Let’s say you’re excited about the idea of getting started with affiliate marketing. Very good!
I’m not here to shatter your enthusiasm. But I want you to enter this game with realistic expectations. Namely, in order for this game to work in your favor, you have to approach it as a business. Cold. Rational.
Ok. Now let’s attack some more nuanced aspects of affiliate marketing, eCommerce, and business in general.
1. If you got the market and monopoly you can have no knowledge in online marketing, and you will still win.
Here’s an example: Let’s say, suddenly, a large number of people become interested in buying painted rice grains. You’re the only one who offers them.
In this case you own the market (people’s intend to buy) and monopoly (you are the only one that sells the product). Even with weak skills in marketing if you have a decent website, and people can find you, you’ll register sales.
In affiliate marketing, you must obtain this ideal, if you can.
Ie to promote products or services that people want to buy and to do it in a way that gives you a unique competitive advantage. This advantage can take many forms:
- A unique product or the exclusive rights to promote /sell that product;
- Frame and unique positioning in the minds of consumers through story and branding;
- Promoting an existing product to a subcategory of the population that other affiliates ignored;
- Hard to copy product (represents an entry barrier for competitors – especially if you have an online shop);
- A cheap source for targeted traffic that other affiliates have not yet discovered.
2. If you have massive traffic, jackpot!
You can have thousands of unique visitors per day … If your site is not intended to sell, you’re not gonna sell. Period!
I have a friend who owns a site in a charity niche. Yet he wants to make money on his website. It has tens of thousands of impressions per day (thousands of unique visitors per day) and makes… $30 per month from AdSense. Weak, right?
I had a niche website that makes $30 per day with just 250 unique visitors. Why? Because the site promotes a product that solves a problem.
It’s easy to sell and convince visitors to buy a product if you demonstrate how the products solve his problem.
It’s not rocket science! Any content that you create should promote products that solve problems. Demonstrate through tutorials, reviews and give examples of results / benefits they can produce by using that product / service and the consumer will “convince himself“.
That is the essence of any business: provide solutions to problems in a profitable way for you and convenient for the customer.
2.a) Not all keywords are equal
The easiest would be to discuss a clear example.
We have 3 phrases searched on Google:
Air conditioning unit
Best air conditioner
Air conditioners repairs
Which of the three expressions do you think clearly indicates the intention to purchase?
Without claiming to have the truth, I “guess” that the last phrase will convert best, then the second, and the first might not convert at all.
Why doesn’t the first convert? Because it’s too generic.
Key phrases that convert have specificity and urgency.
The phrase “air conditioner repairs” denotes urgency and specificity. It reports a problem requiring a solution.
The phrase “the best air conditioning” has specificity and indicates some intention to buy.
What I’m saying is that the consumer’s purchase intent is signaled by the following words template:
“Product + best”
“Product + review”
“Product + cheapest”
“Product + discount”
“Product + coupon”
“Repair + product”
and so on
As a rough rule, the longer the search phrase, and more specific, the purchase intent is greater – as long as the phrase implies a product or service that can be bought online.
Optimize your web pages with keywords that are highly specific and urgent (if suitable). Search traffic is high quality traffic (that’s why it’s expensive) and the user is already qualified when he comes to your site using the type of expressions mentioned above.
If your site or landing page provide a specific answer, like the user’s query, chances are you’ll get good conversions.
3. Hang around and … the money will come.
Please get down to earth.
Sometimes you work 16 hours a day to make money in your sleep.
All those results that leave you open-mouthed, you know – super high commissions of super affiliates – are the result of years of investment and costs in the form of:
- Education (copywriting, branding, SEO, web design, etc.) – money spent on books, courses;
- Failed campaigns (financial cost of learning);
- Time and mental effort dedicated to refining the positioning and branding concepts;
- Landing Page testings;
- Efforts to persuade advertisers to change the landing page or shopping cart purchase process;
- Opportunity cost (perhaps a poor social life, even no social life, maybe damage eyesight from too much time spent at the computer, and missed opportunities in offline business, etc.);
- Today’s results may be the consequence of decisions / revelations / events that occurred several years before, JUST because someone decided to be dedicated to online or affiliate marketing.
Great success, that happens overnight, is a very very rare exception. Therefore, if I were a beginner in affiliate marketing, I wouldn’t let myself too tempted by the instant results.
You must be dedicated and go “all in” if you want results.
4. Passion?! I call that bullshit.
I thought you said 3 Secrets?!
Yes. The 4th is a bonus.
This itself is a marketing trick, see? On one hand we have created an attractive title (3 is a “magic” number, we really like it) and on the other hand we have created the opportunity to make this loop that allows me to communicate directly with you.
In copywriting it is important to communicate one to one with the reader. Like face to face with him or her. That’s what I’m doing now. I’m talking. Directly. With. You. (Strong, right?)
As I said in the first point – if you have the market (i.e. if people buy what you offer) you might do pretty well even without passion. Even with little knowhow.
Because your true passion shouldn’t be linked directly to what you sell or promote. Instead I would encourage you to become passionate about psychology, copywriting and human nature in general.
Take it as a challenge: How do I sell this product?
Once you ask a question like this, one begins to think critically and to become, what I call a student of the market.
I.e. you learn everything you can about the market, about what motivates consumers, about their fears, about their wishes. Then you fit your marketing message so as to meet the aspirations of the consumer.
Also, I would encourage you to familiarize yourself with:
- Anthropology (“Sapiens” by Yuval Noah Harari);
- History and philosophy (“The Lessons of History” by Will Durant and Ariel Durant);
- Neo-Darwinism and evolutionary biology (“The Selfish Gene” by Richard Dawkins);
- Evolutionary psychology (“Evolutionary Psychology” by David Buss);
- Investment philosophy (“Poor Charlie’s Almanac” or “Zero to One” by Peter Thiel).
Your education is the best investment. Not to mention that it is a skill that will never depreciate.
It is true that some of these theories (which you’ll find in the books mentioned above) will offer a somewhat cynical view of human nature, but this will help you get faster results. And that’s why you get into affiliate marketing. To get results, right?
By the way, somebody should put affiliate links to these books. As an idea, the book by David Buss cost around $140. But it’s not my blog so I can’t really put them here. 🙂
Well… You’ll see that passion comes as a consequence of improving your competence. Realization of progress will create a distinct passion for what you initially thought passion was.
You could still have the same hobbies and interests. And I even encourage you not to give them up. But you will gain a new kind of passion, a passion related to your professional marketer career.
And that, my dear reader, will give you “creative cockiness” (as Harold Robbins said in his novel “The Carpetbaggers”) which will be self fueled by your every action. This is how you get to be successful.
Because nothing is achieved without action. Correct?
Good! Now I invite you to get to work. Make an account on www.2performant.com the get initiated in the art and science of affiliate marketing.
About the Author:
Constantin Gabor is an affiliate marketer and operates several niche sites including: VideoEditingSoftware.com, HighballBlog.com, HeadBlade.ro and CrochetDecor.ro.
You can say hello to him on Facebook.