2. Make Money With Affiliate Marketing
Part TWO of the 10 Ways to Make Money Online Series
The second method that Jimmy D. Brown shares in his report is to promote affiliate programs. This is one of 10 ways that Jimmy says you can earn $10k online every month. I can vouch for this method personally as more than 2/3 of my income is affiliate commission.
I also have a handful of very close friends that have been making a great living (6 figure+) from this for several years now – one of them for almost 10 years straight.
If you think that you don’t want to become a full-time Affiliate Marketer, you should stick around anyway. You may be surprised at how much money you could be earning on the side – even without heavily promoting…
You may want to consider affiliate marketing.
This is how Jimmy starts out on Page 9, and I agree – you may want to give it serious consideration. Affiliate Marketing is something that can complement your current business model, but can also be done as a stand-alone business.
I’ll go ahead and say upfront that I am not a huge fan of the method that Jimmy outlined for Affiliate Marketing. There are a number of methods to make money at this, and the one he discusses is often referred to as a Squeeze Page. Which means you squeeze the email address out of your visitor before you send them to the merchant’s website.
That’s not to say that it doesn’t work – and work well – because it does. It just isn’t my personal preference.
If you’re interested in exploring Squeeze Pages further, here are some links from the ClickNewz archives that you may find helpful:
Squeeze Page Videos Great example even if you don’t use the service.
RE: Squeeze Pages My reply to an email about squeeze pages.
Free Web 2.0 Squeeze Pages this is where I got my nice blue opt-in box!
Squeeze Page Case Study Free report.
The Primary Objective
Most people believe that the primary objective with Affiliate Marketing is to make money. It’s not. That’s actually the result. The primary objective is to bring a product to a market, or a market to a merchant – and to add value to that process.
Promoting Physical Products vs Virtual Products
Physical Products would be described as tangible goods such as electronics, toys, tools, or anything you can actually hold in your hand. Virtual Products are ebooks, membership subscriptions, software downloads, access to audio/video files, etc. They don’t require shipping and can be accessed online immediately after purchase.
In the report, Jimmy says:
When you’re an affiliate for physical products, you generally receive a small commission – perhaps only 5% or 10%. That means if you’re selling a $100 product, you’ll only get $5 or $10 for every paid referral you send to the merchant.
Important: Don’t discard affiliate marketing just yet. You see, if you promote downloadable products like ebooks, you can get as much as 50%, 75% or even a full 100% commission for every product you sell!
This is generally true – you do earn a higher commission rate on Virtual Products. That said, you’ll usually see a higher conversion rate on Physical Products. Do you think it would be easier to sell an “ebook” by an unknown author, or sell a name-brand treadmill from a well-known store?
It takes a lot less sales copy, a lot less follow-up, a lot less selling period if you’re working with a product or a merchant that is a household name. Netflix, Wal-Mart, Amazon.com, eBay, etc.
Add in the Squeeze Page method, and you now have to consider the conversion rate on that page – from visitor to subscriber – and then the conversion rate from that percentage of people to actual buyers. Personally I don’t like jumping through hoops to look at a product, and I’m always left feeling that I’m locking a good number of potential buyers out with that method.
Also keep in mind that many ClickBank merchants have a Squeeze Page of their own, or at least set up an opt-in option on the landing page (within the sales copy). Be mindful of the visitor experience when you set up your process.
I prefer to create a website around the topic or the market, with my goal being to get them to click straight through to the merchant’s site as quickly as possible. I usually offer subscription options, or sell a low-cost report on the topic to create a list of buyers in the market. But my preference is to get ‘em in and get ‘em out. If I feel confident the merchant can convert them into buyers, then my job is just to “get them there” – via my affiliate link of course.
It should be noted that I am generally promoting Physical Products on my affiliate sites – not Virtual Products from ClickBank. What you are promoting will determine the method that you use, of course.
That doesn’t make one way more right than the other. As I said above, they both work. However, a Squeeze Page is not generally going to rank very well in the major search engines, which leaves you to use paid advertising (think PPC) or a strong marketing campaign.
If you set up a decent website in the niche, you can get a lot of free search engine traffic. This is the Affiliate Marketing method which has generated a lot of passive income for me over the years.
I often set up affiliate sites that look like online stores, where the product image & link takes you to the internal page about that product on the merchant’s website. This works great if the merchant offers what is called “deep linking”. I optimize each page of the site of course. See: How To Optimize An Ecommerce Site
I also like to choose niches that I can really get into. That way I can set up social profiles and create more of a community around my affiliate site than just a promotion. It makes it both enjoyable and profitable! For more on that, see:
For more of my thoughts on Affiliate Marketing, check out:
- Affiliate Marketing Interview Interviewed by Bob (the teacher) Jenkins
- What Is The Best Affiliate Program to Promote?
- Best Placement For Affiliate Links or Banners
- Warning: “Thin Affiliate Sites”
Yes there are a lot of options, a lot of methods, and a lot of affiliate programs. But it’s really not as complicated as it sounds. You choose a product to promote, and then create a website around it. Period. What kind of website you create depends on the product you’re selling and the market you’re targeting. I have several different models across a variety of niches myself.
I gave you this link last week as well, but it’s worth reading again if you’re looking at Affiliate Marketing. Pay closer attention to the “Bigger is Better” and “Intent of the Search” sections: Frustrated with market research or finding niches?
Affiliate Marketing… on the side.
If you already have a successful online business, Affiliate Marketing can be a great way to easily increase your income. Think of the products and services that your customers need, or are already using. What recommendations can you make that will make their life easier?
A web designer would recommend a hosting company, a mailing list manager and a merchant account solution. A life coach might recommend certain books, or common products most clients use. A professional organizer could recommend specific organizing products. You get the picture. Create a page on your website that you can point people to, and/or make it part of your intro package.
Consider it a service to your clients or customers. As an expert or service professional why would you leave them to figure out what they need, or to go through the trial & error of finding those perfect products on their own?
Trust me, they’ll appreciate you for it – referral link and all!
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I hope this helps you come up with some creative ideas, and shows you that there can be much more to Affiliate Marketing than just ClickBank and Adwords…
Update: Clarification & Confession- The Squeeze Page Method
p.s. John Reese calls Affiliate Marketing “The Ultimate Online Business” in his new video at Opportunity.com. The video actually explains the Affiliate Marketing model in detail – it’s well worth watching. I just signed up this morning and took him up on the starter package, so I’ll post a full review for you here this week.
Update: You’lll find the review here: