If you want to Become an affiliate marketer, learn marketing first!

Why you should learn marketing to be a successful affiliate marketer

Lately, from what I’ve been noticing, the interest in affiliate marketing is skyrocketing among young people who want to lead an authority-free life. Well, it’s not a bad thing, given that affiliate marketing, if planned and executed perfectly, can provide you with everything better than what your regular job does. But it’s not as straightforward as getting a link to a product, promoting it, and earning commissions worth thousands of dollars every week. 

Imagine if life would only be that easy!

I know more people who have failed (or given up, to be exact) than people who have succeeded with affiliate marketing. Like they say, “you can’t be self-employed if you aren’t disciplined,” you’ll most likely fail if you aren’t disciplined or don’t have the perfect amount of patience in the first place. Further, your discipline and patience are only helpful if you only understand the basics. But it doesn’t mean you can’t do it. 

This article aims to help young people understand the processes and the pitfalls of taking the unplanned affiliate marketing journey. So let’s begin with the basics.

Don’t waste too much time figuring out affiliate marketing! 

In simple terms, affiliate marketing is about promoting and selling a product or a service and earning a commission by doing so. Therefore, there’s nothing vast about it. It’s not rocket science but just a simple, digitized process. There are millions of products on the internet you can start promoting today and making money. But the devil’s in the details. Products don’t just sell because you want to sell them. We’ll talk about this later (as it’s the primary aim of this article), but you may want to know about the typical affiliate marketing process first. 

To begin with your affiliate marketing journey, you’ll need to find businesses that allow you to promote their products or services. Don’t worry! Almost every business today lets you promote their brand and will pay you commissions for successful conversions. But it’s better if you find an affiliate platform that connects you with businesses willing to partner with affiliates like you. Some of the leading examples of such platforms are Clickbank and Warrior plus. I’m not going to explain these things in detail here because you can find numerous articles on the internet that list and explain the best affiliate platforms out there. 

Once you get hold of the businesses willing to offer you commissions for every sale you make, you get your unique link (after simple registrations and sign-ups), providing you with agreed commissions if someone clicks on it and makes a purchase. There you go. Sounds straightforward, innit? But is it as simple as promoting a link and getting paid in thousands? Certainly not! If you make a sprint without a plan and destination, you’ll more likely burn out quickly and quit even before scratching the surface. 

But allocate a reasonable amount of time planning and understanding the process

Getting affiliate hoplinks (the links you’ll be promoting to earn a commission) isn’t a big deal, but making sales out of it is.  

Most articles out there make affiliate marketing look like an effortless process anyone can nail in a matter of days. They just explain how you can achieve the links and start promoting. But your real task begins once you get the links. And if you have zero knowledge of marketing, your destination is only frustration, my friend. 

Yes, there’s a lot of money in marketing. No agency would survive, and no celebrity would live the life they live if there were no money in it. But all this money is only reserved for those who can convert. In my opinion, only two types of people can successfully make such conversions: people who have established their name in a specific field, such as celebrities, influencers, etc., and people who can market. You don’t have any other choice than to become the latter because you won’t be landing here otherwise. 

Your primary focus should be about converting the products you’re promoting, and at the same time, making sure you’re aiming for the long term. So there should be a mix of good marketing knowledge, the right product, and honesty for successful long-term affiliate marketing.

The marketing basics you should know before diving in 

For your affiliate links to convert, they should first be visible to your audience. Everything else comes after that. Well, you might be thinking you can promote your links by commenting randomly on various social media groups and forums. While it can accidentally produce some results initially, it’s not a sustainable method to build your profile and business. Further, most people don’t click the random links because they don’t find them safe. However, it doesn’t mean you should give up on such activities. But you should understand, plan, and focus on more reliable methods of marketing that’ll establish you as a successful affiliate marketer in the long run.

Digital marketing is the marketing mainstream today. Therefore, marketing is not only very cheap but more effective than ever. You must have heard a lot about the standard marketing terms of today, such as SEO, content marketing, social media marketing, PPC campaigns, etc., as numerous articles on the internet explain these terms in detail. I have tried to define digital marketing differently in this article. So give it a visit if you’re interested. But I’m not here to repeat all the explanations thousands of marketers like me have already done. Instead, I’m here to be specific about the basics of effective marketing for a successful affiliate marketing career. 

Here are the essential points you should consider  

  • Customers have the upper hand. Therefore, they only prefer marketers who they trust.
  • If you can be organically visible on the search engine results page, it will help you sustain for years. 
  • Digital marketing is a long and steady process. Therefore, you can’t be successful without consistency and patience.  

Successful affiliate marketing begins with a niche   

Many people think affiliate marketing is just promoting the links of the products. Therefore, they promote each and everything they get hold of only to get frustrated with disappointing results in no time. There’s a reason why even the most prominent corporations don’t invest in everything regardless of what amount of capital they have. And there are quite a few examples of failures, such as Colgate lasagna and Apple pippin. If you want to know about failed products of the biggest corporations throughout history, visit the Museum of Failure.    

Finding your niche is the first and foremost important step of your affiliate marketing journey. To market it properly,  you should understand the products and the target customers. There are many good products in the market, but they aren’t as appealing to the customers because they aren’t promoted to the right audience correctly. You can tap into that opportunity and ensure handsome income if you market them correctly. 

Locking a niche is important because 

  • Being consistent with one niche is more likely to give you the results and help you establish yourself as an affiliate marketer.       
  • You’ll never have time and resources to promote everything to everyone. For instance, if it takes you a hundred-mile walk to succeed, you’ll want to take one product and walk with it, rather than taking a hundred and walking ten miles. 
  • Focusing on one niche will allow you to understand your market better, which will help you create effective marketing strategies that convert better. 

Your profile is more important than what you sell

The most successful affiliate marketers are the ones who people trust. Therefore, no matter what they sell, people buy them. But this doesn’t mean they sell bad products — maintaining trust is another crucial element for success. Therefore as a beginner, you should focus more on building your profile than urging people to click on your pasted links. There are various ways, such as Youtube channels, Blogs, Social platforms, that can help you build your profile. You’re just one Google search away to know in detail about such methods if you’re still unaware of them. However, the most important thing is the content you create (which I want to discuss here). 

Winning the trust of your audience solely depends on what kind of content you create. In other words, if you want to win the trust of your customers, you should solve their problems. To be fair, it shouldn’t be a big deal if you honestly work on it. Now you might argue that you’re no expert, so how can you solve your audience’s problems? What if I say you can help people without being an expert. All you need to do is research more than an average person. People want information, but they aren’t just active enough to do the hard work, which is nothing more than spending a reasonable amount of time surfing the internet with the right keywords. 

If you frequently read books and get yourself updated with the latest information, you can help thousands of people who don’t. And it goes like this: find a niche, research, get yourself updated with new information, and create regular content based on what you know. Then, people will start noticing and following you. If your content helps them, you have their trust. Now promote your affiliate products and enjoy better conversion.  

The bitter truth

Many people get lured by YouTube videos and blogs that falsely promote get-rich-quick affiliate marketing methods. They dive in without understanding the primary factors and give up early as the reality fails to meet their expectation. The truth for every marketing, even as straightforward as copying and pasting a link and earning a few dollars with every single visit, is that you need a substantial number of audiences who trust you to succeed. There are thousands of methods that will make you money, but everything is useless if you don’t have people to click and convert. Therefore, the most important thing in marketing is building an audience that trusts you. To do that, you’ll have to feed them with a regular supply of valuable content through your blog, Youtube video, Pinterest pin, etc.    

Here’s the more bitter truth:

  • It’s very unlikely that you’ll make money in the first couple of months of your affiliate marketing journey. However, if you want to make instant money on internet, you can opt for micro jobs. This blog may help you on it.
  • Trying to do certain things for free will not be as efficient and effective in most cases. 
  • If you’re willing to do business, don’t be afraid to invest. Your life can take a better turn with a few hundred bucks. It doesn’t cost you an arm or a leg. 

To summarize: 

Before diving in

  • Find and lock a niche.
  • Create a website. (Bluehost provides you with the most efficient website options.) 
  • Create a Youtube channel. There are various methods you can create youtube content without showing your face. However, you may need to work harder on SEO and Content consistency to make it visible in front of your customers. If you’re okay to spend a few bucks for effective channel growth, subscribe to Videly. This tool will do everything for you to help grow your channels (in terms of SEO).
  • Create a TikTok channel. You can organically grow on TikTok better than on YouTube these days. 
  • Be active on social media platforms (especially Pinterest and Quora) 
  • Create helpful content consistently on all channels.
  • Start promoting affiliate products.  
  • If you’re okay with spending some money on marketing tools, try Unbounce. It’ll help you create beautiful landing pages efficiently.    

Affiliate marketing doesn’t change your life the time you decide to do it. But it certainly will if you understand how it works in detail, so you’ll plan and execute the right strategy. But you’ll have to be consistent and patient along the way.

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