If you’re looking for ways to make money online, chances are you would have come across the term affiliate marketing.
It’s no secret that affiliate marketing can help you make money. Tons of people are doing it and making thousands a month from it. It seems mysterious doesn’t it? How are these people doing it?
If you’re just starting out as an affiliate marketer, things might seem confusing because honestly, there’ a lot to learn in this vast field of affiliate marketing.
However, in this post I’ll be talking about what kind of challenges a beginner would face and how to overcome them. Also, I’ll share with you my opinion on the easiest method of making money with affiliate marketing.
So what is affiliate marketing exactly?
Think of it this way, you’re a salesman or saleswomen. Affiliate marketing is just the traditional salesman in action, but this time you’re doing it online.
The basic idea is that you promote a product or a service for someone else. If you manage to get a sale, you will be paid a commission because you helped out in getting that sale.
This means that affiliate marketing is a performance based system, you get paid for each successful sale you make.
This makes it worth while for the companies as well because they pay their affiliates only when they bring it results which is why affiliate marketing is a system that benefits all parties.
Affiliate marketing is about matching the right products or services to the right customers. A very good explanation is that you’re trying to solve someone’s problem by giving them a solution ( product/service that you’re promoting ).
How does affiliate marketing work?
- You sign up to become an affiliate for a seller. There are tons of programs out there, even Amazon has their affiliate program called Amazon Associates.
- You will be given your own affiliate link. This link is basically the link to the product page but with your affiliate ID attached. This is how your sales will be tracked.
- Your goal is to get people to click on your affiliate link and buy the product that you’re promoting.
- When you make a sale you’ll earn a commission !
It’s pretty straightforward isn’t it?
You drive traffic ( visitors ) to your link and you get sales. Easy!
Reality of course, won’t be that easy.
1st Problem – How do you get traffic?
This is probably going to be the first hurdle for you if you’re just starting out.
How do you get those clicks on your link? How do you get your link out there?
Obviously you shouldn’t pester your friends and family !
What you should do is first research on where your potential customers would be hanging out.
- What forums do they go to?
- Are there any social media groups where they hang out?
- What would a potential customer be searching for on Google?
The idea is that you don’t want just anyone to click on your link, you only want someone interested. If you go out and randomly promote an affiliate link for make up products to a bunch of guys, chances are you won’t be making a lot of sales right?
To promote your link, there are mainly 2 ways, you can use free traffic or paid traffic.
This consists of methods like posting on forums, social media or trying to rank your blog on Google.
These methods are relatively cheap to implement but will take a much longer time to bear fruit.
As an example, once you’ve identified a Facebook group with interested customers you can mingle around, answer their questions and such with your affiliate link.
Blogging is a good example of free traffic as well. You write posts, get them ranked and visitors will naturally visit your site. Affiliate marketing is one of the many ways a blogger can make money.
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Paid traffic would be something like buying solo ads, or paying for advertising your product.
This works really well if you know what you’re doing.
Think of it like this, if you spend $1 on a Facebook ad and you manage to generate a $2 profit from it, you could keep scaling it and make a lot of money.
On the other hand, if you’re doing it wrong you could be spending $100 to generate a grand total of 0 sales.
Paid traffic is the fastest way to get traffic and money but the catch is that you need to understand what you’re doing.
2nd Problem – I’m getting visitors, but where are my sales !?
This is a very common problem in my opinion. I’ve seen a guy get like 300+ clicks and sign ups but unfortunately, he didn’t make a single sale.
How does this situation happen?
Well the answer is something called targeted traffic. Targeted traffic means you want people who are interested in your products only. There’s no point in attracting people that have no interest, they obviously won’t buy anything.
In the case of the guy who made no sales, this is the problem. He’s driving traffic that isn’t targeted, resulting in lots of clicks but no sales.
My first point did say that you needed traffic, which is true, but there are some traffic sources that are absolute garbage as well.
A good example would be buying clicks for fiverr. You get these gigs telling you that you can buy thousands of visitors to your site for a really low price.
Obviously, these visitors could be bots or just low quality traffic in general which means that you’re never getting a sale from this traffic source.
What should you do then?
Well first things first, the most important thing is to explain what you’re offering clearly in your advertisement or whatever.
This means :
- no clickbait
- no false advertising
- no confusing titles
The idea is that you want to let your visitors know what your product is really about, if they’re interested they’ll buy it and if they aren’t they’ll just move on.
This way, you won’t get tons of useless clicks.
A good explanation of what you’re offering can also help in showing off the good points of your product to help sell it.
Also, if you want good quality traffic, you should only buy from trusted sources like Facebook, Google, or Udimi.
3rd Problem – There’s too much competition ! How do I compete with the big guys?
It’s no surprise that you won’t be the only affiliate marketing out there right? There will be others as well and some of them would have more experience than you and would have already established themselves.
I mean, if there aren’t any competition you might need to rethink your niche, it is either extremely new or there’s no demand.
But seriously, does competition scare you?
I mean, it scared me when I first started.
I was trying blogging as a means to make money, and of course I was trying to compete in Google rankings with other similar sites.
Problem was, these guys were ranking solidly on ranks 1-3 and here I am sitting on page 3.
It’s really discouraging, I tried harder than they did but their site was set up years ago so Google just trusts them more, how can I compete with them?
All I can say is, the market is never saturated and there are enough customers out there for everyone.
What you need to understand is, if you’re just copying these big guys and targeting the same people as they are you won’t be getting anywhere.
You need to be creative, do things differently, target different sources that they’ve not discovered.
You see, when they’ve become so established, chances are they would stick to that source of traffic ( in my case Google ). So instead, I tried exploring other ways.
I started targeting other keywords, trying social media traffic, paid traffic and such. Explore different alternatives instead of trying to play the game where your competition is strongest.
Trust me, you will find your own way to make it if you keep trying.