Affiliate marketing is an easy concept. Get a special link to a product; tell people about that product, and when they click through your link to buy that product, you make money.
Man…that seems painless.
And because of that effortless allure, many people try it. Many people try it and many people fail at it.
They don’t fail because they are dumb, or because they are lazy. They don’t fall short because of a lack of effort or not enough starting capitol.
The truth is many people fail at affiliate marketing because it’s a lot like chess. It’s easy to learn the rules of the game yet difficult to master.
I want to talk to you about 10 specific things that will hold you up when you’re first getting started. Skills that when mastered will get you to your first 1,000 dollars and beyond with affiliate marketing.
So sit back, buckle up, and let’s dig in!
The first thing that inevitably hangs people up when they decide that they want to pursue affiliate marketing is committing to just one specific area or niche. They go all over the place grabbing affiliate links for products to promote, with no real congruence to what they are promoting.
They usually have little to no success with this strategy.
If you were a hunter, you would just run out in the woods with a gun and just shoot anything that moved. At least…you wouldn’t do that if you wanted to really succeed.
Instead, you would pick your prey. After that, you would adjust your equipment, your gun, where you were hunting, and several other things based on what you were hunting. Affiliate marketing is similar in that if you want to truly succeed quickly in a sustainable way it’s smart to focus on just one area.
Be the guy who promotes email marketing and list building products. Be the guy who promotes youtube and video marketing products. Be the guy who promotes 5rr courses. Don’t be the guy who tries to promote ALL of those.
Trying to be the guy who knows about all of it and promotes a little bit of everything will slow your growth in the space. People are going to fit you somewhere, whether you want them to or not. By trying to be and do everything you are just going to fragment your audience. Trust me, I speak from experience.
In Affiliate Rising I talk more about the importance of picking a path and how to go about doing so for maximum efficiency.
After I tell people that they should really just pick one specific area to focus on and just learn to be good at affiliate marketing in that space, they usually pick something that is too broad.
Sub-niching is a skill and an artform. You want to pick a niche that is narrow enough that you will effectively eliminate a lot of competition and dominate the space very quickly. At the same time you want enough people in that space that are buying things to make it worth your time.
So there is a balance.
In Affiliate Rising I talk about how to sub-niche down to just the right level and to use certain indications to check the pulse of a niche. These techniques can be used to tell you if it’s time to niche down further or go for what you have.
Photography is a great niche. It’s too broad. You can go down to just Wildlife Photography, dominate easier and still have tons of interested people. In truth you can go down even further but that’s just an example.
When people start out with affiliate marketing, they are like kids in a thousand candy stores. They hop from product to product and platform to platform. The problem with this is that you never really become established anywhere.
By choosing just one place to operate out of (especially at first) you are going to start to build relationships with other affiliate marketers and product vendors who use that platform. The better you get at selling stuff the more relationships you are going to build. All of these platforms keep track of how many sales you have. You start building those numbers and trust me, people start noticing.
When you started this thing you should have picked a sub niche to operate out of, no not just to operate out of, to dominate. Now if you are promoting offers outside of that sub-niche you are doing two things.
First, you are sending a mixed message to your audience. You’re not just the list building guy anymore, now you’re the kindle guy, the blog guy and the sandwich guy all rolled into one. People don’t really mind “the mr.fix everything” guy. They like him. He’s good to know. He knows a lot about a lot. But let me ask you this; If your plumbing starts leaking who do you want to fix it, your neighbor who knows a little about everything or an expert plumber? You’re calling the plumber. You just want it fixed right and you want the guy who just does that one thing.
Second, when you start talking about things outside that small sub-niche you set out to conquer you start fragmenting your audience. Now you have some people who see you as the kindle guy, now you have some people who see you as the list building guy. Fragmenting your audience means that it’s going to be less effective when you do promote offers. Also it means that you are going to slow your growth exponentially.
And that is why it is important that you specialize. More money, more customers, period. There will always be time for expansion later, once you dominate that small space. If you think I don’t know what I am talking about just take a look at how facebook and amazon got started. One of them started out by just being a social platform to university students and the other one started out by just selling books. They both expanded once they dominated.
I started into the world of internet marketing from the land of YouTube and for a while man, I was a real island. I wasn’t networking with any other youtubers, product creators, OR affiliate marketers.
Can you grow by not networking? Of course. As long as you are building an audience of engaged people who care about what you have to say you can grow.
The fact is you will grow 10 times as fast by building a network of these 3 kinds of people that can help you promote your stuff.
Just running around sprinkling affiliate links everywhere like Johnny “Affiliate Seed” is not going to work man. You’re going to get little to no results that way.
You’re going to have to master the art of pre-conditioning your audience. I could write an entire book about ways to do this but if I am going to boil it down to just one simple phrase that works it would be, “teach them something for free and do it in an entertaining way.”
Master that, and you will get more sales.
Now we talked about pre-conditioning but that doesn’t do it by itself. After you teach them something in an entertaining way you now have to actually sell them something that will hopefully help them even more than what you just taught them did.
Again, mastering the pitch…you could write an entire book about it. However, if I had to sum up the pitch in just one simple phrase it would be, “connect the dots for them and tell them what to do next.”
What does that mean? Emphasize the benefit of the product not the feature and then tell them you want them to buy it.
Pre-conditioning and Pitching is something that is featured inside Affiliate Rising, and if you want to learn more about these critical skills that you WILL need to succeed, that is a great place to start.
People always think that it comes down to traffic. They are right to some degree, but I have found that in this place, it never comes down to just one thing.
Traffic is essentially people, and people are dynamic. They all have their own hopes, dreams, and desires. It’s up to you to figure out what those hopes, dreams, and desires are for the people who care about your sub-niche.
Then after you figure that out, you go find them in just ONE place. That could be facebook, it could be youtube, it could be paid traffic from bing ads. It could be a lot of places but just pick one, and master driving traffic from that source. The sooner you master it, the sooner you will start seeing results.
There are a ton of different ways to get people to your offers and most of them work, but they only work when you master them. If you jump from strategy to strategy, place to place, you’ll never master any of them and you will continue to be frustrated and unsuccessful.
There are a lot of people trying to get attention online in ALL spaces. That means a lot of white noise for the people who you want to be interested in what you have to say and what you have to sell. Also it means you are going to start in the depths of a slow burning obscurity. No one will care what you say.
How do you overcome this? You have to find a way to NOT copy other people exactly. It’s cool to look at what someone is doing who is successful and try to understand why it works. Then take that “why it works” factor and find a way to do that in your own way. A new way that has your unique stamp on it.
Being different from other things that are in your space is a very good way to stand out and break through the white noise. It’s not just a good idea either. This is critical if you want to succeed. You have to get people’s attention and to do that you need to find your own unique style.
When you put things out there, whether that is a blog post, a facebook post, a youtube video, an email…anything…you want people engaged in that. You want them liking it, commenting on it, interested in it. If nobody cares what you are doing then you are going to find yourself back in the depths of obscurity and what that equals is a whole lot of no money in your bank account when you promote offers and a whole lot of wasted time because nobody is watching.
So how do you keep people engaged? Well if I was going to sum it up in a simple little phrase, it would go like this, “Go right when everyone thinks you’re going to go left, go left when everyone else is going right, and always ask people how they are doing.”
So there they are, my top 10 obstacles you need to overcome to make your first 1,000 bucks with affiliate marketing:
But this isn’t just a blog post. It’s also a sales page of sorts. Remember how I told you that when people think you’re going to go left, you go right? This is me doing that. Remember when I told you it’s important to find your own unique way to apply proven strategy? This is me showing you. I don’t just write about this stuff, I live it. Every single day.
If you want to make it here you have to show up…every…single…day. It’s not a movie.
I put together Affiliate Rising as a beginner’s level affiliate marketing course. It’s going to teach you the right way to get into this business. So if you have enjoyed this article and are brand new to affiliate marketing, or if you have tried and failed at affiliate marketing in the past, I suggest you make the small investment in this course.
It’s going to save you time, it’s going to reduce your learning curve severely, and it’s going to help you get to your first thousand bucks and beyond with affiliate marketing.
My name’s Kam Jennings, some people call me ZeroFatz, and that’s all I got!
I’ll see you in the next one!
Kam Jennings (aka ZeroFatz) is a full time mid-level internet marketer who makes 5 figures a year selling information products online. He is not rich and does not drive a BMW…However he does support a family of four with what he earns online. He specializes in Youtube, inbound marketing, product creation, membership sites and affiliate marketing.