How To: Make a living as an affiliate by Terry Telford
How To: Make a living as an affiliate © copyright Terry Telford
95% of all affiliates make $0 - $100 a year. I don't know about you, but in my books, this is not a living. In this quick "How To" guide, we'll take a look at how you can become part of the 5% who ARE making their living online. This guide does not guarantee that you'll make a fortune, but it will point you in the right direction if you're interested in making a living as an affiliate.
1. Mindset: Get in touch with your grey matter. Program your mind with positive, committed thoughts. If you can believe it, you can achieve it. It sounds a bit like a sales seminar, but bottom line is, if you don't believe you can make a living online, you won't. You have to be committed. Commit to yourself that you will develop an income online - no matter what it takes. Think of your business as a bacon and eggs breakfast. The chicken was involved, the pig was committed!
2. Viewpoint: This is your business. Once you've accomplished your first hurdle and committed yourself to making this work, you have to look at your business from the proper viewpoint. No rose coloured glasses here. This is your business. You are the CEO of your own marketing company. You can choose to offer your services to one or several companies. Bottom line, you are responsible for every action in your company. Every decision you make affects your bottom line.
3. Learning Curve: Expect it. Becoming an affiliate is like going to college or university. You start at the beginning, learn the basics and build on what you learn. Take it step-by-step and you'll build a much stronger business. Think of it like becoming a doctor. One doesn't decide to become a doctor with the expectation of opening a successful practice one week from now. It takes time to learn the products or services you're marketing and it takes time to learn to run your business.
4. Budget: Time and money. Set a general budget for both. As a business owner, you'll use plenty of time developing and promoting your affiliate business. Budget as much time as you can each day and make sure you use your time wisely. Set up a budget for your monetary expenses too. You can run a business online with a shoestring budget, just don't expect a mammoth income in the beginning. The more you can invest in your business, the better. This doesn't mean that simply throwing money at your business will make it grow. Every dollar that goes out your door, needs to come back in and bring another dollar with it.
5. Goals: s/he shoots - s/he scores! Your goals will get you through the tough times. There'll be lots of days when you feel like quitting. If you make your goals tangible, you'll make it through the tough days. Money isn't a motivator, but what money can buy, is. Set your goals for a family vacation, a new car, boat, or home. It's much easier to get excited about a shiny red corvette in your driveway than $100,000 sitting in your bank account. Money is only numbers on a piece of paper or a computer screen, but it can bring you a luxurious lifestyle, and that's where the fun is.
6. Nuts and Bolts: Once you've got your house in order, with the proper mindset, you're looking at your business from a realistic viewpoint, you've got an open mind and you're ready to learn, you've set aside some time and money and you've got pictures of your dream house, car and vacation plastered on your wall, you're ready to go hunting. The next step is to find a business that interests you and offers an affiliate program with a reasonable commission. For information products, one of the most popular and profitable online, you can and should expect a commission of 25% or more.
Pick a product that interests you. Buy it and use it. Your business is based on your recommendations of a product or service. If you haven't used it, how can you recommend it? Running around in circles after the newest, hottest selling product of the day, only leaves you dizzy and broke. If you like astronomy, becoming an affiliate of a star chart company may be a good fit. Selling women's pantyhose may not.
7. Look before you leap: Finding a company to represent as an affiliate is one thing, finding a company that respects its affiliates is another. Do a bit of research before you jump on the bandwagon. Send an email to the company as if you're a potential customer. 24 - 48 hours is a good response time. This shows that someone is actually running the company. It also gives you an idea of their commitment. Generally, the faster the response, the more committed the company is to doing business. The quality of the response is also important. Did the response answer your question? Was it written in a friendly, professional manor? Did they answer your question directly or simply send you to a FAQ sheet?
8. Flip the switch: If everything checks out up to this point, then your next step is to take action. Fill out the affiliate application form and get your affiliate URL. Now the ball is in your court. It's time to get down to brass tacks. If you freeze now, you make no money and flush your goals down the toilet. If you take action, you make it one step closer to your goals.
9. If you build it - they will come: OK not really, but you do have to build it. If you want to maximize your income and be taken seriously, you need to own a website. Just like a brick and mortar business, you need a professional location to offer your products. Yes, you get an affiliate URL when you sign up as an affiliate, but promoting an affiliate link looks amateur and will help you LOSE 98% of your sales. We'll cover this in point 10.
10. Follow-up = Sales: Only 2% of your prospects will sign up or buy what you're offering, on their first visit. 98% of your sales will be made from your follow up. There's a very simple method for following up and making sales automatically.
i. Check your favourite search engine to locate a free ebook, software program or report that relates to your offer. If you're promoting a website that sells peanut butter, a free peanut butter recipe book would be a good match. Your give-away must always relate to the product you're promoting to maximize the results of this system.
ii. Build a page on your website to give away your free peanut butter recipe book. Design the page as if you were designing a sales page. Make people's mouths water until they want the recipes so bad they'd gladly pay for them, but then give it to them free. All they have to do is fill in their name and email address in the simple form and you'll send their recipe book to them instantly via email.
iii. As soon as your peanut butter prospect fills out the form on your site and clicks the send button, they are taken to your affiliate URL where they can buy peanut butter. At the same time, the peanut butter recipe book is sent to their email address.
iv. Now your peanut butter prospect receives an email from you each week with new tips and useful peanut butter information. This information positions you as a peanut butter expert and gives you the opportunity to promote your peanut butter affiliate website once a week, to hot prospects. This is where you'll make 98% of your sales.
Although this may seem like an overwhelming amount of work for the beginner, it's all very simple. The whole process is run from an autoresponder, a simple piece of email software that automatically sends your prewritten email messages on a predetermined schedule.
Your success as an affiliate is determined by you. 95% of the people that read this simple How To guide will do nothing with it. 5% of the people that read this guide will put all the pieces in place and start making a living as an affiliate. All you have to decide is which side of the coin you want to be on.
This mini report has been brought to you by Terry Telford.
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About the Author
Terry Telford is a copy writer, marketing consultant and business coach. He specializes in helping small business owners communicate like big business.