How You Get Started in Affiliate Marketing
You are right, there are a lot of bad marketers out there. Whether it’s their tone of voice, or the content simply doesn’t work and not tested. Even if it’s tested, it might not work for you. Lots of empty promises in that space…
One great resource is Pat Flynn, he has a podcast called Smart Passive Income with lots of interviews with people who are thriving in affiliate marketing. He also has a free eBook here (always get the free stuff… you don’t always need a course, so save the $)
Let’s get off track for a second… Once you make the money, check out Ramit Sethti, he’s the real money guru though I didn’t like him at first. He’s a bit aggressive-looking/sounding but makes lots of good points and THEY WORK.
In this video, you’ll learn the essentials about affiliate marketing:
1. What are the types of affiliate programs available in the creative and business domains (here we focus on software, digital products)
2. How to find your niche and START
3. How to prioritize the list of affiliate programs
4. Essential tools to help you manage your short or very long list of affiliate programs – big time saver and headache-free!
5. How to create content that attracts people who may benefit from what you are recommending
Start Somewhere, Doesn’t Matter.
Cat food, cat toys, cat furniture, etc. You can start with one category and open the others later too
Look for the Brands You Know and Like Already, and Then Consider Branching Out to a Few Others.
Think of what you choose as an ecosystem instead of a category in isolation. What I mean by that is – think about what cat owners all need: cat food, toys, snacks, litter box, the soft towels you were using, etc. I’ve not been a cat owner but hopefully you get the idea… think of it as what makes a comfortable home for the cat and cat owner. You can then apply affiliate marketing to these products, you can even create a Starter Kit for new cat owners (now that’s niche and can resonate with lots of people. When people buy a kit, you get paid on multiple products.).
Find your niche, look for patterns, help people solve problems.
Pat Flynn says – the riches are in the niches! It’s true, though it’s not always easy to find or recognize them at first. You are not a newbie so I expect you to do really well! To follow the niche concept, I argue that you could also try to target and create products/product families for “owners with aging cats”, “owners with shy cats (you’ve got that)”, “owners with young children”, “owners with family members allergic to cats” etc etc
Set a timeline with a deadline
All the above sounds exciting, but the most important thing is to START. You can always make it better later.
How to Look For Affiliate Programs (For the Brands You Like)
To look for affiliate programs, you want to Google “brand name + affiliate program” or “brand name + partnership”, For example, I found Petco’s affiliate program: https://www.petco.com/affiliate. I’ve had better luck with affiliate programs, though you’ll notice the links Google returns sometimes say partnership. They are interchangeable at this point.
- It’s important to note that an affiliate program for a chosen brand is what you are looking for, NOT referral for family and friends. Affiliate programs pay cash based on a one-time fee or % of sales. Referral for friends often don’t pay cash, but non-cash benefits. You often see friend referral links everywhere, that’s not what we are talking about here. Affiliate program requires a payout method (such as PayPal), and it always requires W9 form for tax purposes. That’s when you know precisely that you are signing for affiliate programs.
How to Manage Your Affiliate Programs (And Payouts, Too)
It gets a bit more tactical from here… you don’t have to worry about the next steps yet but I’ll tease them out for you. These brands often use 3rd party affiliate program management software/companies such as ShareASale, Impact, CJ.com. It asks you to sign up with one or more of these companies. It’s not a scam, just how it works. 🙂
When these 3rd parties become overwhelming, you are NOT there yet so don’t worry, you then upgrade to something like https://www.affluent.io/affiliates/ to aggregate all the 3rd parties software and have a single view into your revenue streams.