Affiliate Marketing for dummies

Affiliate Marketing for Beginners: Simple 3 Step ATM System Revealed

“Miles, can you actually make money from affiliate marketing?”

The simple, honest answer to this question is… 100% YES!

In fact, my wife and I have been in this affiliate marketing game for more than 10 years now… and honestly, it just keeps getting better. We’ve gone from making a measly hundred dollars a year, to a whopping six-figures-per year from affiliate marketing!

A lot of people think that affiliate marketing is complicated.

But the truth is actually the opposite. Anyone who is willing to do the work and put-forth the effort can make money as an affiliate marketer.

My wife and I are just two of the thousands of people out there enjoying the rewards of this lifestyle business.

But the key here is in how you do it.

There are a ton of fake marketing gurus out there, posing themselves as THE ONLY answer to thriving in affiliate marketing.

They prey on unsuspecting, innocent affiliate marketing newbs who know nothing about the business, and let you subscribe to their meaningless courses that don’t give you any ROI.

Today you will learn how to launch and succeed in affiliate marketing all on your own, starting from zero.

I am also going to show you what the 3-Step ATM method is, how to start and scale your affiliate business, and go through the top 8 affiliate marketing questions I usually get asked by beginners.

Let’s jump right into it!

3 Steps to Your Affiliate Marketing Success - ATM Explained

 

Before we get into detail with the steps, let’s talk about what affiliate marketing is NOT… because A LOT of people think they know what it means when they really don’t.

You’ve likely seen advertisements by fake marketing gurus marketing B.S… but that isn’t real.

Now is the time to unlearn all of that garbage.

First and foremost, affiliate marketing is not arbitrage.

It’s not simply getting affiliate links in front of people, peppering them with link after link after link, and expecting them to click and buy.

You are trying to generate traffic, yes… but you are not doing it JUST so that people will click on your offers!

Most people misunderstand this.

They run an ad or try to build a list, but then spam their followers with offer after offer after offer.

Then what happens? They complain constantly that affiliate marketing doesn’t actually work!

To be successful in affiliate marketing, there are three giant steps to take. Let’s break it down for you in bite-sized pieces.

Audience

You obviously need an audience if you are going to be an affiliate marketer.

This traffic could come from a variety of sources. It could come from…

I do not usually recommend social media marketing to start with. Yes, it has its place, but it is not the golden standard for getting an audience or gaining attention on its own.

I also caution people about paid marketing. Google ads and Facebook ads fall into this category.

It can cost you a lot of money to build up an audience with paid marketing, and it takes a LOT of skill as a copywriter to keep from wasting that money with low conversions.

Getting the traffic is one thing. Getting people to take action on offers, however, is quite another!

I actually recommend that people use content marketing, blended with SEO, to really build their audience first. This consists of building content, usually on YouTube, a podcast, or a blog.

This creates core, evergreen content that will always be able to work for you.

My original videos from over a couple of years ago still bring me traffic to this day!

But I also have current videos that are bringing in traffic as well!

Think for the long haul, and create content that will stick around to help your business grow!

Trust

gain trust of your audience

If you think traffic and offers are the biggest parts of affiliate marketing success, you’ve got it wrong!

Trust is actually the number-one thing to work toward, and I will explain why.

Trust is required for people to take action on your offers. If they don’t trust you, they are not going to be very likely to click on your stuff or sign up for anything.

Generally speaking, trust is built by creating and publishing more valuable content.

If you create content that will help your audience to solve their problems and get them closer to achieving their goals, you will be much more likely to build up that trust when the time comes to pitch an offer… because you will have already helped them.

As a general rule, you need to help them get results before you even show them any sort of affiliate link.

Provide a ton of value, and show them that you are here to actually help them. This is how trust is developed.

The difference between successful and unsuccessful affiliate marketers is that unsuccessful marketers try to shortcut the system and make easy sales.

But they don’t develop trust when they do this!

So step up your content creation game and start building up that trust as you help your readers. Help them first, and then trust that they will trust you enough to click on your offers.

Monetize

Let’s talk about offers.

When it comes to affiliate offers, I would say that about 90% of my income is based on offers made in emails.

But I also have affiliate offers embedded in YouTube videos, inside posts on my pages, inside blog posts, etc.

But ultimately, my direct email marketing is what earns me the most money… meaning that my email list is my ultimate asset.

The thing about email marketing is that you have to know how to get conversions. You can’t just bombard them with offers.

You have to get people signed up for your email list by giving them the chance to opt-into it. Offer them a free course or ebook for signing up.

Then, you use email as the powerful trust-building tool that it is, and you deliver content that will actually help your audience with their problems.

Then, after 2, 3, or 4 weeks, you present a paid offer that will elevate their goals even more!

Make sure to include a storyline that explains how it will help them. Use copywriting to really sell it as something that will provide a ton of value!

Remember… when you are selling with affiliate links, you’re not trying to make a sale. You are actually trying to pre-sell the idea of this product, and then passing the customer on to the vendor for the actual sale.

But you want to warm them up to it by telling them how awesome it is, and by only recommending products that are actually going to help them.

That’s how affiliate marketing works, and it does work.

If you’re just doing arbitrage, and sending people from Facebook ads to an affiliate link, bouncing them all over… you aren’t going to get many clicks.

You have to build that trust. Get them to opt in. Help them. Then, show them something that will help them even more (the offer). Warm them up to the sale. Tell them how this product has helped you and why they need to buy it to help them solve their problem.

How to Create Your ATM

 

Anyone can become an affiliate marketer. But if you want to walk away with 6-figure cash, you need to know how to nail down these three goals.

If you can meet these goals correctly, you can make bank in this business.
I made this video to explain what affiliate marketing is not, understanding this affiliate marketing misconception cleared it up for a lot of affiliate marketing newbies.

Affiliate Marketing for Dummies Step 1 - Grow an Audience (Not a Niche)

First things first.

If you want to succeed at affiliate marketing, you need to work on getting those visitor numbers up.

You need customers!

And there are three things you have to have in place to make this happen.

Start Growing an Audience on One Platform

How do you connect with an audience, grow a business, and not get burned out?

You begin creating content on one platform only!

Try to crush Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and a website on day 1, month 1, year 1, and burnout will quickly occur.

The most valuable affiliate customers you can connect with are people that find you when they are looking.

Searching for a problem they need solved, an answer to a question they have, a what is the next step in “X” do I need.

Some people start with a blog, some start with YouTube or a podcast. Any of these will work.

A super simple way is to browse a list of pre-made affiliate sites and just pick one!

People struggle in the "niche" selection and really all you need to do is start taking action!

Make sure that your first platform feels natural to you. If you are a natural writer, blog. If you feel more natural talking to a video camera, choose YouTube.

If you love having discussions and talking deeply about things… do a podcast.

Get one platform launched and start creating content, here’s the type of content you need to begin to create.

Create Killer, Relevant, Helpful Content

create content

Content and platform go hand in hand.

You can’t just have a platform, and then create nothing to fill it up.

Start creating awesome, helpful, relevant content that will help your audience. You need to choose a niche (audience) and then start creating content specifically for them.

Keep making content. Keep leveling up your content game. Try a 90 day challenge to make one piece of content every day for 90 days. Make every piece better than the last!

Eventually, you will start gaining an audience.

Earn Trust - You Can’t Force or Manipulate This

 

Now you have an audience and have started building an engaged list.

But how do you turn your visitors into customers?

This is a very important step, and you can’t force it!

The only way to do this correctly is to start building trust.

Here are some different ways to begin this process.

Continue to Bring Value to Your Customers

Value is what builds trust.

When someone helps you, you will start to trust them more. That’s really the short, simple answer.

So help your audience.

You have to keep bringing value into their lives, even if they are not looking to spend money right now.

Keep creating and sharing useful content that will improve their lives and help them.

As they start to improve their lives based on what you are giving them, they will come to trust and appreciate you even more.

And that will lead to you developing an actual relationship with them.

This starts with your content. So deliver value and help them.

Then, you give them the free thing or widget when they opt in. Crank up the value even more with this.

Now, engage your email list and keep giving them access to free information that levels up their lives and helps them to achieve their goals.

As you do this, you will be building the trust required to make sales when the times comes to present offers.

Be value-oriented instead of just sales-oriented.

Strengthen Relationships with Previous Customers

strengthen relationships

My wife and I have customers who have been with us for YEARS.

How do we keep those bonds alive?

We keep nurturing the relationship and providing value in it!

We keep them posted with updates. We send them free content that adds meaning and value to their lives. We reach out to them to give them things that might help them in their goals.

We also follow up after presenting offers. We want to know how it worked, and we want to help them utilize it in the next phase of the journey.

Monetize - Earn Commissions

 

Once a customer, always a customer.

That’s how you want it to be.

You don’t want a customer to buy just once, and then not buy from you ever again.

How can you make this happen?

Here are two things you need to do.

Build an Engaged List

build an engaged list

Next, you need to build an engaged email list. This is very important.

Sure, you can have followers on social media and on your platform. But building an engaged email list will do 2 things. It will…

  • Help you to communicate directly with your audience to build trust and present offers
  • Protect you from losing your ability to connect with your audience if your platform were to suddenly change or shut down

But how do you build an engaged list? Easy!

You deliver value, value, value with your content. You use SEO to bring in traffic with that content.

Then, on your blog or website, you offer them a free electronic product, widget, video, etc. in exchange for their email.

You get them to opt in for the free thing, and bam! You have started building an engaged list!

Create Irresistible Offers

Are you offering them a product or a service that they can’t live without?

Is it something that will help them so much that it just doesn’t make sense for them not to use it?

Once you have built up trust the right way, making the step to selling becomes easier. But you still need to structure your offers carefully.

And creating an irresistible offer is a big part of this!

This is where awesome copywriting really starts to come in. The better you get at copywriting, the better you will get at selling.

Your offer also needs to help your audience TODAY. Not next year. Not next full moon.

Today!

So create irresistible offers that will help them immediately. That is the goal!

Earn While You Learn - Affiliate Marketing For Dummies Success Plan

Now you know how affiliate marketing works.

But here is the biggest question...

Why affiliate marketing??

If you want to fast track your money-making journey, don’t possess a ton of skills from the get-go, and want to eventually create, present, and earn from your own products, then affiliate marketing actually ticks all of the boxes.

Affiliate marketing is THE fastest path to earning the kind of money that most people only dream of. And you can get started with it even if you’re not a pro on day one.

You can learn as you go, and earn as you learn.

The most important thing is that you focus on growing your audience and your email list… because ultimately, your list is your number one asset.

At some point, you’ll have the inspiration and time to create your own product, maybe not!

If you do, you can easily introduce it to your audience once the know, like, and trust factors are already set in place… because you will have been guiding your audience for quite a while at that point.

You will have used your presence and knowledge to solidify not only your expertise, but also your genuine concern and ability to help them solve their problems.

At this point, you will have been delivering real value for them for years!

And as you grow your audience and your list, you will also grow your income.

Affiliate marketing is an amazing online business that gives you 100% time and location independence. But it also does so with very low overhead, high margins, and residual income that will support your lifestyle for years and years to come!

Affiliate Marketing for Dummies - FAQ

Next, I would like to cover a few more topics on affiliate marketing, and do a deeper dive into some of the commonly asked questions I get on the topic.

Here are some of the most affiliate marketing questions that I get asked about the business!

What courses do you recommend for copywriting?

I have personally used and gotten great results from studying the top copywriting books, who the course creator learned from!

There are free copywriting courses that bring a ton of value, one of the most important skills to develop in copywriting is the art of storytelling.

Here are 9 storytelling tips to get you started learning to tell stories that sell.

I want to start affiliate marketing in the Internet marketing niche. What offers should I promote, and how do I build trust as a beginner when I don't have any experience… only knowledge as a marketer?

This might be tough to hear, but it is true.

Do not even go into the internet marketing space if you’ve never made any money online!

I spent 13 years earning money online before I entered the how to make money online space.

Just like you wouldn’t try to climb Mount Everest with no training, don’t go into teaching internet marketing if you haven’t actually earned money doing it!

You need to master the skills before you can teach them.

If you really want to teach internet marketing, start with a different niche like these 9 internet marketers did. Make money doing it, practice for 3, 5, 10 years, and then start training people with what you’ve learned.

What do you think about a 90 day social media challenge while building up scripts and content, to then launch a 90 day WP or YT challenge?

social media challenge
I think it’s a waste of time.

You’re better off going straight into doing a 90-day challenge on your videos or on your blog posts.

The first thing you need to ask yourself is this.

“What is the easiest method for me to create content?”

Is it a blog post? Is it in audio format or a podcast? Or is it video?

Be clear with your content origination system, and really invest your time and energy into it. That’s how you deliver content more effectively.

Get excited. Be comfortable and passionate with what you are doing. Do what comes naturally. That is usually how you produce the best and most helpful content!

What themes would be great for blogging in wordpress for someone who is on a low budget?

 

If you don’t have a budget, you will want to go with free themes.

There are core themes that you can use if you have little to no dispensable cash. And one cool thing about these themes is that there are also upgrades available to give you cooler features later on.

Once you have a budget, though, you should really consider getting a Thrive theme membership.

They have the best themes on WordPress, hands down.

But stick with the freebies until you can afford to go with Thrive.

What type of affiliate site should a beginner start with? I don't have that much money to buy and review products. What other types of affiliate sites can you start?

I actually have a story that will help to answer this question!

Have you ever heard of Zappos?

Before Amazon bought them out, the Zappos owner started out by walking to the local shoe store and asking the owner if he could take pictures of the shoes and list them for sale on his website.

He would then sell the shoes and pay the store for them, an easy to set up affiliate website, brilliant!

If you don’t have any money to get started, do it Zappos style! Be resourceful. Connect with store owners. Find products that you can offer on your own site for cheap, that could help people who are in the niche you want to focus on.

Create reviews for these items that would encourage other people to buy them.

You would be surprised by what you can do with a bit of creativity!

What is the best strategy to use when it comes to recommending products, presenting offers, and putting together a call to action?

strategy for presenting offers

When it comes right down to it, email is your best friend for this!

Email marketing can present its own challenges. But as a general rule, you just want to break the entire process down into manageable steps and go from there.

Talk about the next topic in your current email. Get people excited about your offer before they even see it. Help them to see what they need and what problems they are facing, even if they are currently unaware of these problems!

Tell them why this product will help them. Tell them how it helped you, and why you would recommend it.

Name all the benefits, then lead them to the affiliate product by giving them the link.

Tell them to click the link below and learn about the course or product that helped you!

That’s how you send your email with an effective click-to-action that will really compel them to take action.

Conclusion

Affiliate marketing is a gold mine that anyone who wants to make money from their computer should dig further into.

But it’s not an instant money-making machine.

You have to put in time, energy, and the right techniques to get it going the way you want it.

So apply the tips and tricks I have shared with you here. Cultivate trust and relationship with your audience, and always give them the value they deserve.

Nurture your customers by being genuine and authentic in solving their problems. Doing all of these things can really help you to guarantee your affiliate marketing success!

Let me know if you have questions, and we’ll get you set up on your path towards being an affiliate marketing pro before you know it!

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About the Author Miles

Miles is a full time internet marketer who sells information products and a niche membership program with his wife, Melanie. Together they have created a lifestyle business that allows them true location independence and this blog where you get to see behind the scenes and see how they have built their online business from scratch.

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