The biggest attraction for a new affiliate is the dream of making money without doing much to earn it. Big paychecks and lazy days are what is expected.
Because of this, many new affiliates instantly try to start a website based on the theme of “making money”, but if making money is the only thing you can think of, you are unlikely to succeed.
Serve a community
What makes people spend money? Normally, outside of necessities like needing to eat, people spend money on two things – entertainment, and something to fix a problem they have.
There is a greater urge to spend to solve a problem than to be entertained. People have been entertained their whole life, but only recently may have developed a problem – being overweight, having an untrainable dog, having their garden plants die, being locked out of a car, being newly single, and so on.
How much would they pay to be thin, have a trained dog, be able to get in their car, and have a new partner? Probably quite a lot!
The mindset you need to adopt is not one of, “how much can I make?”, but rather, “how can I solve a problem?”
There are whole communities of people who chat regularly on internet forums, complaining about their problems, pondering what to do to make their life better. You can get to the money by serving those communities – give them solutions to their problems and the rest will just happen.
Step by step
The first step in all of this is to identify an area in which there are problems. Perhaps start by looking at your own life, or the lives of those around you. Who needs help? Who can’t do it on their own?
Identify the problem, and find a solution.
For example, perhaps you know a young man who believes he is not tall enough to be attractive. Build a website around the concept of attracting a partner, and as one part of the site, explain how to appear taller. Choose flattering clothes, use stretching exercises…buy heel lifts for your shoes.
The affiliate potential is there: there are many affiliate products based on attracting a partner, but you have inroads now to clothes stores, the exercise niche, and specific products like heel lifts.
The best thing about it? You’ve just gone out to solve a problem, and generated so many possibilities from serving a community of people who don’t think they can be attractive.
In the meantime, you’ve become a bit of an expert in this. You can head on over to the forums where these problems are discussed, and start talking to people, and helping them out. Every now and then you can drop links in to sites where problems are solved – including your own site.
Now, there will be a level of trust as you have offered free advice and are a valued member of a community. Because of this, any site you direct people to will also have a level of trust attached to it.
You’ve just become an ethical affiliate who was able to promote their own site for the benefit of others, with the potential to get a good pay day due to the trust you have built up.
What if you can’t find a problem to solve?
Then you aren’t looking hard enough! Perform an internet search for phrases like “I have a problem with” or “is broken” or “won’t ever be able to” – or any other phrase that people who need a solution might be prone to using.
Browse until you find something that looks like a problem you can solve. Search a little more. Find out what really needs to be done. Build a site around the problem and the solution, and find offers and products to support the solution.
Proceed to the forums and off you go again – it’s not so hard to do.
There are no offers relevant to my solution
There are, you just haven’t found them yet. Don’t look only on the normal affiliate networks, remember you can use Amazon and eBay as well. You’re almost certain to find something related to the problem that you are trying to solve. If you are totally stuck, you may be in the very unlikely position of having found an unsolvable problem. If that’s the case, head back to the drawing board, and start looking for problems again as there will certainly be one that you have the capacity (and affiliate offers) to solve.
Once your site is established, you can branch out into related problems. In the example of the person who wasn’t tall enough, what other concerns might they have? Maybe they are now happy with their height, but think they have the wrong aftershave. Maybe they think their hairstyle doesn’t suit their face. There are so many different ways you can expand any given topic by heading off at a slight tangent, while all the time building up the content and relevance of your website.
Take it further still
Once you are truly established, now is the time to start selling your own products. You can put together an ebook, or a course, or just a series of videos explaining a concept. All of this information can be reused over and over again, and sold repeatedly – at a greater profit potentially than just receiving an affiliate commission.
With your own product, you can even sell it via other affiliates, and make a profit from someone else’s hard work.
In the long run, being an affiliate is all about making money, but it is the choices in the short term that determine how much money you will make, how prepared you are for the future, and how successful you will be.
Don’t just try and make money – try and build a business that truly offers a service to a community that is desperate for a solution, as that is where the real gold is.