Did (enter big name you like) just get lucky? Is there a secret?
While these are all practical questions you will find some of all those things if you look at other affiliate marketers, some did get lucky, some did get a special ingredient. I can’t do the research to find out what all of those things are.
What I can do is explain the required elements that they all have in common.
Today I am going to cover something that all of them have in common.
Their own website
The most important tool of doing anything online, whether it is affiliate marketing or any other online marketing is a website.
It can be a free website however most people recommend a self-hosted WordPress website, they are easy to manage, and learn, loads of plugins to make it user friendly and visually appealing and being yours, no one can take it away from you.
A mistake that was commonly made a few years ago was building up Facebook fan pages instead of mailing lists. Facebook’s algorithm was then changed and business owners could no longer reach as many fans as they wanted to.
The most important elements about your site is that it needs to
Look credible (no spammy images please)
Have some way of collecting email addresses (it doesn’t matter if this is slow in the beginning)
Have content that your ideal customer is looking for.
It has been quoted many times over that content is the reason search engines exist. It will pay you to remember that, always.
When building your site the main question to ask yourself is will it work?
Will whatever your uploaded be useful to your audience?
Will it work for your goal for it?
Remember content does not only provide information,
You could create content that has a primary goal of getting shared, another piece might be to drive subscribers, another to simply provide information and prove you are knowledgeable, then there are the pieces designed only to sell.
Make sure your site is a good mix of all.
I recommend every 10 pieces of content are broken down like this
And 5 for entertainment and educational purposes.
Due to technology people and customers attention spans have shortened over time. Most successful affiliate marketers have an autoresponder, I say most. There are people like Ben Settle that email daily that I do not believe use one but if you are looking for passive income and to work your customers through a sales funnel an autoresponder is truly the professional way.
Auto responders send emails based on a schedule you have created. This is usually a schedule that starts when someone subscribes and contains your welcome email that gives them whatever they opted in for, followed by a check up, or explanatory email, then your follow up sequence.
This can be a simple emailing a few times a week providing content and sales pitches or I have seen a complete 365 day funnel where everyday something is emailed, this requires evergreen content but can be set up over time and then emailed out as people subscribe.
The 2 most common mailing list service providers are GetResponse and Aweber. They are both premium providers but very affordable.
If you have a WordPress site and want to take the free route, MailPoet is very good but will mostly keep you in the spam folder unless you convince subscribers to whitelist you. This won’t happen as often as you like and your open rates will suffer.
The option is there and completely yours to choose.
I hate to say it because I know it is the bane of every website owner’s life, but the unfortunate reality is if you want to do well with search engine traffic you will need people linking to you.
You can no longer simply submit to article directories and hope it works.
Brian Dean from Backlinko provides details of the skyscraper method to build links. The premise is to create a better post than anything else out there and tell people about it. I don’t like it personally but it does work.
Creating infographics is another method that you can use, you will need to share them with other site owners so that they know they exist and there are a few sites that you can visit that allow you to upload infographics.
Guest posting. Regardless of what you have heard guest posts are still a great way to build backlinks, you just need to be smarter about it than before. Choose sites that are really relevant to your ideal customer, make sure they have a low spam score by looking them up somewhere like Moz OpenSiteExplorer.
So yes although there might be a secret sauce so to speak, when it comes to affiliate marketing or any marketing online, these are the 3 things all the successful marketers have in common.