Can I ask you a question? Of course, besides this one!
What comes to your mind when you hear the name, Bill Gates?
The Billionaire, of course!
Presently he is the second richest man in the world (recently overtaken by Jeff Bezos), though he had been maintaining #1 position for years.
Well, That’s Another Story!
Bill Gates. He earns money while he is in his bed. And, this is our point of discussion today.
We have all heard a story of him –
If Bill Gates drops a thousand dollar, he won’t even bother to pick it up. The moment he takes to pick that up, he would’ve already earned it back.
That’s the lifestyle, you know, or what we say today, SWAG!
Everybody dreams of such a lifestyle. And you know what? Anybody can!
Wait a minute… Was that a joke?
Earning money while sleeping? Oh, come on! I am a blogger. I neither have products nor services to offer. Driving traffic to my blog is such a daunting challenge in itself, and you are asking me to create the product to sell to my audience. That’s not going to happen. This way, I don’t know whether I will be earning money while sleeping or not, but I will surely have to spend the sleepless nights, and even that won’t be sufficient.
You just read about living that life of your dreams and, just in seconds, your brain flooded with lots of thoughts, which eventually led you to realize that you can’t create products on your own.
You can say cheeeeese… and take a selfie!
There’s good news coming your way now.
You don’t have to create any kind of product. I repeat you don’t have to.
Are you ready to earn money like that now?
Thanks to Affiliate Marketing to make it possible!
Wait, Wait, Wait!
Have you taken a selfie? That’s great!
Affiliate Marketing Explained
When it comes to the most reliable ways to earn an ethical online income, Affiliate Marketing is a hard-to-beat model. But the issue is, there’s a lot of bad advice out there. So I’ve welcomed two of my good friends Mahir Saifi and Saurabh Tripathi to counter that unethical advice, and offer their best strategies for a productive and profitable Affiliate Marketing.
Let’s dive into the conversation…
We Are Going To Cover –
- What is Affiliate Marketing?
- Selecting an affiliate program
- Profitable affiliate marketing strategy
- The vital elements for your affiliate website
- How to make affiliate marketing work for you
- Understand the legal issues about affiliate marketing
Note > The transcript has been slightly edited to deliver proper meaning.
Me: Today, we are talking about one of the best and most effective approaches to earn an online income that is Affiliate Marketing. Well, there isn’t the audience, so I myself give a huge round of applause to our guests in the office Mr. Saurabh Tripathi and Mr. Mahir Saifi. Guys… how are you doing?
Saurabh: We are doing great Kapil.
Mahir: Yeah… we are doing excellent. And we are glad to join you here today.
Me: That’s so cool. Well, congratulations Mahir for your new car. I can see the happiness on your face right now. (Laughs)
Mahir: Lovin’ it! (Laughs)
Saurabh: (Laughs) That’s right, Kapil!
What The Heck Is Affiliate Marketing?
Me: All right guys… let’s discuss Affiliate Marketing and the best person to start with is to ask Mahir. Brief us about what affiliate marketing is?
Mahir: Well, affiliate marketing isn’t a strange thing to the internet, nor is it to the people. It’s basically an online version of business referrals.
Kind of like a boon to those who don’t have lots of startup capital.
The many advantages of affiliate marketing include no product of your own, no inventory, no shipping, and no real sales force. Just referrals are all it demands from you (the affiliate)!
Me: You mean it’s basically a commission situation, correct? Where you promote another company’s products & services which you think are relevant to your audience. If you have built the trust with your audience, they are most likely to perform a certain action of purchase, which gets you the commission paid by the seller. Right?
So simply you are becoming a resource for recommending those products to your audience and sending a new customer to the company. Am I right, Saurabh?
Saurabh: Absolutely! But sometimes, you know there are companies which reward you even for bringing a customer to their website and maybe for giving their email address by giving you a standard amount of money for each visit and email address that you refer. So there are different ways Affiliate Marketing works out. But yeah, they’re all the same.
And you know what? The beauty of this sort of marketing is that you neither have products, nor do you need to create any. You merely start selling something for the merchant and generate revenue for your own. As simple as that! All it requires is a platform to sell it on.
How To Choose An Affiliate Program?
Me: This one is for Saurabh. How does someone get to choose an affiliate program? Is it really a complicated thing?
Saurabh: I would say that choosing an affiliate program isn’t a complicated thing at all, and it shouldn’t be. I agree that there are a number of affiliate programs out there, which might get anyone confused to choose one. But the truth is, they are all for good. However, the concern should be on determining which products should you choose.
Mahir: That’s correct!
Me: Saurabh has got one vote from Mahir (Laughing).
Mahir: (Laughs) But YES, I totally agree with him.
Individuals (Affiliates) join the affiliate program because they have a platform and audience, but they don’t have products. On the other hand, Merchants join it because they have products, but they don’t have a ton of capital to spend on marketing. They together join their hands to work for their needs, be it Amazon, ClickBank, CJ Affiliate, ShareASale, JVZoo or any other affiliate program.
The coolest part of this type of marketing is that it is performance-based. So, you are free to utilize your own marketing strategy. It doesn’t matter whether you do it through SEO, PPC or Facebook Ads. You get a commission from the merchant for each sale you generate through your affiliate link.
Me: Okay…! So anyone can join the affiliate program of his/her choice and start making money. Is it really that simple?
Saurabh: No, it’s not. I was coming to that point.
Sure, the success of an affiliate business rests on its ability to sell products. You simply join an affiliate program, choose the products of your choice and use that unique affiliate link to promote it.
Sounds very easy, right? But you can’t just start doing that and earn money.
Frankly speaking, you are most likely to be successful in affiliate marketing if you have honed in on one topic, and you do it well. So, you have to position yourself as the go-to guy in a specific niche.
Let’s say, you have a specific niche!
Before you start your affiliate marketing journey, ask yourself a question – “Am I doing it just for the sake of money?“
Believe it or not! The money you make is directly proportional to the people you help. In this way, if your audience feels like you are forcing them to click on your affiliate link to make a purchase, you won’t succeed. This may result in losing your audience, and your blogging carrier might just fade away in oblivion.
What really counts in creating a successful affiliate marketing strategy is to choose the affiliate products, which actually solve the problems of your blog audience. You need to add value and promote those products which are related to your blogging niche. It is even better if you use the product yourself first and when feeling that it can genuinely solve the problem of your audience, just go for that one.
Trust is an online currency!
Me: So you are basically destroying that paradigm of making a fast online income.
Saurabh: Yeah, I mean so… because you can’t have a business if you don’t have a customer. If you are promoting a product just because it has a high commission in spite of being not very good in quality, your business has a very short shelf life.
What’s The Key To A Profitable Affiliate Marketing Strategy?
Me: Coming back to Mahir! We have come to know that choosing the products which relate to your niche is of paramount importance. One needs to experience the product and make sure that it’s good for his/her audience. That’s the part of product selection. My question to you is – what is the key to a profitable affiliate marketing strategy?
Mahir: It all starts and ends with amazing content. There may be some other things, but creating epic content for your audience should be a primary focus. If your readers don’t have a compelling reason to visit your blog, you can never have a business. And there’s no better way to do so than creating valuable content that addresses their problems.
Me: And how to create informative content that your readers would love to comment on and share with their friends?
Saurabh: By doing extensive research! Research-backed blogs always perform well in search results. Readers are preferably looking for that one post that solves their problem in the most promising way. So put in some more time to create a post. Give priority to quality, not quantity. Make sure your content is well-researched and backed by the data with proper images.
Some Must-Have Elements For Your Affiliate Site
Me: It means that the significance of content creation isn’t to be neglected at all.
Me: Are there any vital elements that an affiliate must include in his content?
Saurabh: Ummm…! Yes.
As Mahir mentioned previously, it all starts and ends with amazing content.
But, let me clear one thing here that content creation isn’t just about creating texts. It’s also about creating multimedia content which includes scripting videos and doing outlines for your audio content.
Apart from this, you have to build trust, reliability, and honesty with your readers through your content.
That’s the challenge!
But remember… “What challenges you, firms your feet in the marketing industry.”
Mahir: Yeah, that’s true. Some bloggers fail in affiliate marketing because they fail to build trust with their audience.
Me: Okay…! But you know many people find this really difficult to build trust with the audience. Do you have some tips and tweaks for them?
Mahir: By being true to them! You know there’s a shop in the proximity of your house that you frequently visit to buy your things. There are some other shops too adjacent to that one. Still, you prefer to make your purchase from that one shop.
Why? Because of the trust and relationship you have with the shopkeeper.
In short, you have to be that shopkeeper. That’s it! You need to use your writing to build that relationship with your audience. It’s about how you educate them, how you make them understand what exactly they need to know. It’s about how you address the objections because Affiliate Marketing IS a “real business.”
Better Ways To Make Affiliate Marketing Work For You
Me: The things we are discussing here are for our readers. Of course, they are learners who want to overcome their fear. Some of them are finding new ways to make affiliate marketing work for them, whereas some want to learn and improve some more.
Can you give a pro tip for beginning affiliates? A suggestion that can motivate them about affiliate marketing.
Mahir: I think for new affiliates, there’s big lure to go for driving an affiliate program, and that is “Pay Per Click.” It really rewards the newbies of the industry.
If you can send people into a rich content experience, and mainly if you can do this with an email list, you’re actually sending them into like an email autoresponder. You end up getting a much better return on investment of that click.
Still, when you are looking at PPC Vs. Content Creation, I would say content creation is always going to win. PPC works for you and can motivate you. But if you want to make a living with affiliate marketing, then you need to increase your traffic and build the trust, which is possible with the content creation part.
Understand The Legal Issues About Affiliate Marketing
Saurabh: You know, Kapil, there is a legal issue involved with affiliate marketing people turn a blind eye to.
Me: Really? What’s that?
Saurabh: Naturally, my mind went to this legal issue which one should clarify before embarking on this affiliate marketing journey.
Certain products & services being sold online are regulated. With a specific end goal to market such products, you need to make sure that the business is authorized to sell those products. Companies carrying out their business without a license are committing a crime. And if you are found assisting in the commission of this crime by sending customers, then you could be held liable for being an accessory to this wrongdoing.
So make sure that you are not assisting in the commission of a crime. Do your research to make sure that the company is validly registered to carry on the business.
Mahir: Great and yes, this is the thing that everyone should take into consideration before signing up for the affiliate agreement.
Time To Say Bye!
Me: All right guys…! The discussion on affiliate marketing ends here. I thank both of you for joining us here and helping our readers understand the affiliate marketing better. I thank everyone for tolerating all of us till the end (laughing). If you like what’s going on here, the best way to thank is to head over the comment section below and we really, really appreciate if you do that. It’s time to start this lucrative online business by mastering the tweaks discussed here. If you do them rightly, it’ll be a win for you.
Thank you so much Saurabh and Mahir! Thank you!
Saurabh: (Laughs) Thanks Kapil. Take care.
Mahir: (Laughs) Thanks.