Ever since 2009 during my college days, I have been in love with the concept of affiliate marketing.
The company that I worked for didn’t advertise their service because they paid the affiliates 200% commission to refer someone to their service. This is called revenue sharing.
Boy do I love the way that it sounds!
There was something about referring people to a product (at this time I promoted a service) and receiving commissions for my efforts.
And ever since I read books like Launch and 4-hour work week, it completely shifted the way I looked at affiliate marketing.
It wasn’t just some fly by night things. If I took it seriously enough, it would be my business.
And who doesn’t want the freedom of doing what they want, when they want, for who they want?
I know I do…
WHAT IS AFFILIATE MARKETING?
Affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by promoting other people or company’s product or service.
Today its quite easy to find a product that you already use and like and promote it. Simply pop in a google search from the brand or product and type “affiliate program”.
If the company itself does not offer this program, you can always go to Amazon’s Affiliate Program and Walmart’s Affiliate Program.
HOW DOES AFFILIATE MARKETING WORK?
There are 2 (main) parties or sides in affiliate marketing that makes this business model work: the product creator and the affiliate marketer.
The merchant: The person that creates a product (either physical or digital) and places their product on a network platform such as Amazon or Warrior Plus to have their product delivered to the customer.
The Affiliate: This person is also known as the publisher. The affiliate promotes one or multiple products usually on their blog or digital asset and tries to attract potential customers to purchase the product creator’s product.
The amazing thing here is that when starting an online business, you can be the merchant or the affiliate.
HOW TO BECOME A MERCHANT IN 4 STEPS
Becoming a merchant means that you can have other affiliates promote and sell your product and although this isn’t easy – it’s definitely pays off in the end.
Here are the steps to becoming a merchant in 4 steps.
- Come up with an idea for a product that you would like to create. This can be from a physical product that you wish was made a little better or, this can be a digital product or course on an area that you’re an expert on.
- Validate your idea through research. If it’s a physical product, do some research on the product to see what people say they don’t like about the product or could be improved. If it is a digital product, try to look for people who are having a problem that you can fix. Such as a how to course on how to create a WordPress blog.
- It’s time to Create your product. As a huge disclaimer, creating a physical product typically comes with a large investment and risks (of course). Digital products in this day and age is usually the way to go as it has little to no investment or overhead required to create.
- Find affiliates to promote your product. Affiliate networks come in handy here as you can essentially go through their platform to receive payment and deliver your product. There are some techniques for creating a relationship with affiliates for future JV launches which we will discuss in another post.
My Recommendation: There is a lot that goes into creating your own product.
My advice here would be to stick with digital products and work your way to a physical product.
HOW TO BECOME AN AFFILIATE MARKETER IN 4 STEPS.
Becoming an affiliate marketer may be a better way to go when you are looking to start an online business.
This takes the pressure off from learning the product creation process and other associated tasks.
Here are the steps to becoming an affiliate marketer.
- Start reviewing products in your niche. You can review them on a blog, YouTube channel, or even Instagram.
- Build your email list. This is a very important process in your online business. I can’t stress enough how important email marketing is for your success. Email marketing allows you to make the most out of the customers that WANT to connect with you, giving you a change to build report and sell more.
- Network with Product Creators for Joint Ventures. In Jeff Walkers book Launch, it talks about the JV launch of products and how this works a little more in depth. The basic concept here is to build a relationship with other marketers and product creators and review their products for them. In return when it comes time for you to create a product, they are more likely to return the favor.
- It’s time to scale your efforts! Once you have done enough JV launches and built a relationship with your customers and product creators, it’s time to scale your online business through pay per click advertising. This is a way to rank on search engines like Google, YouTube, Bing, MSN, etc. This is a great way to scale your business for growth.
Being an affiliate marketer will take the pressure off creating a digital product which can take a lot of time.
My Recommendation: Start here and work your way to product creation once you have a strong network with other affiliates and product creators and when you have a good-sized email list.
This is how I have personally built my online business and honestly have no interest in shifting to product creation any time soon.
Also, take the time to build a valuable digital asset and a relationship with your audience.
Think about their needs and fulfill those needs with as much FREE content as possible.
Now let’s recap. There are 2 ways to get started with affiliate marketing.
You can become the product creator or an affiliate.
There are 4 Steps to becoming a merchant. They are:
- Come up with an idea
- Validate your idea through research
- Finding affiliates to promote your products through affiliate networks
There are also 4 steps to becoming an affiliate marketer. They are:
- Review products in your niche
- Build your email list
- Network with product creators for Joint Ventures
- Scale your business using pay per click advertising
Affiliate marketing is an excellent way to get started with your online business.
The only thing left to do now is, pick which side of the spectrum you want to be on.
Feel free to let me know in the comments which business model you choose and your niche topic.