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What Is Affiliate Marketing, And How Does It Work?

chapter 1affiliate marketing overview chapter 1affiliate marketing overview

What Is Affiliate Marketing Really?

Great question!

It’s very simple. affiliate marketing is simply the concept of getting paid a commission by promoting/recommending products to other people. Use a product and fall in love with it, tell others how great it is based on your experience, and the company pays you a piece of the sale.

The cool thing is that while you operate very similarly to a salesperson, you are not under any contract to be stuck with only one company, like an employee is.

So you can literally promote as many products from dozens of companies as you can handle!

And as you’ll find out soon enough, you will separate your time from this activity of promoting. Which means the promoting will actually take place on autopilot by the system I teach you to set in place, earning you the big bucks while you are doing anything but working.

Fun stuff!

Are You Cut Out for Affiliate Marketing?

My specialty is YouTube. The kind of people who feel attracted to doing affiliate marketing are those who want to run a website, become a blogger or establish any sort of online page that is designed to help out the public at large.

Combining social media (YouTube, facebook, Instagram, etc) with websites elevates the amount of power you can have because of the free traffic.

If this sounds appealing to you, affiliate marketing just might be your thing.

As far as choosing a product to promote, let me tell you that there are hundreds of places that offer thousands of products to fill a need in the market.

You just can’t run out of ideas! And it’s probably smart to begin looking in places that are hot and already selling.

Also, some affiliate marketers understand that while they earn a piece of the pie, they might eventually want to become the product owner in the future.

So starting off as the affiliate gives you insight into how your side of the business works, which prepares you for the transition to being the product creator.

But for now, creating an effective product takes so much effort and research, you can earn plenty just being an affiliate and doing so quickly. In less than a year, if done right, you could go from supplementing your income to fully replacing it.

If being the product creator/owner sounds like your long-term plan, then affiliate marketing is for you.

But how do you actually promote the product? Is every affiliate marketer using the same method? And what if you don’t mesh well with the method? Well, you are free to use whatever you prefer and are comfortable with.

Here are some common methods that might ring true for you, and you can try them all or just one (although I highly recommend sticking to one in the beginning until you master it):

However, all this talk about best ways to make tons of money can put some folks into the wrong mindset.

Remember that you should only promote products that truly help others and products that you believe in.

This confidence should shine through in your promoting material. People can quickly sniff out someone who is coming from a scam mentality or who wants to get rich quick.

While being profitable is your end goal in your affiliate marketing business, you should prioritize being helpful and providing valuable solutions that people actually want.

If you do it that way, the money will show up almost as an afterthought.

The Fine Details of Affilate Marketing

Alright, up to this point we’ve been talking in a general sense. Let’s start to break down the fine details of affiliate marketing and the lingo you will encounter.

First, who are all the people involved? There are three parts:

Usually, companies don’t like to handle the affiliates directly, so they work through a middleman, so to speak.

The companies sign up with a network (think of a broker or escrow company) that stands in between the company and the affiliate.

These affiliate networks serve as a huge gathering place. You sign up as the affiliate and look for offers to promote. The network handles the payments you will receive and keeps everyone happy and honest.

Some affiliate networks specialilze in one category of products, while others are a huge collection of every product you can imagine with sub-categories to complement your primary product (this is smart).

As you begin to explore your options, you’ll understand each network and what they offer you.

Be aware that the underlying idea of affiliate marketing is the same, but these networks use different words for it.

You might discover a company that refers to their affiliate program as a partner program, or referral program. They all mean the same.

How does the affiliate transaction work?

As an affiliate, you will use your chosen marketing method to recommend the product.

It can be a downloadable course, bottle that ships to their home, a service they sign up for online, a monthly subscription for a software and anything else you can think of.

Through this recommendation, the company you promote has now found a new customer thanks to you.

Because you did the work for them, they pay you a piece of that sale. Your affiliate commission.

That’s how it works.

Nevertheless, promoting products as an affiliate is not like handing out flyers or knocking door-to-door. Successful affiliate marketing is about establishing trust.

This takes time. People don’t trust you instantly and especially not online where they can’t see you face-to-face.

A buyer begins with tons of skepticism that you must overcome. For this reason, you will hear top affiliates referring to forming a relationship.

Your mindset will need to be of someone who is in this game to serve the best interest of your prospect and who cares to nurture an audiece that will grow to know, like and trust you.

Only then will you see long-term success.

Now you know the fine details of affiliate marketing. Let’s see some examples next.

Give Me Examples of Affiliate Marketing

In the previous section, I said that you can choose a promotion method that you want.

When I started more than a decade ago, I went with websites. When one took off like crazy, I became hooked and started more of them.

I honed my skill so much that I stuck to this method for a very long time.

In the more recent past, I have moved from being behind-the-scenes, so to speak, and am now on YouTube.

And I am loving it! It’s a very different style of promoting that took me a while to figure out. My first YouTube channel was terrible and had no success.

When I figured out the formula…boom…massive success! I created a new channel which went on to grow, as of this writing, beyond 170,000 subscribers and earning me the coveted 100K YouTube Silver Play Button award (very proud).

I teach this YouTube method in a course I created, which I’ll cover in a later article, which has helped over thousands of people escape their jobs and become free using my lazy online methods.

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I dreamed this exact moment 2 years ago. I was asleep and the idea popping into my head that I was going to get the 100K YouTube silver play button award and sleep with it every night. With persistent napping and laser like focus, it’s now a reality. ?? . . . . . . . #affiliatemarketing #youtubechannel #entrepreneur #goals? #money #inspirationalquotes #lazy #wealthylife #lazylifestyle #onlinemarketing #internetmarketing #tailopez #affiliates #makemoneyonline #hustlehard

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Here is a video where I talk about how simple websites make more money than fancy ones. My simple sites are making me insane amounts of cash today in 2019 and surely for the next ten years (at least).

That’s an example of using YouTube to do your promoting.

Another way is to join the popular and proven affiliate programs, such as the one provided by Amazon, and recommend their products on your website.

In this video here I talk about the huge benefit of bypassing the month-long process of forming a relationship with a customer, nurturing them to build up trust, and take the shortcut that a beginner usually looks for.

I highly recommend starting with Amazon if you are a beginner.

I could list countless other methods to promote affiliate products. I owe all my success to these two methods, websites & social media, along with email marketing and a few other enhancements and tricks I like to include to boost my conversions.

The bottom line is this game is all about sharing your affiliate links with as many people as you can help.

And whether you do so on social media, emails or websites, it all comes down to connecting that buyer with the product they want in the most effective way possible.

But there’s a whole lot more than just passing your link around! Let’s show you a map you can follow so you can jump into this money-making good stuff of affiliate marketing!

The Map to Affiliate Marketing Revealed

This topic has tons of details I can get into, but let’s look at the map from a high vantage point first. The bird’s eye view.

To get in the game of affiliate marketing, you’ll have to get these things done:

  1. Find the right affiliate network
  2. sign up
  3. get your unique affiliate link from this network in order to track your credit for the commission
  4. promote the product by sticking this link in the public content you release to the internet world
  5. visitors click your link and visit the product website
  6. when they buy, you earn your cut of the sale.

Again, you must have proper mindset. Failure is guaranteed if all you do is spam people with your link and come across as a needy seller looking for a quick buck.

I can always spot when a desperate student of mine is about to take this route and I remind them of the right method.

Please stay centered in the proper mindset if you want to be successful. Here is a guideline to follow:

  1. Never start by trying to sell something
  2. Offer valuable and useful information first
  3. Build trust with your new potential buyer by promoting something you personally have used
  4. Show proof that it worked for you. Walk your talk, in other words.
  5. Once you’ve helped them with info, and proved it works, you have earned their trust and they are more likely to accept your recommendation.

Notice how this is the exact opposite of some fly-by-night needy scammer trying to make off with someone’s money.

The above formula always works because it puts the other person’s interest before yours. All their questions are answered without wanting anything in return other than to help them find a solution. This is the universal human law of reciprocity, and it works wonders!

Watch this video where I go over 10 Immutable Laws of (Deadbeat) Online Success

By now I’m sure you’re getting yourself really worked up and excited to get started. Let’s pause for a moment to look at the good and the bad of affiliate marketing. You need to know this.

The Good & The Bad of Affiliate Marketing

No business is perfect. There is always something to dislike and affiliate marketing has good and bad. Let’s go over some of that in this section.

The Good:

The Bad:

Saying Goodbye To Your $2,000/month Job… Fantasy?

Everyone asks this question: how much can I make in affiliate marketing? A lot, is the answer. It depends on your effort and many outside factors. Remember that you don’t have to invent a product, stock up a warehouse or hire any employees.

It’s not as hard as it sounds, but it takes time and effort. You should be proud to be alive in this time when all you need is an internet connection and some solid work ethic. That’s all, really.

When you build up your first money-making website and you see that very first sale, it will be an undescribable feeling.

For sure. I dabbled in different failed niches before seeing my first 4-figure month but it was worth it to stick through the failures.

My first attempt was three weeks of hard work that resulted in chump change. But a few months later I created an enviable $4,000 a month. Check out my story in this video

As you can see, you can definitely make enough to sustain a full-time income and I am living proof. I have gone on to make mulitple times more and I would not trade this lifestyle for anything.

Okay, but let’s go over a few quick tips to get you headed in the best direction to increase your chances of following in my footsteps:

There are many ways to get paid on these affiliate networks. Some base off a percentage. Others give you a fixed commission.

Others offer recurring income every month, and some pay peanuts up front but pay on future sales without any further work on your part.

Anything that doesn’t require operating costs and overhead will be a great product to choose. In this category are digital products or anything that can easily be stored and downloaded.

Digital products don’t have a shelf life or take up any room, so companies can generally pay more on these.

On the opposite side of the product spectrum, physical products that need to be stored and shipped involve much more processing, so there is usually little room to pay you anything other than a few bucks per sale.

You see here that you can create a menu of products to offer without limit. No product is inherently a good one or the best one.

It all depends on how you arrange it and present it to the customer.

Affiliate marketing can be your side hustle in the beginning, until the day that it outpaces your current job. This is what I wish for you.

No matter if you turn it into a side thing or a real full-time thing, you will need to avoid scaring people away. Next, we go into the right way of doing affiliate marketing.

Do It Right, And The Sky Is The Limit

If done incorrectly, an affiliate will come across as the sleazy, slimy internet scammer working from an underground location.

And because a lot of people online have been pounced on by this type of person, you rightfully feel wary of how you will be perceived when you get started.

Now, if there is one thing you can hinge your success on, it would be trust. This is your #1 focus in becoming successful as an affiliate marketer. It’s what any good relationship is based on, right? So make trust the core of your new business. Earn it.

What happens if you try to skip over this key factor? Well, you start treating people on the internet like faceless ATM machines.

You get greedy and this quickly bites you in the butt. I’ve seen it too often: the beginner who throws money into advertising and after a month of failure starts desperately posting in forums and facebook groups.

They beg for answers as to why their efforts aren’t making a single penny.

When I read these questions, I always hear the desperation to get rich quick, “Somebody help! I have burned through all my grocery money and after two weeks I haven’t made a single penny. This method sucks!”

Haha! Notice how they blame the method (not themselves). It’s a shifting of responsibility and a whole slew of emotional baggage… not the method… that is blocking their road to wealth. You can spot it. I can see it, too. But they are blind to it. Don’t be that affiliate marketer.

If you are a beginner affiliate and you’ve made this mistake, just realize your approach left out the trust factor and pivot towards the correct path effective immediately.

Ironically, the more a needy affiliate pushes this energy out into the world, the less sales they generate. It’s one of those strange paradoxes in life where you have to not care for the sale in order to get it.

Trust is the right way. Earn their trust and you will be thanked handsomely. So now that your mind is right, let’s move into the next chapter where I discuss how to get started and where you’ll discover that the sky is the limit.