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A QUICK GUIDE TO THE REALITY OF AFFILIATE MARKETING - HOW TO START AND WHAT (NOT) TO EXPECT

Monday, 10 October 2016

A QUICK GUIDE TO THE REALITY OF AFFILIATE MARKETING - HOW TO START AND WHAT (NOT) TO EXPECT 

 

Affiliate marketing is a very particular niche. If you’ve never tried it or don’t know an affiliate who can eloquently explain what it is – there is a huge chance you have no idea what it is or how it works. 

That’s just how it is. 

In this article, we want to avoid all the false advertising connected to affiliate marketing. We want to correct all the established half-truths and misconceptions that hurt the industry and present it in an unrealistic light. 

So, let’s get rid of the mystery and explain the reality of working as an affiliate marketer.  

 

MISCONCEPTIONS

 

Before we continue, let’s first clear up some misconceptions.

There is a ton of advertising material out there posing to represent the truth about the affiliate marketing business. This only seemingly looks like an explanation of how this job looks like but if you look closely, you will see it is only a marketing trick meant to lure you in. This, of course, is quite understandable because as marketers, it is our job to get people interested enough to try something new. It’s a trick of the trade.

Sadly, most of these articles only offer shallow promises like: “it’s the easiest job in the world”, “you can earn millions in no time”, “you don’t have to work at all” etc.

This simply is not true and these incorrect statements only represent this job and the whole industry in a false, counterproductive light. Not only that, they also produce some very dangerous, false expectations. 

This is a real shame for two reasons:  

1. Affiliate marketing is a great job! It has so many really great perks: it allows independence, it can be very lucrative, you can do it from home etc.

2. Due to these false expectations (making a lot of money fast and with no effort) – many people quit before they start or before they really even try!

So, now that we have these out of the way, let’s quickly walk you through the real nature of this business. 

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HOW TO START 

Starting in affiliate marketing is the easiest part of it. It is only a matter of choice and if you chose to go the easier way, it really is extremely simple and almost anyone can start. It can be as simple as signing up to any web page on the internet. 

There are basically two options. 

First, the harder option, is to choose the site or product you want to promote and go directly to the company and try to make a deal.

For example - you like a certain poker website, you play on it and believe it’s great. You think you could promote it well and get more people to use it. So, you write to that poker room and ask if they want to make a deal. All these sites have their affiliate programs and in the end, you will get their permission and the details of your deal (how much you will earn, under what conditions, what promotion material to use etc.). This, of course, is just a start. 

The second, easier option is to go to an already established affiliate network (like PAW). Affiliate networks are companies deeply rooted in the business. Usually, they are established by very successful and experienced affiliates and they already have a variety of offers you can choose from. You don’t need to choose only one product (for example – only one poker room) so you have more options than in the first case. 

There are actually many benefits to going to an affiliate network. 

It is not only easier to start. Affiliate networks are usually more determined to help you succeed. Remember, unlike the poker rooms whose main focus is different, for affiliate networks – helping you to success is their only job and it is in their best interest that you succeed.

Affiliate network managers will provide you with all kinds of assistance and support. They will purposely guide you through the trials and tribulations, give you advice and help you in any way they can. 

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CHOOSING AN AFFILIATE PROGRAM 

Choosing a right affiliate program is a very important step because there are two important factors to have in mind:

  • Choosing a product you believe in and you think you can promote well.
  • Details of the affiliate program (terms of the deal). 

The first point is simple and self-explanatory but for the second point - it is important to note that there are several kinds of deals (gross revenue deals, CPA’s, pay per click, hybrid deals etc.) and choosing wisely is very important.  

Bear in mind that the deals you can find on a good affiliate network are usually better than the ones you can make yourself using the first option. The reason for this is the fact that these affiliate networks are companies that have been in the business for a long time and have earned a special, sometimes exclusive connection to many of the sites and products they are promoting.

For example, if you suddenly became successful and started earning a lot of money for yourself and for a specific program you choose, the company you are promoting would suddenly see you as a valuable asset and you would be able to negotiate a better deal than the people who are not equally successful. It is quite simple actually.

WHAT COMES NEXT – THE WORK ITSELF

What does the affiliate marketer actually do? Answering this question is difficult because there are so many ways affiliates can do the work, promote the products and ultimately - earn money.

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What it basically comes down to is – promotion. 

Affiliate marketers job is to get as many people to sign up and/or use the products they signed up to promote. How you do this is basically up to you. This is the reason this question is so difficult to answer clearly. As long as you get the results, you can basically do anything that achieves this goal. Most affiliates do it over the internet but you can also go door to door like a traveling salesman (not necessarily recommended). 

There is a myriad of ways to use the internet for this purpose. Most people that work in affiliate marketing have their own website. They use the popularity of their website to generate traffic to the product they are promoting. Many of them create content for the specific purpose of promoting these products and actively engage in their promotion. 

This is the key – to actively engage. Putting up a banner on a dead traffic website and expecting a result will not get you anywhere. 

The beauty of this job is that there are so many ways you can do it. It is almost impossible to list all the ways people do it. Just to get you closer to the idea, here are some examples: 

Online Advertising is one of the more common ways affiliate marketers use their resources to get to customers. If you are already going in this direction, we recommend checking out our bloggers guide to affiliate marketing programsPeople who do this usually have a modest to high traffic website they maintain. This allows them to use the popularity of their site to direct the traffic to their partners’ site as well as to promote the product through the websites content. A good combination.

Promoting through your own business is also quite common. Whether you are producing and/or selling your own product, affiliate marketing just gives you an additional option to fall back on. It is a safety net that can often be more lucrative than the initial business it was tied to.

Many young affiliate marketers also use Video/Audio content creation and streaming. Whether it is YouTube, Twitch, music or podcast, this is one of the best ways to get success in affiliate marketing. Check out our article on using Twitch.tv for affiliate marketing.

Actually, using all kinds of social media as a promotion platform is usually a must in all cases. Here, you can find a guide on using Twitter for affiliate marketing.

Poker players and coaches also make great affiliate marketers! Check out our article on why poker players and coaches should immediately start their own business.

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HOW MUCH MONEY CAN YOU EARN?

You could earn a lot or no money at all. It all comes down to you, your skill, your ability, industriousness and determination. 

We know people from both sides. The ones that earn a lot often work (or used to work) a lot. Then ones that make little or no money are almost always just not dedicated enough and always have false expectations (get rich overnight, fast and with no effort). 

If you’ve never done this, estimating your success in the beginning is very hard so it all comes down to trying. What we do know and what we can tell you is that - once you are on the right track, once you find your way - there is almost no limit on how much you can earn.

There you go. We have covered the basics, cleared up some common misconceptions and gave you some words of advice. For futher reference, check out some other useful posts from the PAW blog and sign up to become a PAW affiliate.

 

ANSWERS TO 5 MOST IMPORTANT QUESTIONS ABOUT ONLINE POKER AFFILIATION

4 COMMON AFFILIATE MARKETING MISTAKES YOU CAN EASILY AVOID

WORKING FROM HOME - WHAT IS IT, WHERE IS IT GOING AND HOW TO DO IT RIGHT

 

 

 

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