How You Can Become A Dominant Affiliate

By Yaro Starak
71 Comments

The last week if you’ve been reading this blog you know I’ve recommended two courses, both of which I am an affiliate for. In this situation both products I’ve promoted before, so they’ve proven successful, however they are very different in many respects, for example…

Looking at this data you might wonder which product is the best to promote? Which will make more money?

Those questions are difficult to know if you’ve never promoted these kinds of offers before, but since I have I know that I will sell a handful of the high end course and several hundred of the $1 trials. It’s a moot point for me as to which one I will promote as I agreed to support both people months ago because they supported me and we have a relationship I want to maintain. That is always the most important concern for me, not the potential for profit, although that’s a motivating factor too.

In your case you need to build up your understanding of what offers work best to your market, so you need to test. The first time I ever promoted a product that cost over $1,000 I made two sales. I netted about $1400 in commission, which was by far the largest affiliate income return I had ever made with my blog at the time. This was about when my blog was 9 months old.

Before that I had tested smaller affiliate products and made a few hundred dollars worth of sales, so I was liking the large commissions from the higher priced items, however you can just as easily make zero sales too. That’s the thing I’ve found with high priced products. You don’t need to sell many to make good money, but it’s tougher to convert people, for obvious reasons. That’s why I like to promote products across the board, from free trials to several thousand dollars, so you have a good feel for what your audience responds to.

Of course price is not the only concern, the offer is actually more important. I’ve promoted many lower priced products that don’t convert as well as much more expensive items because of how well the offers match what my audience want. Understanding your people is the most important thing, so run some tests and see what the biggest sticking points for your audience are and then give them good products to solve those problems.

Why Promote This And Not That?

It’s worth noting that I’m presented many opportunities to promote products on this blog every week and 99% of the time I say “no thanks”. In fact we have a template set up in our customer service area that is designed specifically to respond to people asking me to promote their offers, which includes a polite no thanks and a direction to this article –

How Not To Approach A Potential Joint Venture Partner

Some people have replied that the title of this article is a bit rude, and I agree to an extent, it’s definitely a strong title, but I like it and I think it serves more to help people understand how best to find affiliates, especially the top JVs, if they read it with an open mind (which is sometimes hard I realize after being rejected for a JV request).

I bring this up now because there is a reason why I’m willing to promote the two products in question, yet not so many others. Personally I don’t want my blog to be full of just promotions nor do I want the obligation to promote lots of products as it’s just too much work. Heavy promotion will also have an impact on my readership, so I’m mindful of that aspect too.

As a result I generally focus on promoting only a few products, and usually because of one of these reasons –

  1. I have a relationship with that person, possibly because they promoted my product, or because we’ve formed a personal relationship and I understand the value of maintaining contact with them.
  2. They’re at the top of their field with proof of big results in a market very related to what my people want

Ultimately though a lot of this comes down to my mood and current life situation, which unfortunately is something you just have to deal with whenever you’re talking about affiliate relationships. You have to work with people when you can work with them, which since you are relying on a completely random and dynamic human being, means the situation is never certain.

If you can avoid relying on any one particular affiliate, spread your “risk” by building relationships with many partners, and never expect anything at any time, even if you are “owed” something based on the law of reciprocation, you will do fine in the long run. Remember your business is more than just one promotion, so think long term.

Establishing Your Clout

I remember many years ago when I first discovered Internet marketing and the idea that you can send an email and make thousands of dollars.

This was an incredible idea to me, but I couldn’t execute it at the time as I did not have a list and my blog was just getting off the ground. I remember joining a few affiliate programs and then watching as the concept of the product launch took hold, including the fantastic technique of running an affiliate competition with standings.

Around the time StomperNet was going through it’s very first launch I recall how amazing it was to me that a person could win a new BMW as well as make a million dollars in commissions just as an affiliate (I believe it was John Reese in this case). Most people will never reach that point, but it’s not as hard as you think to become a top affiliate, especially if you zero in on the best offers for your people.

A couple of years I made my very first top 20 affiliate list and won myself a small prize. More importantly to me though was this singled my entry into the elite list of top affiliates. The more often you appear as a top affiliate, the better your credibility and the more people who want to work with you.

The great thing about affiliate competitions is that you learn who the best affiliates are, and if you can get yourself into a top 10 or even a top 5 of a big launch, you build massive credibility, enough that you can go knocking on the other top affiliate’s doors and they will know who you are. This is important, as name recognition is a great way to start relationships.

Unfortunately most industries online haven’t yet adopted the concept of the affiliate competition, and some never will because of the culture or the structure of the marketplace. If you’re industry doesn’t currently do affiliate launches with competitions and standings don’t forget you can be the first to introduce these ideas if you release your own product. The first time techniques like these are used is usually the most effective time, so you should aim to be an innovator in your market if there is an opportunity to do so.

If You’re New What Do You Do?

If you’re just starting out in affiliate marketing I recommend you do a couple of things –

Each success as an affiliate will help you take a step up the ladder to more success. Don’t forget as an affiliate marketer you need to work on your ground roots marketing too so you have a constant stream of new subscribers joining your lists. Successful affiliate marketing is not just performing well during launch time and attracting new partners for your own launch, it’s about building a business that delivers value to a target market who in return pay attention to you when you do affiliate promotions.

If you have any questions about affiliate marketing please feel free to leave comment replies and I’ll do my best to respond.

Yaro Starak
Affiliate

P.S. That $1 trial offer I mentioned at the start of this article expires on Tuesday, just over 24 hours from the time I published this article. If you want to try out Adam Short’s Niche Profit Classroom offer, you have sign up now if you want to take the $1 trial –

www.nicheprofitclassroom.com

About Yaro Starak

Yaro Starak is the author of the Blog Profits Blueprint, a report you can download instantly to learn how to make $10,000 a month, from only blogging 2 hours per day. You can find Yaro on Facebook, Twitter and .

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71 Comments

  • Second list “The other product has several pricing points, however starting at $897 and hence the affiliate commission is at least in the several hundred dollars range per order (as much as $1250 commission per sale)” is a best to promote because it gives a lot of flexibility.

  • Thanks for writing about a very relevant topic. Most tenderfoot entrepreneurs nowadays promote and offer and sell whatever they can without even having a concrete idea of what things to prioritize. Keep them coming!

  • Hey Yaro,

    great post. I also recommend conducting polls-helps alot when it comes down to finding out what your list wants, needs and desires.

    ~Igor

  • Jon

    Fantastic article as always, I am seriously considering something along the lines of an affiliate section on my own site… so very timely post.

    Jon
    http://WoodMarvels.com – Create Unique Memories

  • Affiliate marketing is tough business; no wonder countless affiliates struggle to make mere pennies. This is a great post with excellent tips for newbie as well as established affiliates.

    And yeah, not all products are worth your time to promote. Profitable products are many…recognizing it is the key part.

  • I have a question and a comment.

    The question:
    I’m just wondering if you became a top-20 affiliate solely from posting on this blog (and mailing subscribers from this blog)? Or did you use other methods as well.

    The comment:
    To add to your post – sometimes people don’t realize that products that don’t cost that much but have recurring commissions are actually high ticket items. The amount you earn added up each month – can end up being substantial.

    Nice post. Very inspirational.

    • Every affiliate sale I have ever made has been generated either by an article in this blog, or an email sent to one of my newsletters. I don’t use any other methods.

      Thanks for your input!

      • Very sensible question, comment and an answer from which, I have learned something today.

  • I feel if you are starting out and trying to find JV, going to top players is sure a dead end, but if you want you can go look for players who are at the same level as you or higher to JV with. You see I have help a few of my readers to promote their product, and it seems even though the I wrote a review of their product in my own words, I still mange to close at the least 1 sale.

    Not bad way to start, all you have to do is finding someone who is just at your level, and get to know them read what they write, comment on their blog often and start building friendship with them and eventually when you have your product, is easy to find JV to promote.

  • Greetings Yaro,

    I have enjoyed your videos and articles. I have learned alot from them. I made my
    own You Tube video based upon your guidance called Meet Brian J Cody, author
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OfgTHgzoiz0

    I am still in the research phase of picking an affiliate program. I would love to get feed back for you folks. You can follow me at twitter at http://www.twitter.com/FrugalityAdvice

    Keep up the great quality articles and videos.
    Brian Cody
    Author, “Your Frugality Adviser”

    • Brian,

      Your promotional video is a disaster! You are poorly reading a dull script while hiding it behind a potted plant??

      This video damages your credibility.

      Good luck with version 2!

      Tony

      • You sure don’t pull any punches, Tony. The points you raise are valid though. A bit of oomph will not go amiss. I think a great blog post would be a DIY tutorial on how to make the best possible video clips with limited resources, ie a recorder and not much else!

        • Your Message

          I so agree with this comment. If you have limited resources and limited budget a
          tutorial on how to go about it would be great. I am a newbie Internet Marketer with my first blog.

          Barbara Harvey

  • I see quite a few affiliate marketers that shy away from promoting high-price point products, thinking, “who’s going to want to buy that?”. I’m with you, though – it’s a good idea to offer a variety of products at different price points to appeal to a wide range of consumers.

    I recently had my first $300+ commission from a single affiliate sale – a pretty good feeling, considering it usually takes 10 sales of other products to make that much.

    Lee

  • Thanks for the newbies steps. That is helpful.

    I have a question, as a newbies, how do you build credibility in the niche? I assume we need to build credibility to build the list?

    thanks

    • To build credibility simply be proof of your own hype and give people value over and over again. Help others to achieve what they want to, and you become credible in their eyes.

      • You are 100% on the money! Most people I see view things in the short run and try to take every opportunity to promote or hype themselves instead of building credibility by helping others achieve their goals.

        Keep up the great work Yaro!

  • Good point about the high paying commission products converting at a lower rate. Many people see a high commission and assume that it is a great niche to target. Unfortunately that high commission is usually a result of high competition and low conversion rates. I too try to diversify and promote various types of products. It’s good to get that big commission once in a while, but it’s even better to regularly get commission from other sources.

  • I like this article.I also make a selling for my affiliate product is 60% dominant from content at my blog,and 40% from PPC advertising that i use.

  • Thanks Yaro. In your opinion, what’s a good percentage to maintain between content and promotions? E.g. 80% content and 20% promotion? (assuming you know your audience well and have chosen your promotions wisely)

    • I know you asked Yaro this question, but I think he would agree with me on this answer, so I thought I would chime in…

      There is no such thing as over delivery of content.

      Promote something of ‘value’ and you can even turn a promotion into ‘content’ :) I have heard the 90/10 rule works best, but the point is, whether its 80/20 or 90/10 or 75/25 doesn’t matter as much as how VALUABLE is the CONTENT you are delivering :-) If you follow 99/1 and your 99% content is irrelavant, untimely, and just plain valueless to your readership, you really don’t have a 99/1 ratio ;-)

      That’s why it’s important to be PASSIONATE about the subject matter you blog about. Just my humble opinion :)

      Great blog yaro, great product and I will be promoting Blog Mastermind like nobody’s business the minute my blog is up and running…you OVER DELIVER! Looking forward to getting to know you better.

    • Charles, the best idea is 100% content. Use content when you do your promotions. You’ve probably noticed on this blog whenever I do a blog post that pretty much just recommends a product or service, always a few people don’t like that.

      I’m not saying you should be too worried about that, but what I can report back is if you do a promotion that includes some amazingly valuable free report, or a podcast or a video or even a content article, and include the promotion part in that content (usually at the end), that’s the best way to retain audience and still make sales.

      That being said, a lot of promos nowadays have end dates, and scarcity is the strongest trigger available to marketers, so often you might need to do a second or third blog post or email that tells people about the closing date, which sometimes is hard to do with content.

      If you look closely though, you will see this blog post is such an example of using content and promoting a closing date :-)

  • Your Message

    Hi Yaro,

    What is your advice for me as a beginner hungry to get started and have the money flowing in as you have demonstrated. I am choosing between Social Media Blueprint and Becoming a blogger premium and or your personal coaching program. Actually I am overwhelmed with all your great offers but I am on a very tight budget at the moment and I need to spend money and time wisely avoiding duplication in the coaching programs.
    Thank you. Michael

    • If you have a tight budget then don’t join any programs. Instead, study the free materials, for example my Blog Profits Blueprint and use the free videos at http://www.becomeablogger.com and work towards making $100 a month in blogging income.

      Even start on ebay if you need quick cash.

      From there you can invest your money that you earned online learning how to make more online. Good luck!

  • Very timely post for me.

    All I’ve been hearing lately is affiliate marketing and list building. And I’m finally taking action by writing an ebook to accomplish both!

    I am actually reorganizing my whole business based on affiliate marketing and referrals! Selling other people’s products is a solid gig.

  • Nice post. I like the advice on promoting no more than 2 or 3 products

    Would you recommend discretion when affiliate selling? What I have in mind is rather than have a blatant affiliate page, label it as ‘recommended reading’ and describe in an objective way what each product is about but have the links embedded.

    • I like doing reviews, especially when you are just getting started and have the time to properly test what you are reviewing. That way you give great content and can make affiliate sales.

  • yaro, this is interesting about the affiliate marketing. do you do any direct marketing or advertising on your site?

    • If you can clarify what you mean by direct marketing then I can reply.

      I don’t advertise on my own site with banners etc if that is what you mean, but I do take sponsors who advertise. You can click the advertise button in the nav bar to see the details.

  • AP

    Hey Yaro,

    Good post as always. I wonder if you could help me with the following:

    1. I will be launching a membership site very soon, and I have produced the products (fitness programs and content for membership site- I’m a PT) and I’m tossing up weather to sign up with click bank or other affiliate programs to get affiliates to promote the product. Is it always worth it? Is the money you lose in paying affiliate commissions versus you getting 100% of payment out weighed by sheer numbers of affiliates promoting your product and hence greater money coming in?

    2.Something I’m not sure on also is I want to have my first page as a Forced Opt In page (name squeeze page)- once email is left, customers gain entry to site – sales copy (plus get newsletters and a few other tasty promotions). My question is do you think affiliates would be cool with sending traffic to a opt in page on the chance that the customer may sign up and then have access to the sales copy and site proper and hopefully purchase of course (I have my doubts).
    I hear that the affiliate link will still be tracked once on sales page, past opt in page- which is good)

    Any comments?

    Cheers

    • AP – Having affiliates is always a good thing in my book. Assuming you have a structure that works, paying commissions should be a small price to pay for all the business that affiliates bring in for you.

      Most affiliates are happy to send traffic to a squeeze page is the offer made there is valuable and the cookie set leads to them being created with any future sales within a reasonable time (usually at least a month up to a full year for cookies).

      • AP

        Cheers mate, bring on the affiliates! PS Your site is awesome, it is helping big time on on my Entrepreneurs Journey!
        Was first made aware of you at Andrew and Daryl Grants Sydney Workshop. Haven’t bought anything from you yet but I am telling all my internet colleagues to check out Yaro’s blog! Thanks again

      • Couldn’t have said it better myself. It is all about content, content and more content.

  • Hi Yaro,

    What is the single most important thing that an internet marketer can do if he / she would like to really start making affiliate income?

    I mean, out of so many things that are on the market attacking so many angles of marketing, which is the most important and essential one that needs to be mastered so that an internet marketer can start making those few bucks in a more sure-fire way?

    Is it just “100% content” like you’ve just mentioned above? Or building up credibility? Or a synergy of many different mixes?

    I’d love to hear from expert like yourself what programs out there are worth investing into too.

    Thanks for your advice in advance.

    Best regards,
    John

    • Hey John, the most important thing you can do is always focus on taking action as that guarantees a result. There’s not much else that needs to be said beyond that. You can drill down the fine details but everything is born from action.

      • I agree with that 100%! Action makes things happen. Nobody ever learned to walk
        without taking the first step.

  • There is an extremely important point that needs to be mentioned here.

    Yaro, is promoting off the back of his relationship with his blog readers and/or email list. This relationship and more importantly trust was built up over several YEARS, by giving of himself, being real and authentic and providing lots of value and content for nothing.

    By building that relationship, he can provide ‘recommendations’ for affiliate offers and people are far less likely to feel like they are being pitched, in fact I think many even feel like Yaro is looking out for them :). Ultimately, this is where you want to be with your own audience. Provide insane value, network your arse off and then monetize when the timing is right.

  • Great info for newcomers to decide which affiliate offers to promote to make maximum profits. I always learn a lot from your posts. Thanks.

  • Great article post, i enjoy reading the full story. Learning about your audience’s needs and wants. How is this possible, start a Poll? or any other good ideas.

  • Hey Yaro

    Great post, it’s my first time over here :-)

    Great idea to maybe do reviews of products, certainly to start with. A good way to recommend a product without going in with the hard sell.

    I will be checking back here often, tons of great info.

    Just adding you to my rss :-)

    Paul

  • Another great post yaro. Affiliate sales can be a tricky (and sometimes scary) area for those who are new to the concepts behind them. In my opinion, on of the biggest things people need to watch out for is the “pay me a buck and I will say anything” posts that are all over.. Credibility is everything to me, and many others I assume.. If you are honest, trustworthy and “do right” by your audience the rewards will come, just don’t ever sell out and peddle crap because someone will pay you cash to do it. Once you develop a bad reputation it is virtually impossible to get rid of.

  • phi

    I work in internet marketing on the product side, so it’s great to be able to gain more insight into how affiliates are choosing their products, though I strongly feel that you are a rare one who takes into consideration the needs of their visitors.

  • One of my favourite things about this blog, Yaro, is how often you reference your “pre-success” years.. A lot of your advice could be taken completely out of context and muddled up without the reminder that you did have to build up to your current position.

  • Yaro, Awesome post I think right with on with all your comments here. Content is most important then find a way to mix in relevant marketing with products at different price points. Just make sure that your audience would like the product and you would stand behind it and that it is relevant to your blog. You want to find a happy mix and a way to seduce your readers in to checking out the affiliate has to offer.

    Also I am strong believer in the fact that you don’t need to spend money right away or ever there is a lot of free stuff from trusted guru’s that can get you moving in the right direction. Your Blog Profits Blueprint is a great place for anyone to start. If anyone hasn’t read it yet I suggest they do.

  • I am starting to take my feet on affiliate programs too, so this article is excellent starting point! :)

    Shared it on Stumbleupon and submitted on Digg :)

    Thanks, Yaro!

  • Nice article Yaro. As someone new to the affiliate world it’s nice to see a bit of insight into how it all operates. Cheers

  • I personally like the large commissions. I find that it doesn’t really take any more effort to make a high dollar sell than it does to make a small sell. Just my observation.

  • I know you’ve already kinda of said this in your post, but I just want iterate, my thoughts… I think it is highly important to think about your readers first, before thinking about your wallet. Because at the end of the day, it is your readers who will buy from you, and gaining their trust for future sales is vital. =D

    Till then,

    Jean

  • Great article. Sometimes we forget that like in any other business the customer comes first.

  • Great article Yaro! Especially for new babies in affiliate business who are really confused about the market and seeking a guideline to move on

  • How true Yaro! It’s always preferable to promote affiliate products which are closely aligned to your own audience’s needs and wants. If you only promote products based on the commission potential your followers are bound to notice such a trend and it will work against you almost every time.

    It must be a great feeling to arrange a three way good deal, the customer, the affiliate vendor and the affiliate.

    e Commerce at its finest!

  • Rea

    Hi Yaro,

    I wanted to say thank you for recommending Alan Short’s program ($1 / $67 per month)… even during the trial period, I had the wonderful opportunity to participate in a webinair. Phenomenal! It’s as if understanding this whole concept took off wharp speed.

    I thought it would be good for others to hear feedback from one of your team that followed your recommendation. A very sincere THANK YOU.

    I look forward to learning much more with you. Rea

  • Yaro,

    I appreciate your perspective on the multi-affiliate promotions because there are sooooooooooooooooooo many products to promote and it gets messy if you try to promote them all.

    I’m using the shot gun approach and would like your feedback.

    On Eat Smart Age Smart, I’m promoting a number of products since the site is still new and I’m watching for recurring sales and then focusing on those affiliate programs and rejecting the others.

    Would you say that’s a good approach?

    Krizia

    • Sounds good to me Krizia. You have to keep testing to see what converts well and once you know, you can focus more energy.

      You also need to be sure what you promote is providing value, so it takes time after your audience buys the product to use it and give you feedback about whether it is any good. Sometimes a good selling product doesn’t deliver, and even though you can make good money, you risk damaging relationships with your people unless you are very upfront about the pros and cons of the product.

  • I think, to be a good affiliate marketer is the hardest thing to do as a blogger, you must have huge traffic to get the possible buyer and also you have to build your own audience, because honestly i’ve never made a single sale with my first blog. Anyway, i got your Blog profit Blueprint, great ebook i’ve ever read..

  • Hi Yaro,

    Interesting post, very helpful advice for a newbie, I like your ideas in regard, Always have your audience’s needs as a first priority, so put relationships before profits and don’t be afraid to say no (don’t be greedy for money, be greedy for helping people and you will make more money). I think this is a great way to do business and to achieve success.

    Michael

  • Hey Yaro,

    I think this is very good post where you highlight 2 important things. Relationship with joint ventures and promoting quality products at the same time.

    If we maintian JV relations then the money will come automatically. But it is important to pick and promote only quality products as an affiliate that have authenticity.

    This is just my thought.

  • I suppose the same ideas could be applied to someone that offers no products but only advertising space on their blog. I guess that could be considered as a product

  • Hi,Thanks for sharing this nice post with a good succession……

  • Whew. I am that “New” person that you speak of. Would be nice to have a blueprint of what not to do when starting out…. ie splash pages to gather emails or a redirect of the affiliate sales page.

  • Nice post again, Yaro..I have always been an Adsense guy..Now, its making me turn to affiliate markting..

  • Great post especially for new babies in affiliate business, and to be a good affiliate marketers in really tough. This post act as a guideline

  • Yaro, I am continually impressed by your knowledge and desire to do and give the best to your readers. I guess thats why you’ve been so successful. “Don’t be greedy for money, be greedy for helping people and you will make more money” I really need to get that printed above my monitor!

  • Yaro, one thing I don’t get is: why would I pay someone to promote his/her product? It stands to reason, if the product has real value, my promoting it and both parties making money should be enough!

    In my electrical contracting business, that kind of payment in order to get the job would ge illegal.

    Thanks; Steve

  • I always wanted to get into it, but the ethics part always stopped me. For some reason, I wasn’t very comfortable at all.

  • I’d love to find the knack for affiliate marketing. By that I mean that I’ve promoted products in the past and have even put the time in to do video’s, blogs, create a website around a product, reviews between similar products…. and then ZERO. Not sure if I failed or the product failed. Maybe a combination of the two. Although there is one thing that I don’t have (well besides the money) and that is a list.

  • Hey Yaro,

    I have started reading your blog. I have no idea how I came across it, but as an SEO consultant and a newbie affiliate marketer, your content is very well prepared and much appreciated.

    Yasir

  • Gidday Yaro,
    Anneli (who recently took your Membership site program) introduced me to your blog which I don’t know why I haven’t subscribed to before, there some awesome information here including this article.
    I am impressed by how diligent you are at replying to comments. It must take up a lot of your time but obviously is worth the effort as your readers feel like they can ask a question and be answered.
    I have been working hard on building up my site which has gone from 200Uv’s to 1700+ UV’s per day in about 4 months and am ready to monitise it so I’ll be looking forward to future posts for more great tips.
    Cheers,
    Richie

  • I believe to be a dominant affiliate you just need to have is a list and provide bonuses.The bonuses have a great effect on people buying your products.

  • I was a member with NPC for a while and actually developed a product that has sold pretty good.

    I am an affiliate for them as well.

    What amazes me about people is that they won’t invest $1
    to access the NPC program.

    I think people are afraid that they will have difficulty getting off
    of the automatic billing.

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