Have you ever considered using affiliates and affiliate marketing to get traffic and sales? If not, maybe you should. An affiliate is someone who agrees to promote your product for you in return for a certain commission or other forms of compensation.
Why are product owners using them so much?
Because most websites on the Internet are selling something in one way or another. Although the internet is an amazing source of free and useful information, it is also the world's most powerful and far-reaching marketplace. Selling your products by yourself leaves you all alone to fight against a stampeding battlefield of sales-warriors.
The good thing is, it's the internet, so you won't be killed but your sales may be taken captive very easily. In order to prevent that, I've answered some of the most frequently asked question about this subject, like...
QUESTION: "Should I start an affiliate program to promote my product?"
ANSWER: It depends on the amount of exposure your business and /or product already has. Some folks get thousands upon thousand of visitors to their websites and offers everyday, these types of folks may have less of a need to pay affiliates to promote a product.
Even still, many huge blogs leverage their traffic into more hardworking salespeople.
Whether your Website is large or small, there’s always room to increase your site's reach and get sales offers viewed by more people. simply put, having your own affiliates will increase the potential reach that you will have as you market your product.
Think about all of the websites, forums, and blogs that are related to your particular niche. Consider even the thousands of people interacting on social media sites that have pages focused around, talking about or related to your topic/product.
If you have an affiliate program set up it gives all of these people and website owners incentive to promote your product and concern themselves with making sales for you. It's similar to having thousands of apple tree seeds spread in a field, you are MUCH more likely to get apples(sales) like that as opposed to planting your one seed and hoping that one seed sprouts into sales.
Realistically, not every website owner or individual will care about making affiliate sales(or even understand the concept), but you'll most definitely find that some folks are highly motivated by the opportunity and those people could open up a considerably larger audience for your offer/website with very little work from you.
Another benefit of affiliate programs is that they help to grow your own list of customers. This helps you in the present with offers you are marketing but also helps you in the future for offers that may be coming down the road. As has been said many times "The money is in the lists".
Some product owners/creators even pay out 100% commissions on the initial product sale simply because they make so much money on a number of additional products they promote to those same customers over and over again. Building an email list off of affiliate marketing sales efforts of others is a MAJOR benefit!
QUESTION: "What's the downside of starting an affiliate program?"
ANSWER: In my opinion, the biggest drawback of starting an affiliate program is the amount of time that it can take to manage it. When I first got involved with it things took more time than they do now for me, so your level of experience with it is a factor too, but there are extra logistical tasks you may find yourself doing when you introduce affiliates to your program.
Depending on the software you choose these task may include paying affiliates, supplying affiliates with marketing material, educating them, assisting affiliates who don't understand the technical side of setting up affiliate links, and the list goes on. You will also find that some affiliates can be really hard to please and expect a bit much from you!
Another aspect that has bugged me at times is that you lose some control over the way your site/product is promoted. Everyone has their own unique ideas of promotion. This can be an issue for you, especially when your affiliates have hyped products up to be far better than they actually are just to make sales. When they do this, they build false expectations in customers that you the creator of the product now have to deal with.
QUESTION: "Won't I lose money if I share profits with affiliate marketers?"
ANSWER: This is a question that can be answered with a question... What's more, all of nothing or half of something? In other words, in most cases, the customers reached by your affiliate marketers are people you are not reaching. So for example, if you are offering an e-book for $15 and paying 50% commissions, and an affiliate sells your e-book to someone you have no contact with, did you lose $7.50 or gain $7.50? Glass half full or half empty? It depends on your view of it.
Personally, I will take money that someone else works to bring me everyday of the week. And happily pay them with a big smile on my face! : )
Speaking of smiling faces, here's a real-life example of this principle for you. George Foreman and the George Foreman grill. George didn’t invent the product but was paid nearly twice as much as the inventor in royalties because he could sell those grills like nobodies business! After millions upon millions of grills sold I have a strong feeling that the grill inventor was pretty happy with the deal. As a creator of products, you should be too.
In reality, creating a product is one thing but actually selling it is hard & it does no good to have a product without sales.
QUESTION: "How much should I pay affiliates as a commission?"
ANSWER: The simple answer is to match or go higher than competing products with affiliate programs because your goal is to attract a big number of willing affiliates. If your product and presentation are SIGNIFICANTLY better than the competition, then you may be able to pay a little less and still attract marketers for your product. Affiliate marketing is always easier with great products and this alone will make your program attractive to smart affiliates.
But even if your product is superior, money talks. If your competition is offering 40% commissions and you offer just 10% commission your potential affiliates will run to your competitors begging to sell for them. You don't want that, be fair and be competitive.
Overall, I think there are more benefits to having an affiliate marketing program than not – especially for the product creator/inventor. It’s truly a win-win for both sides, as affiliates can sell a product without having to create one themselves and product creators have a sales force that works totally for commissions and gets exposure on a much higher level than could be achieved selling alone. Passive income gained from other people's hustle to make a buck!
QUESTION: "Should I use an affiliate program like Clickbank or invest or affiliate software myself?"
ANSWER: First of all, let me be transparent with you. Personally I hate Clickbank but that doesn't mean they are bad. Some people like them, I had a bad experience with them. But anyway, you can place your products in many online marketplaces like e-junkie, plimus, clickbank, etc at very minimal cost. The advantage to these types of sites is that they already have a place set up for you to find affiliate marketers for your products.
For those who know how to find people interested in affiliate marketing (for instance, on SEO forums and certain social media sites) and have a great product to sell, I suggest that you use affiliate marketing software. I'm a fan of affiliate software setups like iDevaffiliates and AllAffiliatePro even though the cost for these scripts is higher, especially AAP.
If you choose to use affiliate marketing to get more and more sales, make sure to offer a good product, in affiliate marketing quality products fly and garbage products die, call up dumpster rental, lol.