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Starting Your Own Affiliate Program
If you want to make more money with your products and services, then you need to get affiliates. Affiliates are the lifeblood of any online business. Seriously… It’s as simple as that.
You want people to help you drive traffic, right? That’s not even a question – you don’t want to have to drive all the traffic yourself. That takes much more time than you have available.
You also want to be able to build your list as you market your products. But if you only have access to the same customers you’ve always had access to, then you’re stuck in the same position. Having access to the lists of affiliates can really give a great boost your business. Every time someone buys from one of your affiliates, they get added to your email list, too.
What’s An Affiliate, Again?
To put it simply, an affiliate is someone who markets products for you. They get a special link that tracks who clicks through and goes on to buy a product of yours. They then get a cut of the sale.
It’s brilliant. It’s sort of like paid advertising but you don’t have to pay unless the affiliate performs. So there’s no risk at all. You can get tons of people working for you without paying a dime upfront. And if you have an active army of affiliates promoting for you, then you can make so much more money than you could make if you’re trying to do it all on your own.
The trouble is that you might not know how to make it so that people can get that “special link” so they can promote your products. You might not know the first thing about that. Is it complicated? How do you even get started with something like that?
I will tell you that it used to be very complicated. It certainly was nowhere near as easy as it is today. The good news is that it absolutely is easy to get up and running with your own affiliate program today.
There are so many different options to choose from. So I recommend you take a look at the available options and how technical you want to get. Consider things like how you want your affiliates to be tracked across sales and products and how you want to pay them.
I think you’ll find that starting your own affiliate program is one of the best choices you make in your business.
By the way – starting your own affiliate program isn’t just about tracking and paying affiliates. As part of your program, you should also provide them with marketing tools so they can be as effective as possible. You want them to make many, many sales of your products. Giving them tools and even training them can be part of the program you provide.
You can also do things like run contests, start a list of your affiliates, write marketing emails for your affiliates, and more.
To put it simply, starting an effective affiliate program will absolutely get you more traffic and more sales. It will help you grow your list, establish you as an expert, and help you get a better hold on your niche overall.
There are some things you should keep in mind that are perhaps more negative or more challenging when it comes to starting your own affiliate program. Depending on the options you go with, you’ll have to reserve the proper amount of money to pay your affiliates after a predetermined amount of time (such as after 30 days). You also have to make sure that your affiliates are promoting your products in the right way, settling disputes with affiliates should they arise, and so on.
With that said, if you set yourself up in the right way, I think you’ll find that there are so many more benefits than there are drawbacks. To truly grow your business, taking on affiliates is absolutely the way to go.
Starting Your Own Affiliate Program
Of course, the first step is to make sure you have a great product that people will want to promote. Affiliates tend to be attracted to products that are high in quality and that they can earn a great commission on. Perhaps it is a lower-priced product on the front end with a great upsell they can also earn on.
Take a look at the popular products in your niche that affiliates are really excited about promoting and see what you can do to match or better that with your own products and offers.
Next, you have to choose the perfect affiliate platform for your business. There are so many different options out there.
I personally like using the Nanacast.com platform. This is a service I pay monthly for. It’s worth it to me because it provides so many great tools as the product owner and provides great tools and benefits for affiliates as well.
What many affiliates like about Nanacast is that there’s a lifetime cookie. So if they drive traffic to one of my products, they will be credited with a sale every time someone buys any one of my products on the Nanacast platform.
This can greatly increase the amount of money they can earn by promoting for me. People are often surprised when they get their monthly payment from me (or weekly payment, if their earnings are high enough), because it is so much more than they tend to earn with other product owners. I’d love for you to become a Nanacast affiliate for me, if this is something you’re interested in.
Other product owners enjoy using JVZoo.com—I also have products up on that platform that affiliates can promote. And in this case, affiliates can earn instant PayPal commissions.
JVZoo is very easy to use and you don’t have to pay upfront for it… but do have to pay upon each sale. The good thing is that you get access to a large army of affiliates through the site who are actively looking for products to promote. So you can do some good affiliate recruitment there.
JVZoo is easier to use than Nanacast, though it’s not as feature-rich. Still, it integrates with your autoresponder company, allows you to auto approve affiliates you’ve come to trust, allows instant payment to affiliates, and more.
These are certainly not the only two options. Depending on what you’re selling, there are many other platforms out there. If you’re selling physical products, then something like CJ.com or ShareASale.com might be more up your alley. Or perhaps WarriorPlus is for you if you are selling in the Internet marketing realm. Or perhaps ClickBank.com is for you.
The thing of it is that you do not have to handle the technical aspect of this much at all. Use the tools that are available for businesses just like yours. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. There are some that get a little more technical than others (like Nanacast, but my experience shows me that it’s worth it).
So when we talk about starting your own affiliate marketing program, that doesn’t mean you’re going to be coding and dealing with the headaches that can come along with that. You’re simply going to be looking at the available options and choosing what will work best for you and for your affiliates. There are options available whether you’re technologically inclined or not.
After you’ve chosen which platform you want to use for your affiliates, it’s time to recruit affiliates. Make it clear that you have some great products for them to promote and provide the tools for them to do so. Get the word out among your contacts, on social sites, business forums, and anywhere else you know interested affiliates hang out online (and potentially offline).
Make it known that you have a great thing going on and that they can earn some excellent income with you. Consider offering recurring income products (like a membership site) that they can promote for great monthly income.
Think about what would attract you as an affiliate and consider providing that to your affiliates. Really, you are ‘selling’ promoting your products as being very beneficial to these affiliates. There are other things they can promote in the same niche – so what makes your product special?
Consider setting up an email marketing list for your affiliates so you can keep up with them and let them know when you have a new offer available for promotion.
Consider running affiliate contests to make it fun and even more profitable for affiliates to promote for you.
Provide them with marketing materials to make their job easier. This can include things like graphics and swipe emails so they can easily promote your product.
Your Affiliate Marketing Program Can Make All the Difference
It really doesn’t take long to get your own affiliate marketing program up and running. Once you get it started, I think you’ll find that it makes all the difference in the sales of your products. You’ll make more sales, grow your list, and find more benefits as a product creator overall.
Put it out of your mind that this has to be technical or challenging – it doesn’t. There are many more affiliate marketing platform options than I’ve mentioned here in this content, so be sure to research what works best for you. For the purposes of most reading this, go ahead with what works – and what I’ve mentioned works. This is a great decision that will transform your business.
As someone running affiliate marketing promotions, it’s very important that you learn how to write pre-selling content. So many marketers assume that the sale is in the bag because the product they’re promoting has a great sales page. Really, it’s up to you as the affiliate to use your relationship with your readers to get them sold on a product before they even see the sales page.
If you focus on pre-selling, and do it well, you’ll have much higher conversions and make many more sales than those with much larger lists.
The first step in effectively pre-selling is having a relationship with your list, on your social media accounts, and to your audience in general. This relationship will get people to read what you have to write. They’ll want to hear more from you because they trust and like what you have to say. This gets your foot in the door, and your content is going to do the rest on earning you the commission.
You’re going to write pre-selling content for everything you promote. You can do this via blog posts or autoresponder emails. Some people maximize their use of their content by using it in more than one place. Actually, repurposing your content is a great way to save time and earn more money in just 60 minutes per day.
You really have to dive into what’s unique and beneficial about the product. You’re not just going to send the canned e-mails so many other affiliates rely on. You’re really going to spend some time making your promotions great. You’ll see the benefits in the form of higher conversions and more sales. If you want to earn more in less time, you have to learn how to be more efficient and convincing with your pre-selling e-mails and blog content.
Start by evaluating the product at hand, making a list of its benefits and unique features. Ask yourself how it serves the customer and what’s different about it from anything else on the market. Essentially, you want to convince yourself about the product so you can convince others.
Writing Pre-Selling Content
You can draft your pre-selling content once you have the facts and benefits of the product written down. Whether you’re writing a blog post, broadcast email, or autoresponder e-mail, you’ll need a great article title or e-mail subject line.
When you’re writing a blog post designed to get search engine traffic, you should include the name of the product within the headline or subject line. You should also leave a little mystery so people will want to keep reading.
You don’t need to worry about including the product name in the subject line of an email–just make sure it calls out to the right kind of reader and adds an air of mystery so they’ll click.
It can help to analyze blog post titles of product reviews you enjoy. Also, evaluate e-mails you’ve received and paid particularly close attention to. It’s fascinating to study and understand what makes people interested in one subject line or title over another.
Start out by stirring up emotions within the body of the article or e-mail. You want to draw people in with their problem. Make them feel the pain or the desire and the feeling that they have to improve their situation.
Then, start to get them on your side by showing them that you understand what they’re going through. This is a fantastic place to tell a story– either your own or someone else’s. You want them to read from top to bottom and a story grabs their attention.
Guide them through all the way to the conclusion by holding their interest, making it all about them. The ending should include a solid call to action to get them to click over to the sales page.
Generally, pre-selling content on a blog is longer and more in depth than pre-selling content on an e-mail. You can include more product-focused information, including your own review, on a blog post. You don’t want your e-mail to be too long because then many people won’t read it. Play around with the length a bit and see how that affects your conversions and click-through rates.
Feel free to be a bit mysterious in your content, while still guiding them to the conclusion that they need the product you’re linking to. Try to find something intriguing on the sales page you can mention— something they’ll have to click over to see.
Depending on what you’re promoting as an affiliate, you may want to consider offering a bonus or something no one else can offer. You can even put some scarcity on this bonus, so only a certain number of people can get it. Or maybe they have to buy through your link within a certain amount of time.
Be sure to pay attention to the affiliate rules, because you’re not allowed to offer bonuses for some products. The bottom line is that you want to do something that sets you apart from anyone else who’s promoting.
The entire point of writing pre-selling content is to get people sold on the item before they even see the sales page. A big part of the secret is that you have to add that human touch. Make them feel that you understand exactly what they’re going through, because you do.
Don’t be just another marketer promoting a product–really care about your audience and know that what you’re offering really can help people. Use elements of copywriting and psychology, and your conversions will be high.
Know that your pre-selling content does not have to be long. You can definitely fit most articles or emails into a 30 minute slot. Getting two of these done in one day is certainly not out of the question. It’s all in how you schedule your time and plan your affiliate promotions.
I’ll say it again–one of the best ways to learn how to do this is to examine the pre-selling content of others. If an affiliate sent you to buy something in the past, consider what led you to buy. If you’ve bought something from me before via an affiliate, was it my sales page or did they say something in their e-mail that convinced you? Analyze yourself on a psychological level and it can help you understand what makes people buy through your affiliate link.