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…
- One product offers a $1 trial and then is $67 a month with 50% commission
- 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)
- One product is limited based on time (one week)
- The other product is limited based on space (200 people maximum)
- Both products offer affiliate prizes if you make a certain number of sales
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 –
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 -
- 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.
- 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 -
- First focus on refining your niche and learning about your audience’s needs and wants
- Once you know the most painful problems or the strongest desires of the people you connect with, focus your list building and content strategy on meeting that need
- As you build your influence, find products that help deal with the same problems and motivations you’ve learned your audience has, and test some different promotions to see what sells
- Focus your affiliate marketing efforts on fewer products and deeper promotions – by that I mean try and become a dominant affiliate for just one or two products by doing repeat promotions and testing different formats (reviews, email marketing, podcast interviews, etc) and then use that as a point of leverage to open doors to affiliates to promote your product, once you create one to sell
- 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)
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.
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 -