Affiliate marketing is here to stay and it can be a huge part of your business. It is not a fad. It is not an afterthought. And it can be massively profitable for you. Here are five more reasons why you should get started with it today.
1. No Barrier to Entry
Let’s say you want to release a course about improving your golf swing.
To create a halfway decent course you would need the following:
- A video camera
- A course outline
- A lot of time to record the course
- Someone to create and edit course materials or a lot of time to DIY
- Someone to create sales materials or a lot of time to DIY
In other words, you need a lot of time and/or money.
To promote a course about improving your golf swing as an affiliate you need the following:
- Internet access
And I’m pretty sure you have that already.
You can literally sign-up today to promote affiliate offers and begin promoting them tomorrow. With no cost to you and a minimal investment of time.
Try that with your own course.
2. No “Hidden” Costs
Here’s the often overlooked truth about creating your own courses:
You don’t make as much as you think you will.
Don’t get me wrong…I am a big fan of creating courses and products. That’s why I’ve created so many already with more on the way. But there are “hidden” costs that most people don’t think about. Such as:
- Affiliate commissions (30-50%)
- Affiliate prizes (5-15%)
- Credit card processing (2-3%)
- Course software or hosting (2-10%)
- Customer service reps (3-7%)
- Video production (2-10%)
- Copywriting, sales pages, tech people, and more…
Even on the low end, these typically added up to more than 50% of the revenue.
Affiliate marketing, on the other hand, costs you virtually nothing, so your 30-50% commission is yours to keep, with no surprises.
3. Reciprocal Relationships
In part one, I mentioned that affiliate marketing allows you to connect with other online marketers promoting the same products. Another benefit is that if you do well promoting someone, they will often promote you as well.
It doesn’t always work out that way. Sometimes a true reciprocal promotion is not possible (but there are other ways to return the favor). But, more often than not, people want to help those who’ve helped them.
IMPORTANT TIP: Don’t promote something only because that person might promote you. Only promote things that are a good fit for your audience.
4. No Risk
If you set out to create a physical product, there is an inherent risk. Even creating an online course has a certain level of risk.
Much of your expenses are front-end expenses, meaning you pay them whether you make any money or not.
With affiliate marketing, on the other hand, you typically have little front-end expenses (or none at all).
There is literally no risk at all to promoting affiliate offers.
Oh, but I hear you saying (or at least thinking), “but Matt, what about people who unsubscribe from my list?”
OK, I get that line of thinking…because I felt that way once. But it’s just not a reasonable fear.
If someone unsubscribes from your list because you promoted something to them, who cares? Email list size is a vanity number only. It means nothing once you get past about 1000 people.
I’ve known plenty of people who have lists under 5,000 people who are making close to seven-figures.
You are running a business, not a feel-good charity. Your objective is to make money. And only people who buy something make you money. If you don’t like that harsh reality, you might want to find another line of work.
Your potential buyers are not going to unsubscribe because you offered them something of value that might be a good fit for them. They are much more likely to buy the affiliate offer than unsubscribe, so even if you do lose one potential buyer, you make up for it with the affiliate commissions worth 5-10 times more than they were.
5. Affiliate Marketing Teaches You How to Sell
I’ve often told the story of the first $586 I made from this blog. It was in 2014 and I promoted Michael Hyatt’s 5 Days to Your Best Year Ever (you can, too here).
My goal was to sell two courses. Two!
Despite such an unambitious goal, I gave it my best effort. I blogged about it, shared it on social media, emailed about it, and in the end…I sold eight courses. I sold four times my goal!
I was, of course, ecstatic. But I also learned a ton along the way.
I learned what worked and what didn’t work with my audience. I learned how to sell with confidence. I learned how to segment my list better.
Even though this initial affiliate promotion qualified as a success, I made a ton of rookie mistakes. In my next promotion, I fixed some of those.
One year later, I made nearly $14,000 in commissions from Michael’s launch. Then next year I made $19,991. All from that seed of $586.
As a result of that first promotion, I’ve now made more than $200,000 in affiliate commissions in the past three years. And I’ve learned how to sell my own products and services better.
Learn to sell others’ product and selling your own stuff will seem easy. That’s one benefit of affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing allowed me to practice selling online, without depending on my own product sales. And I get paid to practice!
Continue the Series
Which of these five reasons excites you the most about affiliate marketing?