Reviewing the latest online marketing trends
How can I make money online if I dont have a product or service to sell?
This a question I get quite often from readers of this site.
I get it. Creating your own product can be intimidating and its not for everyone.
Fortunately, theres a great alternative.
And thatspromoting affiliate products.
Why not leverage an existing product or service that you know sells well and just focus on the marketing instead?
This is a fantastic business model, available to anyone that can be extremely lucrative if you know how to do it.
The main problem with promoting affiliate programs is that there must be thousands of them out there. And 99% of them arent worth your time and effort to work with.
Just because youve found a high paying affiliate program, doesnt mean you should promote it right away.
Instead, do some research first before you decide to promote any product. I always look for the following key characteristics.
1. It works for me While this may seem obvious, there are so many products and services out there that dont do what they promise. Or they do, but they just dont work well.
Yet, people still promote these products because they are lured in by the promise of huge commissions or the rampantyou scratch my back and Ill scratch yoursmentality that is very prevalent in this industry.
Dont do this. You will lose trust and credibility and its never a good idea for a long-term sustainable business.
2. Ive used it myself This relates to point 1. Im only going to promote a product as an affiliate if Ive bought and used the product myself.
By using a product yourself, you will discover both the pros and cons of the product you are using which helps you write more credible reviews or case studies. This is important because the more trustworthy you are, the more likely your readers will click on your affiliate links.
3. Trusted Brand I prefer promoting affiliate products of company or person that I already know and trust. I know their products will be solid and that they treat their customers well. These are the brands that make the top affiliate programs.
People are more likely to search and buy from trusted brands. Plus you will find that trusted brands have a lower refund rate which means you get to keep more of your affiliate commissions.
4. Evergreen I know a lot of people make tons of money promoting product launches. However, for me, that is too much work. I like to focus more on programs that I can always promote, where I continue to earn long-term commissions for many months or even years down the line.
That is why I typically avoid promoting products that will launch for a couple of weeks and then close.
If you find an affiliate product meets these 4 characteristics above, then definitely consider taking the time to promote them.
Now that Ive listed what I look for in a good affiliate program, Im going to share some good ones that I personally promote and have made good money with.
I love promoting email service providers because they offer everything you want as an affiliate. I use bothActiveCampaignDripandConvertKitand all pay out recurring monthly commissions.
Which is great, is because ESPs are typically very sticky. Once you choose one, you typically will stay with it for years and years.
And as people you refer add more subscribers to their list, your commissions will also increase as well.
Email service providers are also very easy to promote. Thats because:
you can see what service people are using when signing up to various email lists.
Easy to write reviews and case studies
It doesnt take much effort to share your experience with using them.
Makes it more likely for a prospect to try their service with no risk to them.
Every successful business needs one
email marketing is easily one of the best ways to promote things online. And for that, you need a good autoresponder.
Here is a list of some of thebest email marketing softwareto promote.
Drip Free starter plan (under 100 leads), plus a 21-day free trial. Affiliate program pays 30% recurring commissions.
ConvertKit Pays 30% recurring commissions.
Aweber 30-day free trial and 30% recurring commissions.
GetResponse Has a full 1-month free trial and 33% recurring commissions.
ActiveCampaign Has a 14-day free trial. New affiliates earn 20% recurring commissions. But you can bump that up to 25-30% if you reach certain thresholds.
MailerLite Has a great free plan up to 1,000 subscribers. Pays 30% recurring commissions.
There are several landing page building services out there. These products allow non-coders to build professional looking landing pages to collect emails, create sales pages and more.
It is very easy to demonstrate how these products work for your readers. Just start using them in your own business and write case studies detailing how they work for you.
These services are also quite sticky. Perhaps not as much as an email service provider, but customers usually stick around for several months if not longer when they find their favorite.
LeadPages Offers 30% recurring commissions, with yearly and twice-yearly options for potentially huge commissions.
ClickFunnels Offers 40% front-end commissions on ClickFunnels itself and also get credit for any of the upsells that a customer can take on. Also gives you 2nd tier commissions for referring other affiliates.
Whats innovative about ClickFunnels is that you can share any funnels you create inside, and use your share funnel url as an affiliate linklike this.
I talk more about using share funnels in myClickFunnels affiliate guidehere.
Instapage Earn 50% on initial payment and 30% recurring commissions for every month after.
The Web hosting niche contains some of the highest paying affiliate programs out there.
Web hosts are easy to promote because you can easily write about your own experience with your chosen web host and use tools likePingdomandGTMetrixto show how reliable and fast your site is. And theyre sticky. Users tend to stick with their web hosts for a long time unless something bad happens.
Affiliate programs for web hosts vary quite a bit. Many offer a tiered flat rate commission per sale. However, a select few web hosting affiliate programs do offer recurring commissions. Promote these brands and you can earn some really fat checks.
LiquidWeb Dedicated servers pay out 100% for the first monthly bill and 5% recurring commissions for the lifetime of a customer.
WPX Hosting This is the hosting we use here at SmartBusinessTrends. Offers between $70-$100 per sale depending on how many referrals you make.
Hostgator Get $100 per sale if you join through CommissionJunction. Or if you can push lots of volume, then you can earn up to $150 per sale through the in-house affiliate program. And thats just by selling shared hosting plans that start at $4 / month.
WordPress is the most popular CMS online. It powers many of the most popular blogs and sites you see on the web. With this popularity comes a huge ecosystem of WordPress themes and plugins.
Here are a couple of my favorite WordPress affiliate programs.
The Genesis Framework The most popular wordpress theme framework in use today. Has a huge community of child theme and plugin developers. Can promote the framework and all Studiopress created child themes for 35% commissions.
Sell their Pro Plus All-in One Theme pack and earn a cool $139.98 from the sale.
Thrive Themes Theme club and plugin developer started by Shane Melaugh who is one of my favorite marketers. Can earn 50% on upfront sales and 25% on recurring commissions.Thrive LeadsandThrive Architectare two of their flagship products which are easy to promote.
Now that you have an idea of some of the best affiliate programs to join, how do you go about promoting them? Here are 25 examples of successful marketers promoting these types of affiliate programs.
Use these as inspiration and pick a method or two to promote your own favorite affiliate product.
1. Mention product in an epic content post
4. Compile a list of people using the product
6. Publish a product alternatives post
8. Publish a Why I Switched Post
Aweber vs Getresponse a detailed comparison of two leading e-newsletter creation tools
Thesis 2.0 vs Genesis: The Battle for Premium WordPress Theme Dominance
10. Add the product to your Resource page
12. Create a Youtube video tutorial highlighting the product
13. Compose a detailed product case study
14. Include product as part of a list post
16. Integrate it in as part of an Epic How-To-Guide
17. Show earnings from product as part of a monthly income report
18. As part of a Best Tools Experts Roundup Post
19. Do a Training Webinar around the product
20. Make it part of a Black Friday Deals post
21. Negotiate with owner for an exclusive deal for your readers
23. Incorporate product as part of a Tools I cant live without post
24. Write a product updates post when new features are announced
25. Create a recommendations tool that matches user with the best product for them
If you dont have your own product or service to sell, then promoting the best affiliate programs can be just as lucrative.
Have you had any luck promoting affiliate products on your own site?
Id love to hear about any affiliate programs that you have been successful promoting. Feel free to share in the comments.
What a wonderful resource youve put together Kinley! Thanks for sharing.
I can vouch for Aweber having an excellent affiliate program. Although their commissions may start out small when people join, it can really grow to a substantial amount after some time. The true definition of passive income!
Thanks for stopping by Lisa! Yes, Aweber is one of my favorites! I still get a check from them month after month for promotions Ive done for them many years ago.
Great post and really like your site. I got some great inspiration from those examples you included at the end.
For those that are more into paid traffic, I would also recommend the AffPlaybook affiliate program. Its a forum with a great community and it offers 50% recurring commissions for life.
Thanks for the recommendation Ron. Ive heard good things about AffPlaybook, but I dont do paid traffic at the moment so I havent had a chance to take a look. But sounds interesting, and 50% lifetime recurring commissions sounds very enticing!
Great article! Lots of great information here. Affiliate Marketing can be super profitable given the right system and mentor. Theres a lot of fluff information out there that leaves most people cluttered.
Ive found keeping things simple and clear-cut is best practice. Anyways once again, great article! Ill be subscribing for more.
Appreciate you stopping by Mark. Having a great mentor can definitely be very helpful, but I think the key for me is to take action! Thats how you will really learn things and start making money online.
Loved your approach to the topic, Kinley; I think I might have to steal your idea and rework my own post on the topic. 😉
Of course, thanks so much for including one of Traffic Generation Caf posts here; honored.
Thanks so much for including my little blog in here.
Your blog is one of my favorites Ramsay! I read it all the time.
Interesting ideas. I am new doing affiliate marketing and hope I can see a difference after trying out some of your ideas. Many Thanks!
I would like to also add that people deciding to become Affiliate Marketers should try to work on finding Niche market Affiliate Programs.
I think many people have thoughts of working with Amazons program but have not thought outside of the box. I do want to mention that we have just started our own Affiliate Program. It is very niche. We work with Mark Lewis Art. He is a listed artist and done shows with big names in the industry. Howard Behrens, Michael Godard, Chris Dellorco and others. He is offering 10% commission, free signup, free video training. His original artwork in Las Vegas ranges in price from $2500 to $15,000! So the upside to the program is appealing. So perhaps you could include in future articles the benefits of going Niche instead of big box. It can be a game changer for those individuals that really want a fighting chance to make Affiliate Marketing a way of life.
Hello and reading this has finally made me understand how the system works. I want to start affiliate marketing. I have found a company that I want to promote but need someone that can take over all of the phases and get it up and running. Aweber is a good one to use as an autoresponder and I already have a membership. Just have to go ahead and activate it. I hope you can give me some insight. Do I go ahead on my own or get with a plan that can do this for me at a minimal cost.
Thanks for a nice job. I am currently promoting some of the affiliate programs listed here and making a few dollars from them. But I must say that making money from affiliate programs is not rocket science; it requires hard work and perseverance. Affiliate marketing keeps evolving daily and any serious affiliate should be ready to change tactics and invest time and money in order to beat the competition.
You may need some traffic (but a few traffic is enough to start with) to get guaranteed success especially if the traffic is targeted. Whatever be the case, I have so much faith in affiliate marketing because of the relative success it has given me in the area of making money online.
Thanks once again. Do have a pleasant day.
This is gold Im very interested in helping small business owners get maximum return on their marketing, and this list will help me to help them!
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