The Affiliate Marketing Startup

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Author: Janine Prone

Three Simple Steps To A Successful Affiliate Marketing Website

What does it take to build a successful affiliate site?

What’s the secret to the success of all these affiliate bloggers that generate huge incomes from their affiliate marketing websites?

I’m afraid i’m going to have to disappoint you today. There is no secret sauce or special formula to getting great results with affiliate marketing. What it really takes it a good dose on consistency and determination. Consistency is one of the most important things in your business, you must stick with one thing and keep grinding away until you start seeing some concrete results.

Here are some things that will help you to build a successful affiliate marketing website:

Great Content

It goes without saying that content is the most important thing in your blog. It’s what sells the customer and get’s them to click onto the affiliate links you have. Without good content, you won’t have an affiliate marketing business.

Focus on creating amazing content that your readers will love. Make it so good that they feel compelled to share the content. Offer information that isn’t just recycled. Actually do your own research and bring something fresh to the table.

Actionable content, case studies and how to articles tend to work best. Thing about how your content is going to benefit your visitors life and make adjustments based on that frame.

By creating amazing content, you will lay the foundations for a successful affiliate marketing website.

Use Sexy Website Design

It isn’t 2001 anymore. Yet the number of websites that still look like they came from the dark ages is staggering.

You don’t even need to spend money to have a decent looking website. Aesthetics have never been more important on a website. Personally, I immediately hit the back button if the website is ugly, no matter how good the content is!

If you want to do well online in 2017, it is absolutely crucial for you to have a beautiful website that inspires confidence and trust in your brand.

There really is no excuse for not having an aesthetically pleasing website nowadays. Stick WordPress on the domain and install a free theme. It literally takes two minutes to do this and will make a world of difference!

Opt-In Forms

You’ve probably heard the saying, “the money is in the list”. This is something that has come about because of the power of email marketing. By getting people to sign up to your list, you have a platform to continue to provide value and build quality relationships with your subscribers. This will help you rapidly increase your profits.

Saying this is all well and good but in reality, implementing attractive opt-in forms and high-converting landing pages on a website is something that a lot of affiliate find quite difficult to do.

You can build your list fast by following two fundamental principles:

  • Create an attractive lead magnet that will entice your readers to subscribe.
  • Create beautiful opt-in forms and landing pages that convert. Ideally, you want to be using professional landing page builders that have pre-made templates for you as this makes it a lot easier to build great landing pages.

What Is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate Marketing: The process of earning commissions by promoting other company’s products or services.

You choose a company that you enjoy, promote it to potential customers, convert the visitors to customers, earn a piece of the profit for everything you sell.

You, the affiliate marketer makes commissions, the company is satisfied because they have new customers from outlets they may have not been able to target, and the customer is happy because you solved a problem or fulfilled a desire from your recommendation.

The most attractive aspect to affiliate marketing is that the person can become a successful entrepreneur without having to create and design a product, deal with customers, or literally any of the other stresses in a business. An affiliate marketer just begins selling as soon as they have a platform and appropriate audience to market to. Simple.

Affiliate marketing is something I discovered a few years back when I wanted to start an online business. This was an awesome platform for my previous situation of having little savings and big dreams of being a successful entrepreneur. I discovered some great affiliate marketing training and promoted all kinds of companies in the online business niche from landing page platforms, website creation companies, online courses etc.

The Two Most Important Rules I Have for Affiliate Marketing

Before I go on to explain all the strategies to become a successful affiliate marketer, there are a few rules I abide by when promoting products and services that are not mine. These are just a few things that helped me become a successful affiliate as well as growing a positive reputation for myself.

I only recommend products that I have used, been a customer of, and support. I prefer promoting products and services that I have used and helped solve a problem that I had. If I’m not 100% sure about the company, I won’t promote them.

I never tell anyone to buy anything. I will usually just mention the products and recommend it and explain my experience with it. If people connect to it, and want to experience the things that I have, then they will buy. No need to push anything on anyone.

Moral of the story, being an honest affiliate will pay off in the end. When you are recommending quality products, reviewing the honestly, and giving them the option to check it out instead of shoving it down their throats will help in the long run. Trust me.

Affiliate Marketing Basic Strategies:

Dominate ONE Industry 

Don’t fall into the hype and try to sell a hundred things at once. The best strategy when picking products to be an affiliate for is picking one niche, building a killer authority and focus on one aspect of an industry. Then dominate it.

Reach the Epitome of Content

Creating the most value for your website visitors is having the best content in the industry. One of the greatest things about being an affiliate marketer is the ability to act quickly and provide value with content marketing compared to established brands who can’t be so agile.

Make goals of publishing insane content as often as possible. Each piece of content should inform customers on updated information, different angels on a topic, and fresh personality that your visitors will love.

(Btw, Google loves when you provide more value than everyone else in the industry. You’ll be rewarded in rankings.)

Create Recurring Income from Your Affiliate Sales

Everything involved with online business is constantly changing, and as an affiliate, you’re going to want to ensure that your whole business doesn’t become irrelevant because of the rapid changes online.

The two ways to ensure a recurring income is by diversifying your affiliate programs and building your recurring income.

Try avoiding one time pay-offs. They won’t protect you against major changes in your company. This may not be an available option in every industry, but having a recurring revenue in your will give you a peace of mind that no matter what happens, you’ll receive a certain amount of income per month.

Diversify Your Traffic Source

Speaking of having a secured income, relying on a single traffic source can be dangerous because of how much Google continues to change their algorithms.

Remember in 2011 when a bunch of successful affiliate marketers woke up knowing that they were going to go out of businesses in a matter of days because of Google’s release of the Panda update.

Having multiple sources of traffic will ensure that your business is strong no matter what happens. If Google releases an update that hurts your company and you have Pinterest, Facebook, and guest posts that drive thousands of people to your website, then your business won’t be effected.



Affiliate Marketing Alternative: Getting Started With eCommerce

Affiliate marketing isn’t the only way to start an online business. There are thousands of alternative ways to get started online without having to invest a significant sum of money. With that being said, all of the methods do require hard work. There’s no such thing as a push button solution!

While affiliate marketing is a great way to get started online, many people feel like it just isn’t something for them. They would much rather sell something tangible themselves. Something like a physical product.

This is where business models like dropshipping come in. Dropshipping is a product fulfilment method where you only buy products from the supplier when they’ve already been sold.

These suppliers also store all your stock as well as package and ship your items.

This service that suppliers is usually covered by a fixed fee that you pay them every so often. In many cases this fee is charged per item and normally costs between two and five dollars per item.

Here is a four step guide to starting a Drop-shipping business

Number 1: Pick Your Niche And Product

Do you have a niche or type of product that you’re already interested in? Start by researching that and if not you can make use of websites like the Salehoo market research lab. This tools is great at helping you find great product sale opportunities in the dropshipping industry.

You can also look through websites like Ebay to find products that are doing really well.

Here’s exactly what you need to do:

  • On the eBay homepage click on the “advanced search” option located in the top right hand corner.
  • Tick the “completed listings” box.
  • Type in your keywords and run a search.
  • Scroll through the first few pages and make not of them items that are listed in green – these are products that have sold successfully on the eBay marketplace.

When you find something that sells more than 50% of the time, you can be fairly sure that it’ll be something you can sell successfully too. If you’r browsing through the pages and you’re seeing a high number of green listings then this is a good sign that the products in that niche sell really well!

Number 2: Find An Awesome Supplier

One of the first things you need to do when first starting out in your dropshipping business is to find a REALLY good supplier. This will make all the difference in your business. It’s worth taking extra time to do your research to find a supplier who will really serve your company.

Before agreeing on any kind of deal with a supplier, you should be asking the following questions:

  • How long will they take to ship items?
  • What kind of shipping options do they have?
  • Do you they quality control systems in place?
  • Are you able to use their product photos? May large wholesale companies have professional photos that are ideal for you to use.

Number 3: Choose a Platform To Sell Your Products

Amazon and eBay are the two biggest ecommerce sites where you can sell your products at the moment. There are alternatives out there but I wont bother mentioning them because they have such a small percentage of the market at this point.

You can set your sights on Amazon alone and build a wildly profitable ecommerce business on there as they have TONS of traffic. People will tell you to diversify and sign up to various websites to sell your products but I think it’s best to stick with one until you’re making a significant income, otherwise you risk spreading yourself too thin.

Number 4: Manage Listings

In a dropshipping business, you list your items in the same way as if you had the stock to hand yourself.

With that being said, a dropshipping order works quite differently to one you would just ship from your home or office location.

Here’s how it goes:

After you’ve chosen your supplier as well as the products you’ll list your items on your chosen ecommerce platform.

Once you’ve made a sale you collect the money and pay the supplier (keeping your cut of the profits) by ordering the item you’ve just sold from their site.

The supplier sends out the item directly to the buyer and everyone is happy!

I hope you liked this short and sweet guide to starting a drop-shipping business.


Easy Steps To Follow When Creating A Successful Website

A successful website is when you have a continuous money maker that fits into your media brand strategy. When creating a successful website that keeps your visitors clicking, there are factors you need to consider to avoid your website hurting you. A website that serves as an additional income stream is not build in one day. In this article, I’ll be providing some easy tips on how to create a successful website.

Create a Beautiful Website Design

When a prospect first visits your website, you don’t want to bombard them with ads and difficult navigation when they’re trying to find the content they’re looking for. If your visitor doesn’t have a positive experience with your site, you will probably lose that visitor forever. Creating great content isn’t enough, your page should have a simple and smooth layout that your visitors will enjoy.

Free Offer/Content

A crucial step in creating a successful online business is giving your visitor a complimentary offer or piece of content that is valuable to them. When your visitor lands on your website and just sees a sales page, they might turn away because you aren’t providing any value for them. Offering free content can help you build a list and give you the opportunity to build relationships with your prospects so they can have the right amount of information and time needed to buy from your website.

Aim to have a sticky site

Site owners are usually focused on increasing the number of unique visitors to their site but don’t focus on keeping the clicking when they get there. A successful website doesn’t only attract unique visitors, but also motivates them to continue clicking through it. Aim to create a sticky site so your prospects can dig deeper and deeper into your brand which also creates loyal visitors at the same time.

Updated Regularly

Your website needs to be flexible, and to achieve this, it needs to be updated regularly to continue keeping up in your industry, and to keep visitors interested and engaged in your website. Updating you headlines and sales messages are simple ways to keep your page fresh and exciting for returning visitors. Updating your website will keep it fresh and reliable to visitors who notice that it’s actively being updated and worked on with new content.

Invest in Your Website

Your business is a full-time job, and your website should reflect that. When creating your website, put aside investments for marketing and split testing different promotions and techniques. This is a crucial step in creating a successful website. The testing phase should be a priority to you and you should be ready to invest quite a bit of money to gain data and understand what your visitors are reacting to.

Overall, your website is the biggest part of your online presence and should be approached with patience, time, and money if you want it to be another stream of income for your company.

6 Types Of Businesses You Can Start With Almost No Money

If you’re anything like millions people all over the world. You dream of starting up your own business. However, most of us don’t even end up attempting to start our own business due to variety of reasons.

The biggest factor stopping most people is the assumption that they need a huge chunk of cash to get started. However, you no longer need thousands of dollars to get started in business. There are tons of online business ideas and ways to make passive income that don’t cost much to get started. Passive income is a powerful way to build long-term, sustainable wealth.

Here are six different businesses you can start with next to no money:

In-home services

These businesses don’t cost anything to start because you’re providing a service, primarily you’re providing your time and getting compensated for that. You could start a dog-walking or pet-sitting service, or even something like landscaping. This is a type of business that you can easily start from the comfort of your own home.


You don’t need to have an MBA or have an IQ the 165 to become a consultant. There are thousands of people starting online consulting businesses all over the world right now. A consultant is simply someone who takes a customer from their current situation to their desired situation. People are willing to pay good money for expertise and speed. If you aren’t already an expert at something, you’d be surprised how quickly you can up-skill yourself and become an expert in a niche of your choosing.

Product Reselling

product reselling

The idea behind product resale is really simple. You acquire products and sell them on to other people. This is called drop-shipping. Drop-shipping is a fantastic way to start an online business as you don’t need to hold stock of any products yourself. When someone orders something, it is directly shipped from the manufacturer. This type of business requires almost zero startup investment and with the right level of skill and determination, you can build a highly profitable drop-shipping business.

Your Own Creations 

If you’re into your arts and crafts, this could be the perfect opportunity for you to share your skills with the world. If you like to create anything from bracelets to pendants and paintings you can sell your creations on sites like Etsy. There are many success stories on Etsy of people building wonderful businesses around their passion which is great to see.

Hopefully you’ve now got a brief idea of the opportunities that are available to you when it comes to business. You can start a business for almost nothing, you just need to find something that suits you and go for it.



How To Make Make Money Selling Information Products

Whether you sell training courses on internet business opportunities or ebook’s for cooking, there is a lot one can learn by observing what’s working for other information product businesses outside your niche.

In this blog post i’ll be exploring some of the strategies that enabled one guy to earn over $10 million in one year from Clickbank affiliates to how a company called Mindvalley are making over $40 million a year selling information products in the personal development niche.

Leverage Marketing automation

Implementing marketing automation in your business will enable you to optimise your sales funnel and improve your contact with customers.

While doing my research for this blog post, I checked out 12 info product businesses that were generating close enough to $1 million in annual revenue.

This is what they all had in common:

They were all either using Ontraport or Infusionsoft marketing automation software.

So why on earth is marketing automation so valuable for these companies?

The bottom line is that it comes down to the ability to create user experiences based on the actions they take on a website. We’re now able to setup specific email campaigns that target people that take certain actions on our websites.

This is a whole new level of personalised targeting and an interesting way to connect with your audience.

To give you an example – lets say you run a website that provides online business training. Someone signs up for your free video series. Using marketing automation software, you can tailor your message automatically based on what they do with the content you provide them.

If they click through on an email that you sent them previously but they didn’t buy anything, you could send them a discount or an email asking them what went wrong.


This type of email automation is very powerful and can have a massive impact on sales volume and customer retention.

How Setting Up An Affiliate Program On Clickbank Made TruthAboutAbs $11 Million Dollars In One Year


Back in 2011, a guy called Mike Geary was interviewed by Tim Ferriss on how he manages to generate $11 million per year from selling information products in the health and fitness industry.

One of the most interesting parts of the interview was when Mike spoke about how his company leveraged the power of affiliate marketing. Mike described that a big turning point in his business was adding an affiliate program for his website on Clickbank and offering 75% commissions for affiliates. This is the maximum that any publisher can offer on the Clickbank affiliate network.

Mike Geary was one of the first to offer a commission percentage that was so generous. Hundreds of affiliates picked this up and started driving traffic to his website, resulting in millions of dollars being generated for his company.

Problogger Shayne Tilley’s Lessons Learnt From Making $30 Million Dollars

A few years ago, Shayne Tilley wrote a highly detailed post on his lessons learnt from generating $30 million dollars in sales by selling information products.

One of his main points of consideration was comparing evergreen products against timely products.

If you’re thinking in terms of longevity then the evergreen route is definitely the best way to go. When you look at how successful companies like Mindvalley are, generating in excess of $40 million dollars a year from products that aren’t even tangible, it is completely mind-blowing.

mindvalley academy

It also teaches you that evergreen content is the way to go. This content won’t ever stop selling and will consistently generate an income for your business for years and years to come.


Create More Content

We took a look at six popular blogs, including Mashable, KISSmetrics and ProBlogger, observing how they reached millions of visitors. We discovered that they all scaled the level of content they were producing.

For example, KISSmetrics discovered that for every additional article they produced, their traffic increased by 18.6%

More targeted traffic = more sales in your business. It really is as simple as that.

By creating a large amount of timeless, valuable content, you’ll eventually hit the stage where your traffic, leads and sales will grow in a massive way. All this, without having to increase your advertising budget.


5 Steps To Success With Affiliate Marketing

The market for affiliates has changed significantly over the past few years. Google cracking down on crappy affiliate content as well as increased competition on the internet means that affiliates need to rethink the way they market products online.

Despite all the changes that have happened, many affiliates are still generating millions of dollars a year in commissions by marketing products from some of the best affiliate programs.

Looking for a list of top affiliate programs? Check out this resource from Bengu Marketing.

What do affiliate need to succeed in 2017 and beyond?

Stay focused on one thing

Many affiliates try to master fifty different niches when they get started. They put their fingers in all the pies in the hope that one of them will work out. It can be hard to stay focused when you hear about other people doing so well in all sorts of niches.

The problem with trying to master so many niches in one go is that you don’t become an expert in any of them and your websites ultimately suck.

Don’t get me wrong, its okay to experiment with different niches but ideally you want to pick one niche that you really love and focus on that until it starts generating consistent sales for you.

Create Awesome Content

This is actually not that hard and it is something that will stand the test of time. One of the biggest problems affiliates have is proving their value as middle man between the customer and the merchant.

You can do this by providing awesome value to your visitors in the form of amazing content. Long-form content that’s packed with valueand easy on the eye tends to work best. You can include things like infographics, videos and lots of pictures to add depth to your piece.

Yes it’ll take you some time to produce pieces of content that is better than anything else out there but it’ll definitely pay off for you in the long run. Your content will become an asset for your business.

As an affiliate you have the advantage of speed and versatility. While big companies spend months holding meeting and approving their marketing strategies. You can create an insane piece of content that competitors won’t be able to compete with.

Build a Brand That Adds Value

Google is biased towards brands and this is only something that is getting stronger. This is a big problem for many affiliates because a lot of them aren’t concerned with building a brand at all.

If you look at some of the leading sites in industries like travel, insurance and property it may come as a surprise to you that the majority of these sites are actually affiliate sites.

Websites like Moneysupermarket, Which and Lastminute are all fully blown affiliate sites. They don’t own any products themselves. They just help you find the best deal for whatever you’re looking for.

But here’s the kicker:

They provide amazing value and are super successful because of the strength of their brands as well as the amount of value they provide to their customers.

Affiliate marketers will increasingly find it difficult to succeed without taking the time to build a brand.

Build a Solid Foundation

The success and longevity of your business will only be as strong as the foundations you build for it. Using shady techniques to generate traffic and gain rankings isn’t something that is going to work for you in the long term. On the same subject, the affiliate program you’re with could shut down or your advertising costs could suddenly go up.

The best thing for you to do is to build recurring revenue income streams in your business. This is so that even if you stop making sales, you’ll still have money coming in every month from your previous customers.

This approach depends on the niche and affiliate program you are in but you want to try and find something to promote that gives you the option to earn recurring affiliate commissions. This will give you an added piece of mind where if anything catastrophic happens in your business, you’ll still be earning an income.

Build Traffic Sources

Just like how we should all be building multiple streams of income and diversifying. Relying on a single traffic source can be very risky business. Thousands of people discovered this when the Google panda and penguin updates came out. Businesses wiped out overnight because people relied on one single strategy to generate sales.

Building up a social media following can help with you gaining additional sources of traffic, it doesn’t only have to be organic search. You can also employ pay-per-click marketing strategies to increase traffic and generate leads and sales for your business.


Compensation Methods For Affiliate Marketing

The affiliate marketing business model mainly operates on a fairly straight-forward pay per sale method. This is actually what 80% of affiliate programs use to this day. Nineteen percent of companies use a cost per action business model and the rest of them use a cost per click or cost per mille (CPM, cost per 1000 views).

CPC and CPM account for less than one percent of affiliate programs at the moment, although these payment methods are still used frequently in paid search marketing.

CPM requires that the affiliate publishes an ad on his/her website. Once the ad receives 1000 impressions the affiliate is paid a commission. PPC (Pay-Per-Click) requires an additional step in the process where a visitor is required to click on the ad before the affiliate gets compensated.

CPC was a lot more common in earlier days of affiliate marketing but is now almost non-existant due to things like fake clicks and the like. While CPC is almost non-existant in e-commerce and online advertising industries, they are still prevalent in some places. China is an example of a country where affiliate marketing works completely differently. Many affiliate over there get paid a flat rate on a daily basis with certain networks offering CPC and CPM payment models.

In the case of CPM and CPC, the affiliate doesn’t care about the relevancy of the traffic because he only need to generate impressions and clicks to get paid. In many cases the merchant ends up losing out in a big way because the traffic is worthless and doesn’t convert but they still have to pay to affiliate their commissions. This is partly the reason why these compensation methods are almost non-existant now.

Another term for affiliate marketing is “performance marketing”. This is in reference to how salesmen are usually compensated. These employees are paid a commission for each sale they make, incentivising them to work harder to generate more leads and make more sales. Affiliate marketers aren’t employed by merchants in this way but the same compensation method applies to affiliate marketing now.

People often say that “affiliates act as an extended sales force for your business”, this statements isn’t strictly accurate. The main difference between the two is that affiliate’s don’t really provide much influence to a potential customers in the conversion process once they’ve clicked onto the merchant website. It can be said though that affiliates do prequalify prospects with the content on their website. This could be in the form of a review for a product or an outstanding piece of content.

How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?

Affiliate marketing is a referral based system where you get paid an affiliate is rewarded by means of a commission for any customers they refer to a particular product or service. Affiliate marketing is one of the most lucrative as well as most common business models in operation on the internet today.

This infographic by Bengu Marketing explains exactly how affiliate marketing works in a concise and easily digestible fashion:

Affiliate marketing is a way that many people get started online because it doesn’t have the barriers of entry that many other traditional business models do.

Here are 5 awesome reasons you should become an affiliate:

It costs almost nothing to start – affiliate marketing is unlike other business opportunities where you thousands of dollars are required in investment before you can even think about getting started. As an affiliate marketer, you can literally get started at the cost of a cup of coffee.

It doesn’t require the hiring of staff – No office bullshit and no handling of finances. As an affiliate you can do everything yourself. No boss to report to and no deadlines to meet. I will say that it is definitely something that requires discipline and you are fully accountable for the money that you make. It goes without saying that the money you make will be a direct correlation to the amount of effort and work that you put into your business.

You don’t need to create a product – There are thousands of awesome products and services already out there for you to promote as an affiliate. So you don’t need to spend months or even years coming up with product ideas, prototypes and whatever else comes with product creation. This is one of the most attractive perks to affiliate marketing. The fact that you are able to align yourself with a product or service that you love and promote that is something extremely valuable.

You don’t need to be a tech head – Being a computer expert is not a requirement for starting your own affiliate marketing business. You also don’t need to be educated to degree level to promote products and services. For example if you’re promoting products in the weight loss niche. You don’t need to have a masters degree to do this! You just need to be open to learning and understand the psychology of marketing to people.

You can earn passive income – Whenever the word passive income is thrown around I feel like most people automatically assume it is some sort of scam. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Affiliate marketing truly provides the opportunity for you to earn passive income once you have systems set up in place. For example, say you have a blog post that ranks highly in Google for your target keyword and you’re generating consistent traffic to your blog thanks to your high ranking, you’ll keep generating sales from that post day in, day out. Once you put the work in once, it really does pay back in dividends.

Be your own boss – As an affiliate you choose your hours. you have nobody to answer to but yourself. As long as you are disciplined and you put the work in, you can live a much more flexible lifestyle that isn’t dictated by location and time-constraints.

I’m sure you can see the appeal!



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