In this post, I wanted to share my knowledge and experience of an affiliate network that I have used to promote products that belong to other people.That network is called ClickBank.
Here is my February 2017 data
As you can see, there was a couple of weeks where I earned nothing at all. But then other weeks, I earned 7 or 8 sets of commissions. From looking at the data, some of these purchases are from products I recommend in the resources section of my eBooks and eCourses, and there are a few from the Smart Income Detective Blog (For those that have purchased a service or product based on my review and recommendation, then thank you very much for your support!).
Promoting other peoples products is a great way to earn money online, especially if you do it in the right way. ClickBank is a well known and easy to use service when promoting other people’s products or services in exchange for a commission. Anyone can set up an account in minutes (instant approval) and can be promoting products immediately.
How Affiliate Networks Work
You can use affiliate networks in two ways:
- As an advertiser. Let affiliates promote your product or service across the internet.
- As a promoter. Promote advertisers products across the internet in return for a commission.
Here we Focus on secong way i.e. promoting products in return for a commission.
So how does it work?
After you have signed up for an account to an affiliate program such as ClickBank, you have access to thousands of products where the owners are happy for you to promote their products in exchange for a commission.
Simply enter a search term in the search box, and find something that you wish to promote or recommend. (See below sub chapter on which products you should promote).You will then be given your UNIQUE affiliate link.
This link is a URL and will look like a combination of numbers and letters. You can then use that link to promote the product on your blog, in videos, on your review site or on forums.Whenever somebody else click your link, and then purchases, the affiliate network know that you have sent that customer.And if they purchase, you will be credited with the commission that has been set for that product.
Which Products Should You Promote?
I am going to come out and say this right away, especially when promoting individual products from Clickbank:
You should only promote products that you either use or own, or have at least seen in action.
I say this for a very, very simple reason.
If your reader purchases the product on the basis of your review or recommendation, and then it turns out that the product you have recommended is absolute dog poo, that reader will NEVER trust you again.
Instead, they will see you as someone who is simply pushing products in exchange for a commission, and they will realise that you really don’t care about them as readers.I really do think this is SO important, especially in today’s world where money is tight and people are operating on a far tighter budget than they were a few years ago.
To doubly make sure, I ask myself this question before recommending ANY product:
‘Would I happily recommend this product to my family, will they get value from it, and will it help them achieve what they are trying to achieve?’
If the answer is no, then I will not recommend that product to my readers. Of course, the path you take is up to you, but I have found affiliate marketing to be much more profitable when I am promoting products that I use and have had value from, and can then share that with my reader or audience.
Exceptions to the Rule
There is a difference between monetizing your blog or website, and promoting a product or service.
If you monetize your website or blog with adverts (such as Amazon products, AdSense) then that is a different altogether. You are not actually saying ‘hey, you should really buy this product because it is really cool and will help you do x, y and z’, you are simply monetizing your site by having banner adverts or widgets showing adverts. So in these cases, you don’t need to own the product – it is up to your audience whether they click on the link or not.
How Should I Promote a Product?
- Blog Posts
- Targeted sites (create a 3-4 page website specifically promoting one product).
- Forum Marketing (as long as it is within the rules of a forum – check first).
- Social Media (Facebook, Twitter).
- Create a Squidoo Lens.
- Create a Youtube Video.
There are plenty of other places you can promote affiliate products as well – for instance, at the back of my eBook I recommend various products and services, and on my membership site I have a section that I call ‘Additional Resources’.
The actual promotion of the product is vitally important. I have seen YouTube videos where a review of a product is promised. I have started watching the video, only to find the marketer recording the sales page of the product he is promoting and actually reading what it says on the sales page.
That is affiliate marketing the cheap and nasty way. Honestly, no one will buy through your link unless you give them some sort of value.
Here are 10 simple rules I follow:
- Start with an overview of the product – two or three sentences explaining what the product does, and how it does it.
- Be honest. If what you are promoting has negatives, then say so. Your audience probably already know the up sides of a product – they want to know what the downsides are.
- Include screenshots. Screenshots give the reader an idea of what is on the inside after they have hit the ‘buy’ button.
- Video. In my opinion, nothing says it better than a video guide of what you are promoting. An eBook may be a little hard to do a video on, but software and even services definitely benefit from a video that shows your audience what it does, what it doesn’t and its general capabilities.
- On a blog post, include no more than three links to the product. One near the top, one in the middle, and one at the bottom. Any more than that, and it will appear pushy to your reader.
- Tell your audience that it is an affiliate link. If people find your review helpful and they decide to buy, they will thank you by clicking your link.
- Keep things simple – don’t use complicated language, and keep sentences short.
- Get personal – how has this product benefitted you, why do you use it, how has it helped you?
- Use Pretty Link Lite to make affiliate links tidier.
- Don’t sell, and don’t be pushy. I never say things like ‘You need this now – but now click this link’. People hate being sold to.
Of course, it is not easy earning money from affiliate marketing. You are most likely going to be competing with other affiliate marketers, but the key is to stand out from the crowd, Also read our guide on Good Tumblr Blog Names