Three Principles to Guarantee Affiliate Marketing Success

How Setting Hyper-Specific Goals Can Explode Your Affiliate Income Stream In Your Personality-Based Business

What if you could completely remove failure as an option in your affiliate marketing?  What if there was a way to set goals that would guarantee your success as an affiliate?  Well, there is.  By following the three principles outlined in today’s post you can ensure your success — whether it is your first affiliate promotion or your 100th.

3 Principles to Guarantee Affiliate Marketing Success Anthony Metivier

This is a guest post by Anthony Metivier. Anthony is a retired Film Studies professor, creator of the Magnetic Memory Method, has written a dozen best-selling books on the subject of memory and language learning and experienced great success recently as an affiliate for Michael Hyatt’s 5 Days To Your Best Year Ever launch. You can join Anthony’s invite-only affiliate program by filling out an application here.

Let’s be honest:

It hurts when you join a launch as an affiliate and don’t make a dime.

You might even feel embarrassed because you made your attempt in public with thousands of social media posts and emails, but didn’t make it big …

Or even make a single sale.

Best case scenario: You dust off your pants, analyze your results and then get back on the horse.

Worse case scenario: The failure discourages you and you never try affiliate marketing again.

Well, let me ask you something …

What if you didn’t have to fail?

What if there was a way to set hyper-specific goals that would guarantee your success?

Read on, because you can and will succeed with affiliate marketing if you follow just a few principles.

Principle #1: Play The Long Game

Sounds kind of vague, doesn’t it?

Not very specific either.

But actually … it is.

In fact, when you decide that you’re going to have to add affiliate marketing revenue to your business, deciding to play the long game is as specific as it gets.

It’s also an easy decision for your brain to understand. You’ve heard the timeless phrases:

Be all in …

Do or do not …

There is no try …

They’re timeless because they’re true.

And because so much of life is a numbers game, they’re true only for those who are actually in the game.

And so when I decided I was going to add affiliate revenue into my business, I went all in.

To get started, I practiced what my SuperLearner friend Jonathan Levi calls “brute force learning.”

But to do that, I first needed to make the decision.

And to decide to do or be something is as hyper-focused as it gets.

I mentioned that Anthony promoted Michael Hyatt’s 5 Days To Your Best Year Ever. Click Here to sign up for Michael’s affiliate program.

Principle #2: Find And Focus On Your Playing Field

When deciding to add affiliate marketing to your business, it can be tempting to run after any old product to promote.

You can also be dazzled by shiny conversion rates and the promise of amazing prizes you can win.

But as great as all those perks are …

Can you really create hyper-focused goals when it’s just any old thing you’re promoting?

Case in point: When I started learning about affiliate marketing, I tried a few things I thought would be cool.

But they really didn’t connect to the long game I’m playing in my core niche. Yes, it’s great for research to know that all that other stuff is out there …

And yes, sometimes you’ve got to take a few risks in order to feel out the field …

But every time I failed to produce, it was due to one fact:

It’s impossible to create and stick to hyper-focused goals for promoting products that don’t hyper-connect with my niche.

And I know from my experience in the memory improvement niche one simple truth:

Just because I can teach people how to remember ingredients, doesn’t mean they’ll be interested in buying a cookbook, no matter how highly I might recommend it. The only difference would be if it was a cookbook filled with recipes based on memory-friendly foods. (I might have to write that cookbook!)

The point is this:

You need to really know and understand your own niche and how exactly it bridges with other niches.

To find these bridges, you can set hyper-specific discovery goals. For example, I realized that memory improvement more or less belongs to self-improvement. I hadn’t originally thought of it that way, but understanding this opened me up to tremendous world of opportunity.

To better understand self-improvement, I first did an analysis of what I already knew. A brain-dump of books, programs and concepts came tumbling out onto a mind map and several pages of notes.

Then, I asked myself: Is there a book about the self-help niche itself?

Turns out there is.

AWAI, for example, offers a great product about writing for this niche called Secrets of Writing For The Self-Help Market.

And their training connects with a classic book I first heard mentioned by Perry Belcher called The First Hundred Million: The Inside Secrets of the American Book-Buying Public. (Tip: If you’re looking for riches in niches, you need to read this book.)

I made it a hyper-focused goal to read these books so I could market my Free Memory Improvement Training Kit better. Thanks to setting these ultra-specific and achievable goals, I soon knew more about my own micro-niche of memory and the world to which it belongs.

Principle #3: Focus on relationships

People are busy and resources are thin, except in one special place:

A thriving affiliate network community.

The best kind?

The one you build for yourself.

But to get started building, you first need to belong.

5 Amazing Outcomes Of Focusing On Affiliate Marketing With A Community

That’s what was so great about the way Matt and his team managed Michael Hyatt’s 2016 Best Year Ever affiliate launch. They really demonstrated the power of pulling together to make great things happen in people’s lives.

Because if there’s one thing that affiliate marketing satisfies in a way that marketing your own stuff alone never can, it’s belonging to a community and contributing to a higher purpose.

Sounds like feel-good woo-woo, right? Like maybe I’ve been reading too many self-improvement books?

Far from it!

And by making it my goal to hyper-focus on belonging to a community and contributing to something great, I managed to accomplish a number of cool things all at once.

And you can do these things too by making it your goal to hyper-focus on community:

  1. Create revenue for your business.
  2. Create a tighter bond with your existing buyers.
  3. Create customers from your non-buyers who come to know, like and trust you because you’ve given them a great experience with another product.
  4. Make relationships with other affiliates who share similar interests.
  5. Get ideas for creating your own community of affiliates, some of whom might even make it their hyper-focused goal to promote you.

Which leads us back to playing the long game.

Never sucker yourself into believing that you’ve failed in the past.

You’re always learning and there are gems to be mined from every experience.

And you now have some thinking and goal-setting tools for taking your affiliate income stream activities to the next level.

So make some hyper-focused goals and make the next product you promote an amazing experience that fits into the long game, educates you about your core niches and builds your community.

And above all …

Have fun!

Ready to take your affiliate marketing to the next level? Learn more about how to succeed with affiliate marketing with my new course, No Product No Problem by clicking here.
Free Affiliate Training from Matt McWilliams
  • Great article Anthony. I love the point about expanding your view of your audience into a wider niche with a view to find relevant opportunities, something I should think more deeply about. Oh yes, and go big or go home!

    • Thanks, Olly! Hope to hear more about your thoughts on affiliate marketing as they develop!

    • Hey Olly,

      I always suggest looking for affiliate products that either:

      -Complement what you offer (i.e. a nutrition course if you teach fitness)
      -Fill in the gaps (i.e. your product is for Mac users and you promote something for Windows)
      -Offer a different level (i.e. your product is $1000 but there is a more basic level for $100…or the reverse)

      When you look at it through that lens, you are always helping your audience with affiliate offers.

      • Sue Anne Dunlevie

        Oh, Matt, love these ideas for finding the perfect affiliate offers. You are dropping pearls here that took me awhile to learn!

        Thanks,
        Sue

  • Awesome, awesome, awesome! I literally can’t wait to set up an affiliate promotion for our new product that we’ll be launching next month. This is the friendly kick-in-the-butt reminder that I needed. Affiliate promotions are always a pain to set up and manage for me, mostly because I suck at emailing back and forth and keeping track of all of the individual affiliates. This helps heaps thanks!

    • Thanks for this, Seph. Glad it gave you some inspiration.

      I hope Matt will release further information on email management. He’s already got some stuff here on the blog I’ve learned a lot from and you can glean further details from being on his list – but he clearly has some amazing tricks up his sleeve.

      Actually, not “tricks.” More like great thought, strategy and use of the relevant tools. Great to follow and learn from while getting more inspiration for doing great affiliate marketing!

    • Seph,

      I think you’d be a great candidate for our 7-Figure Affiliate Launch (7FAL) program.

      We released the BETA version last May and will open enrollment again late this year, but we do offer access to the BETA version for half price. It’s a private link so email me at matt@mattmcwilliams.com and I can send it to you.

      Based on where you are at, probably 25-30% of it will be kind of “DUH” but you’ll get some good stuff out of it.

      It is literally our playbook we use for our clients.

  • To the point and easy to read. Thanks Anthony! One question; Can you give some not-so-obvious examples of playing the long-game?

    • Thanks for the post, Kris!

      I’m not sure that there are any “not-so obvious” examples of playing the long-game because biographies and examples of great success usually make what it takes loud and clear and there are many parallels. If you read Michael Hyatt’s story on his blog and in his books, for example, his success certainly didn’t happen over night.

      But one thing that is maybe not-so-obvious is the guest post you are reading now and the way it is structured. For example, if you scroll to the top and take my affiliate application survey, you’ll notice that it’s not about welcoming everyone in the world into my affiliate program. Instead, it’s a sort-sift-and-screen mechanism that will help me identify candidates who are much more likely to:

      1) Help me achieve my goals

      2) Enable me to help them achieve their goals

      I’m very devoted to having more than just an “affiliate army.” I want to cultivate a group of people with an audience that is demonstrably qualified for my memory training because less is more. And if it takes longer to get those qualified candidates in my affiliate program, so be it. I’m confident the success will actually be quicker and more profound by developing my program as the tortoise instead of the hare.

      Does that give you some more insight into what I mean by the “long game”?

      Thanks again for taking the time to post!

    • Not sure how obvious these are but here are three that come to mind:

      1. Promoting smaller programs that might not bring in the most money, but ARE the best fits for your audience. Sometimes you gotta go through the growing pains with them.

      2. One of the things we preach is that promoting affiliate offers is a great way to learn what your audience wants. This is especially true if you don’t have a product already. Even if you don’t make the most money off of every promotion, you learn something about them.

      3. Every time you do an affiliate promotion, you get better. It might take you 30 to get the hang of things. It might take you 5. But you get better and better at copywriting, marketing, etc. And referring back to #2, it will help you promote your own courses, too.

  • Kathy Kidder

    Excellent article, Anthony! Matt can tell you I struggle with focus and follow-through in affiliate marketing but I am not ready to say ‘never again’. Principle # 2 really spoke to me.
    “You need to really know and understand your own niche and how exactly it bridges with other niches.”
    ” set hyper-specific discovery goals” The process of how one fits in the category with another is a concept to re-explore. And I’m seeing more and more that this process needs careful evaluation and relationship building takes specific work and time to build trust. I need to stop with the failure mentality and get on with it.

    • Glad that principle #2 spoke to you, Kathy, and thanks for taking a moment to comment.

      How would you characterize your failure mentality? Perhaps some of us can add a few pointers to help out here in the discussion. 🙂

  • Great post Anthony. I agree with your point about going all in or not at all. That’s something I need to work harder on this year.

    • Thanks for stopping by to read and comment, Bryan.

      Yes, being all in is everything. What do you think some of your sticking points are on that?

      For me, I almost let a myriad of objections stop me and slow me down with the Best Year Ever launch. After all, I was in the middle of moving from Berlin to Brisbane.

      But the cool thing with how Matt runs the launches is that you get tons of ideas along the way and real time tracking that spurs you on.

      Plus, the private Facebook group is full of players – even Jeff Walker showed up a few times to inspire everyone! (And compete, which gave it a great sporting flavor.)

      In sum, working harder is great, but getting involved in one of Matt’s launches, if it suites your audience, definitely falls in the work smarter category. And if you put in your own personality and a touch extra elbow grease, things are sure to pop even more for you. 🙂

      • Yes Matt’s launches are great. Well I use the swipe copy etc but I could do a better job personalising it to my experiences.

        • Sue Anne Dunlevie

          Totally agree, Bryan.

        • It is a bit of an extra step to personalize swipe copy, but there is one way to make it intuitive and easier:

          A.B.T.S

          Always Be Telling Stories

          Obviously, we don’t want to tell stories in every single email, but the more we do it, the more our minds connect and the story ideas flow.

          Also, what really helped in this campaign is that I didn’t map my stories onto swipe copy alone – I repurposed a lot of it into YouTube videos and my podcast, etc.

          So when I was just doing my normal thing with memory training, I mentioned Best Year Ever and had the flow of the swipe copy with me to riff on. Maybe all my years of spoken word poetry and lecturing at Unis from chicken scratch notes helped with that, but I’d highly recommend seeing the swipe copy for more than just email campaigns. You can get it into blog posts and lots more.

          And if you do put your own spin on swipe in blog posts, don’t worry about the links getting dated: Just change them after the promotion ends to one of your own capture pages and tag the subscribers as interested in whatever the promotion is that you were running.

          Let me know if you want to see an example of what I’m talking about. 🙂

        • Read this if you haven’t already Bryan: http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/use-swipe-copy-affiliate/

          • Great post on swipe copy, @Matt_McWilliams:disqus. It’s starting to seem like there’s almost an entire course to be made on the ins-and-outs of using it well. 🙂

    • Sue Anne Dunlevie

      Hi Bryan, I did just that last year and my accountant tells me it was a good move!

      Sue

      • I wouldn’t like to displease my accountant 🙂

        • Sue Anne Dunlevie

          Right!

        • Ha ha – it’s a great feeling when you feel like you have to live up to the approval of your accountant. Reminds me of a moment with the one I had in Germany when I was worried about something and he assured me that some kinds of problems are the kind of problems that are interesting and even good to have. 😉

      • LOL!

  • Joanna

    Great insights, Anthony.

    I’m at the beginning of the ‘affiliate journey’ and agree with your points. Plus: for me, the building of the relationships and playing the long game are very much connected. I can only recommend products and services I have tried myself and have a strong belief in. Moreover, I am of the view that when you’re writing ‘My friend X… has this awesome product/service’ you need to feel that person IS indeed your friend – you know them, they know you, and there is TRUST.
    And this can only happen if you invest time and energy into building relationships with people – your affiliates; if you’re playing the long game.

    • So true, Joanna. After all the factors that were in play due to Matt’s running of the promotion and the unquestionable value of Michael Hyatt’s brand and training, the trust I’ve built with my audience was everything.

      In this case, though, I didn’t need to claim I was friends with Michael Hyatt. But it was VERY important to me that I had not only been a long time reader of his blog, but experienced the Best Year Ever pre-launch content the year before and read two of his books in addition to going through his “Get Published” program and following its core advice.

      In some ways, that depth of experience with his offering is even better than just, “hey, my friend is launching x.” Though in this case, it might not be long before “friend” works with Michael Hyatt. Post-launch, I recommended a book in a discussion on his blog about one of his core passions and he responded that he was adding it to his library. If he reads it, the friend-quotient is about to go up because I’m sure he will find it to be one of the best-written books on his interest in running out there.

      Thanks for your comment and can’t wait to her more about your experience on the affiliate journey. The beginner stage need not take long, and the intermediate stage is fascinating and fun. I can’t wait to reach expert status!

    • Hey Joanna,

      Glad you stopped by 🙂

      If you haven’t yet, make sure to take a look around my archives. I have TONS of free resources for you whether you are looking to get started in affiliate marketing or work with your own affiliates.

      Hope to see more of you around 🙂

  • Chetan Belgur

    Dear Anthony,

    Interesting article.
    I have to admit. There is a gold mine waiting to be dug in every experience.
    my experience led me to you and your coaching on memory palaces and now affiliate marketing is a natural progression of the relationship.
    The gold I discovered is : Ability to memorize textbooks, remember names, learn to speak multiple languages which lead to powerful self esteem and confidence.

    Excited to be a part of your journey and will connect with you on the hyper focused goals. Let us roll with Strategy and tactics!

    3 cheers!
    Chetan

    • Thanks, Chetan. You’re on of the highest performers with the Magnetic Memory Method ever. That’s largely due to you having an “all in” mentality and working the techniques, instead of passively hoping and praying they will work for you.

      That’s one reason I was so excited when I learned that you’re starting a blog yourself. The signs of success are already there and I will be proud to have you on board as the MMM Affiliate Program picks up speed and mastermind together on bespoke promotions for your business. There will be yearly launches coming too.

      Thanks again for taking the time to comment today and I hope you’ll subscribe to Matt’s blog. Incredible guidance and opportunity awaits!

      • What Anthony said @chetanbelgur:disqus 🙂

        • Sue Anne Dunlevie

          LOL!

      • Chetan Belgur

        Dear Anthony,

        Thanks for your kind words.
        Its inspiring when it comes from you that I am performing at the highest level ever.
        This sets the tone for the day and the years to come by.

        This weekend I’ll be planning for the next 90 days on my serious involvement with the affiliate program and I will keep you posted.

        I just subscribed to Matt’s blog.
        Again, it’s the trust that I have in you as your recommendations have never failed me.

        Thanks once again for your kind words Anthony.

        Lets Roll!
        Chetan

        • Welcome Chetan!

          Keep reading and learning and ask as many questions as you can 🙂

        • Excited to hear this, Chetan!

          Are you aware of John Lee Dumas’ The Freedom Journal? (You probably are because I’m talking about it all the time).

          If you use that, you get 100 days in 10-day sprints. I’ve used it once before for a separate project and am going to start a second one related to my current affiliate efforts just as soon as we get Internet here at the new pad in Brisbane.

          Happy to share notes with you and it would be awesome to do so in the secret Magnetic Memory Method Affiliate Inc. Facebook group I created so our conversation can benefit all those who qualify to be MMM affiliates and are invited into the group.

          I have big things planned for my players and am stoked that you’re already in! 🙂

    • Sue Anne Dunlevie

      Hi Chetan, So true!

      Sue

  • Sue Anne Dunlevie

    Love, love, love this post, Anthony. This sounds like how I started affiliate marketing. Now that I focus and have a game plan, it goes so much better. (Plus Matt’s great blog and personal help!)

    So enjoyed this rea.
    Sue

    • Thanks for this confirmation of the importance of focus and planning, Sue. Being a reader of your blog and your list the past few years has taught me a lot about how to do it right. Everything you do on Successful Blogging is amazing, inspiring and deeply educating.

      Thanks again for stopping by and glad to learn that you already know about Matt and his work! 🙂

      • Sue Anne Dunlevie

        (Blushing)

  • Superb piece, Anthony. As someone who has not yet started exploring affiliate marketing as a part of my business, the simple point about understanding exactly how your niche bridges with other niches was an eye-opener. That coupled with the 3 criteria Matt McWilliams mentioned in his reply to one of the other commenters has given me some great food for thought!

    P.S. The “memory-boosting recipe book” idea sounds like something you should definitely look into a bit more 🙂

    • Glad you had a chance to read this, Angel. Your site is profoundly valuable and there are many great inbound and outbound affiliate partners in language learning you can make relationships with.

      One idea that comes to mind for you that’s more of a thought exercise than anything is this:

      Health and wellness blogs/authorities that talk a lot about Traditional Chinese Medicine. They might not have their lists segmented to identify people interested in learning Chinese, but they might be willing to send out a survey to start a segment, or structure a promotional email that creates a Chinese-interested segment. Because chances are that people interested in TCM have at some point also thought about learning Chinese so that they can understand the art and science of it at a deeper level.

      I’ll bet there are many related ideas to pursue like this for creating “niche bridges” between your training and other niches. I have my memory-boosting recipe book to pursue with the cooking authorities and maybe we’ll wind up doing something together with the Chinese cuisine authorities so they can memorize the ingredients they need and learn Chinese at the same time.

      There’s no end to the opportunity! 🙂

      • Thanks for exemplifying, Anthony. It immediately helped me think of a number of more or less related areas in addition to the TCM example you gave. Very helpful exercise!

        Keep up the great work 🙂

    • So awesome Angel!

      I’ll second what @anthonymetivier:disqus says in his comment, too.

      • Sue Anne Dunlevie

        I “third” it!

      • Thank you, Matt. Looks like you have a crazy amount of good stuff on your blog. Will have to take a closer look in the near future!

  • Lev Goldentouch

    Interesting article, Anthony. It is very easy to loose focus with affiliate marketing and then we lose the interest of our audience. I think that being focused within the area of our expertise we can provide our audience with the most relevant propositions, and keep it live and active. The long game and deep relationships are the basis of any solid marketing strategy.

    • “Keep it live and active.” I love that point and it probably counts as a fourth unspoken principle on this post. There’s a lot you can set up during an affiliate promotion, such as bonuses and FB groups for your buyers that makes the product larger than life and sets the stage for the next launch you get involved with that matches your audience.

      Thanks for stopping by to read and comment! 🙂

    • Well said Lev!

      • Lev Goldentouch

        Thank you. This is a really active blog with lively discussions. I am impressed 🙂

        • Thanks Lev!

          Keep reading, watching, and learning!

          And if you ever have some specific questions, don’t hesitate to ask. That’s my best blog material 🙂

  • Nice post Anthony!

    Playing the long game and focusing on relationships have been the two #1 keys to my success with affiliates 🙂

    • Awesome to hear this, Eli. Thanks for stopping by to read and respond today! 🙂

  • Edan Kertis

    Great article Anthony, thank you so much for sharing this!

    • My pleasure, Edan. Appreciate you taking a moment to read and comment!

  • Corvin

    This is a great article. Thanks for the insights.

  • Richard Yadon

    Anthony, I really apprciate you sharing these tips. I have not had as much success as I want with affiliate marketing. I am going to implement these, especially the part about focusing and playing the long game. Thanks for sharing.

    • Glad you liked the parts about focusing and the long game, Richard. I’m sure that success is just around the corner – and Matt recently had a great graphic here on his blog that shows just how close the success we seek usually is:

      http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/stop-giving-online-business/

      Hope you can check it out sometime and thanks for stopping by to read and comment! 🙂

  • Love it, Anthony!

    Focusing is one of my main pain points, but I’ve been able to scale my affiliates to three main one that’s I use and promote.

    Oh, and it’s definitely long term! I’ve had promotions “flop” only to have someone come back a couple months later and buy. Cha-ching!

    • That is awesome David. Once you find the right ones for you, life is pretty sweet.

      It usually takes time and energy on the front end as you know.

      Kudos on taking the time and making the effort!

    • Awesome that you have three mains to work with and thanks for taking the time to read and comment today.

      I hear you on the “months later” thing. I love when that happens. I learned the hard way that when you change email services, though … links that are tagged can go dead. That means older emails sending people to odd places on the net that are about how you run your biz and not your biz itself. That was a bit of an ouch moment to be sure.

  • Alexander Limberg

    Great thoughts there, Anthony! I haven’t done any affiliate marketing yet, so I’m kind of talking like the blind man about colors, but I’m assuming trust is everything. Your readers trusting you as well as your affiliate partners trusting you. Cheers!

    • Your assumption is spot on Alexander.

      You should start doing affiliate marketing by the way 🙂

    • That is definitely the case, Alex, and thanks for stopping by to read and comment.

      I would only add that it’s so important that the affiliate trust the product and the person behind it. If there’s any “secret sauce” in the mix, that’s it. And it ain’t so secret when you look at the big winners in this field. 🙂

  • Great insights Anthony :).

    Your “bottom up” approach to getting good at this by starting as an affiliate yourself for someone else in your niche makes so much sense.

    I think its often really tempting to skip that step – but nothing can help you get better at knowing what attracts top affiliates than being one yourself.

    Looking forward to seeing where this journey takes you!

    • That’s exactly what my latest video is about Maximilian! All about starting with affiliate marketing day one so you learn what works: http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ready-affiliate-marketing/

      There really is no better way to learn what affiliates want than being one yourself.

    • Yes, I think moving from the “bottom up” is usually the quickest path, even if it seems the slowest from the base of the mountain. And I’m pretty sure a lot of those old masters getting lots of affiliate traffic to their products got their by being a team player first too.

      Thanks for stopping by to read and comment! 🙂

  • Assya

    Thanks for the great post

  • Assya

    Opps got cut off there – was going to say, thanks for the great post. What really gets me is the building relationships part – how do you know who to approach, how do you get someone committed, etc. But as you say, you need to keep trying!

  • You ran a GREAT launch. Inspired and proud of what you’ve accomplished. IGNITE!

    • Thanks John! That means so much coming from you bud 🙂

    • You did amazing stuff too – as ever. Really enjoying following the Mastery Journal launch now as well too.

      Congrats on so much amazing success. It’s going to improve the world so much and in so many ways! Awesome!

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