This is a continuation of my last blog post, Affiliate Marketing- Horrors and Revelations. If you didn’t catch it, feel free to check it out here. As promised, I will tackle a couple of issues that affect your success in Affiliate Marketing in this blog post. Now, I am not supposing myself to be an expert, but I am going to give you a purely intellectual perspective of what I think can work. While I have a personal first-hand experience with some of the strategies that will be discussed, others still remain untested waters. So, please read and take this advice with guided optimism.
In the previous blog post, I had alluded to the power of Affiliate Marketing. We also defined Affiliate Marketing and why it is making such a huge difference in the lives of people. Building on that knowledge, we need not only discuss the ways and means to become successful at it, but also the factors that contribute to its success.
Before we go into the gory details of what factors influence successful Affiliate Marketing, let me take this moment in time to introduce you to the Vigilante Scholar Affiliate Marketing Code of Honor.. So, place your right hand on your chest and repeat the following words: I will believe in the product I am selling, I will know my audience, I will sell to solve actual human problems, I will build relationships, I will place more emphasis on winning the trust of my customers first not making money and, I will not be greedy but I will be passionate….
If you just did that, then we are ready to begin.
The Vigilante Scholar Code of Honor is a list of tenets that have been collected from top Affiliate Marketers in the industry. Some of the principles are not as important as others but their impact is still significant.
#1 Believe in the Product
So, you want to be an Affiliate Marketer right? What is your motivation? Well, you probably just want to make a quick buck and that’s it. But here’s something that you need to know, people have different needs that require different solutions. If you find yourself in between those extremes, then you already lack faith in what you are selling. You have to believe not only that you are a solution to someone’s problem but also that the product you are selling will do the job. There a lot of products and services out there. Most of them are good while some of them are two months away from becoming junk. Now ask yourself, would you sell junk to a close friend of yours or family member? You probably wouldn’t. Why not? It’s just not cool right? You need to be so confident in your product that you wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to your friends and family. If you believe in the products or services you are selling, you will have more courage in pitching them to other people. Another reason is that they are a reflection of you. If you associate yourself with good quality products, there is a high chance of people purchasing them. Moreover, you would get a good reputation in return. This will in turn help build trust. (More on that later)
So, this part of the Vigilante Scholar Code of Honor is encapsulated in these final words: ‘Don’t sell anything that you don’t believe will solve your audience’s problems.’
#2 Know your Audience
Unless we grew up together or you are from my neighborhood, chances are that you and I have never met in person. (I am actually adorable by the way…)
So how does that make you feel? Do you feel uncomfortable or curious about me? Or maybe just a little bit afraid because you have no idea who you are talking to? Perhaps a parent’s precautionary words to stay away from strangers come to mind. Depending on your personality, your reaction to strangers will undoubtedly be different from the way you act around people you know. Talking to strangers is not everyone’s strong suit and for good reason; they are a lot of crazy people out there. But when it comes to selling your product, you have to understand that at the tail-end of a computer screen or phone or tablet is a human being. This human being is reading your blog post, watching your YouTube video or Vimeo (whatever Affiliate Marketing channel you use) for a reason. They have a name, a family and a whole string of emotions attached to that. They struggle with life just as you do and are looking for a solution to a specific problem that they think your product might solve.
It goes without saying that you must do whatever is in your power to understand them. It’s not just enough to sell the product; you also have to understand why they needed it in the first place. I know it’s not a common thing to follow-up people an Affiliate Marketer has sold their product to, but if you can, please do. Send follow-up emails to see if the product you sold to them worked. If not, give reasonable suggestions on the next step. In other words, act like you have known them for years. Treat them with affection and understanding. That’s what makes a great marketer!
#3 Sell to solve problems
This is closely tied to the last point I alluded to earlier about knowing your audience. After you have known your audience, then what? You know their problems and sorrows but can you fix them? In the few years that I have been alive on this earth, I have met some very interesting individuals who only talk about problems but never seem to know how to fix them. In illustrating my point, I need not go further in search than in the political arena. Politicians are masters at fault finding and identifying problems. However, they often can’t deliver solutions. Wouldn’t the world be wonderland if they were more problem-solvers than problem-identifiers? Of course it would, but if only it was that easy.
Remember I suggested that it would be a good idea to follow-up your customers after they purchase your product. The reason why this is so important is that you get to be a problem solver and not pile up to the list of problem-identifiers. I wish there was a panacea for all of our problems or the perfect product that would somehow wipe every tear away. However, just as they are no perfect people, they are also no perfect products. You have to identify yourself to be more than an Affiliate Marketer. You have to be a problem solver!
But I know what you are thinking, follow up emails are just too much work and it’s just a waste of time anyway.
Jesus once said,
“There were there is a dead body, the vultures will gather.”-Matthew 24:28
In our context what that means is that wherever people gather, there is money! Money follows people wherever they go. That’s why you find that countries that have the largest populations also tend to have a higher GDP than countries than have small populations. Just think about it, if every person in China gave you $1 right now, how much do you think you would have? Yes, you guessed it…billions of dollars. Now, each and every person in China might consider giving you that $1 and forgive the fact that you are a stranger if (1.) They know you understand their problem and (2. )They think that what you are trying to sell to them will solve their problems.
So are we good? Or you are all caught up? If you are still reading up till this point, I assume you are still in there.
Okay, let’s go!
#4 Build Relationships
This is closely tied to the previous points. Like I earlier pointed out, talking to strangers is not everyone’s strong suit. Trusting strangers with your money is even worse. Have you ever wondered why branding is so important to a company? Why companies spend billions and billions of dollars every year to promote their products or services over and over again? Well, partly the reason for that is that people have trust issues. The world is very cynical. That is why it is hard to build a good reputation but extremely easy to destroy it. It’s human nature to fear more than we hope. Why is it like that? Well, it’s out of the very simple reason that it’s safer that way.
Let’s take Coca Cola, the famous soft drink company, as an example.
That company has been in existence for over one hundred years but yet it still advertises strongly. Why? Surely everybody has got the memo that they are one of the best soft drink companies in the world. Not quite. I think one of the main reasons why they keep advertising is so that they reassure their customers that they still got it .i.e. to reaffirm trust in their products. By the way, I am not endorsing the brand to you in this post because I am their Affiliate, I just like them.
There is one sales tactic that I particularly like called ‘Share a Coke’ which underscores my main point here. In this tactic, the company would randomly print out local names on their bottles. For example, mine would come out as ‘Share a Coke with Yaiman’.
This was brilliant because it would make someone subconsciously feel that the company knows them on a personal level whenever they buy that bottle, hence boost trust. I can imagine that this tactic was able to bring in some pretty hefty sums of money for the company.
The last two items on the Vigilante Scholar Code of Honor are embedded into the four we have already discussed. So we will just proceed.
Now that we have discussed the Vigilante Scholar Code of Honor, let’s now look at factors that affect successful Affiliate Marketing. Making a passive income is not as easy as it sounds. If it were so, then everybody would do it right? There are a few extra hoops you must jump in order to succeed and one of them is driving traffic to your Affiliate Marketing platform. Let me be honest, I thought Vigilante Scholar will be a killer. I remember thinking, ‘there are billions of people online every day and so getting traffic will be a no brainer.’ Boy was I wrong!
After getting my feet off the ground and starting the website, I realized that most of the traffic that a website gets is streamlined because of search engines. These are the cops of the internet. The biggest search engine, of course, is Google.
Perhaps, if search engines didn’t exist, traffic would be easier to come by because people would just surf the web on their own manually. Wow! Even typing that makes me cringe. That would be horrible. Besides, we all love Uncle G right? Mr. Google. He (assuming it’s a he, relax feminists) makes our lives easier. Without search engines like Google, the internet would really come out as it is: the good and the bad would be all mixed up in one big ball of confusion. Search engines do a remarkable job to bring order to that chaos.
Okay, now that we have decided that assassinating Uncle G is a bad idea, why not learn what it takes to sit on the table with him?
Although Google is not the internet, it has evolved quite impressively with the wants and the needs of people. So without further ado, here is a couple of tips you can use to create great SEO content and drive traffic.
I know what you are thinking, ‘Backlinks? That sounds so tech-savvy.’ You are right, it is. But it’s not very complicated though. Backlinks are simply defined as links from one website to another website.
They tell search engines like Uncle G how many websites are linking to a particular website. That of course, entails that the particular website is an authority. Well, not exactly. It also matters what type of backlinks that a particular website has. For example, if Vigilante Scholar has twenty backlinks from newbie websites like X, but only one backlink from a website like Forbes or CNN, Google will generally attach more weight to the well-known websites and reward Vigilante Scholar in SEO accordingly. That is why I generally advise that it is a bad idea to buy backlinks from Private Blog Networks or anything like that.
Unlike human beings, Uncle G seems to be getting smarter and smarter as he ages! He can tell high quality backlinks from low quality backlinks. So if you buy backlinks from a private blog network to manipulate your Search Engine Rankings, Google will find out one way or another and you will get penalized. The best way to build backlinks has always been guest-posts. The more you guest-post online, the higher the chances of getting more backlinks to your website.
Create Evergreen Content
This goes to the heart of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). People are always searching for answers online and your content should be able to fulfill their desires. While nobody knows what exactly Google uses to rank one website over another, an indisputable fact is that it’s all about user satisfaction. The more people read your content and share it online, the higher the chances of your content being found on page one of Google search. So what’s the deal? Well, the deal is that you have to create content that people like. It’s just common sense that no one would share something that they don’t like. It’s also a good idea to hire professional writers who might get the job done for you.
Upwork is a good place to start. You can hire a freelance writer from there.
Hello! Social Media still works! Most businesses are now realizing that social media deserves its place of respect in the marketing world. That’s why companies like Facebook or Twitter are making tons of money from charging companies in Advertising fees. Let’s use Facebook as our starting point. There are two types of people who log into Facebook: (1.) There are those that log in to stay in touch with their friends and loved ones and, (2.) Those that log in to sell stuff to their friends and loved ones.
Remember Jesus’ words? There were there is a dead body, the vultures will gather? That’s exactly why social media marketing and promotion is important. Wherever people meet, and yes that includes social media, they take their money with them. One strategy I would recommend to improve your brand visibility or affiliate links promotion is to identify influencers i.e. people who have a large following and whose opinion matters about a certain brand or business. Paying Facebook to advertise for you is a good idea but paying these influencers to do the same is even better. Why? This is simply because people trust an influencer better than they trust an Ad. Besides, by using influencers to promote products, you would be adhering to the Vigilante Scholar Code through knowing your audience.
I know you are not going to believe this but… finally(we are done)… do keyword research. Writing for the web is always tied around keywords. When my blog post, Chishimba Kambwili v The Attorney General was ranked on page one of Google search, I was ecstatic. At first I thought, ‘ That is amazing, I must have written some good content.’ Yes, I was right about that. The content was good but there was also another reason that was less glamorous: The keywords ‘Chishimba Kambwili v The Attorney General’ don’t receive a lot of love in Google searches. Therefore, because the keyword difficulty was easy, it was easy for me to rank on top of those searches. So don’t bite more than you can chew. Using a free marketing tool like Neil Patel’s Ubersuggest, you can find the keyword difficulty of what you are trying to write about. But please in all honesty, if you find yourself competing for a particular keyword with sites like Forbes or the Entrepreneur, just give up. Then again I could be wrong! But at any rate, aim for keywords that have low competition but high search volume and most importantly write long detailed content to beat your competition.
I hope that this post has been helpful to you and also that you will keep on hustling. Remember, it is not over until the fat lady sings! So keep at it and work hard. Everything is possible to him who believes.
P.S. Don’t forget to like and follow Vigilante Scholar for more information about Leadership, Entrepreneurship and Law.