There's no doubt – affiliate marketing is an incredible way to make money online.
At Marketing Kickstart, it's certainly not our PRIME source of income, as we prefer to sell our own products, but we definitely use affiliate marketing to “top up” our revenue.
In fact, I'd estimate that affiliate marketing accounts for roughly 30% of our annual profits.
Here's how it works…
The “Nutshell” Affiliate Marketing Walkthrough!
You join an “affiliate program” to promote someone else's product. This gives you a unique “affiliate URL” to send your traffic to.
When you drive your traffic through that URL, it will direct them to the sales page for the product. But…
(And This Is The Sneaky Bit)
…it also tracks that YOU were the affiliate who sent that particular visitor.
This means that you are credited with generating that sale, and you get paid a commission.
Yup, you get paid for every sale you create – of SOMEONE ELSE's product.
It's a win-win situation.
Especially as you can earn anything up to 100% of the product sale.
Yeah, some vendors will actually pay you 100% of the product price, as a commission!
Why? Well, it's simple – they WANT you to promote their products. If someone buys their product, that person is now on their customer list and they can continue to market other products to them.
In other words, giving YOU 100% commissions is a really smart move, because they can sell more and more products to their newfound customer.
With affiliate marketing, you can start making money virtually straight away.
You just need to find a good way to drive targeted, ready-to-buy traffic into the affiliate offer.
Oh, and every penny that you earn is 100% pure profit.
If you weren't “sold” on the idea of doing affiliate marketing, you probably are now.
So, do you want to know the first step of the process?
You need to find…
A Profitable Affiliate Offer To Promote
It makes sense, doesn't it?
Before you can start promoting this stuff, you need to find something worthwhile.
There's a little bit more to it than you would probably think, so let's look at the details.
In this particular blog, we're going to focus on promoting DIGITAL PRODUCTS (eBooks, video courses, audio training, webinars, etc), because that's primarily what our businesses consist of.
(The same affiliate marketing techniques can be easily applied to physical products, like televisions and car parts, too – but we always stick to digital products. They typically have higher commission levels and are just easier to find targeted traffic).
Not all affiliate offers are created equal and there are a few things that you'll need to consider, to decide whether it's a good fit.
Choosing An Affiliate Network
To have affiliates promote their products, vendors will need to put them on sale via an affiliate network. This is a website which will handle the techological side of the process.
It will allow them to create affiliate links, track the traffic sources and credit the correct person with the sale.
There's a LOT going on behind the scenes – so most people rely on a third party affiliate network.
Here are the big ones:
There are others, but these are the main ones that we have used.
If you're looking to promote products in the “internet marketing” or “make money online” niche, I would usually start with JVZoo. You'll find pretty much everything that you need, right there.
If you're looking for other niches, such as weight loss, personal development, trading, DIY or gardening, I would focus on ClickBank.
Those are, by far, my favourite two affiliate platforms.
Starting The Hunt
All of these networks have a public “marketplace”, where you can browse all of the products that they have listed.
You can break them down into categories and then browse based on popularity, commission percentage, selling price and many other factors.
So, for example, let's say that you want to promote a product in the “Health & Fitness” niche.
You can ask it to display those products and then look across the various sub-niches, for something a little more specific, such as diet or exercise.
Once you have a list of the exact type of products that you want to promote, you can look across the details of each one, to find the perfect product for your promotion.
There are a few factors that you need to take into consideration here.
What Are You Looking For?
You can't just go blindly promoting ANY old product that you find online. That would be suicide for your business.
There's a number of questions that you need to address when it comes to finding the perfect product to promote…
Is it a good product?
This goes without saying, but if the product you're looking to promote DOESN'T deliver upon its promises, then it's best to avoid it. Some sales pages convert like hot cakes, which puts a HUGE smile on affiliates faces, however if soon after lots of refunds appear, that smile soon turns upside down…
Always look for refund rate statistics on any offer you promote, and if you can't find them, ASK FOR THEM! It's important that you know all the metrics of a product before promoting, so that you have an idea of how it performs, sells and if sales result in many refunds.
Another way to find out if a product is high quality or not is to ask for a “review copy” or “inside access”. If you tell the product vendor that you're planning on promoting their product, and that you'll be driving many sales as often as possible, they should have NO reason not to grant you inside access.
This way you'll be able to go through the product training and materials, to see whether you'd personally be happy with your purchase. If yes, then great this could be the product for you, if not, move on!
From getting inside access AND the statistics on refunds, you'll know whether a product is good quality. Then you can decide whether to add this to your affiliate sales funnels or if you'd like to continue the search…
What % commission will you be paid?
The commission percentage that you'll be paid for promoting as an affiliate will vary from product to product. However, you will (and should) always know the percentages of any product before you begin promoting it. Next to the product details within the affiliate marketplace you've signed up with, there should be a commission percentage payout rate. You may be paid a commission for an entire suit of products, and the rate may change from product to product within that sales funnel.
However, the initial front end offer commission percentage is always displayed next to the product details. It could be 50, 75, or 100% commission!
You can also find out more information on affiliate products by visiting the official “JV or affiliate pages” set up by product vendors. These pages will display ALL the information you'll need to know about the products including sales funnel information.
Commission payout percentages will be listed for the front end product and any upsells or downsells (if there are any included!). You may also be presented with “email swipes” and promotional materials to help you with your advertising efforts.
Does the product convert?
Through looking at the metrics and statistics displayed alongside the products information within your chosen affiliate marketplace, you should be able to see some rough conversion figures. The conversion figures will tell you how well the product sells on average. However, it's important to note that not all traffic and affiliates are of the same quality.
Therefore, this means that a mixture of both “high standard and poor” traffic is being sent to the products sales page. This will tamper with the conversion rates! The rates are an “average” conversion rate taking into consideration all traffic sent to the sales page.
Higher quality traffic will convert better than the statistics shown, and low quality traffic MUCH lower than the rates shown…
However, it does help to see and understand the conversion rates of a sales page on average. One statistic you'll want to pay BIG attention to is the “EPC” information. This will either be displayed within the affiliate marketplace OR on the actual affiliate webpages set up by the product vendor. EPC stands for “Earnings Per Click” (click meaning visitor), which means how much you stand to earn per visitor sent to the sales page.
It's important to bear in mind that your traffic must be high quality, “warm” and “targeted” in order to hit the EPC's shown. I never promote front end affiliate products that have an average EPC of $1 and below.
Will the sales page resonate with your list?
If the sales page is a bit too hyped up, or if it looks badly designed, think about how your list will react to this webpage when visiting it. Also, it's VITAL that you remember that YOU are the person who recommended they visit or “buy” into this page. So if it doesn't resonate with your list traffic, they will become less responsive to your emails, and your brand WILL be damaged.
At the end of the day, you know your list better than anyone else, so always try to promote sales pages and products that will go down a “treat” with them…
Do you know the marketer behind the product?
It can help to know the marketer who created the affiliate product. If you know them you can ask for more specific statistics on the product, and get some “insider information”. Product vendors can tell you what other affiliates are doing to hit the higher EPC's and conversion rates when promoting, therefore this kind of information can be VERY valuable to you.
Also, if you're on good terms with the product vendor, they may consider creating “special” commission rates for you, which means you'll earn more for the sales you make through their entire sales funnel.
Are the claims realistic and fair?
How does the sales page read? What promises and guarantees are the product vendors claiming and are they realistic? Do they take into account all types of people buying into the product?
If you're promoting a product in the Internet Marketing niche and it claims that you can make a million in your first month, then that is an UNREALISTIC claim! Products with claims such as this should be avoided.
Apply this “filtering out” approach to all niches when reading through sales pages, and if you see anything that seems a little too good to be true, question it and see if you feel it's too unrealistic or fair.
If you've been through the product itself, and seen the refund rates, you should already know whether those claims are achievable or not.
Is it a good “fit” for your marketplace?
Does the product solve a good enough “pain point” for your marketplace? Is this information in demand? Or is it trying to create demand? It's always best to promote a product which solves a BIG issue in your marketplace, as trying to persuade people to “buy into a smaller pain point” is much harder to do.
Can you add value to this product with a bonus offer?
If you're allowed to, and can add a bonus to the product that you're promoting, this can be a WILDLY profitable thing to do with your affiliate promotions. Adding a “special” or “exclusive” bonus when people buy through your “recommendation” (affiliate link), will blast your conversion rates and EPC's through the roof!
Imagine you go to buy a product, but there's two different sources to buy the same product from. One source is offering the product “as is” with nothing extra added. The other source is offering a “special” bonus included in the same price that product is worth. Which are you going to choose? The source offering the bonus of course!
When you find yourself involved in product launches that are time sensitive (or even if they aren't time sensitive), it can really help you steal more sales from your competitors if you're offering a bonus or a BETTER bonus than they are… This will help you rise up the leaderboards on launches, enabling you to win more prizes and gain more credibility within your niche and industry.
Bonuses can be anything you wish, as long as you can deliver them! For example, if you were promoting a product teaching people how to run Facebook ads for an eCommerce store, you could offer people ready made templates, a consultation call, eCommerce WordPress website themes and so on. These kinds of bonuses will help you rap up WAY more sales, than if you chose to simply promote the offer “as is”.
Overall, finding a high quality AND profitable affiliate product to promote isn't difficult ONCE you know how to do so. I hope that in my attempts of “clearing the fog” on this topic I've made this a MUCH easier task for you!
Now there's nothing left for you to do except to go out there and find your profitable affiliate products to promote 🙂
To YOUR Success,
Rob J. Temple