Do you remember the 1979 gang movie “Warriors”? At one point in the movie, Luther, leader of the Rogues, a gang in New York City, calls to fight the Warriors from Long Island. Clicking 3 beer bottles together, he repeats over and over, “Warriors, come out to play-I-ay? Warriors, come out to play-I-ay?”
Warrior Plus happens to be one of the top three affiliate marketing websites on the internet today (ClickBank and JVZoo are the other two). Coincidence? Maybe, but I am getting ahead of myself.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Wikipedia defines Affiliate Marketing as a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought in by the affiliate's own marketing efforts. The industry has four core players: the merchant (also known as ‘retailer' or ‘brand'), the network (that contains offers for the affiliate to choose from and also takes care of the payments), the publisher (also known as the ‘affiliate'), and the customer.
Affiliate Marketing Basics
In the old days, radio stations would pay ad agencies a 10 to 15% commission on the ads that they placed. This may not be exactly like affiliate marketing, but it's the best example that I can give you from when I started out in my recording studio. What would happen is, the ad agency would come in to the studio to record a commercial and then send it downtown to the radio station. The radio station would then give a commission to the ad agency for the full budget of the campaign.
The same thing happens today in my business. I hire many contractors who help me out with tasks for clients including; design, programming, writing, and more. I usually ask the vendor to discount their services by 10 to 15%, so I can make a little bit of money for the time it takes me to facilitate the process while not overcharging the client. This is sort of a win-win situation … the vendor wins with more business, the client gets the best possible service without inflated prices, and I win by not giving my time away for free while making a little bit of money in the process.
You can do the same thing on Fiverr, but that tends to be more transactional than relational. I'm looking to provide the best quality for my clients, while maintaining relationships with vendors that I know, like and trust who can repeatedly provide great services or products.
The difference between affiliate marketing and a joint venture is, the joint venture is when both of you are working together on one deliverable where you will both benefit, and affiliate marketing is selling somebody else's product or service to your audience while you share in the profits.
Product Affiliate Marketing
The most common type of affiliate marketing on the internet today is when you present somebody else's product or tool to your audience, commonly done through email marketing. This could be a training product, a plug-in for WordPress, a piece of software or a service. I have a website that I use to direct people to products that I have purchased, used and now love. It's www.Brianloves.info. When I tell people about products that I use, know, like and trust, I point them in the direction of that website, so they can click and learn more. It works as a repository for things that I want to share with people I work with. Also, there are affiliate links on each one of the products, so I will make anywhere from 5% to 50% depending on the deal I've worked out with the seller.
Keep in mind, there's absolutely no difference in the cost to the end user. If they go direct or buy through me, they're going to pay the same price. So, why not try to earn a little bit of commission for the time that you're spending promoting somebody else's product? The vendor has the benefit of increasing awareness and potential sales. You have the benefit of earning a little bit of commission for spending the time promoting somebody else's product or service.
Affiliate Marketing Platforms
As I mentioned earlier, there are three main online marketing platforms for software and training products. They are Warrior Plus, ClickBank and JVZoo. Each of the three has their fans and their pluses and minuses, so I suggest you visit all of them to see which one has the products or tools that best align with you and your business needs.
You can do two different things here … You can either upload offers for your products and services to these platforms, and offer affiliates a cut or a commission for every sale made when they make people aware of your products or services, or you can become an affiliate for others and promote their products or services to your audience.
It makes sense to place your products here and offer a 10% to 100% or higher commission, so you have the ability to tap into a new audience of potential buyers, or people that you can add to your email list for future sales.
There are many affiliates who make a great living by doing nothing but promoting other people's products. These platforms will create affiliate links that track users with a cookie. Every time you refer somebody who comes back to the site and makes a purchase, the website tracks it and you're rewarded with commissions.
Either way, the whole concept of affiliate marketing in these platforms is about cross promotion. This may not be for you, but some people have over a million people on their email list. If you can reach the right audience with the right offer, and only make a dollar for each sale, even if you have a lowly 1% sales rate, you could easily make $10,000 with one email. It's all about the offer, the list, and the right match!
Trust me, it's not easy to create a 1-million person email list that is full of people who are going to be interested in every thing you have to offer. This is why most people create very targeted lists. You don't want to ruin the trust of the people who jumped in on your email lists by constantly selling them things, unless that's why they are on your list. You have to make sure that the offer matches the target audience.
It's really no different than trying to sell bacon to a group of vegetarians … it is not going to work!
I would love to hear your comments, thoughts and feedback on the subject. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me or ask them in the comments and I will do my best to answer!