The benefits of affiliate marketing might seem obvious. You make money. You serve your audience. But what about the not-so-obvious benefits. Today, I’ll share the surprising benefits of affiliate marketing with you…and once you know them, it just might revolutionize your business!
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Surprising Benefits of Affiliate Marketing Pt. 1
The benefits of affiliate marketing might seem obvious, you make money, you serve your audience, but what about the not-so-obvious benefits? Today I’ll share the surprising benefits of affiliate marketing with you. And once you know them, it might just revolutionize your business. So maybe you’re just like me for more than two years. I was up at 5:00 AM, six days a week. I publish new content every day. I was spending money left and right on hosting email systems and all that stuff. And I’d made exactly ZERO dollars.
I said that I had a business, but what I really had was an expensive hobby. And the weird thing about this, like the funny thing about this, is I knew all about one of the easiest ways to start monetizing my blog, affiliate marketing.
I mean, I worked with some of the top brands in the world. I worked with Shutterfly and Adidas on their affiliate programs.
And worked with top entrepreneurs like Michael Hyatt, Ray Edwards, Jeff Goins, and yet I’d never really done it myself. And so for me, and I talked about this in the last episode, I was ready to give up. It was draining my time, my energy, my money, I just was ready to give up on my blog.
I was done. I wasn’t monetizing. I was done. That’s when I did my first affiliate promotion. I was promoted just I had taught others to do for more than a decade. And it worked, I made $588 in that first promotion. My list was like 800 people. I proved to myself that I could do it. Right. I could actually make money with my blog. I didn’t even need a product to do it.
And so over the next two years, I made more than $134,000 in affiliate commissions. I finished in the top 10, some affiliate competitions. I even want a small one. This is way back when, when I was like, I won an affiliate competition. I can’t believe it.
I did that with a list that was never larger than about 2000 to 2300 people. And for years I had seen what top affiliates are doing. I’d seen the power of affiliate marketing and I wasn’t taking advantage of the opportunity right in front of me. I didn’t have a product, but I did have a big problem because I was losing money in affiliate marketing.
Now that $134,000, that might seem like the most obvious benefit to affiliate marketing, but actually has 21 more benefits that you might not have even thought of.
These are the surprising or hidden benefits of affiliate marketing that can help all areas of your online business. And over the next few episodes, I’m going to share what they are. Before I share the first seven or so today, if you’re looking for affiliate programs to promote, check out Mattmcwilliams.com/whatsup. We have all of our recommended affiliate programs and launches on there so that you can keep up with those. We’re constantly updating this list and, and putting new programs on there. So it’s Mattmcwilliams.com/whatsup. We just added Bobby Klinck’s legal templates, which is perfect if your audience is building websites or starting an affiliate program, or starting a podcast.
If you have course creators, coaches, membership, site owners, people like that, we just added the virtual summit formula. This is the training for learning how to run a profitable virtual summit with our clients, Jason and Cecilia Hilkey. They’ve run multiple hundred thousand attendee summits, and they’ll show your audience how they can do the same.
Trevor Blattner is redefining the top 1% book launch. So this is a great funnel. Hundreds of dollars in commissions with each order, from a book, that’s going to show your audience how to enhance their personal performance in a leadership capacity through his step-by-step evidence-based behaviors.
These are all three of our clients. Plus, we’ve got some non-clients there. All of our recommended affiliate programs, check those out Mattmcwilliams.com/whatsup. We’ll put the link in the show notes as well.
So why should you start affiliate marketing right now? Like I said, I’ve got 21 reasons for you that we’re gonna be sharing over the next few episodes. And it starts with number one that you can start monetizing right now.
Start monetizing immediately right now, selling your own products takes a lot of time. You got to learn what people want. You got to package the product. If it’s either physically or digitally, right? You got to create the marketing materials. It takes a lot of time, a lot of time.
Unlike your products, however, you can start monetizing your platform from day one. That’s exactly what I did. As I said, I made more than $134,000 in affiliate commissions before I ever sold a single thing of my own. That’s a lot of money that didn’t require a lot of planning, didn’t require money in advance or didn’t really require a lot of work to be honest with you. With affiliate marketing, you can literally start today making money. You don’t need a product of your own. You don’t need a huge audience to justify selling something.
Number two, there’s no barrier to entry. There’s no barrier to entry. If you want to create a course, I’m looking at a thing on my desk here about golf.
So we’ll just go with that. If you’re creating a course about how to have a better golf swing, you gotta have a video camera. You got to create a course outline. You have to create the time to record the course and take it.
You have to edit the course materials or hire somebody to do it. You got to create the sales materials or DIY, you got to have a lot of time or money or both really. If you were going to promote someone else’s course about the golf swing as an affiliate, all you need is internet access. That’s it. You can literally sign up today to start promoting affiliate offers and begin promoting them tomorrow. No cost to you in a minimal investment of time. And this applies. I share this because even if you’ve been around for a while, anytime you’re entering a new niche, you want to test something out, use affiliate marketing to test it out. We’ll talk more about that in some of the other reasons.
Third, it’s easy to scale. Affiliate marketing has such a low barrier to entry. It is much easier to scale.
You want to make more money, add a few more promotions. It’s really that simple. You don’t have to add more staff. You don’t have to buy new tools. You just do a little bit more promotion and you make more money with your own stuff. Like say, you have a course, right? If you double your sales, you’ll probably need to add another customer service person.
If you let’s say you have a community, if you double your sales, you have to add a community manager. You need a tech guru to manage everything along the way, you’ll need even more people to make it all work. Unlike other parts of your business, affiliate marketing generally scales at the rate of your email list or your blog, traffic growth, or your social media following, right?
The more people you have, the more commissions you make. Very simple. You increase your commissions, you increase your sales without any extra effort. That’s pretty freaking awesome. I’ve often heard one of the things about, again, I’m not against having your own stuff. We use affiliate marketing as we’ll talk about it in the upcoming episodes to learn how to promote your own stuff. But one of the little misconceptions is, I know when our business went from half a million to a million to $2 million. I didn’t make an astronomical lot more money. In fact, personally, when we went from 300,000 a year to a million to 2 million, I mean that’s seven times more money. I think I made twice as much. And it’s not huge, like a dramatic increase, right?
Because as we increased our sales, we needed more people to do this and more people to do this and more people to do this and that and that and that and there were a lot of costs. There’s not really a lot of, we’ll talk about this in number five, but it’s really easy to scale affiliate marketing. There’s not a lot of hidden costs.
Number four, no fulfillment required. This is what I love the most. When you make an affiliate sale, you don’t have to do anything unless you’re offering bonuses and you should be. If you go to mattmcwilliams.com/affbonuses, I’ll share why and how you should create bonuses. But you don’t have to do anything like there’s nothing left to do. Once the sale is made.
The product owner handles all the fulfillment. So you don’t have to send any emails. You don’t have to process refunds, you don’t have to reset log-ins, no live calls to do and all that stuff like you get to serve your tribe without all the hassle. And I love that. So there’s no fulfillment required.
Fifth. There are no hidden costs. No hidden costs. This is what I just touched on, right? This is like the often-overlooked truth about creating your own products or courses you don’t make as much as you think you will. Don’t get me wrong. I’m a huge fan of creating courses and products, right? That’s why I’ve created so many already. And I’ve got more on the way, But there are these hidden costs that most people don’t think about. Well, you’ve got to pay the affiliate commissions. If you’ve got affiliates, that can be 30 to 50%. Let’s just go 40% there, the industry standard. You’ve got affiliate prizes, which will count for another 5 to 15%. So we’ll just say 10%.
So now you’re at 50%, you got the credit card processing. That’s going to cost you about 3%, 53%. Now you’ve got the core software, the course hosting for us. That’s usually going to be about 1 or 2%, but now we’re at 54, 55%. You got customer service reps. Typically that’ll cost us anywhere from 3, 4%. So now what we have is 54, 57%.
You’ve got video production. Typically that’ll cost us around 2 to 10%, depending upon how many you sell, but let’s just go with 3%. So now we’re at 60%, right? Plus the copywriting, the sales page, the tech people, all that stuff, right? Easily, more than 50% of your revenue can immediately go out the window.
Sometimes. if you’ve got, say a million-dollar launch, it can be 65%. If you get a $2 million launch, it usually will drop down to 60, a $5 million launch it’ll drop down 55, but still, if you’re running a million-dollar launch, 65% of your money has gone. Affiliate marketing on the other hand costs you virtually nothing the 50% commission it’s yours to keep.
So imagine this you’re promoting, let’s use the 40% number. You get to keep all 40%. So it’s like, Oh, I made a hundred sales of this $2,000 product. I’ll just use round numbers and say that’s 800 bucks. So a hundred sales would be $80,000 versus selling $200,000 of your own stuff. And 65% going out the window, you make $70,000.
You make more from the affiliates now, that’s not true. Typically when you get into the millions, but you’re probably not going to sell $5 million worth of an affiliate product versus $5 million of your own. But still, you get the idea there. There are no hidden costs. You know that if you say you made $10,000, you made $10,000, right?
Six there’s no risk. If you set out to create a physical product, there is an inherent risk. All right. Even the physical product, I know because I’ve got shelves of stuff that I’ve never sold before. I’ve got a friend of mine. His wife hasn’t been able to park in the garage for three years. because he got boxes of stuff. Right? But even an online course has a certain level of risk. A lot of these expenses, you’re going to have are front-end expenses. So you’re going to pay those expenses whether or not you make any money or not. So a moment ago I talked about hiring customer service reps and things like that.
Those are incremental expenses. You probably don’t need a customer service rep if you’re only gonna have 50 sales, right? Your credit card processing is an incremental thing. That’s a 3% cost. You make one sale of a thousand dollar course. You’re gonna pay 30 bucks. But if you make a hundred sales, you’re going to pay $3,000. Right.
But a lot of these things include video production, copywriting, the tech side of things like setting up the funnel, hosting software, and things like that. That’s front-end expenses. You will pay those expenses even if you don’t make a dime,
Affiliate marketing, on the other hand, typically has no front-end expenses. Maybe I don’t know what you might have. You might have one. There’s really none. So there’s literally no risk at all to promoting affiliate offers. No risk at all. Now the only risk that people sometimes think is like, what about unsubscribes? Right?
Well, if I promote affiliate offers, my unsubscribes are going to go up because I’m promoting these outside things like I get it right. I get that line of thinking because I felt that way once too. Right? It’s just not a reasonable fear. If someone unsubscribes from your list because you promoted something to them, who cares?
Email list, size of vanity number, right? Once you get past about a thousand people, I mean, I know 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, okay? Your objective is to make money. And only people who buy something make you money. That’s it. People who don’t buy stuff, don’t 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, maybe somebody unsubscribes that would have bought something of yours down the road, you more than makeup for, with the affiliate commissions. So let’s just say you lose one buyer, okay? Maybe it’s probably not accurate. You got 40 people that buy the affiliate offer. You made a lot more money. Like it’s totally worth losing that one buyer.
So really there’s no risk to promoting affiliate offers. Whether it be the front-end expenses or the losing subscribers.
Seventh, there’s no customer service. Here’s how affiliate marketing works. Step one, you make the sale. Step two, you are done. That’s it. Don’t get me wrong. I mean, I said this before, please do not misunderstand me.
I want you to have your own products. Having your own products is great. It’s why we’ve created. We have 20 products. Okay. It’s smart. It’s very profitable, but they’re also a lot of headaches. Okay? Headaches that you don’t have with affiliate promotions. I can handle those headaches now because I have a team to handle them.
There was a period of time where we were kind of transitioning. We were bringing on team members, but I was still kind of handling some of the stuff and they were headaches. Like this book didn’t get to them. Why? Because I live in Indiana and we were shipping them from Indiana to the Indianapolis post office is a joke.
It’s notorious, something like a quarter of all the packages lost in the United States were lost through Indianapolis last year. And it’s some absurd stat like that. They’re losing 1% of all the mail. And so when people aren’t getting the books that sucks, but you don’t have to deal with that as an affiliate.
I love serving customers. We do our best to super-serve everyone we come in contact with, our buyers, everybody on our list, we want to super-serve you. But sometimes it’s nice to sell something and not have to worry about log-in issues. Well, this video is not working because I’m on a windows 98 machine. Don’t be on Windows 98.
Well, my credit card doesn’t work or rude customers. Not you. You’re cool. But we do have some rude customers. And so I love one aspect about affiliate promotions is that there’s no customer service. So to recap, number one, you can start monetizing immediately. You can start making money today. Number two, no barrier to entry.
There’s nothing holding you back. You’ve got internet access. How else are you listening to this? Number three, it’s easy to scale, you want more money, you do more promotions. Number four, no fulfillment required. Number five, there’s no hidden costs. Especially those front-end costs, which means no risk. Number six, there’s no risk to promoting affiliate offers. Number seven, no customer service.
We’ll cover the next seven in the next episode. And I’m excited to share those with you. We’re going to talk a little bit more about how it teaches you, how to sell and things like that to get you ready to promote your own offers. And if you’re looking for those affiliate promotions as I mentioned, just go to Mattmcwilliams.com/whatsup. We’ll put that link in the show notes, along with some of the other links I mentioned today, Mattmcwilliams.com/whatsup. We’ve got all of our recommended affiliate programs there. So go check those out and I’ll see you in the next episode. Thank you so much for listening today.
Remember to check out all of our deep dives into affiliate marketing at theaffiliateguy.TV. And if you have a question, ask at, asktheaffiliateguy.com. Who knows, maybe you will even be featured on an upcoming episode. And lastly, if you haven’t yet make sure to leave a rating and review wherever you’re listening to this episode. See you soon.