Top 6 Secrets of the Most Successful Online Affiliate Marketers
written byStaff Writer
In this article, we will explore the Top 6 Secrets to Dominate Online Affiliate Marketing. Affiliate marketing is the art of selling someone else’s product or services for a commission.
Online Affiliate Marketing is doing affiliate marketing on the internet. Affiliate Marketing has more to do with preparation and having the proper mindset than the mechanics of the trade.
The mechanics of online affiliate marketing are very important but are often useless for people not prepared for success. The best way to study how to be successful is by looking at the people who are succeeding.
I was driving with a buddy of mine and we were talking about his kids. They are both college-age and are now looking to spread their wings and become independent.
I asked him, how they planned to earn a living. He said, ‘they don’t care, they just want to be rich and live a glamorous life.
This is the mentality of many people who venture into the make-money-online space.
They are sold a dream of doing nothing and getting paid to do so. Just show me what works and I’ll take it from there.
They think merely putting together an offer and sending traffic to the offer is all there is. There is much, much more.
In today’s post, we will talk about what it really takes to make money online.
Most people who go into online affiliate marketing are doing so to solve a problem. Usually, the problem they are trying to solve is how to earn millions and quit their job.
The potential to earn hundreds of thousands of dollars or even millions is enormous. The apples from this tree are just too tempting not to taste.
The reality is that most people are really trying to solve a deeper problem. That problem is, either they are running away from pain or running toward pleasure or both. The make money online world, promises both.
There is no doubt that you can make millions in a year online. However, only 4% of the vast oceans of people make money online every month.
The top earners in online affiliate marketing have 6 common traits. No matter what they are selling or what language it is sold in.
The Top Affiliate Marketers became successful by NOT looking for programs to promote; they were looking for a person to model.
Most people entering the online affiliate marketing space do so looking for a program to promote. They will look on YouTube and start looking for someone they can identify with.
There is so much data, you can’t tell the professionals from the amateurs. Some of these YouTubers' presentations are dazzling. You buy their program for $497 and all your dreams will come true.
However, after buying their program, it becomes quite apparent that the information may be incomplete or just being talked about in such general terms that it really does not help you. You do what you can with the information then you buy another program, this time for $997 or $5497.
Getting the general idea of what to do but not specific enough to earn money. Some people value the collection of programs they purchased over a highly-skilled leader. In layman’s terms, they would rather have the Rolling Stones than lead singer Mick Jagger.
This cycle of the dream, purchase a program, realize you don’t have enough information, get discouraged, back to dream repeats its self until you are out of money or grow totally cynical.
This was my journey. I could not figure out how to make money online. After spending thousands of dollars on programs and tools and made nothing. I missed completely what the top marketers did to be where they are at.
The top affiliate marketers became successful by not looking for programs to promote; they were looking for a person to model. The top earners got there by having a mentor. They learned by modeling someone else’s success. Sure they learned the tactics and got the tools for success.
However, top earners also studied their mentor’s habits, read the books they suggested, if they had live events or other similar items they either attended or watched replays. Does this sound a little over the top?
Let’s look at a few examples: Lionel Messi, the great Argentine footballer, growing up did not just admire but copied Argentine footballer Pablo Aimar.
Michael Jordan growing up idolized and copied an American basketball player named David Thompson. Jordan admired Thompson so much that at his Hall of Fame ceremony, Jordan had longtime coach Phil Jackson and David Thompson introduce him.
Kobe Bryant copied Michael Jordan. Check out the video and see how closely Bryant modeled Jordan.
Courtesy of 2012 Mamba Production
It does not sound strange in sports. It’s no different in real life. When I started to make money online is when I decided to model my mentor. If this is not agreeable to you, I understand.
I totally fought modeling someone for 3 years thinking what was needed was a better plan. Clearly, I am my own person, I’ll just borrow a few things from different people and that’s all I need. I just ended up wasting time and money. I was wrong.
Top Affiliate Marketers are NOT trying to sell a product, they are running a business.
I have successfully run a couple of different businesses. From brick and mortar businesses to real estate to consulting, the concepts do not differ from business to business. Here are a few of them:
- It is very expensive to acquire a customer so retaining them is cheaper than finding a new customer.
- Revenue is not the same thing as profit
- Cash flow is more important than revenue
- Must be dedicated to advertising or your business will wither
- The Brand is more important than a quick buck
There are many more business concepts but these are paramount. Most people enter the affiliate marketing space as transactional marketers.
They find a product, sell the product and do it all over again. It’s a grind. When the product fizzles out, they start all over again.
They see people as a transaction. This short-term thinking makes it very expensive to turn a profit long term. Eventually, this model becomes unsustainable.
You won’t earn real money until you decide to leave the transactional world and actually run a business. This means customer satisfaction matters.
Caring about who you are serving is what makes most businesses go. A well-run business does not have repeat customers, they have raving fans. This was me.
I was trying to earn money by just making a transaction. Just promote the next product and go. When I finally decided to build a business and think long-term, my business really took off.
I knew better but fell into the trap most people do, the trap of wealth without caring about people.
Top Affiliate Marketers ‘rewire’ their thinking in order to succeed.
Best-selling author Bryant McGill once wrote, “There is really only one true way to progress: fix yourself.” There is simply no way to succeed without preparing to succeed.
Most people have no idea how to get what they want. And when they do, they quickly waste the opportunity. We have all heard stories of people winning the lottery. Then suddenly lose it all and return back to the life they previously had.
It happens all the time to athletes and movie stars. They made millions now they are about to lose their home because they have no money.
Is this stupidity or misfortune, maybe? These people needed to change. Either they chose not to change or refused to change. This really speaks to what we must become to be successful.
There is no way around this, we must change. We don’t have to change all at once but turning into the person who builds and handles success well, is paramount.
Here are a few things I had to change to become successful:
- I had to get comfortable speaking in front of a camera and get comfortable writing (not my strength).
- I had to understand how to purchase and set up technical tools like a website, a capture card, and sales funnels. Thank you, YouTube.
- I had to learn and am still learning how to do what I hate to do first.
These things are still hard for me, but I do it.
Top Affiliate Marketers develop themselves into leaders
In the 1920s, the fledgling studios of Hollywood pumped out movie after movie. All of which were silent films. Just people acting out a scene with no audio.
In 1927, a film called the Jazz Singer revolutionized Hollywood. This was the first film to introduce musical sound and isolated dialogue that the audience could hear.
These films were called, ‘talkies’. The public loved it. The Jazz Singer effectively ended the silent movie industry.
In the decade that followed, the film studios scrambled to take advantage of the new revolution of films with sound.
They purchased expensive sound equipment, expanded the square footage of their studios, and hired an army of writers.
The Hollywood studios began to realize they needed to build their films around the main star people will like and a villain they did not.
The public’s appetite to know the stars intimately was ravenous. The moviegoers became fanatics; today we call these people fans.
The fans spoke about these stars like a kid would be his favorite athlete. The fans wanted to know how tall the stars were, whom they were dating and where they were from.
The star had to be likable, have a sense of integrity, talk and demonstrate their personal values. In short, the star had to be a leader. Many of the stars the studios selected did not have many of these qualities.
What did the film studios do? They started training actors and actresses. Not just giving these aspiring stars voice, acting, and dancing lessons.
These budding stars would also receive training on how to behave in public, give an interview, etiquette training, how to command a room, how to listen, and even how to order from a menu at a restaurant.
The studios would change their names to fit a persona. The studios often changed the details of the star's life and upbringing to fit their new identity.
Many of the stars called it studio boot camp; however, the name that eventually stuck was ‘ the Star System’. The studios marketed their stars aggressively and the fans loved every minute of it.
In many ways, the filmmaker did not spend a lot of money on the script, but on its stars. The star sold the film. This is because the audience came to see the star.
Essentially when you sign up to be an affiliate marketer, you are signing up to be a leader. Leaders are not born, they are made.
Movie companies were not the only ones developing talent. Ask any country's armed forces where their leaders come from. The armed forces will say, ‘they were built in training and combat’.
The US Army and US Navy have colleges specifically devoted to developing leaders they can turn into officers.
The armed forces are taught not just the technical tools of the trade but also how to speak, how to gain respect, how to influence people, and how to endear their troops to want to follow them and not have to follow them.
Are you seeing a trend? Becoming a leader can be taught. That means it also can be learned. How does someone turn themselves into a leader? Here are a few books to consider.
Top Affiliate Marketers build a brand by building a community of ravenous followers
In 1996, Apple Computers was dying. With sales plummeting the computer maker was losing market share to Compaq, IBM, and Dell.
The Apple board of directors did what was thought to be unthinkable. They bought back Steve Jobs, Apple's ex-co-founder to run the company again.
He changed research & development immediately, creating new products and raising prices. The industry thought, Jobs was committing suicide by raising prices, as Apple bled cash.
The Apple Mac became the most expensive computer on the market. Jobs personally took over the marketing department and crafted a new message.
Apple was no longer trying to sell computers to everyone. Apple was no longer going to compete on price or features. They were selling to people who believe in what Apple believes.
Jobs went on roadshows open to the public and covered by the press. His message was centered on ‘why’ someone should buy all the Apple products, not just the Mac computer.
He sold people the ‘why’ behind Apple, not the what. He sold them on the total Apple ecosystem. This change catapulted sales dramatically and put Compaq and IBM personal computers out of business.
Today Apple has a ravenous fan base. Each product launch is met with people camping out in line for days to get the next product, like someone who would camp out for concert tickets for their favorite band.
Apple has sold its ecosystem not just computers. Apple has a suite of products and is still higher priced than any of its competitors. The Apple fan thinks nothing of paying for it.
When you become an affiliate marketer, you are really selling your ecosystem. Not just a product. Not just you, but you as a leader.
You are selling a brand; you are selling your brand. If you build it right customers will follow. You cannot achieve building a community by being transactional.
Building a community must be taught. None of us enter the workforce with that specific knowledge; it has to be learned and taught.
Top Affiliate Marketers serve their community and because of this they are well compensated for it
In the 1960s the most successful franchise in the National Football League was the Green Bay Packers. The Packers appeared in 6 championship games in 10 years, winning 5 of them.
The coach of the Green Bay Packers was named Vince Lombardi. Lombardi grew up in Brooklyn, NY, and was the son of a butcher. This meant he was tough as nails.
Lombardi was a dictator as a coach, cut out of the mold of a drill sergeant. His training camps were a brutal exercise of pushing the human body well beyond its limits.
These three hours practice in 100-degree heat happened twice per day. The players practiced the Green Bay power sweep in excruciating detail, over and over, sometimes as many as 30 times per practice.
He would push these men to the brink of exhaustion. Lombardi was a tyrant who possessed a fit of volcanic anger and used terse language to get his point across.
He demanded perfection from his players and his assistant coaches or face his wrath that spewed like molten lava.
Off the field, Lombardi would demand that during the season all coaches be home by 6 PM to have dinner with their families. He also insisted that they not do anything football-related till they got back to practice the next day.
This was not the norm, as many coaches worked around the clock on other teams. During this time, the United States practiced racial segregation. Lombardi went out of his way to be inclusive, even threatening to cut players that he felt were racist.
He would have players and coaches over for dinner no matter their ethnicity. The mixing of races in the ’60s during the days of racial segregation could be dangerous, but not for Lombardi, he was fun to be around and told riveting stories about baseball, growing up in Brooklyn, and even how to make the best steaks.
He sometimes drove players home from all races. When his players speak of him now, it’s with the reverence of a catholic saint. Asked about Lombardi the dictator, the players brushed off the question and simply said, ‘he was trying to get the most out of them.’
Many players were asked about running the Packer power sweep over and over again, many would remark, ‘we knew the power sweep so well that we could adjust the play on the fly just among the players.'
Courtesy of The Green Bay Press-Gazette
What do you need to consider when buying an affiliate marketing program?
Before you buy another program, let’s discuss what to look for:
The Star of the program has to demonstrate the values and integrity that resonates with you. Not just earning money.
The Star of the program should be talking about building a brand and how to do so. For starters, you need to have your own website or blog to start building a personal brand. If they are only discussing sales funnels, it’s probably not what you want.
The Star of the program needs to teach you how to do it and why you are doing it this way. The goal is to become independent at some point. As a result, in time you will be able to implement what you learned and be able to teach it later to your ecosystem.
The Star must demonstrate value to you. Not just in the form of a program, but also in regular interactions with you either one on one or in a group. This would entail group lessons, one-on-one coaching, a community other students to interact with, or some combination of these concepts. A money-back guarantee is important as it gives you peace of mind that the star believes in their product.
The program must have support, not just an FAQ. Questions will come up and you will need to get the answer quickly. If there is no support, don’t just walk away, run.
Feedback about the program on Trust Pilot or another service like it. Also, look for the disgruntled person’s review that left the program.
The review may be on YouTube or online. You want to understand what they are truly saying. They could have left because the program has missing pieces. This is a red flag.
However, if the program left because they simply were not making money, that’s actually a good sign. It may mean that there was enough teaching but execution may have been poor.
If they are saying there were delays in delivering something, this is not necessarily a red flag. Just be cautious and use the money-back guarantee if you have to.
If there are no reviews at all, this could be a new product. Don’t dismiss it but proceed with caution.
Carefully consider, if one of these items is out of place, be cautious. If more than one is missing you should move on. If there is no clearly stated money-back guarantee, go for another program.
What programs would I recommend?
Ambassador Elite by John Thornhill
Pros: Excellent training geared toward building a business. The training is detailed and specific right down to the button click. Everything is thought out well and you can build a business quickly.
Cons: Ambassador Elite is designed to get you started quickly. You need a little more experience to move into the higher levels of success.
What he does best: John offers one-on-one coaching. This is unprecedented for a Top Affiliate Marketer to offer. He also offers to get traffic for you as well as promote your business on his blog.
Pros: Excellent training that is geared to make you independent at some point. Super Affiliate does a very good overview of running traffic on Google and Facebook. Also gives you a week-by-week plan that allows you to see your progress and know what is coming next.
Cons: You are promoting products from Clickbank. This means you are doing niche marketing. Niche marketing requires you to have knowledge about the niche in order to develop a long-term relationship with your community. A niche could be beauty or woodworking. This means your ideal prospect is limited to that niche.
What he does best: Done for your ad campaigns! The program has a list of winners you can use to help you get started immediately.
Pros: The teaching is geared to teach you how to be a great marketer on your own. The teaching is detailed and easy to implement. Vic also does a great job of building you as a person and an entrepreneur, not just a marketer.
Cons: Vic’s platform is built from scratch. This means development time on new products takes a long time to roll out.
What he does best: Traffic. Traffic. Traffic. Vic’s Internet Traffic Mastery program on Traffic and Conversions is so comprehensive and so detailed that it’s difficult not to succeed.