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By Yaro Starak
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I’m so frequently asked how to make affiliate sales via a blog I thought it was about time to answer this question with a proper guide for you to follow.
As a blogger I’ve made several hundred thousand dollars in affiliate commissions — and this was despite affiliate income being a secondary strategy to selling my own courses.
I’m excited to say that I finally had a chance to sit down and record this special EJ Podcast ‘solo session’ episode, where I break down my affiliate marketing process for you. Press play to listen in.
Affiliate income is when you get paid a commission for selling someone else’s products or services.
I got my first taste of this experience way back in 2005 when I attempted my first ever affiliate promotion on my blog, recommending a book + audio CD package from Perry Marshall, a Google AdWords expert.
In this podcast you’re going to hear the story behind this first affiliate promotion and how it almost led me to quit blogging completely, but then in a complete turnaround I ended up making a $700 commission while playing golf with some friends.
After this initial success I went all-in on affiliate marketing for a period of time, developing a special ‘blog post review‘ technique that I found especially effective for making affiliate sales.
In the middle of this podcast I dish out my 10-step formula for writing affiliate product review blog posts designed for maximum sales.
I’m very confident if you put in the time to replicate all ten steps, you could make a lot of money from your own affiliate review blog posts.
As a special bonus to go along with this episode, my team and I have produced a handout that breaks down all 10-steps. You can keep this handy when you do your own affiliate review blog posts to make sure you don’t miss a step.
Click the link in this box and then enter your email to get access to the handout.
As you will hear in this episode, my affiliate marketing income growth was quite slow, primarily because at the start I relied only on blog posts.
Once I learned about the power of email marketing, I combined my blog post reviews with email broadcasts, which had a dramatic impact. I started to make ten times as much money and it came a whole lot quicker too!
Suddenly I had an income stream I could tap into that was based on a very simple three step formula –
This combination meant that affiliate sales would come in immediately after sending the email, where in the past it would take weeks or even months to make money as people slowly came across my blog post.
Make sure you listen to the end of this podcast as I talk about how through the use of affiliate blog post reviews and email autoresponders you can create passive income streams.
I also talk about some of the biggest affiliate paydays I earned — including one promotion that netted $26,000 just from a handful of emails and blog posts — thanks to a new concept that surfaced called ‘product launches’.
If you have a blog and an email list and you like the idea of focusing on affiliate income as one of your core revenue strategies, this is a must-listen to podcast.
Enjoy the episode, and make sure you get in touch with me if you use any of these techniques to earn a big payday for yourself.
Talk to you soon,
Hello this is Yaro Starak and welcome to the Entrepreneur’s Journey podcast, another solo session with me. This is the third in a new series, kind of like a reboot I’ve been doing of the EJ podcast to add some new content into the mix along with the regular interviews I do with other online entrepreneurs.
For today’s solo session, I’m going to give you some behind-the-scenes stories and also a plan, a roadmap of how to do affiliate marketing in particular for bloggers — how to use your blog to sell products as an affiliate. This was a very big part of my income strategy during the first five or six years of my own blog journey and it was a huge source of income. I well and truly made over several hundred thousand dollars in affiliate sales.
Today, I still have some recursive almost passive income coming in from affiliate products that I recommend, but definitely not a big part of my income strategy today. That being said, what I do today which is sell my own digital products like online courses, membership sites and ebooks, the process you go about to sell your own products is pretty much the same as what you can do to sell affiliate products. It’s a great starting point to learn how to sell online using your blog, using your email list, and instead of selling your own product which you may not feel ready to go out there and sell, maybe you want to learn more about your market, but you want to start making some money, selling other people’s products and services as an affiliate is a great starting point.
Just to clarify, if you’ve never heard of this term affiliate marketing, what have you been doing (because it’s been around for years now), but in summary, it is essentially means you sell other people’s stuff and every time you make a sale, you get a commission. Often commissions can be quite high. Most of the products I sell, I’ll get a 50% commission. So, if I sell a $100-product, that product creator will actually give me $50 of that sale. It’s one of those things where it really depends on your industry in terms of what kind of things you can sell. In my space, in the teaching online business internet marketing space there is a lot of courses, a lot of software and tools, and a lot of great things to sell.
Even if you’re not in a space with a lot of courses and so on and software to sell, the basic entry point is Amazon.com with their affiliate product. You can sell pretty much any product Amazon sells through your own affiliate link and if someone buys, you make a commission. The downside with Amazon is commissions are tiny, usually below 10% or even below 5%, but it’s a starting point and maybe that’s the best place to find products related to your market.
Whatever the case maybe, is I’m going to be giving you some tips and some advice in this episode to highlight the kind of products I recommend you promote and it will very much relate to how you live your life basically. A lot of the answers to the question “What should I sell?” comes about from how you do what you do in terms of your business. Whatever your business subject is on, what you do in that subject will very much dictate what you sell. That will become clearer as you go through this process with me.
But, to begin with, I want to go back in time as I often do in this podcast and introduce you to how I started with affiliate marketing and what my first initial results were.
Let’s go back to the year 2005 to start with. 2005 was my first full year of blogging at my current blog Entrepreneur’s Journey. It started as a place where I told stories about running businesses. I’d talked about my editing business, my Magic the Gathering card game, my English school… all the different things I was doing whether it was working or not. Consequently, I built up this audience of entrepreneurs.
I didn’t really strategically plan that, but that’s just what happened by sharing content, sharing stories. Within six months of blogging, I was having around 200 or maybe 300 people visiting my site per day and around about I think I was getting close to 500 RSS subscribers, not email subscribers because I did not have an email list yet. I was ignorant to the power of email marketing at that time. However, this was when I decided to do my first-ever affiliate marketing promotion.
Prior to this, I have tried to make money with my blog using AdSense, Google’s advertising program, and that failed. I was making a tiny bit of money from selling banner ads on my blog, but I had maybe one possibly two advertisers advertising around this time, $50 a month per banner at most. I think it might even been later in that first year when those sales started to come in, those advertising dollars.
I was basically making nothing to really be clear about where I was at at this six-month time and that’s not surprising. It’s not unusual to be making nothing with a brand-new blog if you’re doing it the slow way trying to figure out what you’re going to write about, trying to figure out who your audience is and then, trying to figure out what you’re going to sell to them. But, through basically a stumbling trial-and-error learning how to blog process, I had built a small audience and I wanted to try and test affiliate marketing. At the same time, I was studying a lot of other internet marketers, one of them being Perry Marshall who’s very well-known back then anyway, being a Google pay-per-click expert. He was teaching adwords to companies, individuals, and small business owners.
I was studying some of his stuff and I signed up to become an affiliate for him and I wanted to promote his main book. It was called The Definitive Guide to Google AdWords. He sold a package where you could get the Definitive Guide basically for free if you buy this series of audios that he was selling from, I think it was from some kind of workshop or boot camp that he ran, that you could buy with him and some other guest experts. The whole package, I believe, was about $39 for that and that basically got you his book, his audios. I think the book normally cost around $39 by itself. So, it was a better deal than a standard deal.
I thought, “You know what? I am going to promote this. I am going to do a proper sitdown and write a blog post, talk about how much I like Perry, talk about how good a deal I think this is. I’d studied his book before so I could talk a bit about his book.”
But really, I had not a lot of clue on how to do affiliate marketing. But, I figured, “You know what? People read my blog, write a blog post, maybe some will buy the product.”
I did that. I sat down one evening and wrote not a huge post. It was probably around 1000 words, put in some pictures of the ebook itself, put my affiliate link that I got from Perry after signing up for his affiliate program, into the post, and then, basically, clicked ‘Publish’ in my blog. Not surprisingly, no sales happened instantly because unlike email, people have to go to the blog and read it. I actually went to bed because it was nighttime in Australia at that time. I went to bed and then, woke up hoping to check my email and see a bunch of sales had come through.
Unfortunately, no. No sales had come through. I don’t think I even had any comments on the blog post and that was back when I usually get comments. I was a bit concerned that maybe my audience didn’t like the fact that I was promoting something instead of just blogging for the sake of blogging. How dare I try and make money from something.
Anyway, long story short, another day goes by, another day goes by, another day goes by, no sales. I got pretty glum. I considered giving up blogging. I actually stopped blogging completely for that week because I lost a lot of motivation.
But, I then changed my mind and realized, “You know what? I like blogging because I like sharing content. I like writing. I’m going to keep doing this because that’s the primary reason I do it, not just because of the money.”
Strangely enough, a couple of days later, I got my sale, my first ever sale.I think it’s about US$20 was my commission. I sold one copy of that package from Perry through that blog post.
Actually, within another week, so two weeks later after publishing the blog post, I had made about five to ten sales, I think, overall. I was much happier at that point compared to the first week after publishing a blog post.
The first lesson there was affiliate marketing certainly from writing blog posts can be slow to make money from it. You might write a blog post then make a sale two weeks later, a month later, three months later, you don’t really know. It’s not really direct response mechanism. It’s more of a slower kind of tool for making money.
I was very excited about the potential because of that first sale. I did the math, if I make, let’s say in that promotion I sold 500 copies, $20 commission per copy, that’s US$100 for a blogpost. I just made $100 for writing a blog post. That blew me away. I thought, “What if I had instead a couple hundred of people reading my blog, I had a couple of thousand people, I would have ten times the amount. Does that mean I would make US$1000 each time I wrote one of these affiliate promotion blog posts?” That, to me, was just simple math to start with and very, very exciting.
I continued to think about and apply affiliate marketing as a method to make money.
The next story I want to share with you is the day I made a big sale of a product, a big commission. This is when I really realized I could potentially change my life through the power of affiliate marketing. By then, I had got myself a Blackberry, this is about, I think the second year blogging and I got myself a Blackberry, so I had email on my phone for the first time ever.
I remember I was out with some friends over the weekend at a pitch-and-pot golf course. It’s just like a mini-golf but a big bigger than that. I get this ding on my Blackberry and I pull it out and it says, “You have made a sale.” I think maybe, I just made another sale for Perry Marshall’s $20 book that I promoted or something else like that, but actually no. I had made a sale for Perry’s upcoming live conference that costs $2000 to get in and Perry was paying $700 commission per sale.
This email comes through and it says, “You have made $700.”
I was like over the moon. I was playing golf and I make $700 doing nothing. That really blew my mind on the potential of what my blog could eventually do for my life. Obviously, I understood the connection between all this audience that I worked on and I knew that Perry had put together a great product and he was promoting it. All I did was send some people his way, but it opened my eyes to the potential of not just making $20 per book sale. This is $700 from large conference, potentially other large products and services I could sell in the future.
I went home and I remember writing another blog post promoting Perry’s conference because I figured, well, maybe I can get another sale. And, what also happened Perry just made an incredible offer. I think he was struggling to get people to his live conference, so he said, “I will give away a free MacBook to every person who buys a ticket to my conference.” And he was still paying us the $700 commission.
I basically went to my audience and my blog and said, “You can get a free MacBook just from buying an event. So, a $2000 computer for buying a $2000 ticket to the conference. You get a conference. You get a computer. I think that’s a great deal. You should go get it.”
I made one more sale. I ended up making $1400 in affiliate commissions from two sales of this one promotion, and again, it was just a couple of blog posts. It blew me away there on the potential. I just made as much money as I would sometimes make for my other business from having to sell a bunch of services or selling a lot of magic cards or something like that. It basically was almost like how much money I’d get from one income stream over an entire year just from this one promotion.
I was pretty blown away by the potential of affiliate marketing, and I kept doing it. Over the years, from that point, I decided to make affiliate marketing a fairly big part of my business. As my blog traffic grew, I knew my affiliate income would grow. I did advertising on my blog but really, advertising was a little bit consistent source of income. Affiliate marketing wasn’t quite as consistent but it was a much larger source of income.
Of course, nothing — affiliate marketing or advertising — compares to what I made from selling my own products and services. I’d like to reiterate that fact. But, affiliate marketing became a significant source of income, and it also is a great confidence building tool to help me get to the point where I felt ready to promote and sell my own product, as well.
After that initial success, I doubled down on affiliate marketing and started to come up with a system for producing blog posts designed to sell affiliate products. However, I didn’t want my blog to become just one affiliate promotion after another. The first time I did that affiliate promotion, it really was a promotion. All I was saying was, “Here’s a great deal from someone I know and trust and I like his product. Go get it.”
That’s okay, but you can’t then do that for every blog post because you’ll pretty much going to lose your audience. I built my audience based on delivering content and teaching and lessons and insights into what was working for my editing company and my card game business and everything else.
I didn’t want to stop doing that to keep my audience growing but when I did do promotions for products, I wanted to come up with a process that would still deliver great content and do an affiliate promotion.
For me, the best way to do that was to turn a promotional post into a review post. This was huge at the time as well. A lot of websites were popping up all over the internet just doing product and service reviews and making good money getting traffic from Google to the reviews, people click the affiliate links and they’d make some sales.
I was the pretty much following that formula, too, but I also knew in the power of having a repeat audience as a blogger, an audience who trusts you and values your work and your opinion. You become a leader. Not only do you get simply the traffic from Google, you get the trust coming from you as recommending that product, but I wanted to wrap that into a formalized review process so that it actually help people make decisions on whether to use these products or not. I figured the best way to do that would be to do the same thing I’ve always done which was to tell the story of how I did something. In this case, tell the story of using the product or service.
The first thing I did was start to think about what am I going to review in the future? That was an easy decision. I would review anything that I was using or potentially studying. Simple as that. I would pick software tools I used or any courses or ebooks or membership sites that I joined.
That’s something you can do straight away. If you are thinking, “What can I promote?” The first question to ask or to answer yourself is, “What do you currently use to do your where it is your business is about.” So, if you’re into something to do with health and weight loss, what products, services, membership sites, and even software apps do you use that may have an affiliate program that you could review on your blog and on your business and make an affiliate commission.
You might also want to look at anything you’ve done in the past. Was it something you used earlier on? You don’t use it today but maybe you’ve used it in the pat, and you can talk about it there. I don’t know any person who does anything in an industry, if you’re planning on running a business, I guarantee you, you have software programs, educational resources, conferences, advanced experiences, even basics like food that you need to use to basically do whatever it is you teach about how to do. You need to talk and you can talk about the tools and resources in a review.
Once you’ve identified maybe the three or four things you are going to focus on for your first reviews, let me break down the ten steps I eventually came with and applied to create powerful affiliate marketing review blog post that actually do convert that makes sales.
I’ve obviously played around with this. I did a number of reviews on my blog over the years of things like Aweber software, also the Butterfly Marketing software when that came out as a launch. I reviewed several more ebooks that I read. I started to review some of the courses that I’ve taken as well. I really experimented with this process and came up with these ten steps.
Here come the ten steps. Before we continue, I’m also going to have a handout for you as the companion for this podcast that breaks down each of these ten steps so you don’t feel if you miss this as I talk about it, you can get the handout if you want it. Just to get that, all you have to do is head to the blog post where this podcast is hosted. Just go to EJPodcast.com/3 where you’ll see this podcast, the show notes for it, as well as the place where you can enter your email address to opt in and get the handout that’s going to go over these ten points. Let’s cover them right now.
You’ve chosen your product. The first thing you want to do in this review blog post is introduce what the product is for. It’s pretty basic. You’re probably just going to reiterate what is on the website for the product or service that you’re promoting. You can pretty much summarize what the creator says this product is for.
Two, you’re going to talk about who it is for. This is different compared to what is it for. What is it for is just talking about the functionality of the product. In step two, you’re talking about the person who should use it or who should consider using it. Really important distinction there because when you talk about the who, you identify a target person reading your blog, identify a target audience member and that immediately makes the right person pay more attention and go, “Oh, this is for me.”
Yes, it also keeps away the wrong people, but that’s good. That’s what narrowing down and focusing is all about. This is what niche marketing is all about and you can do it in affiliate marketing, too, finding the right target person. So, as you introduce the product, talk about its features and what it’s designed for, but talk about who is it designed for and who should consider using it.
Three, this is when you switch over to what I would call story mode and you explain how you use the product of software, or whatever it is in your own life or in your own business or in whatever situation you’re in. So, this is where I would recommend you almost treat yourself like a case study, so you could talk about how you downloaded the course, then went through module one and you learned this and you went through module two and you learned this and you went through module three and you learned this… It doesn’t have to be every single module. You can highlight the biggest lessons. That’s what I often did with my reviews. I cherry-picked the biggest aha moment breakthroughs for me as a result of taking a course or reading an ebook or attending a conference for example.
If you’re talking about physical things, maybe you’re talking about food, how does it taste? How much did you eat? What does it look like? Take some pictures. Show yourself consuming or using what it is you’re reviewing.
Step four, explain what happened as a result in terms of tangible changes, tangible outcomes. In step three, you’re showing and talking how to use something. In step four, you’re actually showing the results of that use. This is like the before and after. You might want to talk about how did you feel afterwards if it has something to do about your body. You might want to talk about how it changed your business if it’s a business tool. You can talk about, well, I made this much more money or saved this much more time, or I got this many more customers or this many more leads or opt ins, or this many more traffic to my blog, if it’s a business tool. If it’s something like a performance tool, it’s I shave ten seconds off my time or I cut two percent off my body fat. What is the outcome from your little experiment using this product that you’re reviewing? That’s step four.
Now, you’re switching away from story mode. In step five, you’re talking about what you liked and disliked. This is pretty simple. I like this about the product but I didn’t like this about the product. That really needs to be maybe a bullet point list of the things you did and did not like. This is another place where you can really emphasize the best things, but also talk about it not being perfect because there is no such thing as a perfect product. Maybe you love what you learned but you didn’t like the fact that they did include an audio version. It was only video. You could talk about the way it’s delivered or you could talk about the way it looks, so you could talk about the inability to use in a certain way or maybe simple things like, “I lost a ton of weight but I didn’t like the aftertaste,” if you’re talking about a protein supplement or something like that. There is a lot of options here but it has to relate to the story you started in steps three and four. It connects that.
Step six, then you recommend who should use it and how they should use it. This is similar to step two where you talked about who the product is designed for. In step six, now you’re actually talking about who you recommend should use it after you used it. This is almost like the before and after recommendation. Now that you had a chance to experience the product or service, who do you think should use it and how should they apply it?
This is such an important part of the review process because you’re taking the experience that you went through and then, making it a potential experience for the person reading a review. If it has something to do with getting more traffic to your website, you talk about, well, I got a hundred more people after I did this and this and this. I recommend if you’re a person who has a website in these kinds of subjects that you should also do these things that this course teaches you how to do and you’ll probably going to get an extra few hundred visitors a day, too.
Going back to the weight loss example, you might say, “You know what? If you’re a man or a woman and you’ve got a spare hour in the morning, I recommend you add this to your morning routine because you’re probably going to cut a good 5% of your body fat,” or something like that simply by just spending 30 minutes doing this in the morning, or whatever the training may be. Connect the dots after you’ve experienced the product. Really powerful part of the review process.
Seven, who stands to gain the most from it and who does not need it at all? Again, this is similar to what we talked about in step one and two, that was though before using the product. Now, we’re talking about after. Step six was talking about who you recommend should use it and how they should use it. Seven, you’re really narrowing this down and saying, “You know what, this is ideal. If you’re in this situation, you’ve got this much time, this much money, this much resources.”
And then, you’d also say, “If you don’t have this, or if you’re too busy and you can’t put this in your life, or maybe you’re just not ready to implement this system, don’t get this. It’s not right for you.”
I really want emphasize the importance of having something negative like this in review. You might be thinking about how am I going to make sales if I’m saying, “The product is not good or if it’s not designed for people.” That’s really important because if a product isn’t a good fit for someone, they’re not going to buy it anyway. So, simply reiterating the fact that it’s not right for them makes it seem even more right for the people who it is right for. That’s a really important step. Step seven, highlight who is it for, but who is it not for is just as important.
Step eight. It’s a summary. At the end of the review, I recommend you have some kind of summary table or a bullet points list just highlighting the key aspects of your review. You can pretty much cherry pick whatever you think is the most important parts to summarize, to highlight based on what your audience wants to know. This is probably a good time to mention things like cost. Do you think this is a good value product? Simple things like refund. A refund guarantee, is there one? How long does it last? How quickly should they expect to get a result after using this product? Is it hard? Is it for beginners? Is it for more advanced people? Just some simple summary things.
Nine, use your affiliate links throughout. I haven’t really mentioned this part but, in every step I just talked about previously, whenever it make sense to, usually when you mention the name of the product, the name of the product should be clickable using your affiliate link to go through and open up a new window and see that product and buy it. Don’t just put one link at the end of the review. The link should be constantly mentioned over and over anytime you mention the product at the start, in the middle, at the end because people might just click it after only reading one paragraph. You got to give them an opportunity to potentially buy this product at the point that they’re ready.
And lastly, step ten, something a bit more advanced if you’re ready for it, offer some kind of bonus that only you have if they purchase this product through your link. I say this is more advanced because you really do need to actually have something you can offer people. If it’s a high-priced product, you might say, “Hey, I’ll offer one hour of coaching time with me over the phone or Skype if you buy this through my link and I’ll help you to tailor the experience of this product to your situation.”
If you’re talking about earning a $500-commission, you might be only thinking about making three or four sales, that could be a reasonable bonus to provide. On the top end, you might throw in your course, maybe you got a recording of a webinar you did. Maybe you got an ebook you wrote or a free report or an audio… whatever it is you have that you can throw in, it helps. And it helps for two reasons.
One, the obvious reason it means people get more value if they buy the product, they get something else, but two, what you may not realize, it also allows you to be the person they choose to buy from because they might be reviewing lots of other people who they consider buying this product from especially if it’s part of a launch which I’ll talk about in a moment because if there’s a launch happening, lots of people will be promoting the product at the same time and they’re going to be picking and choosing who they buy from based on the bonuses. If your bonus is really amazing, they’ll choose to buy from you and that also allows you to make sure you get the commission, you get the credit because when they email you asking for the bonus, then you know that they believe they bought from you by your link so you can confirm that and then give them the bonus.
If they ask the bonus but you can’t see that they actually bought the product through the link, you can go to the product creator and say, “Hey, this person is claiming a bonus from me but I don’t see the affiliate commission in my affiliate statistics.”
Just so you know, every product you sell will be some kind of control panel you can log into on the web that will list how many products you sold, how many clicks you got on your affiliate link and dataI like that. That allows you to have another way to make sure you get credit for any commissions that come from sales from your review.
In summary, those ten points. I’m not going to go over them all again because there’s a lot of information there. You can get the handout that goes through each of these ten points so you won’t miss out. It’s available at EJPodcast.com/3. That’s where you can go. You’ll get redirected to my blog post where this podcast is. You’ll also find a form there to enter your email address to download the handout.
Once I came up with this formula, I basically used it for every single affiliate product review. I did seize that point and it was and it performed great. It definitely performs better than simply promoting something saying go by this because it provides value, it also starts to rank well if you do this right and you start getting some good search engine authority for your blog. People will start typing in the name of the product with the word review.
For example, for a long time, I ranked really well for the term Aweber review because I wrote a review of the Aweber software and that keyword phrase, as you can imagine, are people considering buying Aweber. So, I got some great referrals sales from that one single review post I did.
Now, going forward, after I came up with this review process, one of the other things I did to my entire business that created a huge change was add an email list. If you know my story, I didn’t actually start adding email until my second year of blogging. I was a little bit late to the game in terms of starting my blog and adding email. But, it was the early days. We’re talking 2005 to 2006.
So, by 2007, I actually had a fairly solid following on my list so I had an email list and I had a blog. So, whenever I wrote a review blog post, I’d send an email to my list, sending people immediately to the review, and I’d get instant sales. Compared to, for example, the first story I told you where I have to wait a week or two before I got one sale, now whenever I sent the email, the bulk of the sales will come in the next 24 hours. That was great because you almost knew you’d make money. Write a review. Send an email. Cash comes in. Obviously, it varied depending on what you review but I pretty much made a guaranteed a few hundred to a few thousand dollars each time I did that.
To make it even more powerful, I started to automate that process by putting in links to my product review blog post in my autoresponder series.
If you’re not familiar with auto-responders, basically you can set up sequences of email messages to go out on autopilot so you might have message one go out day one, two days later message two, two days later message three, so you can set up things like automatic email courses or as I call them today, these are blog sales funnels. These are processes that can run automatically after a person joins one of your list through your blog.
What I started to do is set up emails added to my autoresponder sequence that pointed to these reviews. For example, are you looking for an autoresponder? Go read my Aweber review. Are you looking for some software to do keyword research? Go read the Market Samurai review.
You can do the same thing because you know what your audience needs to probably buy to get started doing whatever it is you teach. It might be food they need. It might be equipment they need. It might be the education they need. It might be software they need, so you can review all the most important pieces of the puzzle for them together to get a result and stick emails in your follow-up sequence point to your reviews and bam! You got a passive income source.
Yes, there’s a lot of work there. You got to write the reviews. You got to use the products and services. You got to write the email but once it’s done, that can potentially become a consistent solid income stream and I still make sales of Aweber today because I point to my review and I recommend Aweber in my email list and my blog. That’s a fairly consistent source of affiliate income for me.
All right, we’re heading towards the end of this episode of the Entrepreneur’s Journey podcast. I just want to complete the story for you and also talked about the biggest windfall I ever made from affiliate marketing just to talk about how far I can take you.
After I came up with the review process and I had email marketing, this is when I start to really start making five, ten, fifteen thousand or even twenty thousand a month from affiliate products sold from my blog.
But then, the next level hit when the world of launches came. Now, this may not be relevant for your industry. Some industries have a lot of people doing big product launches and they have affiliates, big affiliate campaign which you can become a part of, so you can sign up to be an affiliate during a special two-week period that a launch is going on and it’s great for many reasons.
The biggest reason is the person selling the product will give you a ton of free tools to promote with. They’ll probably create webinars, series of videos, reports, all things that are upfront free value to give to your audience using your affiliate link, and then a few days later when the product goes on sale, you get commissions for any sales you make. That could be some kind of online course or a conference or maybe some kind of software that’s got a recurring income stream.
Whatever it is, you could become part of these launches. I started doing that again, around 2006. 2007, 2008, all the way I kept doing it through to 2009 and 2010. I started really well because my list growing, because my blog was growing, and I started to make affiliate promotions of big product launches, a regular thing. I do at least two, or three, or four a year. Often I promote people I knew and respected. I started to actually promote the course creators who I had taken their courses.
For example, I have taken Jeff Walker’s product launch formula, so for many years, I promoted his launch every year. I had signed up for Rich Schefren $5000 high-end coaching program and I promoted a good three to five, to six launches of Rich Schefren’s products coaching programs and courses over the years, too.
I also am a big fan of Evan Pagan’s training. I promoted plenty of his launches over the years as well and there’s some of the people I promoted. And, just how this works, what I recommend you do is if it is a proper launch, make sure you actually study the free materials that come out of the launch which would be at the very least some videos. Almost all launches today start with videos.
So, what I would do is I would watch the videos or read the report and then, I would actually do a microreview. So, that tense that review process. I pretty much did the same thing and write a review in an email or in a blog post and then sent it out to all my subscribers via email. They would then see that there’s a great free video or a great free report to go and bring it or watch. They’d opt in and they’d do that.
Then, over the course of the next week and a half two weeks, I continue to recommend any ongoing videos again doing mini-reviews or at least highlighting what I took away as the biggest aha point from reading that report or watching that video, and then what would happen is, as it got closer to the release of the product, I’d actually be really doing well and I would have sent anywhere between 500 and 2000 people to that person’s launch to those people would have opt in to their list and then, a good chunk would buy. So, the best result I ever got was making 26 sales of a product that Rich Schefren launched which ended up resulting in $26,000 commission per sale into one of his programs. That was enough to get me into the top ten of his launch.
I also had the top ten and top twenty places in some of Jeff and Eben Pagan’s some other launches as well, and in case you’ve never been behind the scenes of one of these big promotions, there is actually a lot of affiliate prizes. So, if you can make the top ten or the top twenty, you often get things like laptop, sometimes extra cash, sometimes there’s some really amazing prizes like a new car, there’s quite a number of cars that have been given away at the very top prizes. I never quite got to the very, very top of those big launches, but I certainly got my fair share of iPods and iPads and iPhones and Macbook laptops and often, you can choose to take the cash instead of the prize. But, what happens is all the affiliates try and beat each other. It’s a great launch technique. I talk about this in some of my training on how to do launches. It’s a way to tap in the power of competitive greed to try and get your affiliates to promote more frequently and results in more sales. It works.
I was caught up in some of that myself with some of the promotions. It’s actually one of the reasons why I try not to do too many. In fact, I haven’t got any big affiliate promotions in many, many years as I record this just because I focus on my own products now and try not to get caught up in the launches, but it was such a big part of my business in 2007, 2008, and 2009. I’d make a hundred grand just from promoting these launches throughout that year. If you think about it, you’re basically writing maybe ten emails per launch. Giving away a bonus, again you certainly give away a bonus when you do those big launch promotions and there’s a deadline involved so you make a bunch of sales because a program like product launch formula only opens briefly and then, closes so you really push people to take action.
You can make a good ten, fifteen, $20,000 promotion which is what I did, so if I made 20 grand from one launch and I promoted five a year, US$100,000 was added to the money I was making on top of already making money from advertising and selling my own products and services.
For a good time, there is a lot of money that went to my bank account from these promotions, plus to be absolutely honest, it was really easy on some levels to promote launches because you get so much great free training to give to your audience.
I don’t know whether you’ve got the same circumstances in your niche. You may not have that many launches. If you don’t, it could be a great opportunity for you to do your own launch. That would be one thing I’d be recommending. But, even if you don’t, the opportunity to review lower-priced products using that ten-step review process I just outlined to you earlier in this podcast, is huge especially with membership or recurring software or recurring anything type products. I really recommend even if it’s a low-priced product, maybe it will only cost $20 a month, and you get $10 a month commission, you could write one blog post review of that product. You sign up yourself, use it, go through it, make sure you really do a proper review, then put up the blog post, send it to your email list and you might let’s say, let’s be conservative and let’s just say you get 30 people to sign on to a $20 a month program. It’s not a huge investment. We’re not talking big commissions for the sale. You make 200 or $300 for that first month, but that might be $200 to $300 that lasts for the next six to 12 months or even on if those members stay members.
If you’re recommending things like software like for example Aweber or hosting or any kind of tool that people need to really use over and over again and they’re not going to unsubscribe once they’re embedded into it, that can be a customer for life. You might just have made the dream, the passive income dream.
Literally, in terms of Aweber have had $1,000 US check come from them for years now and it is basically passive income because it comes from the previous work I did writing blog posts. All the effort I put into the early days of my blog means that money just keeps on coming. So, you have the potential to do that in your industry. Just follow this review formula, pick some good products, of course, and make it part of your strategy and test it out. See how it works and I know you can do very well. If not, at least take away some of this psychology I’ve mentioned in here. Whatever it is you’re selling anything because a lot of these techniques work not just for affiliate products, but for any product or service you might be promoting even your own products and services.
Okay, I think that’s a good enough overview of my affiliate marketing process, in particular if you’re running a blog and you have an email list. I think you could do great with this. If you have a success story, I would love to hear from you. If you follow this process I’ve outlined after listening to this podcast, and you get a result, get in touch with me. Send me an email. Say hello in social media, let me know you listened to the affiliate marketing episode of the EJ podcast, and you got a result. I’d love to hear your story. It makes it worthwhile for me to do these podcasts.
And, on my time, if you want to get the handout that I give you as part of this episode, go to EJPodcast.com/3. You can download a free hand out by opting in and you’ll get the ten steps that I outlined as a handout. You have everything there to follow when you write your own reviews.
Okay, I’m going to call it the end of this episode. I hope you enjoyed that. As always, of course, you can go to my blog for other podcasts like this. Love to hear what you think of these solo sessions. I’m still doing the interviews, so don’t worry about that. There is plenty of interviews coming up. There are plenty of interviews in my archives you can dive into, as well. I would love to know if you’re enjoying these solo sessions, as well.
That’s it for today. My name is Yaro Starak. I’ll catch you on the next episode. Bye.
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 Google+.
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