Hi! Welcome to this article on 5 facts about marketing and what you should know as an affiliate who promotes other people’s products. You’re going to get loads of good information here because I’m someone whose been on that long, rocky journey as an affiliate marketing beginner and have gathered a huge wealth of knowledge about the whole game in the process.
This post should allow you to discover many of the things that don’t work in this industry and at least some things that do work from my experience.
It will also give you tips on the kind of attitude and mindset that is proven to be the most effective with this line of work.
Remember, there is affiliate marketing as a side-hustle and then there is making an entire business out of it – one that can at some stage replace your need for a regular job.
Here is our list of 5 facts about this tricky but extremely rewarding business.
#1. It’s not Easy: Most People Fail at Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate Marketing! It’s a common enough thing, even though the majority of people today have actually never heard of it. But while there are still many who do know about it and give it a try for themselves, it’s still about 1/100 who actually succeed with this business.
Why is this? Well, they often hear about it from someone who is already doing it and making money with it, and who wants to make money from them.
For example, if you look it up on YouTube, you’ll be bombarded with affiliates trying to sell you programs and courses that promise you that you too can get their kind of results – that it is possible to make a lot of money in a short time. Now that concept is very tempting. It is also the average person’s introduction to affiliate marketing; a way to make money fast, with no experience required. A quick fix to all their financial problems and worries.
So what they tend to do, is they find a program that they think suits and is within their budget, have a go at it for a while, meet with disappointment and lost money, and then go back to YouTube to watch more videos. The issue is that they are coming at a challenging and serious business with an extremely naive and lazy approach right from day one!
After these beginners have wasted enough time and money on sketchy, ‘get rich quick schemes,’ (that’s what they usually go for first because they think affiliate marketing is an easy, fast fix) they usually give up in great frustration, feeling betrayed by scammers and having a grudge against the very idea of affiliate marketing and making money online. Or else, they never really give up, but keep having fits and starts, repeating the same mistakes, and trying to make it work, but without ever really putting in any serious work or commitment, because they still believe there is an easy, quick, ‘Done for You’ way to simply get money from the internet on a regular basis, like clockwork.
Either this, or the average beginner goes in a more realistic direction, but still, due to the time it takes to make solid income, and the anxiety about if and when their efforts will actually be rewarded, they just don’t persevere.
The reality is, we are conditioned in this day and age, to be rewarded soon for our work and not have to wait any longer than what is expected of a regular job where you go from paycheck to paycheck.
However, with affiliate marketing, it’s not about living for a regular paycheck, but being an entrepreneur, taking a risk, being dedicated and after a lot of work with no immediate reward, to finally make a breakthrough and be rewarded with Passive Income.
#2. You Need Critical Thinking: Scammers are Clever
One of the golden rules for when you’re looking for someone to teach you a legit method of affiliate marketing, is ‘don’t believe everyone you hear.’ In fact, I would go further and say, ‘be suspicious’ of eveyone you hear when it comes to learing about this kind of business.
Here are some questions you’ll want to ask yourself when listening to someone else teaching you about affiliate marketing:
- Are they offering you a product that teaches you to promote that same product?
- Are they helping you to learn about affiliate marketing or just showing you how to send paid traffic to a program?
- Is this a self-promotional person who wants to get you to make an upfront payment for something you still don’t know a lot about?
- Is the sales page of this person’s product hyped up with statements like ‘$10,345 per month,’ ‘no experience required,’ and ‘limited spaces available?’
- Are they pushing a product that is designed as a ‘Done for You’ system?
- Can the owner really be identified? (A lot of them are hidden and some make use of fake testimonials from people on Fiverr. for example.)
- Is there a lot of waffle and hyped up talk about ‘easy money,’ and ‘short cut to finincial freedom’ etc.?
- Do they talk about ‘newbies making a lot of money within a short time of joining their program?’ (This word ‘newbie’ is supposed to lead you to believe that if you follow the steps, you too will be a lucky newbie. But these so called ‘newbies’ are often only new to that particular product, not total beginners in affiliate marketing. And they may have had a sizable budget, got paid traffic to some link and made a commission, but a commissioin that may not even have made them a profit, depending on what they spent on traffic. Keep this in mind.)
Now, with every one of these questions, and many, many more like them, I’m already seeing nothing but red flags everywhere and from experience, I don’t even begin to take affiliates or vendors like this seriously.
Sure, some of these programs could help me make the odd commission online, but due to the risks that always come with these kinds of programs as well as the low quality and limited resources that they so often come with, I just know that there are better options out there and I’m not going to be fooled.
#3. If you’re just in it for the Money, you Probably won’t Persevere
Well, there are a lot of ways to do affiliate marketing, but if you don’t already realise this, you can’t really establish a reliable, sustainable and long term online business just by copying someone else, or getting a DFY (done for you) system. At least, it is highly unlikely that you will persevere if you are in this simply for the money but aren’t really putting yourself and your heart into it.
It’s hard enough as it is doing a job you dislike, but then at least the work gets done because your boss and colleagues all have their eye on you. But if you go at this business alone, progress becomes even more difficult because not only do you not really enjoy what you’re doing, but on top of that, there’s no one to keep you in line and you have to rely constantly on your own self-discipline to keep going.
I believe the best way to start a business that’s not only genuinely helpful to others, but is also really fulfilling and enjoyable to work on, is by finding a real interest of yours and turning it into an online business by blogging. This brings us to the next fact.
#4. Blogging in a Niche you Love is a Solid and Reliable Strategy
Blogging remains my favourite method of affiliate marketing. But, the key is to blog about a real interest and to put your heart into it. This is how it becomes enjoyable and you actually go from strength to strength, gradually forming a killer online business, like building a Skyscraper.
And of course on the other hand, as we’ve just mentioned, you will really struggle if you blog about something you’re just not really into. Blogging has to become an exciting and regular part of your life if you really want this strategy to work.
The writing aspect isn’t for everyone, however it may be for more than you think, including you, if you are having doubts. Writing is something we naturally do every day on our phones. You don’t have to be too much different on a blog. Be yourself, be authentic and share the information you have. That’s really the core of it. You don’t have to worry about not being professional enough. You’ll develop your own unique style of communication and with exercise, you’ll continually improve.
#5. Don’t Overthink: It’s Always a Work in Progress
Taking on affiliate marketing as a full time business is a wonderful, ambitious thing to do. But your own head can play a huge number of tricks on you along the way. You want to spend less time thinking about ‘what might not work’ and just do something. A bad plan is better than no plan at all because a bad plan can gradually be corrected and turned into something good, whereas no plan means no business and obviously, no revenue. Bottom line: less thinking, more action. Action will lead to thoughts that are constructive, whereas inaction will bring on thoughts of dread and despondency. Again, few people really make it in this kind of journey. But you need to know the reality of it if you’re going to succeed as an online entrepreneur.
The good news is that the more you apply yourself to anything, including affiliate marketing, the better you become at it and eventually it becomes second nature to you. Once you’re over the initial hurdles, found a niche you love and are on the road with it, you can’t really go wrong. Instead, you will keep getting better, faster, more experienced and more successful.
You’ve got this!
For further info and help on affiliate marketing see: Affiliate Marketing for Beginners | Your Step by Step Guide.