What is Affiliate Marketing?


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I went into this Affiliate Marketing thing with a plan to pump out genuine content around my journey, getting my first sales, and even learning how to gain results. The question, of how. We all want legitimate ways to make money from home. The recent shift in a need for flexibility has us looking for a route out of necessity more than just desire for the flashy life and travel that so many promote. The I’ve made my first sales and still a bit confused about how it happened. I went back through the course that introduced me to this world, SEO Affiliate Domination. Then it became clear to me what had happened.

After digging into Google Search Console and Google Analytics. I discovered a starting point. From merely going through the motions to actually understanding how to use these tools, there are barriers to entry that exist all along the way and this is a good thing. This is the opportunity that is disguised as difficulty we know all too well. Some have even ventured to say that blogging is the hardest way to make an easy living, and they may be on to something.

Direction

My next task was to build targeted content around the same keywords that led to my first sale. This time, I went deeper into my keyword research, and more specifically within a narrower range.

The result was an authority post that allowed me to then gain a handful of sales in the matter of a few days. It was one of the most amazing feelings to have made a breakthrough even though it was only $260 in my Share-a-Sale account. I was officially hooked and knew I could figure out how to go deeper.

Approaching The Truth

In my remembering, this was the real start of the journey. Not the struggle to set-up my website and find the plugins etc. Even going into how to use the plug-ins or read the analytics. It was a major turning point AND aligned with my skill set I’d acquired from years learning to trade, but not quite getting over the hump. I think most of us can relate to feeling stuck in our situation, hoping for the next thing to happen “to” us or “for” us. But, this business unlike others, you just have to keep testing and trying different combinations of offers, keywords, banner ads, video etc. until you get a bite.

There was one offer that I thought was cool, but apparently, the market wasn’t feeling it. I later realized that the best way to vet offers was to actually go on Amazon and read reviews. I came to this conclusion after seeing one of the product in question’s Instagram ads and read the comments. Nobody believed it was worth buying, and most people were confused as to how and why to use the thing!

If the product you’re looking at isn’t on Amazon find a review somewhere (look out for affiliate marketers though lol) and read a couple to get a gauge for how people (users) are receiving the product.

Deeper Into The Rabbit Hole

Finally I reached the next phase. I had set-up tools to measure and tell me my next steps, but was unsure how to use them. To my surprise, I had an angle even though it initially seemed to be a burden.

As I went through Google Search Console and Google Analytics for the next week, I was starting to pick-up on what the data was telling me. I built a few sites based loosely on what was already working. I discovered that if I made a sale through Share-A-Sale, I was then able to find out what page that sale came from. In those early stages, I decided to mimic that content and build a post that was similar in subject matter and layout.

It worked!! I made my next 6 sales back-to-back in the span of a couple weeks.

Then, it hit me “I should really dig into this further and duplicate it across other products.” So, I went on to gain sales with other wellness products, but eventually I would stop earning sales for those products too. After looking a Google Trends, I’m realizing it’s likely due to seasonality.

A Better Way

I was at a crossroads and reached out to my friend and mentor Greg Jeffries who had the idea for me to build an authority site that would later become Blue Highlighted Text. I was aware that his method worked, but I wanted to earn recurring revenue and build on my understanding as an affiliate. I decided to not only blog about what worked, but also bring you along for the journey as I look for ideas and methods that can build upon what I’ve already had work.

Wealth Affiliate provided me more grounding in fundamentals, but I was somewhat disappointed when comparing the depth of their courses to that of SEO AD.

Nonetheless, I continued to take the course and pay a painful $49/month for what I’d conclude wasn’t so much about the course but largely based on the community. This isn’t a full loss, I still believe this to be a wake-up call for my own ability to offer guidance in our community.

Aside from that, I knew that I could endorse certain tools along the way. Tools that I actually use and make or have made money with. I just was reading and bombarded with reviews that seemed sleazy or extremely boring. All they want is for you to click their link and subscribe to there channel or newsletter (or both).

I’m tired of that approach, I’m sick of the flashy videos and promises of profit. I decided to instead strip down and focus on the process of becoming successful in this niche. How does it really look.

Well, I believe it takes one to know.

With that I decided that it would be ideal for me to give a dollar for dollar account of my own journey as proof, rather than being another guru removed and looking to dangle the proverbial carrot of success.

Sadly, those who put so much trust in courses fail to realize that what worked for the guru, probably no longer works as well. For some reason, math seems to stop as addition and subtraction. This is a game of building blocks, don’t fall in love with strategies or approaches, just continually understand the landscape and what is poised to succeed next. Get a feel for what to look for and how to listen to the data as it comes in.

Strategies as recent as 6 months old might not work any longer. Not because they didn’t previously work, but because the landscape continues to shift and your target audience is interacting differently. Combine this with the algorithm changes, the search engines go through seasons just like nature.

Looking Back

My first product I sold online was a 7 chakra blanket. It was an absolute dud of a product because of the profit margins and quality mostly.

I transitioned out of it after selling it for a couple months. The next choice was a meditation seat I’d seen online. I bought one for myself first (aka I was a huge fan) then I began selling them.

Looking back, this was one of the best things I could have done for my understanding of the customer experience and how business really worked. I still to this day sell them through MeditationLife.co and believe others can benefit mostly because of how much I have personally. This was the shift, I no longer wanted to just make money online, I wanted to leave an impression, provide an experience, and earn fans instead of customers. That meditation seat is on my site today at $375. You should see the complaints on one of my recent Facebook Ads. I don’t even care, not one bit. My demographic is chosen and very specific.

I tell this story to offer you the courage to do the same. Build something that is amazing and beautiful. Don’t hold back, or rely on other people’s formulas too much. Find YOUR way of doing it that makes it unique, personal, and better than what’s already out there. In short, add creativity and pride to your work. It’s missing in this space, so many of us come here for money, but we are quickly confronted with roadblocks such as:

  • Content Quality
  • Content Quantity
  • Video or no video
  • Email Capture
  • Community
  • Site Aesthetic (Branding)

But stepping back, when you think of your favorite brands they definitely have a clear stance in many of these elements.

Conclusion

“When every decision is based on money, the outcome is little to no money.”

Me

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