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When I began selling products online, I never once intended to become an affiliate marketer. In fact, I didn’t even know what affiliate marketing was! As an author of books – first my own self-published, then published books – affiliate marketing was unknown to me because, in the world of authors, there are usually no affiliate links. In our world, if I mail to promote a book, the other author returns the favor. Nice and simple. No affiliate checks or programs to mess with!
Internet marketing is different, however, and affiliate marketing and JVs (joint ventures) are a prime source of traffic for most marketers.
When some big-name marketers first approached me to promote their products, I had no idea an affiliate check would soon be in my mailbox. I just assumed that internet marketers did things the way authors did – I’d mail for them, and they’d mail for me. Imagine my surprise when a big fat check arrived a few weeks later!
I’m now considered a top affiliate marketer. I routinely make five figures whenever I promote a big launch, and internet marketers are always asking me how I do it.
And therein lies the irony – I’m a top affiliate marketer because I never wanted to be one!
If you backwards analyze my business model, the reason why I do so well promoting affiliate products is simple. It’s because affiliate marketing is an afterthought for me. I have a large and very loyal list, and as a result, they listen when I promote. My unsubscribe rates are ridiculously low, even when I promote hard. By contrast, most new internet marketers who decide to earn their income as affiliates do poorly. The reason, quite simply, is because top affiliates are usually not just affiliates. They are people who have a product and a platform – THAT is why people listen when they promote.
I started my business to promote my own products. Not someone else’s. As a result of this, I have a solid platform and people can identify me with specific markets and niches. I have established expert credibility in my chosen niches, and this goes a long way to achieving long-term credibility with my list.
When someone signs up for my list, with a ten chapter free download as an incentive, they are signing up to receive content. Do I sell my products via my list? Yes, of course I do – that’s why it exists in the first place – but I do it very subtly. I pack each newsletter with powerful information and tips, and gently remind readers at the very end of the newsletter that they can get a lot more where that came from by purchasing my product.
What I DO NOT do is send out pushy, spammy, high-pressure content trying to push people into buying. Doing that would have destroyed my success a long time ago!
Nobody joined my list to hear third-party product promotions. They joined to get a free download from me, followed by free content weekly. As a result, I don’t promote affiliate products to my list often. This keeps the integrity and quality of my list intact, and keeps unsubscribes low. Furthermore, when I do promote an affiliate product to my list, it’s a BIG hit, because the leads are receptive. They don’t expect a sales pitch when they open one of my emails.
I don’t promote anything unless I know firsthand that it’s a high-quality product or service. In addition, I don’t promote for marketers unless I know for a fact that they are the real deal, and they are who they say they are. We all know there are marketers all over the internet making bogus income claims and exaggerating their success; therefore, I don’t promote for anyone unless I know for an absolute fact that they have done everything they claim to have done.
And, while I’m thinking of it, a word on list-building: I obviously have a large list. That’s how I promote. But, unlike many new marketers, I didn’t build that list through JVs. Yes, JVs are the fastest way to build a list. And if you’re brand-new to internet marketing and have no list, that’s a good way to begin building one. The problem, however, is that your list isn’t exclusive. You’re picking up names that are on several other marketers’ lists.
The reason I’m able to do so well in big promotions and blow out a lot of the big gurus is simply because my list is exclusive. By building it in several niches via AdWords, YouTube marketing, and more, I have names that the others don’t. That’s how I, with a list of around 100,000, can outperform marketers with much larger lists. It’s because they may have more subscribers, but I have more exclusives who won’t see the offer from anyone else.
In summary, keep these points in mind. If you work on building your own business with your own products first, you’ll automatically become a powerful affiliate marketer in a very short time!
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