12 Months of Affiliate Marketing in 15 Minutes

learning affiliate marketingThis post has 2 versions: the short version and yep, you guessed it, the long version.

If you’re scared of  “information overload” then the short version of this post is probably right for you.

For those who are serious about affiliate marketing and want a head start in the right(read profitable) direction, I suggest you skip this and head straight for the long version which is not too far down the page.

Short Version:

Here’s the drill (start skimming):

1. Start with thorough keyword research to find a niche(the narrower the better).

2. Learn about the problems and struggles your target audience is facing.

3. Take steps to know your audience inside out(why are they looking for a solution to their problem? are they willing to spend money to solve it? what pains do they associate with their problem?).

4. Look for products that fit their EXACT needs.

5. Build your affiliate website.

6. Create content that focuses on every aspect of your target market’s problem(s).(for generating traffic)

7. Build your email list.(This is where you build trust with your readers. Obviously they won’t buy from someone they don’t trust).

8. Refer to #1.

affiliate marketing short version



Affiliate Marketing: The Long Version

OK, now that we’ve separated the men from the boys it’s time to get down and dirty and have a serious talk about what it takes to make money with affiliate marketing.

As most people advertise it, affiliate marketing appears to be the easiest way to make money online. All you have to do is basically find a niche with a problem that needs solving and a quality product that solves the problem. You then create content that brings targeted traffic in other words the people with the problem that needs solving.

Turn those people into email subscribers and promote the product through email followup series.

Seems quite simple doesn’t it? It seemed for me too 12 months ago when  I got started.

But is it really that simple?

Well… not quite Kemosabe.

You see, the hard part about affiliate marketing(yes there is a hard part) is when it comes to earning commissions, which come from people who buy your product.

I’m talking about SELLING. Uhh, what an ugly word, or so everyone thinks these days.

Is it just me or did “selling” suddenly became the “F” word in online marketing.

Anyways, if you’ve skimmed the short version of this post(you did, didn’t you?), #3 is about getting “intimate” with your audience.

This is your #1 focus if you want to make affiliate marketing work for you.

Let me explain.

Your purpose is to make money, right? Well I only know of 1 way to make money which is legit. It’s selling(omg, again with this freakin’ word, yuck).

But what about the people who you’re selling to? Why should they buy your offer?

To fix their problem, right? Makes perfect sense.

So far everything is pathetically obvious isn’t it?

Just indulge me please! :)

You see, we humans never buy something for the obvious reasons, the ones that make sense, the ones that are LOGICAL, …I know, we’re funny like that. :)

The thing is you won’t be able to sell/promote affiliate products based on logic alone.

NO, what your audience needs from you is a supercalifragilistic(how’s that for a word) dose of emotion that ties into each logical reason for which they should buy the product or offer you are promoting.

So, Kemosabe, here is how you do it.

You’ve done the keyword research, found a niche in which people are looking for a solution to their problem, found the perfect affiliate offer which solves that problem and now it’s time to promote it.

1. Write down all the logical reasons why your target audience should buy your offer.

2. Come up with an emotional motivation tied to each logical item.

A lot of people think they need to be an expert in their niche in order to be successful with affiliate marketing, but if you master the tactic I showed you above you’ll be perceived as an expert in your market either way.

The only thing you need to be an expert at is matching a product with existing, strong buying motives.

Find buying motives first, pick a matching affiliate offer second.

You’ve probably heard this before, but I’m gonna say it anyway, the best way to convey emotions is through storytelling.

Why? 3 reasons:

1. We never forget a good story.

2. Stories are entertaining.

3. Stories are a way to let people in.

By the way, remind me sometime to tell you that story about Gary Halbert’s first successful mail campaign, it’s really amazing.

Well, the long version wasn’t that long after all, heh.

But if you wanna get a head start in finding a niche with low competition and problems that need fixin’ you can download my keyword research guide “Keyword Intelligence”.

Ohh, I almost forgot, I have one more tip for you:

People love drama, we do, even if we say we don’t. And the thing is that we’re always more likely to react to the pains associated with a problem then the benefits of solving that problem.

And here comes the tip…

Focus your content on the pains they associate with their problem first, it’s kinda like “twisting the knife” a bit, but…. in a good way.

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  1. says

    Hi Phillip,

    Really great post. I actually think you can break it down into two parts. Traffic and a compelling offer. After all – the only thing the affiliates need to sell is the “click” – the rest is done by the offer itself. Once you have driven the traffic to the offer the rest is out of your hands.

    A lot easier said than done though of course. Great post (both versions….)


    • says

      Hey John, I’m so glad you liked my post. I agree with you 100% about breaking it down in 2 parts. In the end it just comes to how well you know your target audience I say. Cheers and thanks for stopping by, really appreciate your comment.

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