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One of the best choices I made was to stop blogging and begin digging into data in a way that would truly inform my decision making process. Along with A/B testing this was one of the best uses of my time as an affiliate.
I truly believe there is no easy way to begin affiliate marketing and guarantee success. Even the course I initially took SEO Affiliate Domination has been updated to reflect the changing times. The truth is, this world seems to change every 3 months or so. In order to really move the needle, you're likely going to need to employ different strategies depending on the results of different “tests” you perform.
In the Lab
This whole thing is a big experiment. That said, the best way to truly pinpoint a useful strategy is through having the discipline to track and therefore understand the tests we perform.
Our natural inclination is to 1) find a strategy that someone else has used, 2) use the strategy (with skepticism and disdain, especially if it costs more than $0), 3) complain if results aren't typical, even though most programs tell you so in the fine print.
Taking it Further, Winning Because You Did
People know that sacrifice and specialization is a formula for breakthrough yet they dismiss it sometimes when they see it.
In this case, tracking and understanding your traffic leads to you diagnosing the next step in your journey as an affiliate. One of the best decisions I made was taking the time to checkout Julius Fedorovicius' Analytics Mania course after searching online and finding him more insightful in his free content than most other's paid content.
I recommend you buy the bundle rather than take the free course if you have the money to spare. My experience has been that introducing this type of information back-to-back makes it much easier to build on if you never stop after learning the basics. On second thought, take the free course then continue on your path with the bundle.
I'm not new to GTM or GA, so I'll be going directly for the bundle and offer a review post on it soon.
Take your tracking and analytics game to the next level by visiting Analytics Mania and taking Julius Fedorovicius' courses.
The reason no one seems to value this part of the game is because it's not the money maker. It's the set-up for a money maker though. At first glance it seems to be a luxury rather than a necessity.
Analytics, Tracking, and Traffic Sources can and will get you much closer to your goals to become a profitable affiliate. The lack of focused effort and the desire to just (work/hustle/grind) is the mark of an amateur.
Data/Analytics are foundational even though they seem more advanced and intimidating. This is the very beginning of building a strategy, akin to a boxer's jab this is what opens up much larger possibilities.
Google's free tools
Google Tag Manager
This was a life changing tool for me and how I look at online marketing.
I found out quickly that if I took the time to understand and implement each feature as I came across it, I would succeed by default. This is a very technical advantage, and therefore it will likely be overlooked by most. This is idea for me at this point in my career, because I will be able to truly track each interaction on my site and also populate Facebook Pixel and Google Remarketing campaigns with visitor data through cookies.
That alone has me excited to dive in and truly understand the tool and it's more advanced uses. As of now I've set up the basics and look forward to understanding more and more through trial and error during the implementation process. It's coding heavy, and I don't have that background formally but I have been known to tinker around.
Because I'm tapping into knowledge that others were either uninterested in or completely oblivious to. This definitely yelled out to me that it was an edge.
Edge /ej/ : a quality or factor that gives superiority over close rivals or competitors.Yall know I'm all about it, finding the advantage is truly an art and when you do you've got to exploit. This is the pros, in any industry where the competition is developed you find small instances that make a major difference. This is that.
GA is where GTM sends data to be stored. Yes you can set-up GA without GTM, but you forfeit the depth at which you'll be able to track your site's activity. I can't really explain it, but you've got to trust me when I say that GTM is worth the extra effort.
As a baseline, GA alone will open your eyes to the data/analytics that are tracked and why it's important to optimize around what visitors are doing, when they are doing it, and more importantly what they aren't interested in.
I think we all can easily get pretty misled into thinking certain offers/products/services are going to be as interesting to others as they are to us.
Although I haven't personally used paid ads in any of my efforts thus far, I am very much excited and interested in using Remarketing ads and I'll lay out why.
The best part about it is the fact that I will be able to get back in front of the same audience that has already found me organically. So although this blog and the course I took to get me my first $600 (and counting) promotes SEO traffic. I'm finding my own unique edge to maximize that in the long run.
I love free traffic, but I want to do more with that free traffic so that means I'll be running Ads to remarket to them and finding ways to get them onto my email list.
I admit I haven't used Google Optimize just yet, but I'm understanding that it's crucial for A/B Testing pages. This could come in really handy in instances where your offer has multiple sales pages.
(Potential) Customer's Always Right
Case and Point: Spire.io had a brief moment last year where they were in the Apple store. They had an affiliate program I signed up to through Share-A-Sale and I proceeded to make several blog posts featuring the Spire Stone and Spire health tags. I was dumbfounded when the sales didn't start rolling in. Luckily I had a handful of sites covering different products in the health/wellness industry. Anyways, it didn't dawn on me to stop making content and redirect all the associated links until I came across one of their adds on IG.
The overall sentiment was negative.
No one wanted one, let alone understood why they would pay $100+ for this particular line of products. So even with all those signs that pointed toward success (they still have shelf space on Apple.com not sure about in store). The people ultimately gave me an insight that I was missing completely.
Thank God I took the time to scan the comments.
Pivot and Find What Works
If I wouldn't have discovered that I was the only person interested in Spire.io, I would have likely wasted my time building content and positioning the offer.
From what I'm understanding, serving the right audience the right offer is the whole point of this affiliate thing.
And unless you want to serve up software or courses like most beginner affiliates, you'll probably want to listen to what consumers are saying.
One way to do this is through tracking their interactions.
This is also why I prefer SEO traffic over paid. I can get an unbias opinion much easier if the initial interaction isn't all about the interruption.
Similar to approaching women, it should be natural and somewhat smooth. (But, we all know the best is a favorable introduction is a shoe in).
Essentially when you interrupt you run the risk of unfavorable results strictly because of “wrong time and place”.
Think I'm wrong, try to spit game to a women while she's out jogging, on the cellphone, with her parents touring the city. Maybe it's just me, but I got shot down plenty times