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.

My Method

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:

How to Become a Market Leader in Your Niche

For more of my thoughts on Affiliate Marketing, check out:

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!

- - -

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

Best,

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:
http://www.clicknewz.com/1905/opportunity/

About Lynn Terry

Lynn Terry is a full-time Internet Marketer with over 15 years experience in online business. Subscribe to ClickNewz for the latest Internet Marketing trends & strategies, Lynn's unique case studies, creative marketing ideas, and candid reviews...more»

Discussion

  1. Thanks so much for this series. It is really helping me to get a better understanding of this "making money online' thing ;-)

    I really never thought much about becoming an affiliate for physical products~although I knew I could do so. This is something I definitely want to learn more about and I appreciate you taking the time to explain.

  2. I love selling physical products. One of my favorite campaigns was back in 2004 I believe - when the Cat In The Hat Movie came out right before Christmas. I created a website and sold movie merchandise, toys, furniture, book collections, t-shirts, you name it. It was HOT for a couple of months, and the best part about it was the traditional media was doing all the marketing work for me! All I had to do is rank high when people came online to search for it ;)

    Investment in that project: less than $10. Time: less than 2 days. Commission rate: 10%. Profit... YES!

  3. Lynn I enjoyed this post immensely. I'm about to go and sign back up for your Self Starters Weekly Tips. I was in your Elite Group for members and let that lapse during a really busy period - silly me.

  4. Great - it would be nice to have you back in the group, Sharon. The Elite Group is closed to new members at the moment, but I am about to open it back up (new format). As long as you're subscribed by email either here or at SSWT you'll get the details on that when it's available.

  5. lyle robinson says:

    Hi Lynn. Thanks for another wonderful segment. This is also my favorite online model and the only one, apart from web design, that I am wholly comfortable with. It's definitely a positive service to both merchants and customers and one of the few areas where the middle man/woman serves a greater purpose. Take care and thanks again for a great series.

    Lyle

  6. This is very informative post and the ebook is very useful. One of the main problems that everyone has with internet and affiliate marketing is getting website traffic. There are so many ineffective free methods and also PPC is becoming very expensive.

    • I find getting website traffic far easier than some of the other work involved - content development, call-to-action, design elements, etc. If you have something to talk about, and something people are interested in, the traffic seems to come fairly easy (in my opinion) via social spaces & major search engines.

      I hear that a lot though - that getting traffic is an issue. I've discussed that here before and will make it a point to touch on it again.

  7. Hey Lynn, I am really enjoying this series. But I have been having the hardest time trying to figure out how to set up an affiliate site (as a store) using wordpress (it's the only way I know how to make a site). I don't have money for a store builder site. Is there an outline on how to do this or any tips you care to share?
    Thanks

  8. Thank you so much for yet another fantastic post Lynn! You have such a knack for writing to the heart of things ~ this is the best summary of affiliate marketing I have read. Plus, I just "click" with your approach to affiliate marketing. You really are helping me to see my way clear to making a living through NAM.

  9. I love this series that you're doing, Lynn. I really want to focus on affiliate marketing this year, and I also prefer affiliate sites based on physical products over digital products. For a lot of reasons I just find the physical products easier to talk about and create content to go along with them.

    I started off the year with a site focused on Kindle ... but that project has since been scrapped and I'm trying to choose my next focus affiliate project. I haven't found anything that grabs me yet, definitely need to work on that so I can get something up and running again.

    • I love working with products I use myself, or where I have some interest/passion. I just found an affiliate program for my favorite exercise equipment, which would be fun - and also motivate me to use it more often ;)

  10. Hi Lynn
    I criticised your first article in this series for having a lot of affiliate links! I find this article very helpful, and the links in it are very useful. So thank you.
    P.S. Have you heard of Dr. Andy Williams? I heard an interview with him on how he does affiliate marketing and I was very impressed. I'm thinking of taking a course that he developed, so was just wondering whether you have heard of him. Thanks again Lynn.

    • I have heard of Andy Williams but I havent reviewed any of his products (yet). Appreciate your feedback. Stick around - you'll get used to my style ;)

  11. Barbara says:

    Thanks Lynn. Affiliate marketing is what I really want to do. I think I have been worrying too much about selecting a niche and that has been holding me back as I have not found one that really grabs me. You have given me some new ways to approach this problem. Thanks again - you are just too full of awesomeness!:)

    • Ha! Thank you :D
      You might start out choosing any one topic/product you're even slightly interested in... and use that as your practice model to implement what you learn. Once you learn the process you can easily use it again and again on topics/products you're more interested in.

  12. I have been extremely frustrated because I want to set up an affiliate program for my products, but do not want to (and can't) spend a lot of money on the front end. Is there somewhere that goes into the nuts and bolts with suggested sites to set something up in the really early days? I want to offer affiliate commission on workshops at a different rate than my books and CDs. Help?

    • Popular options include 1shoppingcart, clickbank, butterfly marketing... you might go to your closest competitors sites and see how they structure their affiliate program. You should be able to get some good ideas there.

  13. Loving this series! I am finally starting to see some affiliate sales and it's making me really want to go for more. My focus has been on Amazon but I know there is so much more out there that I could be promoting so I'm looking into all that.

    I love how you make various Internet marketing methods so easy to understand. Thanks for being such a great mentor.

    • Congrats Angie - those first few sales are awesome! I have a photo floating around somewhere of me with my very first affiliate check. I was THRILLED ;)

      The obvious next step is to keep doing whatever you did to make those first few sales!

  14. nice info...

    keep posting... i have add your blog to my favourite...

  15. Barbara says:

    Lynn, need some advice. I have decided on a niche, but there is no domain name available that is descriptive or even near descriptive. There is one available that has the correct words with the word "blog" on the end, i.e. ______blog.com I will be setting up a blog on WordPress for this niche. Do you think that domain name would work? Thanks!

    • Sure, that could work. You might also try doing some longtail keyword research to look for other possible combinations. Worst case scenario, the domain doesnt have to be descriptive or even include keywords. Think Yahoo, Google... or even ClickNewz!

  16. Barbara says:

    Thanks again Lynn - of course I was thinking SEO about the domain name.

    Regarding squeeze pages - I tend to agree with you - I hope you will discuss what you do as an alternate to build your lists on SSWT Tuesday.

  17. Hi Lynn, I'm enjoying your series too. I have a niche I love and have decent (and growing) traffic -- around 500 uniques per day -- but haven't had much success with my affiliate programs yet, so I'll be checking out all your links above.

    One of the problems I'm finding with affiliate articles is that they're more geared to the absolute beginner and so give more of the big picture. I feel I now need some more concrete, advanced info on how to implement various styles of affiliate programs. For example, info on how to implement datafeeds; I've managed to work out deep linking myself, but find it very time consuming -- maybe I'm missing an easier way; suggestions on how to improve conversion rates.

    Well, its back to work for me!

    • I know what you mean. There are so many ways to do any one thing. I suppose over the years I've tried it all: Adwords, email marketing, datafeeds, SEO, article marketing - you name it. In the end it's good to find a combination that works for you AND works well in your niche. It takes some trial & error for sure. That said, you can usually do a search on Google for very specific methods or questions and find the answer you need at the moment.

      A good in-depth training course is Opportunity.com and you can read my review here to see the lesson modules: http://www.clicknewz.com/1905/opportunity/

  18. Cynthia says:

    So Lynn as an affiliate for a fashion niche, should I create one site for all the products offered by the merchant?

    • If all of the products are related, such as a line of clothing, then yes you should feature those products on one website. It's hard to answer that question without specific details, but here are a couple of things to consider:

      - Every page of your website should be related to the general theme of that site. Don't create a general dot com and then promote something completely different on every page. To learn more about this look up "site theming seo" or "google site theme" on Google.

      - Google ranks PAGES, not sites. While the above holds true and you want a common theme throughout your domain, each individual web page on that domain can promote a specific product and have a specific call-to-action.

      - Create your site in the way that makes the most sense for your visitors. Try to get in the mind of the ideal visitor, the person who is most likely to buy X product, and imagine what would make their search/buy experience optimal.

  19. Wade Watson says:

    Excellent article and webinar today, Lynn. You seem to be the rare Internet marketer who prefers physical products. I recently did my own survey of the virtual products offered through ClickBank. While I know of some worthwhile ebook writers on it, I'll have to admit my first impress of ClickBank was that it's the spam mothership. Most of the top "gravity" offerings seem to be the sort of pitches I've been deleting from my inbox for years: miracle cures, dating guides, get rich quick, etc. But with such high commission percentages, ClickBank products are difficult to ignore. It seems to me that if you've got a conscience, you have to do a fair bit of sifting for something you be enthusiastic about there.

    Here's something I've wondered about. I would think that with your method of doing catalog-style ecommerce sites with affiliate products is that you must constantly update prices and other particulars that often change. With several sites and hundreds of product listings, that would seem to be more of a full time job than passive income. I'd be interested in knowing how you manage this.

    • Good question, Wade. On most of my affiliate sites I dont put the price on my page. I put the product image, the description, and a link that says "click here for pricing & availability". That link is a direct link to the product page on the merchant's site which gives them the current price and other specifics.

  20. kesha hunt says:

    This was some great information i've received tons of information on the internet and it was mostly crap until now ,thanks for all the useful information can't wait til learn more from you

  21. Valerie says:

    Hi Lynn,
    I just finished listening to the webinar replay. Your sessions give such valuable information. I really appreciate what you are doing with this series, especially the affiliate marketing part that you covered this week. I had recently decided on this as the business model that I want to use. Due to my son's graduation :-) I won't be able to listen live next Tues., so I hope you make the replay accessible again. Thanks for all you do.

    • Thanks Valerie - glad you enjoyed it. Congrats to your son on his Graduation! I'll be sure to send out the link for next week's replay as well. I don't usually, but am doing that with this series and so far it's been well received.

      Let me know if you have any questions on Affiliate Marketing. It's an awesome business model to make money online!

  22. Oliver de Guzman says:

    Hi Lynn, I really was inspired by your articles teachings. I would like to ask if I could have a niche store using blogspot..etc..?

    thanks

    oliver

  23. Hey Lynn,

    I don't really like just a squeeze page alone too. Cos' it won't get any traffic. Unless you have a /blog to complement it so that you can add content to it.

    My method is the same as yours! Get em' in and get them out'.

    However, I also have an opt in page so that I don't lose any money on the table. Yes, after following up for a few emails, they bought it. :)

  24. Georjina says:

    Hi Lynn,
    Thanks for clearing this up, because I am 'old school' and follow Andy Williams example of creating content laden affiliate sites.

    My problem is how to turn WordPress into a static site instead of doing it the hard way (hand coding everything or altering a static template.)

    Do you know of a good resource that is a quick walk through for using WordPress this way? I'm not afraid to tweak the code, but many themes for WordPress have ugly coding errors and I'd much prefer to keep my affiliate sites as fast loading, easy to navigate as possible.

    Been following your posts on Jimmy's report and like your insights.

    • You can simply create pages in WordPress instead of posts. Do some searches on Google for "wordpress static" - that should bring up some results.

      I have a hard time thinking that's an easier way though. If you need to edit something sitewide (such as details of a promotion or product) you have to locate & edit every page it's mentioned. With a traditional static site I can do "find & replace" or I can use SSI (server side includes).

      If there's a way to do that with WordPress, someone please clue me in ;)

  25. Flash Design says:

    Lynn, thank you for a great article.

    One more thing that I consider really important is - do not rely on one source of income or one type of affiliate program. Try promoting downloadable products as well as hard goods. Diversify your income streams.

    I also find it better (for me) to build a web site around the niche. I find it to be the most fair way of doing affiliate marketing. You can set up an ezine or an email course to get those email addresses.

    I found a great resource on this topic, I feel I have to share with you - an ebook called Make Your Content Presell. It explains in detail how to set up the website and how to write to build trust which is what you need to increase your income.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] week I mentioned that I’m not a huge fan of the Squeeze Page method. I owe that comment some clarification, [...]

  2. [...] Promoting Other People’s Products. I’m reprinting it here as part of our talk on Affiliate Marketing in the ongoing series on ways to make money [...]

  3. [...] 1: Create Your Own Info Products Part 2: Make Money With Affiliate Marketing Part 3: Make Money With Membership Sites Part 4: How to Make Money on eBay Part 5: Website [...]

  4. [...] (pages 11-13). In the first two methods that Jimmy suggested – Creating Info Products & Affiliate Marketing – the focus was on building a list of buyers. Specifically people who purchased a specific [...]

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