Lockdown = Opportunity
As the coronavirus landed all of us eagles down, we have to sit at home and do something. This is a perfect time to start thinking about the future.
Will you be doing all the things you did the way you did them, or do you intend to make some changes and live a better life?
If you don’t change the way you do things, you can’t expect better results.
No matter what kind of job you’re doing, whether you’re a teacher, a politician, or a local businessman, I’m confident you’d likely change your life to the sunny side. Well, one thing you can do is create an online business.
Online business – Affiliate Marketing
Here’s the thing. The best thing to do online is affiliate marketing. It means you’ll sell other people’s products for a commission, and this can range anywhere from 2% (this is where it starts on Amazon) to a full 50-70% and sometimes even more for software and services that portals like JVZoo, Warrior+ and Clickbank are offering. So if you sell a piece of software that costs $37, your Paypal will receive $18.
Why is Affiliate Marketing easier to start?
You’ve been to Amazon, right?
Can you imagine the system needed to collect orders and fulfill them? The logistics behind Amazon sales?
I can’t, really. We own a small online shop that receives some 5-10 orders per week, and I tell you sometimes it’s a nightmare, some order take literally hours to fulfill. How does Amazon do all the millions of daily orders…?
Affiliate marketing is different.
You don’t need stock, you don’t need to worry about logistics, shiping, anything. Your work is done as soon as you get a visitor to the vendor’s website, and if this visitor buys something, you earn. Let the vendor do the logistics, delivery and support.
But it’s not just so easy as it seems. I don’t intend to go too deep, because I could write all day long about this, but let’s just point out a few things you need for affiliate marketing.
What you need to earn commissions
In order to do affiliate business succesfuly, you’ll need a few things, among them:
- affiliate accounts on the affiliate portals (JVZoo, Warrior+, Clickbank) or any other, all free to create;
- a website that you’ll use to write reviews and gather leads (not absolutely neccesary, but helps a lot);
- a dedicated mind and some time to spare, as well as an initial investment that can be anything from a few $ up;
- an autoresponder that will enable you to store leads, segment them accordingly and send marketing messages to them;
- a proven way of gathering leads and building an email list of your own.
Now, if you’ve ever thought about affiliate marketing, I’m sure you’ve heard the saying ‘the money is in the list’.
It’s true. Just shortly, marketers value their lists at $1 per subscriber per month.
Got it? If you build a list of 10,000 people, you can more or less easily earn $10,000 per month with it.
I don’t know about you, but this kind of income solves a whole lot of things for me.
How to start affiliate marketing successfuly
I can’t really help you with the first three point mentioned above – you’ll have to do that yourself. I will explain the steps in details in the coming days, stay tuned and visit us again soon.
But I can surely give you an option solution for the last two.
If you want to earn online, the best way – still – is to build a list of subscribers that you can quietly market to.
Free traffic methods
As you might already know, I’ve been using traditional methods for list building for some time now, and I can tell you it’s not working as it used to.
Mostly I’ve used the free traffic methods, like Facebook fan pages and groups, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest posts, all connected neatly to the opt in pages. It still works, but much worse than it used to. People jut got used to this and we all somehow skip over that Submit button.
So in order to get the same number of new subscribers on my lists, I have to do three or four times the work I used to do.
It just lost sense in a way.
Since I’ve mentioned the free methods, you must be aware that NOTHING IS REALLY FREE. Either you pay it with money, or you pay it with your time.
And lately, I’ve decided I’ll rather start paying it with money. My time just got too important to do all the same stuff all over and over.
So, I’ve started testing what marketers call the paid traffic.
Like the name suggests, this is the traffic – visitors to your website – that you pay for. No surprise here.
There’s a number of ways to do this also; one of my favourite were Facebook ads.
As Facebook has billions of active users, you’re bound to meet people there who are interested in what you’re offering. Simple, right? Not really.
While Facebook ads are great, they also can be hugely expensive if you do it wrong. I’ve learnt a few lessons there, for instance, it happened that I’ve paid $38 for an ad and got 3 new subscribers from it. Disaster? No, if you manage to learn from it.
What makes Facebook ads much more affordable is so called retargeting. This means you target your ads towards the people who have visited your site, hence they’re already expressed their interest in your products. See the logic? You’ve met such ads, I’m sure – one minute you’re checking a bycicle store, then you switch to Facebook and – surprise, you see their ad. This is how marketers remind you of their product, and according to the researches done you are 3 times more likely to return to their website and buy something. That’s what they want. That’s what we want if we’re the marketers.
Facebook does that by giving you a small snippet of code, called the pixel, to install on your website.
It has one major problem though. Once a visitor hits the page and the pixel even fires, Facebook has absolutely no idea whether this visitor is really interested in your offer, or he just landed there purely by accident. So, you’re still showing your ads to cold leads.
Not so long ago, a product was launched that really got me all excited. It’s called Retarget By AdSightPro. What it does is it gives you the option to further refine and filter the people you add to your retargeting lists, so you show your ad to less people, but they’re much more interested.
It does so by using a small snippet of code you put on your website (much like the Facebook pixel itself). It then filters the visitors using the filters you define and decides whether to include the visitor on the retargeting list or not.
You can define different filters, for instance, how much time did the visitor spend on your page, what language he speaks, and so on. A great add-on to an already very powerful tool (retargeting) that lowers our costs even further. See more about Retarget here.
Google Lead Ads
Google recently announced their own lead ads.
If you don’t know what that means, it’s a specialised ad that is meant to be used to gather leads directly.
What Google does not give you as a marketer is an option to save those leads in your autoresponder. And this, of course, is the main thing you want to do with them, right? You want to have them come to your list, so you can market to them later on.
What I stumbled upon is a software called Ads2List from Teknikforce.
It solves exactly this problem – and enables you to store the leads from Google lead ads directly to your autoresponder. Which is a fantastic thing, just imagine: you create a simple ad, set a budget of $5 per day, and you get – let’s say – 100 clicks. Out of these, 20-30 people will just click one more time, and voila, you have 20-30 new subscribers for less than a quarter per subscriber. It’s as cheap as it gets, believe me. If you have a good autoresponder and a decent email sequence, you’ll be earning $20 from them next month.
You can see some more details about this software here.
Your trusted autoresponder
And, the last piece of the puzzle is a great autoresponder.
It’s a piece of software, usually in a cloud but not neccesarily (see MailIt plugin for WordPress here) that uses a database to save all the subscribers you have, segment them, and send either pre-loaded sequences or one-time email blasts to them whenever you want.
In this emails, you can market affiliate products to your subscribers. There are lots of rules how to do that, and we’ll not go into that here. You can see some more information about email marketing HERE.
What we’ll say a few words about is an autoresponder itself.
Ideally, it should support at least the basic segmentation, sequences and broadcast emails. More or less all the autoresponders can do that.
Some of them can do more, though, and this is what I’m about to talk about.
Three for One
Usually, autoresponder handle email marketing well. But what if I told you there is an autoresponder that handles also texting (SMS) and Facebook Messenger messaging? So you can target your subscribers on all three channels at the same time? Would you like to know more?
It’s called Sendiio and yes, it can do just that. It’s also much cheaper than Aweber, for instance, especially if you build a larger list of thousands of subscribers. You see, all the other autoresponders charge you monthly and according to the number of subscribers you have, Aweber included. Sendiio, on the other hand, gives you unlimited usage for a single low payment. All that remains is for you to set an SMTP service (service that dispatches your emails) and you’re good to go. Or, you can get an upgrade and they take care of that too.
I can’t say enough good about it, really. I’ve bought it last year, and I must confess I did not start using it immediately. I was just too busy to learn it, because as you might think it differs from Aweber to which I’m used to.
But it’s equally powerful, and it has two major benefits: price and ownership.
You can read all about the pricing here, let’s say a word about ownership of the lists you build.
With Aweber (or Mailchimp or any other autoresponder, really) you can build your lists, but they remain the service owner. What this means is that they can literally cancel you if you do something wrong (according to their policies), even if it was not intentional. if it happens, you’re out of business. And if you don’t have your lists backed-up, you can also lose all the subscribers at once. I don’t need to tell you how tragic this is, right? It’s like someone taking over the stock of merchandise you’ve built with so much effort.
With Sendiio, you own this data. Still, you have to back it up (it’s a good practice anyway), but there’s no way Sendiio will just shut you down and delete it. It just does not work this way. To me, it’s a hugely important thing.
No matter what you’re planning, see the details about Sendiio here. I believe it’s amongst the best purchases I’ve made so far (and I’ve made many…).
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We are in affiliate business with many of the vendors who's products we mention here and write reviews about, which means we could get a certain commission from them should you buy their product via our links. We are however not connected to them in any other way, nor we receive any special commissions for making good reviews. We try to hold our opinion fair and honest, giving you both the ups and downs where we see them. Everything written here is our own opinion and assessment of the possibilities that software provides.