When it comes to making money on the Internet, or more specifically with a blog, there are simply so many options out there, it can be a little overwhelming for someone starting out, trying to earn a living through blogging or through creating a website community. One of the highest paying and easiest to use ways to make money is with affiliate programs. Affiliate Marketing is a lot simpler than the blogging and marketing ‘gurus’ would like you to think, and I whipped up a questions and answers blog post, highlighting a conversation I had with a client a few weeks back.
Question – What’s the single easiest way to start Affiliate Marketing right now?
This is an incredibly difficult question to answer, let alone to start with… In Affiliate Marketing, relying on a ‘single’ technique or tactic, even just to get you going, is suicidal. You need to be using a wide range of different methods to drive traffic through your affiliate links – anything from PPC to blogging, SEO to viral marketing… It’s really up to you. In the Affiliate Defined videos I’m creating, there are some truly unique tactics, tricks, tips and ideas to get you started.
Question – Do you need a big website to successfully use Affiliate Marketing?
Absolutely not! You don’t even NEED a website! There are so many ways you can reach an audience on the Internet (whether you choose video marketing on sites like YouTube or PayPerClick advertising on networks like AdWords, maybe even a bit of t-shirt marketing from time to time) it’s reached a point where a website isn’t actually needed to earn an income online, and that’s what Affiliate Marketing is all about. Promoting other people’s products on other people’s websites!
Question – Do I need to have a big list of prospects to become a successful affiliate?
Let me tell you a secret… For the first five months as an Affiliate Marketer, I had NO list. NONE. Not even a single person. Building my list was initially slow (but once I knew how to build it I was getting opt-ins by the minute) and I didn’t see any profits at all. Why? I hadn’t built that vitally important relationship with my list. I was sending them the freebies to keep them on my newsletter, reading what I had to say, but they still didn’t have a clue who I was or what I was trying to achieve. You need to connect with your list. Tell them the odd funny story. Share an embarrassing secret or two.
So my answer to that question? No. You don’t need a list to be a successful Super-Affiliate, though admittedly, without one, I wouldn’t be earning half of what I do earn today. You live and learn I guess.
Question – Fair enough. You’ve made your point. So where can I start building my list?
My advice would be to check out GetResponse, the auto-responder I use. Their deliverability rates are second to none, their support is fantastic with forums, e-mail support, live chat and a great phoneline all at the disposal of members to use as frequently (or infrequently, as the case may be) as they wish. I’ve never had any reason to really contact the GetResponse support seeing as they have some excellent Camtasia walkthroughs on hand to teach the basics – though it’s great to know that if you do run into an issue, someone is just on the other end of a telephone.
Question – Right. So I don’t need a website or a list?
STRONGLY NOT ADVISED, but no. I guess it’s not entirely essential, however without one or the other you’ll certainly be in a bit of a pickle. There’s no excuse for not having a blog or a website though, with free ones easily creatable at Blogger.com alongside a whole host of other ‘free hosting’ websites. Naturally I recommend a self-hosted, top-level-domain site, but under some circumstances this isn’t always possible. Play around and give it your best shot though.
Question – What would be your number one piece of advice to an affiliate marketing newbie?
Selecting a single point would be incredibly hard, so I’d like to touch on a few related points, mainly focusing on mindset. One – Be yourself. You’ve heard it before and I’ll say it again… Don’t try to be someone or something that you’re not. The truth worms it way outta the can eventually. Two – Keep believing. Self-belief and motivation is everything in the fast-paced Affiliate Marketing arena. If you’re not first – you’re last. If you don’t reach your targets – you lose. You need to stay with it. Stress and depression are common when getting started and mental barriers come by the dozen. Doubt. Worry. Regret. Uncertainty. “I wish I hadn’t said that.” – “I hope I made the right choice… ?” – “I’m scared… What if it doesn’t work?” It’s a painful uphill struggle, but from the top of the hill it’s plain sailing.