March 15, 2018 6 min read
The opinions expressed by the entrepreneur’s contributors are their own.
As a young man, I learned to make money online first to pay off my mother’s debts. I’ve used the same skills to create a lifestyle that many dream of and that has flown 96 times in the past year. They live in places like Johannesburg, Shanghai, Thailand and now Mexico and speak on stages all over the world. All because I learned how to earn a full-time income from affiliate marketing in my spare time.
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I believe affiliate marketing is the easiest way to start a business online as you don’t have to make your own product or build your own audience of people who want your product. Instead, find a product that already has a proven track record that is already selling and market that product.
1. Find a product to advertise.
First, find a product that you can promote as a partner. I prefer information products over physical products because there are no production or fulfillment costs, which translates into higher commissions for you. I recommend finding such products on websites like Clickbank.com, JVZoo, Share a Sale, Commission Junction or Peerfly.
I started with Clickbank, which organizes its products by category and by gravity. This score indicates how many partners are successfully selling this product. Hence, you want to choose a product with a high gravity.
People buy information products for one of two reasons: to pursue a passion or to solve a problem. Problem-solving products, what I like to refer to as pain products, tend to be the most lucrative as people are trying to solve a problem that is most likely to affect their wellbeing. One of the first products I promoted was “vertical jump” training to teach people how to jump higher in basketball. Then I started promoting potty training and erectile dysfunction products. Dog training is another lucrative market. Today I’m in the business education niche, flying around the world teaching others how to build an affiliate marketing business on my own.
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2. Find your audience.
Next, define your audience. Determine who would buy this product and what pain it would relieve. A great way to do market research is to look at the media kits from magazines and publications. For example, if you sell a potty training product, the media kit for a parenting magazine will let you know the demographics of the audience. You can use this information to market it to the same audience. Another place to do your research is online forums, which is where your target audience is often. Read through the forum’s questions and answers for more information to use with your market research.
3. Send your traffic to a landing page.
Once you’ve defined your target audience, find a way to reach them. There are many ways to reach your target audience. Two good methods are YouTube and paid advertising through Facebook. For example, you can use Facebook Ads and Facebook Audience Insights to target mothers with young children directly and run ads for them.
In your ad, address the problem your audience is trying to solve, such as: In this case, for example, potty training and offer a video of your solution. Carefully choose an image for your ad that will grab your audience’s attention. From my experience with potty training, pictures of baby butts work! Always collect your target audience’s emails so you can keep selling them. To do this, send your audience to a landing page before redirecting them to the product’s sales page.
In return for their email address, offer your audience a so-called “ethical bribe,” a free giveaway such as a gift card. For example, a video showing you how to potty exercise your child in 30 days or less to encourage this case study. The free video can basically be the Clickbank sales page for that particular product.
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4. Monitor your numbers.
In essence, all you have to do is monitor your numbers. For every dollar you spend, you want to get at least one dollar and ten cents on it.
Place your ad in different segments of your target group and measure which target group responds best. For example, if you are determining the age range of mothers with young children between 25 and 40 years of age, you could break this list into two age groups, 25-32 and 33-40. Use your data to narrow your focus to the age group that responds best.
You can then further segment that list, and so on, until you reach a target audience that is responding very well to your offer. The more targeted the audience, the cheaper the ads and the more money you’ll make on the other end. You can also split the ads yourself once you have an engaging audience.
Keep a table of how much you spend on ads, how many email addresses you collect as a result, and how many of those emails are converted. Once you know how much money it will cost you to make a sale, the cost per customer, all you have to do is scale.
If you can make $ 2 for every dollar you spend, you can make $ 20,000 just by spending $ 10,000. At the same time, you will create an email list for this target group to which you can sell other related products.
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The process of making a living as a full time affiliate marketer is simple, but not easy. Most people are unwilling to invest the hours to perfect each of these steps for maximum returns. Instead of doing the hard work, they’ll switch products in the middle of the flow or get distracted by a shiny object that promises to make more money in less time. What they fail to realize is that even the shiny item that looks so good on the sales page takes work to turn a profit.
Rather, develop clarity about how much money you want to make. And then focus on the path to get you there. Listen, if others benefit from the product you sell, so can you. Stay on track until you are profitable. Dial into your target market either through content marketing, paid advertising, or a combination of both. Gather your target audience’s email addresses, cross-sell related products, and keep track of your numbers. Once you can turn a dollar into two, do it all day and soon you will be making a full-time income in your spare time too.