Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about affiliate marketing, something I’ve been a part of for at least 5 years by now, and wondering “what the heck am I doing wrong?” I’ve made few affiliate sales over the years, but at least I can say I’ve made some. I guess that puts me ahead of a few people, but so many others are really rocking the industry. Then, after yesterday’s escapade and thinking about it some more, I realized one very interesting fact; I know nothing about affiliate marketing!
by Frédéric Dupont
That’s a very disconcerting thing to come to, and though it’s probably over the top, especially since I once wrote an article on how affiliate marketing works, truth be told I’ve been looking for answers for a long time. I’ve read a lot of stuff; I even put together a post where folks could download free ebooks on the subject.
Last night on Zac Johnson’s site, as he was talking about another affiliate marketing program, I left a comment saying that it was nice for him to profile, but I wondered how he did things, even though I had read his book Six Figure Affiliate Blogging and even wrote a review on it. No answer yet, but he’s probably still asleep since I wrote it around 2AM.
You know what the problem is? Well, it’s actually twofold. One, I’m not innovative when it comes to marketing in the first place. It’s never been my strong suit, even though I’ve been working independently for almost 10 years now. I’m okay at networking, which has saved my behind over all these years, but marketing; nope. Two, with all the books and such that I’ve read over all these years, information I’ve eaten up and memorized and understood, I’ve never picked up that one big nugget that I’ve really been looking for, and that’s the first 3 steps of it all. And no, I don’t need to read “create a product” or “set up an autoresponder” or “capture emails for lists” again; none of that tells me a thing. I once asked Willie Crawford this question and he said he’d think about it and get back to me on it; didn’t happen, unfortunately.
I belong to Commission Junction as one of my affiliate programs, as you know. I used to pop one of their products or banner ads into every post up until the new year began. At least half of the time the product or banner ad had something to do with the topic of the day. Obviously just showing something that no one was interested in on that day didn’t work, as I rarely made sales from doing all that work, though I did get a few clicks here and there. My question was what the heck was I really supposed to do when I either selected a product or a banner ad from one of these advertisers; that’s the step I’ve never really gotten.
At least I did get one question answered a few days ago on Lisa Irby’s blog, where she had a post, along with a video, titled Why Some Blogs Don’t Perform Will Affiliate Marketing. It wasn’t in the video, which was still neat to watch, but in her response to the comment I made on the blog. I said it sounded expensive to do what she did, having to buy a lot of domain names, and after a back and forth she said she doesn’t buy a bunch of domains, but drives people to an existing site where she markets her items.
That was an aha moment for me because she’s the first person to ever say that from all that I’ve read. It takes a load off my mind to know that I don’t have to do like some of these big time marketers, create a product, buy a new domain name and push it like crazy. Whew! At least stage one is set; I’ve finally learned something useful, so thanks Lisa. That one nugget gave me other things to think about, and really that’s what it’s all about. I now have a better idea for what I could be doing.
In 2009 I wrote a post called Let’s Learn Affiliate Marketing Together; seems we still need to learn that lesson.