A Practical Lesson in Affiliate Marketing

by kk075
19 replies
Since so many of the questions here tend to revolve around, “Why aren’t I making more money through affiliate marketing,” I thought I should share a few words of wisdom here. The answer to that questions is- you don’t understand what affiliate marketing really is.

Picture two young children on the playground. They’re running around, having fun, until one of them falls off the slide. The child isn’t hurt, it’s just a minor scratch, but the crying still brings all of the parents running. That’s just what moms and dads do.

So one mother reaches into her bag looking for Neosporin, while a dad has Band-Aids already in hand. Meanwhile, a third mom tells them to try her new spray on bandage with built in pain reliever and antiseptic…and after a few quick squirts, the child stops crying. The band aid is also invisible and the mom says that the body degrades it away as the cut heals, so there’s no tearing the skin a few days later.

This, my friends is affiliate marketing.

The third mom was not trying to sell anything, nor was she giving a pitch for some great new product. Instead, she saw a child in need and she happened to have the best possible solution, and the other parents quickly saw the value in it as well. Even so, there was no selling involved at all except for a few of the parents saying, “Where’s you buy that?” Or “Who makes that product?”

Now compare the story above to what you’re doing on your site.

When I visit you, will I think, “This person is genuinely trying to help me!” Or will I just see yet another sales pitch written like ten thousands other sites out there? And if I need more information, will you force me to give you my email address beforehand, or are you going to try and build up a little trust first? Because I want to know things like (using the example above)-

- Does that liquid bandage stuff stop the pain?
- How do you take it off?
- How long does it last?
- Will it help heal the cut?

If I don’t know these things then I’m definitely not going to try your product.

So when you think about affiliate marketing, don’t ask yourself, “How can I sell this to the masses?” The masses don’t care about what you want, nor do they care about you personally. They just want to find a solution to a very specific problem within their lives and they want to buy it from someone that’s being genuine.

Very few people bother with the genuine route here though, because they read in an eBook somewhere to be mysterious with big flashing titles and a smooth hook that sparks curiosity. And do you know who buys from sites like that? People who don’t know what they’re looking for in the first place, but they’re hoping beyond hope that you’ll deliver magic in a bottle.

Guess what though?

These “dreamers” as I like to call them are literally one in a thousand. So you have to spend great amounts of time building lists, driving traffic, paying for ads and doing a dozen other things so your business can ignore 999 out of every 1,000 people on Earth. Because the first 999 are going to see through the tactic and backspace right out, and you're wasting all this time trying to find a needle in a haystack. That’s completely stupid because there are billions of products out there that everyone wants to buy. Everyone. Why aren’t you marketing those items instead?

I’ll tell you why- it’s because you’re one of those people who are looking for magic in a bottle yourself. Because it doesn’t matter that millions of corporations all over the planet use Internet Marketing to sell their products and services in an honest, upfront way, you’re still hooked on that first eBook you read that promised fabulous riches without doing anything but building a list and plugging in generic ideas for $79.95 a pop.

If you want to learn about true Internet Marketing, then visit a company like Threadless to see how they sell products. Learn how they’ve built a brand based solely by listening to what their customers want to buy, and how that process has made them the fastest growing company in America.

Or check out Lolly Wolly Doodle, which was started by a single mom who needed more money to make her kids dresses for the holidays. She sells more through Facebook than any business on the planet, yet you don’t see any sales hooks on her sites either. It’s just genuine conversation and people love her for it…because she somehow knew what Internet Marketing was before she ever even dreamed of being in business for herself.

So here’s the lesson for the day- be like that mom on the playground who just happened to have a better solution than the other parents. She wasn't trying to sell anything...her only goal was to help. So get to know your potential customers, focus on meeting their specific needs, and show them true value…and you will become a true internet marketer. We can talk about actual sales another time.
#affiliate #lesson #marketing #practical
  • Profile picture of the author Joe Broon
    That's an excellent way to illustrate affiliate marketing. I love it.

    I particularly liked the examples you referred to showing how it works in practise.

    Thanks for taking the time to post it. A great lesson learnt

    Regards

    joe
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    • Profile picture of the author discrat
      In the lolly dolly article it quotes

      "JCPenney's store wasn't asking people to shop at the bar; it was asking people to leave the bar and go to another tab, whereas Temple was essentially setting up trunk shows in the bar. And thanks to Facebook's network effect, she didn't have to spend a dime on marketing; her customers' comments on the Facebook News Feed showed up on their friends' News Feeds, and the community grew organically."

      For FB Marketing I think this is key. For so long people have said you cannot sell stuff on FB.

      But it is your approach. You cannot set up a Retail type environment there and expect to sell much. People are 'slinging back the drinks' and want entertainment and if you have an item that others really like and it is an impulse item then sells can be made.


      - Robert Andrew
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  • Profile picture of the author RevenueGal
    Affiliate marketing is one of my favorite ventures. And you've nailed it ... in simple terms you're helping people solve a problem or helping them improve their life by guiding them to the right products or services. No one wants to be sold too, but your genuine interest in caring and helping does the selling in affiliate marketing.
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  • Profile picture of the author slammer81
    Good man KK.

    "So when you think about affiliate marketing, don’t ask yourself, “How can I sell this to the masses?” The masses don’t care about what you want, nor do they care about you personally. They just want to find a solution to a very specific problem within their lives and they want to buy it from someone that’s being genuine. "

    The opportunities to be genuine and reap rewards are really there nowadays.

    As Jack Johnson lamented "where did all the good people go?" ... hopefully online ;-)
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  • Profile picture of the author tudexo
    Find a problem and solve it - truly solve it and not just try to make people pay for your efforts. That's it. But, that's the thumb rule of any marketing - not just affiliate marketing.

    When people complain they are not making money, that's because (in most of the cases) they are NOT able to reach out to customers. So, understanding the problem solving part isn't enough - you have to know where you'll find the child in need of a "band aid".

    P.S - Well written post
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  • Profile picture of the author Andrew2015
    Your title should have been:

    "Best Post Ever"
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  • Profile picture of the author Ridwan Md
    Thank you for this post!
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    • Profile picture of the author kk075
      Originally Posted by Ridwan Md View Post

      Thank you for this post!
      No problem, I'm glad I could help.
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      Learn to sell like a pro through Web Synergy's marketing blog.

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  • Profile picture of the author NoMoreWords
    You came here a month ago, nobody knew you or anything, you told your story (that is considered controversial), and now you're a rockstar!

    Anyways, what you're telling is really true. I'm sure that it has been said before, but when people run out of patience, they tend to forget that. Your explanation was really good. Metaphors and real life examples apply to Internet marketing as well. Those who think that they don't are mostly the ones that post threads like "$10000 per month possible in a year????".

    Kudos
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    • Profile picture of the author kk075
      Originally Posted by NoMoreWords View Post

      You came here a month ago, nobody knew you or anything, you told your story (that is considered controversial), and now you're a rockstar!

      Anyways, what you're telling is really true. I'm sure that it has been said before, but when people run out of patience, they tend to forget that. Your explanation was really good. Metaphors and real life examples apply to Internet marketing as well. Those who think that they don't are mostly the ones that post threads like "$10000 per month possible in a year????".

      Kudos
      I appreciate it, but I'm not a rock star by any means. I just happened to come down with the flu and killed some time on a new forum. When I saw so much bad advice, it only made sense to try to help others through my experiences.

      Make no mistake though, the ones doubting my story are also the ones who know it's 100% true...they're just pissed because I'm not charging you $19.95 for an eBook.

      If they would only realize that I built a reputation here in a very short period of time because I was genuinely helpful with no strings attached, then they could sell a lot more WSO's by doing the same thing. And in the process, this forum would be 20x more awesome for everyone.
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  • Profile picture of the author Boonqueesha
    You're a good guy, kk. I hadn't realized you were the one who made $1 million online with your writing until after I PM'd you. Thanks for the great analogy.
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  • Profile picture of the author Joe Lumbergh
    Originally Posted by kk075 View Post

    (...) Picture two young children on the playground. They're ru(...)
    Great practical example.
    I remember when I was new to IM completely and the term affiliate marketing alone and 100 other words confused me, when in reality affiliate marketing is such a simple thing.
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  • Profile picture of the author lerxtjr
    just happened to have a better solution than the other parents.
    ...which also means you need to actually get and use the affiliate products you plan to promote....or better yet, find products you already have and use and see if they have an affiliate program. You'll sink your teeth into making your affiliate sales efforts more successful when you engage with the product you'll be promoting.
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  • Profile picture of the author ronak1111
    What can be the nest way to drive traffic to the affiliate link?
    I am newbie. It would be a great help if someone can guide me.
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    • Profile picture of the author kk075
      Originally Posted by ronak1111 View Post

      What can be the nest way to drive traffic to the affiliate link?
      I am newbie. It would be a great help if someone can guide me.
      Sorry, this is the wrong thread for that question...because it sounds like you completely ignored everything I said. Affiliate marketing should be about building relationships and that means you create a site that's worth visiting, build backlinks the way Google expects you to, and continually post real content that people will enjoy reading. Then the traffic finds you.

      In other words, the best way to drive traffic is to create it naturally yourself. Over 90% of the people on this site would disagree with me though, which is why I said this was the wrong thread to ask that question.
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  • Profile picture of the author Lipipaliwal
    Banned
    Really a great and well defined post!!! Thanks buddy.
    If I talk about my personal experience, I have been also doing affiliate marketing since last two years. It really gives me a lot fun and I also make huge money from this as well. Apart from this, I have easily handled this kind of business in a very efficient manner.
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  • Profile picture of the author Matthew Trujillo
    Affiliate marketing is all about providing solutions and helping people out. It's more then just grabbing a link and getting paid. To actually help people is what makes all the difference as to whether or not you will be a successful affiliate marketer. The key to any business is to build a solid relationship with people and providing real solutions.
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