Wondering if you have what it takes to cut it as an affiliate? Read this to find out!
Pretty much anyone can become an affiliate marketer! Woohoo!
Despite the fact that it’s open to everyone, most people who try it fail. Doh!
There are a lot of reasons why people fail and only one reason they succeed.
If you’re looking for a quick fix, then affiliate marketing isn’t for you. It takes a lot of time, effort, practice and failures before you hit the home run and see your first profit. That’s what puts the majority of people off. People hate to lose money and with affiliate marketing, you will. At least to begin with. However, that’s a bit of a negative way of looking at it. So let’s look at it as an investment.
Investing in your future
See, doesn’t that sound a whole lot nicer than ‘lose loads of money in the hopes you’ll eventually get something back’? And that’s just the kind of positive attitude you’ll need if you want to succeed. It’s also a lot closer to the truth.
There are very few professions that you can start for free. If you want to learn to paint then you’ll need to buy stuff to do it with and that can be pretty expensive. Plus, the chances are you’ll need to take classes to learn the techniques to improve. It’s the same for almost every hobby or skill. So why would affiliate marketing be any different?
Successful affiliates don’t see their campaigns which lose money as failures. They see them as a lesson. Every time you see that something doesn’t work, you get another step closer to working out what does. You need the patience to succeed and you need positivity to maintain your patience. If you can keep calm and carry on, then you will make it.
Of course, there are also some practical skills you’ll need too. Some you may already have and other which you might not. Don’t worry though, they are all attainable and can be learned, you’ll just need a little…patience!
Computers! Have you tried turning them off and on again?
When it comes to Affiliate Marketing, you don’t need to be a wizard, but you do need to have at basic computer skills. After all, it is ‘online marketing’ and just gaining access to the internet requires some level of competence. However, if you’re reading this, then you can assume that you know what the internet is or at least that it exists. You’ll also know that clicking a link on one page will take you to another.
This might sound awfully simple, and you’d be right. However, understanding that is half of the battle when it comes to affiliate marketing. You know that you can go from one place to another using links. Now, you just have to figure out how to get others to do the same with yours.
That’s a little bit more tricky though. Because, while you might understand everything you see online, you might not know how it works. That’s what you need to find out! Here’s a quick list of computer stuff to learn to help you make your way in Affiliate Marketing:
Websites: How to create a domain and build a website. Sites like WordPress make this a lot easier. There are plenty of guides to help you get started and a lot of different options to choose from. However, if it’s your first website, start small and start simple.
Choose an easy-to-use theme that allows you to get your content in front of people. You can spend hours making your website look fancy, but if no one sees it you’ve wasted your time. So make sure you can get people to look at it, and gradually grow it as you go.
Email: This isn’t as easy as people think. Most common email providers will not allow you to send emails in bulk. So, if you are using email marketing, you’ll have to find a provider which suits your needs.
Social Media: Social Media platforms provide a great space for advertising. However, they also have a ton of rules and regulations that you’ll need to get acquainted with so that they don’t shut you down.
Sites like Facebook and YouTube have become a lot stricter in the past couple of years and now some of their restrictions seem arbitrary and borderline medieval. So, you need to try to learn their rules and try to abide while plugging your products.
Spreadsheets: Love them or hate them, spreadsheets are necessary for keeping all of your stats and data together in one easy place.
A lot of these things you can master as you go, so don’t use them as a reason to procrastinate about getting started. As with many things in life, you can read about it as much as you want, but the real experience and knowledge will come from getting your hands dirty.
Knowledge is Power!
Being knowledgeable about a subject never hurts, but being ignorant about your product might. If you are hoping to generate organic traffic rather then it pays to know what you’re talking about. Therefore, make sure you choose to promote offers that you understand and know a bit about. Remember, you can always learn, however, if the customer knows more than you then it’s going to make for a very difficult sell.
The reason that successful affiliates using organic traffic make their conversions is because they are able to provide value. If you want people to read your content and purchase products you advertise then you need to make their efforts worthwhile. If you don’t tell them anything that they didn’t already know then why would they be reading your blog?
Of course, some people will always know more than you but, if you know more than 75% of the people visiting your site, then that’s a lot people getting a lot of information and, as a result, you’ll find that the majority of your audience will trust you to help them out and provide useful advice.
If you have a bit of a budget, but lack knowledge, then you can hire people to help you with this but remember, if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys and monkeys won’t win you an audience…
Well not unless you’re promoting monkeys.
Should I worry about my level of English?
The answer to this is yes and no. It’s actually quite an interesting dilemma. More often than not, people who are highly skilled in English e.g. have a degree in English, have a habit of writing in an academic style, which will put a lot of people off. On the other hand, people who have zero knowledge of grammar are able to write in a much friendlier and more readable way.
There are a couple of things to do when writing for an audience. First and foremost, work out who your audience is and then do some research to find posts that they themselves have liked or even written. This will give you a good idea of the level you should be aiming at.
Next, try not to worry too much. Perfectly punctuated prose can annoy just as many people as poor punctuation. However, you do need to be able to get your ideas across in a meaningful way. One way to do this is to stick to your own personal style. It can be a bit daunting at first as it feels a bit like you’re wearing your heart on your sleeve, but that’s kinda what blogging is all about.
People read blogs because they want writing that has a human quality to it. Humans make mistakes, so don’t worry if your writing isn’t perfect. What’s most important is that your style doesn’t get in the way of the substance. This can be achieved by writing in a simple way. However, writing in a simple way is not easy and it takes practice, especially if you’ve had an education that teaches academic English.
Try to give your readers a welcome break from pompous texts with something they can easily digest by following these simple rules:
Don’t use long, overly complicated words
Keep your sentences short
Keep your paragraphs short
Try not to repeat information unless absolutely necessary.
Imagine you’re speaking to a child. Don’t be patronising, but express your ideas so that they will understand.
- Avoid overusing adjectives e.g. big, blue, old, new etc. and adverbs e.g. quickly, really, very etc. You don’t need to give people every tiny detail, that’s what imaginations are for! It’s important to consider the relevance and necessity of the language you use. For example, if you write about grass, is there any need to tell people it’s green? Not really, but if it were orange then it might be worth mentioning.
Adjectives and adverbs should be used to highlight differences from the norm, and not to verify the image already in people’s minds. (NB. this is a general rule and there are certain forms of writing when using lots of adjectives and adverbs works, but 99.9% of the time just they get in the way.
Use a spellchecker. Grammarly provides a great free service for quickly checking for spelling and syntax errors. A few mistakes are OK, but too many will put people off and reduce readability.
Practice describing things using verbs e.g. kick, write, win. This will have a massive impact on your writing. (We’ll go into this more in the future as it helps to distinguish between writing which tells and writing which shows and, in the world of advertising, you should try to show not tell your audience about products.)
Don’t worry if you don’t think your writing is great. If you can put together a logical sentence that contains information then you are already better than at least 50% of the people posting things online. All you need to do then is see what works and what doesn’t. Plenty of the world’s best bloggers are a long way off the skill set Shakespeare, but they know their audience and they can communicate with them.
Make it Happen
As we’ve already said, you actually have to make a move in order to get started and that really is the most important skill of all. Anyone can talk about what they are going to do, but only you can do it.
You could read hundreds of blog posts telling you how cold the sea is, but you won’t know for certain until you dive in. Affiliate marketing is no different. Therefore, find an offer and start trying to promote it. Start small and figure out how things work and get a feel for the industry and how it works. The experience of doing that alone is worth 1000 blog posts.
In the immortal words of Shia Labeouf