I’ve been doing affiliate marketing on the side for 5 or 6 years now.
I may as well write about it, eh?
“What is Affiliate Marketing?
You want to buy a shiny new printer.
So, you mash your keyboard with your fingers until you get to Google or YouTube. There, you search for the “hottest printers of 2018.”
You click on the top results and take a look at the incredible 5-star ratings and passionate reviews on these tree killing machines.
Oh, look. There! There’s a good printer!
“Oh, damnnnn, this printer has it going ONNN. OOMPH” you think to yourself.
“I’d put some paper into YOUR paper tray” you continue.
“I want it!”
Under the review, there’s a nice link for you to see the printer on a popular online shopping website. You click it because you trust the popular shopping website. You read a few more customer reviews, and you’re sold.
Cha-ching. Printer ordered on the popular, trustworthy, shopping website.
Little did you know the blog you clicked through is also “cha-chinging.”
Well, not really.
They likely made $6 to $8.
But, why? Why did they make money?
See, you activated their trap card, you fool. Wait, no, my bad. I mean, you clicked their affiliate link. And that blog has a deal with the popular, trustworthy, shopping website. The deal is… the blog/site gets paid for every buying referral they bring. So, they referred you over to the printer-selling-website and made commission off your unhealthy, printer fetish.
That’s what Affiliate Marketing is.
You’re the middle man. It’s you referring a buyer to a seller and getting commission, online. How exactly? You get affiliated with a company through their affiliate program. You grab your affiliate link. You give that link to the right audience. They click and possibly buy.
And you earn a commission if they buy.
If you want some extensive material on “Affiliate Marketing,” I recommend you go get some books on Amazon (click here).
Take a look below.
2. “But why? Why does this stuff exist?”
Glad you asked.
If someone’s selling stuff online, they’ll want outside help to sell their products in exchange for commission. Just like real-estate agents sell someone else’s property and make commission when you buy.
So, Amazon has an affiliate program.
Walmart has an affiliate program.
Even Tai “Here in My Garage Lamborghini” Lopez has an affiliate program.
3. “Oh, do people actually make money with this? Is it one of those get rich scams?”
Man, you are asking all the hard-hitting questions today.
Yes, people can and do make money. Why? Because businesses, like Amazon, want customers. And then, people are constantly looking for products, so they want to read reviews.
Like, what’s the hottest printer of 2018?
Or, what’s the best business book of 2019?
And no, it’s not a scam or a get-rich-quick-scheme, unless you buy someone’s “get rich quick miracle scheme.” But that’s not affiliate marketing.
Also, not everyone will make money.
There’s one dead-obvious reason why.
It has nothing to do with “being special,” “having the power of Jesus or God on your side,” “being an indigo child” or “you must be a Scorpio and start when Mercury is retrograding into Uranus and all your friends chakras are aligned.” I have no idea what that last part means, by the way.
It goes back to you and I.
It’s the same reason why you haven’t been back in the gym. Same reason why I’m not running at 6:45AM anymore. Because no-one sticks with it, that’s why. Out of all my friends that tried it, none sticked through. Some are busy. Some realize they have other interests. And some, I just don’t know.
I’ve seen the same thing with dancing. People would pass by my practice spot, think to themselves “huh, wouldn’t it be cool if I, Average Joe, could spin on my back? Yeah, that’d be sick, mate.”
Ten minutes in, they realize spinning on their back is indeed sick because it’s making them sick. They also realize it’s not easy. So, they quit. No-one sticks with it.
“But, what about the people that made it work? What are they doing?”
The people that made it work have been at it for years. They’ve been blogging for years. They’ve had a site or some sort of online audience for years.
So, affiliate marketing comes easy to…
- Fitness YouTubers that have been fitness YouTubing for a while now… (and any other niche)
- Bloggers who blog about blogging, gardening, languages, fitness.. (and any other niche)
- Anyone with a website and traffic
They have a platform. They have traffic. They have an audience. All they need to do is introduce the audience to the referral link and they’re bound to make some sales.
4. “Sick Explanation! Ok I Want to Make Internet Money Now. What Do I Need?”
Long story short…
- First, you need a website.
- Then, you need to know about whatever it is you’re going to be writing about.
- And finally, you need to write about it.
Aside from “sticking with it”, which is 99.9% of the game, point 2 is another important piece of the puzzle.
You need to choose a topic you know and can write about, and that has market demand.
So, take your pick: health, fitness, weight-loss, business courses, self-improvement, printers, TVs, baby products, printers, money, investment, printers, products that make your baby smarter (ha!) and so on.
For example, if you decide to write about “making your baby smarter,” you can promote some products alongside your writing.
There you go!
You affiliate, you!
Now, you might be asking…
“But aren’t there like a million blogs and websites?”
Yes. Good luck!
“Writing 2 or 3 articles is not enough? I have to stick with it for months and years? What? But what if I get bored writing articles? “
Well, it is work.
“And who’s going to read my site? How do I get readers to read and then click my links? “
Your friends won’t read your site.
Maybe your mom will read your last two articles.
That’s why you need to write about things people care about and are willing to spend time and/or money on.
Otherwise, why should anyone read your stuff?
Actually, this is the million dollar dilemma that you and everyone is trying to figure out — how to get more traffic and more readers. Some get visitors by getting on Google, some buy ads, some make videos and some post on Facebook.
“Okay, How did you do it? Can I see your example?”
How did I do it? Try 5 years of putting an hour or two a week, that’s how.
Oh, and some of my stuff ended up on Google. That’s nice too.
If you want to see an example, take a look at this previous article I wrote. It’s just a review of an image-making program I use.
5. My 5 Year Thoughts
You might be wondering, “is it worth it?”
In the grand scheme of all things, my answer is yes. I started out in mid 2012 with no goal in mind. I just had time and energy and nowhere to channel it. So, I channeled it into writing stuff on a website. And back then, I wasn’t thinking of earnings or affiliate marketing which helped a lot.
You’ll learn why later, but the moment you get more fixated on a certain outcome rather than the process itself – that’s when it stops being fun.
I’d write maybe 1 article or 2 a month. Nothing serious. But for some reason, I stuck with it. Somewhere along the line, I applied to a relevant affiliate program and stuck up a few ads.
One year later, I somehow earned $0.25.
Yep, a year. It took that long. But, the growth has been a lot MORE impressive after that $0.25.
Why was it “worth it?” Time-wise, it was a low investment. An hour or 3 hours a week. Money-wise, since everyone cares about money, I’ve developed a passive income channel. Who could say no to getting passive income? You could be at the gym when you get a “ding!” email alert! You’ve made a sale!
On the other side of things, this is a lonely hustle.
It’s you and a computer.
That and your friends don’t care for it nor your side hustles. And you can’t blame them. The amount of times I caught myself slipping into my marketing and side-hustles talk is a bit too much.
So, I don’t talk about it with most friends.
Or, rather, I try not to.
6. Conclusion — Things That Work
As with everything else in life, persistence helps. If you can buckle down and write an article a week, you can do this. If you can’t, you can hire a writer to write for you.
Somewhere up above, I talked about “sticking with it.”
What kind of insane people actually stick with this? People that have been doing website stuff long before discovering affiliate marketing can stick with it. Fitness Youtubers that have been “fitness youtubing” and promote products on the side stick with it.
If you’ve done website stuff before, you can do it again.
The same thing goes for gym. The biggest guys in there have been at it for years. It’s second nature to them.
The same thing goes for dancing. The best dancers have been at it since the age of 10 or 15 and never stopped.
Another thing that works? Don’t do it for money alone.
Look, if we were friends and the only time you came to me was to ask about “affiliate marketing,” we wouldn’t be friends for long. Obvious attempts to “take advantage” and “get money” without providing value are a no-go in any relationship.
If someone lands on your “turn your baby into a genius” website and you have big dollar signs and “buy now” forms, you won’t get any results.
If you can’t tell me the top 5, scientifically backed tactics and formulas to turn my baby into the next Einstein, I’m leaving.
If you can’t tell me how much time i will save with the hottest printer of 2018, and how it will scare away my cat so it doesn’t rip the papers to shreds, I’m leaving.
Another point on money:
If you’re only after money and get frustrated that you’re not pulling in a return, you won’t stick with it.
In fact, let me ask you this.
Would you put up with writing every week or 2, just to make $0.25 after a year?
Bad return on your investment of time, right?
Obviously, you’d say no.
If you asked me back then, I’d say no too. Now, I’d say yes. But, most people would say no. It took me a year to earn $0.25 but luckily I wasn’t after the money. I just had “enough” time and a lot of energy.
I’m not saying those will be your results. Maybe you’re smarter and will make your first shiny penny in 3 months, but the point stands. If you’re in it for the dosh or are in a dire position where you must get more dosh, you’ll get frustrated and quit.
You must enjoy it.
Well, you must enjoy or tolerate the process. If you don’t, then you won’t stick with it.
Wait, I forgot one more thing.
You must know marketing! You know, the second word in “Affiliate Marketing.” Sorry, I totally forgot about it. That’s a very big deal too!
Too bad I’m ending the article here.
P.S. Dosh means cash in Australian.
P.P.S. So, what now? Well, if you’re honestly curious and want to learn more, you can always hop on over to Amazon.com and get some books about Affiliate Marketing. (See what I did there?)