to bump this affiliate commission because I’m doing so well and then if they’re smart, they’re likely to say yes, or potentially risk you going and promote somebody else that pays more.

If you’re a good affiliate marketer, some program owners and merchants will come looking for you and they’ll reach out to you and probably offer you more money. 

How do the merchants pay and how often?

Some pay by cheque, some pay by bank transfer, some pay by PayPal.

Some merchants pay weekly, some pay bi-weekly, and some pay monthly.

Make it easy for the affiliate merchant to pay you, take their money, it’s good enough whether it’s paper (cheque) or PayPal or whatever. 

Where can you find merchants or affiliate program owners?

A really good way of doing this is you could type in the product name, plus affiliate.

Google will find pages that have got content in the word that your product name on there and usually an affiliate recruitment page.

Another just as easy way really to find them is to Google the niche name plus affiliate.

You can also go to a marketplace to find related offers to your niche...

You’ll go to something like Clickbank marketplace which is a huge literally huge online like affiliate offer marketplace.

Loads of merchants have got their products listed on Clickbank marketplace so you tell them you want to promote their product and then Clickbank take care of everything else...

You will get given a link, you send traffic to that link, that link then tags those customers to you if they purchase from the merchant you get paid.

I’ve used Clickbank a lot over the years, I’ve been using them the whole time I’ve been in this business and I’ve made literally I’ve sold millions and millions and millions of dollars through Clickbank products in this marketplace.

ShareASale is another... These might be a bit more physical products than Clickbank.

Another one is Amazon Associates.

I don’t recommend Amazon Associates.

Their affiliate commission are really really really extremely low...

Yes they will track whatever they buy from Amazon to you if you send that, if you send somebody to Amazon and they make a purchase there of ten different things you’ll get a commission for the ten different things.

But in my experience the commissions are really low and their returns window is also low.

Overall there is tonnes of affiliate networks. You can literally just Google affiliate networks and find some cool little products to sell...

Advantages to using network as opposed to going direct to merchants...

A merchant of third-party affiliate tracking solution will track the sales for the affiliate and merchants usually pay the affiliate for the merchants.

It’s not a deal breaker to go direct to the merchants, but you might have to build a relationship with them just to feel confident when you start getting into super fit affiliate status.

You start driving massive sales and money, they’re not gonna try and sting you.

So, how do you generate traffic?

Some of my favourites for beginners include:

Creating YouTube videos...

 

YouTube videos ranked really well in Google which is the first largest search engine on earth...

All you do is create a YouTube video around a niche subject or around the product that you’re gonna be promoting.

So, you’ve got the number one and number two search engines in the world, both able to send you tons and tons and tons of targeted traffic.

You’ll get a double whammy, you’ll get YouTube traffic and you’ll get a certain amount of Google traffic as well.

Writing a blog or authority site is another way...

You can create or have somebody create an article or a series of articles and put them on what’s called a blog or create a website.

Websites are really easy to make nowadays, when I first got started there a bit of a nightmare and they didn’t look very good.

There's so many good website creation tools out there and online website builders that you don’t need to worry about building websites anymore.

It really really easy, you can use something called WordPress or you can use Wix... there’s loads of like website builders out there.

You build links to your website from other websites and then Google starts to trust your website.  

You can also do other things like capture their email address and stuff, so that you don’t lose that traffic, you can then kind of send them more affiliate offers or your own product offers.

There's also personal referrals...

You can give a friend that you think would benefit from that software your link and ask them to use your link.

They buy through your link, you get a commission...

You can add value to the transaction which makes it worth that customer using your link.

For example you could say if you use my link I’ll help you with the settings of the software or something like that.

It can be a beautiful stream of income...

You create the traffic flow, you monetize it with the affiliate link and at that point you can kind of just move on and build another...

This means you create very passive income streams with very little or no money and very little experience!

Recurring commissions are the best for building over time...

If you’ve got a good converting merchant with a good valuable product that people want to use month after month after month and they’re happy to stay.

A part of then you can build nice recurring commission payments and a good merchant will pay you for life.

A good merchant will track that customer to you forevermore.

They won’t just let the cookie turn off and when the cookie turns off, it’s somebody else’s commission. They’ll continue to track the payment to you.

So, an ever increasing income with very little extra work which is a beautiful thing, that’s what we all want.

So just to finish off with an overview of the process...

  • You find an offer

  • Become an affiliate

  • Create a traffic source

  • Either capture their contact details to follow up in the future with more offers

  • Or send them straight to the merchant and then you get paid.  

So that's it, rinse it, and repeat it!

Thanks for your time,

Matt Webley

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