Being a beginner is hard. Being an affiliate marketing beginner is extremely hard. I wanted to put this together to give back to affiliate marketing beginners because it's just that hard of a pursuit, and I know that any little piece of info could make a difference for someone.
There's a ton of philosophy I could unpack around the epidemic of always working and putting in “hustle” and “grind” into every activity be it big or small. It's a fad, it's something people are taking way too much pride in.
How YOU Work Hard
I've learned a ton from Greg Jeffries and his course SEO Affiliate Domination. He's a personal friend, and he's told me quite a bit about his journey to earning 5 figures a month. I think it's fair to say that his philosophy on success is pretty standard. He believes in working hard and putting less on his plate so he can focus. I agree with this, because he has the results to prove it. But, I suspect that not everyone has succeeded in this way, and there might be more to discover when it comes to the philosophy or approach of work.
I find it interesting to monitor how I've worked, and what the results have been through my efforts.
For me, building websites is not hard work at all. I got good at it the old fashioned way, doing it. I actually took a personality test recently and found out that I work best when I have a system in place in which I can constantly tweak and monitor in order to achieve the results I'm looking for.
Looking back, I've always found a way to excel if I first found a way to practice as much as I wanted without limitations.
The Affiliate Marketing Beginners Myth
We all have seen it, in between Alex Becker's ads for dropshipping and beyond the colorful clickbaity thumbnails that litter your recommended video section.
You've stumbled across this affiliate marketing stuff and come to see it as an easy way to earn passive income. Well, it's not easy. It's definitely a huge opportunity, but the difficulty in it is a combination of consistent output needed and know-how that is part curiosity, and part just plain experimentation.
Where to Start?
There is a ton of information available for free that can get you started down the right path. Even the SEO Game course I did is free is worth a watch.
As you know by now, my buddy Greg Jeffries started me on the path with his course SEO Affiliate Domination. I can't recommend it enough if you want to get expert guidance, you'll have to pay $1000 but he offers a full refund if you stick around long enough to earn $1000 using the methods in the class. It's a crazy offer but, yea that's not a typo.
Aside from going the mass page sites route, you can also consider an authority blog or even paid traffic if you have about $2,000 budget.
Like most things in life, when you start from very humble tasks (blogging in this instance) you gain a certain wisdom and appreciation for what it takes to win. The catch is, regardless of if you want that or not, as a newbie on a budget you definitely have no choice.
Systems are the Hard Work
So, instead of pretending that hard work isn't useful, I'll venture to say that hard work combined with intention will get the best result.
I was fighting against my natural gifts all these years while trying to earn money with various business opportunities. I could have easily been lumped in as an affiliate marketing beginner. Often, I would go about my tasks solo and now it's clear why I failed. I need systems to leverage my efforts and make the execution of the work I'm attempting much more natural and easy to accomplish.
And I get it, it's not as sexy as just cracking open your laptop and pushing your willpower and focus to the edge day after day. But, from experience, I'll tell you that creating content has to almost become a game for you to make a real dent in the market you're likely trying to penetrate.
That brings me to another point…
It's All About Quality
Early on with this blog, and the many that preceded it. I missed out on the quality that I really needed to reach in favor of getting a quick start. I learned the lesson late and this further defined the difference between being a beginner or a super affiliate.
It worked for me because I was fighting my arch-nemesis ‘Perfection'. It's a philosophy I've come to know as Complete Then Tweak.
So yea, early on I favored just getting the tests out there and proving to myself that money could be made from writing some thoughts down and linking to a few products here and there.
I did it, I made my first $1,000 in about a year. Not anything to brag about I guess, but to me it was and continues to be a huge vote of confidence. Now I just need to learn to change what I'm doing from proven to premium.
In addition to my need for a system, I looked back and realized that I did better when I had division in the task. In other words, Jordan isn't meant to be the star of the show, his process is though.
This realization hit me like a ton of bricks, and even right now as I type this I feel super fortunate to have been granted access to the game of making money independent even during times that earnings are scarce.
I wrote more extensively about it on my post titled “Building a Team (Cost-Effectively)” these posts are essentially one and the same. You may be a lone wolf type, but even if you are you may want to consider getting an assistant through GenM.
Think Deeper on Problems
I remember it like yesterday, what really got me moving down this path was a realization that I needed to change something about the way I was doing things as an authority blogger. I was taking the Wealthy Affiliate course, super underwhelmed, and decided to take a risk on Thrive Themes.
As odd as it sounds, that was the pivotal point for me. I was broke and frustrated and spent the little free cash I had on software that I believed could help me turn things around as an affiliate.
I was right, this purchase made me dig deeper into relevant YouTube content, rewrite a few posts, and change the overall look and feel of my sites as I paid attention to details and nuances in a new light.
Less Isn't More… It's Less
So I stopped what I was doing with my mass pages, I stopped trying to dominate every little keyword in the niche.
I began to think to myself: “what if I was the consumer? Would I buy from this site?”
It's funny because I think we forget from time to time that your site needs to be usable, enjoyable, and make the visitor want to come back.
Push through and understand that it's the hard, meticulous, thinking that is making others outrank you and your shitty site that has every relevant keyword but looks like a lifeless hacker threw it together. Sorry, but this is all too often the real problem.
People want to buy from somewhere that looks and feels legit. They don't want to read articles on sites that have tons of pop-ups or offers coming at them either.
Affiliate Networks for Beginner Affiliates
A well-placed ad goes a long way, and once I started making my sites more simple, I began making more consistent commissions through Share-A-Sale.
I believe my breakthrough happened because I was coming off the heels of a failed Shopify store in the health and wellness niche.
So, I built 2 mass page sites with what SEO AD taught me and after ranking for a few keywords I would make my first sales.
I was thankful I already had a niche in mind, I imagine that could be a hang-up for some.
A word to the wise, pick a niche not a product. Once you get on Share-A-Sale there will be likely plenty of products in the niche you choose. It's more about picking something you either have a ton of knowledge in or would like to gain more knowledge in.
I'd say niche selection comes down to one phrase
What can I drive a ton of interest and traffic for?
Because most people aren't going to be impulse buys, most are going to need to feel you out. Go to your Facebook page, YouTube channel, etc. before you're really a part of their lives.
I kind of pieced this together in my own experience with Project 24. I came across the Income School YouTube channel and was hooked. I was just coming off of experimenting with Wealthy Affiliate's course and was ready to reach the next level of my affiliate journey.
I watched a few videos back-to-back and ultimately subscribed to their channel.
YouTube is my vice, so I eventually saw enough value in what they were teaching that I decided to take their course because it is specific to authority blogging. I highly encourage you check it out at the right time.
I can only responsibly give you my experience. For me the order looks like this:
- SEO Affiliate Domination
- Wealthy Affiliate
- Project 24
- Authority Hacker Pro
- Igor Kheifets (Elite Traffic Pro 2.0)
I can imagine this list will naturally grow, but I'm mostly excited that after about #3 I started to finally piece the puzzle together in my head.
You always hear about the journey, but when you're new and not sure what path to take it can be the most frustrating thing to hear.
Trust me, I know. And like you, I still consider myself new.