Today, we’re going to get into exactly what affiliate marketing is, what it isn’t, and what you can expect when you get started.
By the end of this tutorial, you’ll know why companies pay affiliates handsomely for sending traffic to them, how to find affiliate offers that you can promote, and how to cash out by promoting other people’s products.
The beauty of being an affiliate is that most of the overhead in building a business is taken care of for you – you send traffic and you get paid a portion of all the sales that happen as a result of that traffic.
It’s a beautiful model, and one I know very well since it’s how I got my start!
What Is Affiliate Marketing?
When it comes to making money online, there are two different ways you can go about it. You can either:
- Sell somebody else’s products or services
- Sell your own products and services
Affiliate marketing is best described as: Selling Other People’s Stuff.
Being an affiliate, or selling somebody else’s products, is a lot easier to get started with overall. When you promote another product or another company, they do all the hard work. They write the sales copy. They maintain their product. They do customer service and merchant processing…
And you, as an affiliate, get a check in the mail!
For you, it’s pretty hands off. You promote a product online and get paid!
How To Promote Affiliate Products
There are tons of ways to promote affiliate products, some more difficult than others. For the purposes of this tutorial, because most everyone who’s reading it are Scriptly members, we’re going to concentrate on one of the easiest and most profitable ways of getting started…
With email marketing, all you have to do to promote an affiliate product is send an email to your list…
Some people will open your email. Other will click on your affiliate link. And some will buy the product!
When someone buys the product, you get paid your affiliate commission!
Before we get into the process, let’s talk about why a company will pay an affiliate like you and me.
Why Do Companies Pay Affiliates?
The simple explanation is that people and companies pay millions of dollars every day to folks like you and me to help them sell their products and services online.
These companies are smart.
They know that the Internet is a big place and it’s way easier to pay you to recommend their products to your friends, family and social followings than it is to market themselves.
Plus, they know that your personal recommendation about their products means a lot than them advertising, and they’ll sell more if they can incentivize you to make that recommendation!
Think of it this way.
You recommend a good restaurant to a friend. Your friend dines at that restaurant spending $100 on himself and his family there. The restaurant, if they participated in an affiliate marketing campaign would send you a percentage, say 20%.
So that would be $20 in your pocket.
The same thing happens online, only it’s all tracked through affiliate networks! You send a friend (AKA a lead) to a company. Your lead buys. You get paid!
Here are a couple typical affiliate marketing scenarios that you’ll see time and time again online:
- You recommend a TV on Amazon.com, using a special link. If somebody actually clicks that link and buys the TV you get paid.
- You can recommend an e-book for sale on Clickbank.com, and if someone buys it, you get paid.
- You recommend the audiobook service, Audible.com, to a friend on Facebook. Your friend signs up for their trial program and you make $25.
Best yet, you don’t need to worry about any of the tracking! Affiliate networks take care of all that for you, and you just collect a check!
There are lots of affiliate networks online that’ll let you promote stuff for a commission, but the one that we like the best is Clickbank.
Aside from offering commissions up to 75% of the purchase price, Clickbank features some of the best digital products in the world that solve real world, every day problems!
Getting Started On Clickbank
For those of you who don’t know anything about Clickbank, it’s one of the world’s leading digital product marketplaces. You’ll find ebooks, video courses, membership sites, etc. on there. Every once in a while, you’ll also see physical products there as well.
The true power of Clickbank is that it brings affiliates and product owners together. People who want to sell their ebooks list them for sale in Clickbank. Affiliates like us can help promote those ebooks. Clickbank processes the sale and make sure everyone is paid.
It’s a beautiful model, and it works very well.
As an affiliate, commissions are usually 50-75% of the total product price. Each product has its own affiliate link you use in conjunction with your ClickBank account that tracks clicks and sales.
You also get bi-weekly or weekly payments, so you can absolutely treat it like a paycheck from a job! That’s actually how I made the transition when I started out.
As soon as my weekly check from Clickbank passed that of my day job for 3 months, I quit :0) (Of course, I didn’t want to quit too early…)
Now, if you already have a Clickbank account, awesome! If you’re new to affiliate marketing and Clickbank, sign up for a Clickbank account here:
What To Promote In Clickbank
Inside Clickbank, there are tens of thousands of different products that you can promote, in almost every niche or category you can imagine…
What to promote? How do I find people who will buy these products? How do I know that this one will convert?
There are lots and lots of questions that you’ll be asking yourself as you start getting into Clickbank… The most helpful advice I can share though is this:
Choose a niche that you’re interested in.
The most successful marketers in the world find something that they’re passionate about, and they build their entire list around that one topic.
The beautiful thing about Clickbank is you can find 10 or 12 different things you can sell to your audience without having to create any of them!
What we do in niches is we find something we enjoy, like woodworking. To find all of the products on woodworking, go to the Clickbank marketplace.
On the left, you can start filtering through categories:
Unfortunately, woodworking products are scattered all around Clickbank, so we’re going to use the search tool here…
When you enter in your search, like ‘wood,’ you’ll get some pretty crazy results. The default search doesn’t sort very well – and it certainly doesn’t tell us how well a product is selling!
So, we’re going to click on ‘Advanced Search.’
From there, you’ll see the advanced search screen.
There are two things that you’ll want to enter:
- The search keyword (of course!)
- Filter for a Gravity Score of above 20
The Gravity score in Clickbank is an algorithmic number, meaning it’s a score that’s given to a product based on how many sales are made, how many affiliates are successfully promoting, and how many refunds the product owner is getting.
There are probably lots of other variables associated with the Gravity score but the simple explanation is the higher the better.
I generally filter out all the products that have a Gravity score below 20. If something is below 20, that means that it’s not really a good fit for our email list – the volume of sales are too low and the sales copy hasn’t been fully tested yet.
In getting back to the Woodworking example, after we filter based on Gravity, we get these products that we can promote…
Now, of the 4 products that are there – one of them isn’t a fit… The 3rd one isn’t a good fit. It’s a muscle-building offer it looks like, so we’ll omit that one.
We do need some more depth though for our affiliate sequence, so we’re going to search for some different products. Here’s what comes up with we search for ‘plans.’
Not all of these are going to be a fit, but it’s reasonable to assume that if someone is looking for woodworking projects, they might be interested in building a shed or a boat too!
Now, put together a list of 10 or 12 affiliate products that you want to promote, and get your affiliate link for each one of those products.
Getting Your Affiliate Link
To get your affiliate link, go to any product that’s in Clickbank and hit the button that says “Promote.”
Then, enter in your Clickbank ID (1) and optionally, a tracking link (2) in the screen that pops up.
From there, you’ll get your affiliate link:
That’s the link that you’ll use in your email promotions, so make sure to keep it safe. Whenever, where ever you want to promote the affiliate product, you’ll use that link.
NOTE: Inside Scriptly, we take care of finding the best affiliate products for you, by niche. Plus, we make it super easy to get your affiliate links! Just fill in a short form and we’ll create 45+ days worth of email copy for you to use! Click here to get started.
What To Do With Your Affiliate Links
Now, you know which products you’re going to promote, and you have your affiliate links… What’s next?
Well, the next thing that you’re going to need to do is write emails promoting your affiliate products to your list!
Normally, we set these up inside that autoresponder of our email marketing platform. That way when someone opts-in, they go through a promotional sequence that’s already all set up from beginning to end.
Typically, we’ll set up somewhere between 10 to 12 products, with anywhere between 3 and 5 emails promoting each product. That gives almost 2 full months of marketing, all done for you.
Scriptly handles all of the emails for you, and follows this process for promoting products:
Once someone opts-in to our list, they go from product promotion to product promotion, following a systematic process. You can add bonding emails in the middle, by sending links to Youtube videos or blog posts.
At the end of the day though, we want someone to opt-in and buy some of the affiliate products, so we can get paid!
For links to some additional training on the process, check out:
- How To Choose Your Email Marketing Platform
- Creating Landing Pages That Convert Cold Traffic
- 7 Lead Magnets That Turn Clicks Into Leads
And, to get the affiliate autoresponders all done for you, make sure to check out Scriptly!