Home-based Business

Five Key Elements of an Affiliate Marketing Framework

A Google Trends inquiry shows that Affiliate Marketing is on the rise. It makes complete sense that starting an online business, or creating a passive income in this particular climate, is on everyone’s mind. 

Further research shows that people who have used Affiliate Marketing in their online business plan have enjoyed a great deal of success. In some instances, they have replaced their “real” job with this not so new concept.

The real beauty behind Affiliate Marketing, though, is that unlike other start-up businesses, it doesn’t require a great deal of capital. In comparison, you can get started very quickly, and on at least half the budget you would need if you were trying to get another form of business off the ground.

Not so long ago, I didn’t even know or understand the concept of this marketing strategy. To me, it was as foreign as a language that I had never heard. Quickly though, I discovered the potential of the treasure trove that is being an affiliate marketer. 

If Affiliate Marketing is something you might be interested in, here are five key elements to get you on your way:

  1. Passion Drive Approach

Often you will find that online business owners design their own businesses around their passions and interests. Taking it a step further the product or service you offer, solves a problem, or answers a question that your ideal customer has. 

With Affiliate Marketing, you don’t need to have your own products. You, as an Affiliate Marketer promote other products. 

Ideally, it would be best if you were passionate or knowledgable on the products you are promoting. This has a twofold purpose. 

  • First of all, you are at ease of writing great content about the product you know or are passionate about.
  • Secondly, you are in a unique position to authentically and realistically advise your niche on which product might best serve their need.

It’s a good idea to provide a range of information on products so that your ideal customer comes to their own educated decision. It is a passion-driven approach from start to end. 

Research potential niche markets in Google Trends by inserting your particular passion as a keyword into the information generator. Draw comparisons on your top interests to see how each of the keywords stack up against each other.

Warning though: don’t get stuck playing with this information tool. I find it to be great fun!

2. Building your “list” — your audience

This aspect of Affiliate Marketing, as with any business is obviously the most important. Even when you have found some amazing products, you have to get those products in front of your customer avatar.

Here are some ideas from which you can build a list of your ideal customers:

  • Host an Event — topic talk, demonstrations, webinars around your interest. 
  • Create a club — FaceBook, Birthday Club, Book Club, as examples.
  • Giveaways
  • Blogging — ensuring that your posts have Opt-In options for future posts
  • Engaging through social media, for example
  • Author your own e-book

3. Sign up for Affiliate Programmes

Remember to choose products that you either already know, use, or can authentically promote through the research you have done on them or those you have an interest or passion about.

You might feel very strongly about some software you use, or perhaps those amazing hiking boots you walk in every weekend. It is most likely that you will find that those brands have their own affiliate programme or partner programme, as it is sometimes called.

Sign up, and the product owner will send you an affiliate link. That link is now ready to be promoted.

4. Create remarkable content that promotes your product links

There are a variety of platforms from which you can promote these links. 

Having a website is likely to be a prerequisite of the Affiliate Programme you have signed up to, but not always. Promoting your product on a social media platform, for example, is another way to drum up attention to your product. 

Be mindful to know where your customer avatar hangs out though before you spend any of your hard-earned cash on advertising. Affiliate Marketing is all about, for me at least, getting going on a very reasonable budget.

Whatever platform you have chosen, it is necessary to create some drop-dead gorgeous content! Remember that you have to stand out from the rest of the pack. 

You have to know how your competitors are placing their unique selling proposition and then find gaps in which to demonstrate your own uniqueness.

In writing product-based content, these few tips for framing your words are useful:

  • What is this product you are promoting?
  • Why is this product going to change your customers’ life? Why is it going to make their life easier, more enjoyable? Why can’t they be without it…
  • When is your customer going to get results? When will they receive this package of awesomeness? (Here, if you are promoting digital products its an immediate fix! It’s downloadable NOW! Here is your link…)
  • Framing your content around the value of the product and the dreadful alternative of not having it.
  • A guarantee and refund always go a long way to creating trust with your customers.

5. Assess your results — Change what needs changing — Get paid

Be flexible enough to change your strategy if it’s not working. 

Remember that your potential customers go through various phases on their purchasing journey. You must place your business in front of them, providing value first, and creating a lasting relationship. 

Change what needs to be changed and continue to assess your progress.

It’s not a quick and easy road to the “getting paid” part, but if you are committed to the long term status of your business, your tenacity and persistence will pay off.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Home-based Business

What I have learned about Affiliate Marketing and my Six Recommendations to get you Moving Online

When I realized that the answer to all of my problems was to have an online business, the words “Affiliate Marketing” were quite foreign to me. I had no idea about the principle of it, how it worked, or the basics of this particular genre of marketing. 

To be honest, I had no clue about much in the online space. I had no idea about general marketing either. 

My pain-point was that I had this indomitable need to be able to work from home, from my laptop, and to be “location independent”. I didn’t want anything else, but the freedom to choose how I managed my day. I simply wanted my time back and I didn’t want to trade hours worked for a salary. 

So what was this Affiliate Marketing all about in any event?

In a nutshell, as an Affiliate Marketer, you sign up to Affiliate Programs and register your intention to promote products. You receive an Affiliate Link, which you include in your online ad campaigns, your blog, vlog, or online shopping site. The customer, who reads your post, clicks on your link, and “voila” you receive a commission.

It seemed to be a stroke of magic that I had come across this potential for an online business.

So, armed with what was going to be my way of replacing my great monthly salary, I started trolling the internet for more information about Affiliate Marketing. Very quickly I discovered that some very clever people had made healthy amounts of money that allowed them to replace their existing incomes! 

Here these online entrepreneurs were living their best lives, sitting on fantastic white beaches doing some work on their laptops. In their personal stories, they were telling me all about how they had successfully created so much freedom of time, that they could call the shots as to how they spent their days. 

I was hooked! Line and sinker.

The Affiliate Marketing framework in itself is very simple, but the application of it was the biggest hurdle for me. I needed a skill set.

I needed to learn how to make my website visible in the sea of millions of others. I needed to learn how to place adverts in front of niche markets and how to effectively conduct my own research for online marketing.

I needed to learn a great deal. At the same time, I also needed to set aside my inherent skill set, which I had been developing for the last 28 years of being in my chosen career. When I think back, it was ultimately a change of mindset. 

I was fortunate enough to respond to an advert that now has me involved in a community of like-minded people. This for me, was first prize because I soon found out that it wasn’t just a new skill set that I needed. I also needed over the shoulder training and recipes for success, that effectively leveled out the learning curve for me. Since I had already given up my steady 9 to 5 job too, earning while I was learning was a massive plus!

The problem really though is that the internet is filled with so much information. For a newbie, or someone with limited knowledge of this space it can prove to be a minefield. 

Instead of knowledge being your power, and information being your partner, it all leads to so much overwhelm and self-doubt that taking any action becomes like a horror story. 

Fear of making any decision, even with so much information at your fingertips, can literally stop you in your tracks. That was my initial experience.

If any of this sounds familiar, and you are feeling stuck at making your next decision to establish yourself online, here are my six recommendations to take you to your next step.

  1. If you need skills to bridge the gap between the real world and the digital one, look for a training partner that gives you the basic entry skills to get you moving as quickly as possible; ongoing training is paramount so that you are leveling up consistently, and a group of like-minded people that can support you along the way and who are having the same challenges as you really does level out that learning curve. 
  2. Check out programs where you can earn while you learn. Be very careful of those marketers who promise thousands in a short period of time too. I am not saying that they are wrong, but when you get to the small print, you will always see a disclaimer that says that results are not guaranteed. Remember, as with any business what you put in, is what you will get out.
  3. There are so many Affiliate Programmes out there, so look out for products that you yourself either have knowledge of or for those that you are passionate about. It makes the writing and advertising far easier when you know about and believe in the product that you are selling. 
  4. An online user is a person like yourself. In the same way that you look for value, be mindful to only provide value to your customer. They are as deserved of it, as you are to being successful in the digital world.
  5. When you do find products that you can market as an affiliate, and there are hundreds of them, look for links that provide a reasonable length of time that they will remain active for you. For example, a link that expires in days might not be the best link when you are getting started. Some programs and products have up to a year of validity, so be mindful to read these t&c’s when you are researching your products.
  6. Obviously, the commission structure must be something that you can live with too. Be mindful of your advertising budget and those products that might not have you breaking even.

I started out with free training to give me the boost I needed to establish myself online.

The same free workshops are available on the link below. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to take your skills to the next level.

Home-based Business

I had no choice but to employ myself, and an online business was the answer

This was my great idea! I came home after completing a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela and knew that I needed to make some massive changes in my life. I was totally hooked and thought of nothing else. The pilgrimage filled my head. It filled my heart. The freedom, the adventure, the pure bliss of living my day according to my own rules, was a prospect that I just knew I had to pursue.

For too long, I had been marching to the beat of someone else’s drum, and now I wanted to beat my own drum. A huge challenge though was that I didn’t know how to play the drums.

Being honest, not knowing how to play the drums was just the start of it, figuratively speaking. If we get down to the nuts and bolts of it all, I am a fairly regular human-being. I mean, I haven’t made a massive discovery to change all humankind for the good; I haven’t scaled mountains or dived to the depths of our oceans in search of the unknown. In comparison, I am no Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, or Elon Musk. I haven’t done anything to set me apart from my fellow man. I am just me. Regular old me.

Nevertheless, and despite what seemed to me as shortcomings in my character, I now had a very big dream and that was to walk a pilgrimage on an annual basis. This year, 2020, the universe postponed that dream for me. It postponed the dreams of millions of dreamers. I imagine in comparison to what this year has brought about for many people across the globe, not walking my pilgrimage is really small stuff. But still, it has set my personal goals back by a whole year. 

 Despite this unprecedented moment in history we are all (still) facing, my dream is now fiercer than ever. I am adamant to get back to it and I am committed to creating space for myself to walk 20 pilgrimages. The time that I spent locked up in quarantine, in retrospect has been good for me. I have solidified my purpose, I have clarified my goals and since researching the Camino de Santiago and other trails, an annual pilgrimage is not going to cut it. 

Some pilgrimages take more than 3 months to complete. The Via Francigena for example is a whopper of a trail. It covers a distance of some 2,000 kilometers, around 1,243 miles! Time was and will always be, of the essence. 

Similarly, the Camino de Santiago in itself has 15 marked routes, and taking into consideration that I am facing my fifties in two years, the clock for me is well and truly ticking! 

How was I going to create the time for me to do these pilgrimages?

The truth was that no employer would be amenable to me having such flexible time to taking off three to four months every year. Rightfully so too.

So, there were two challenges to overcome: 

  1. Not having the skills I needed to create an online business that would replace my great salary AND make me location independent; and 
  2. Creating time for myself to live out my dream. 

The answer: I would have to employ me and I was going to do this with an online business.

I literally scoured the internet. I focused on my two challenges, lack of skills and lack of time, and searched and searched. 

It mostly left me quite disheartened. I discovered that I am actually quite a distrustful person. Every advert that was presented to me during my search, I debunked it. I questioned everything and coming from a compliance background, I really didn’t see any viable opportunities at all. I just saw money traps. Or certainly what looked like money traps to me, at the time.

What was always in the back of my mind too, is that at the heart of me, is a very introverted person. Some wouldn’t say it, because, in my previous career, I have been involved in face-to-face training, engaging with top leaders in global companies, collaborating with business teams at all levels, and looking back I loved it, and I think I really added value. But I grew into those roles. 

Now, I knew that I would have to face so many challenges on my own if I was to delve into the online space and become a competent digital entrepreneur. 

I did my due diligence and found so much information and so many established online entrepreneurs. As my trust grew and as I learned about how others had trailblazed this online industry I came across an amazing group of people, led by two quite normal, but very successful online entrepreneurs. 

This space was really the first prize, and not only ticked the boxes of my immediate challenges, skills, and time but has become the cherry on the top of my personal development too. I have found that it is quite easy to start an online business, the biggest hurdle though, is getting over yourself and your own inhibitions. Well, it certainly was for me.

Fast forward to where I am now. 

I didn’t realize the full extent of what an online business meant to me and how effective it could really be. The potential is not only to have a passive income, or replacing an income even. I now not only have the necessary digital skills, but I now also have a deeper understanding of myself, who I am, and how my space in the world is created just for me. It has facilitated space for me to live out my lofty dreams and goals and since the world can’t stay “closed” forever, I will have my backpack on my back, in which my laptop will be safely stored so that I can work from anywhere in the world. Even closer to home, I can work from a friend’s house, and spend the afternoon in the swimming pool with my best little people in the world. 

My online business has given me freedom. It has been created around that primary value, and as it develops, I will enjoy the adventure that life has to offer.