7 myths about affiliate marketing that need to die
As a marketing strategist, I meet a lot of people online who are either into affiliate marketing, or they hate it and say that they’ll never do it.
It seems like there is so much information about affiliate marketing out there, and, unfortunately, most of it is false. Some of it is downright misleading on purpose, in order to decrease the potential competition.
On the other hand, there’s loads of bloggers who are trying to make a killing online with it, but barely get any traction. Most of their monthly income comes from ads. It’s sad to see that they are not leveraging the opportunity that affiliate marketing provides.
This series, however, is not going to be focused on how to make affiliate commissions as a blogger. I am talking to solopreneurs here. Raise your hand in the comments if you do everything yourself or have only 1 to 3 virtual assistants!
The reason why I’m talking to you in this series is because I want to debunk the common myths about affiliate marketing and clear its reputation. AND show you how you can create a passive income alongside with your main services and products.
So, if you are someone who is already selling a service (or is about to), and are planning to make that service as their main gig, read on! This 3-part series is going to be extremely helpful for you if you want to create another stream of (passive) income.
WHAT THE FRAK IS AFFILIATE MARKETING
Before we start with the myths, I wanted to quickly define what affiliate marketing actually is. I think, most people get surprised when they find out that they are already doing a similar thing, just without being paid for it!
According to the dictionary, affiliate marketing is:
a marketing arrangement by which an online retailer pays commission to an external website for traffic or sales generated from its referrals.
Or, in actual human language, you get paid for recommending a product to someone else.
Have you ever recommended a TV show or a ….. toaster?! Only, in this case, you get paid for recommending it.
With that in mind, let’s jump straight into the myths about affiliate marketing that need to die.
#1: I AM TRADING TRUST FOR MONEY
With the current situation on the promotion of someone else’s products, it may certainly seem that most people are sell-outs and only promote products for the sake of getting paid.
For example, the current scandals in the realms of the beauty community on Youtube. Have you heard of things like getting paid $80k to create a video talking negatively about a product? Dayum!
The thing is, though, that most software and apps and courses that you use and love probably already have an affiliate program.
You don’t have to promote something that you know nothing about just for the sake of getting the moolah. Just make a list of your favorite companies and contact them! I’m sure you’ll be surprised when it turns out that there’s an easy way to promote their products AND get paid for it.
For example, loads of bloggers promote ConvertKit as their favorite autoresponder. And, of course they do, because ConvertKit pays out amazing commissions!
But, I personally only promote MailerLite because I use it and I love it. You can even see their logo in my emails! And, MailerLite has the same features as ConvertKit, just for a way lower price.
P.S. Let me tell you a secret – most autoresponders have the same features. 😉
#2: IT TAKES TOO MUCH TIME AND MONEY
Another myth that needs to die is that it takes too much time and money to get started in affiliate marketing.
Well, it may be true, if you are viewing it as your main source of income.
But, because you are a solopreneur with an actual business and a service/ products that you already provide (or plan to), this is definitely NOT true.
I’ll take my boyfriend as an example. He’s a software engineer and he uses a productivity app that he loves.
He has 3 friends who are also software engineers and they could benefit from using the same app.
The app provides a simple way to get credit for referring your friends to sign up for their premium package. My boyfriend decides to suggest this app to his engineer friends.
All 3 of them sign up and they love the app. My boyfriend earns enough credit for the app that he will never ever have to pay for it again.
Does this take too much time or money? Nope.
#3: IT’S TOO LATE TO MAKE AFFILIATE MARKETING WORK IN 2018
People say the same thing with every opportunity that is not fresh anymore. Yes, affiliate marketing has been around for years. Yes, there’s a lot of people doing it.
But how does that relate to you not being able to make it work anymore?
The thing is, as long as your audience trusts you and you recommend good, non-scammy products, it will build even more trust.
And what happens with more trust? You get commissions from people buying using your recommendations.
I will dive a little deeper into this trust building thing in the part 2 of this series, but for now, all you need to know is this: affiliate marketing has been around for ages. And there’s a reason for that. It’s not going anywhere.
Especially if you are only looking at it as a way to earn some money on the side or create a passive income stream (that is not your main income source).
#4: I NEED TECHNICAL SKILLS
Gone are the days when only programmers could make money online.
Everything is made stupidly simple these days. That’s why the demand for user experience designers is there!
I’ll show you how easy it is to become an affiliate in part 3 of the series. But, as long as you can write and speak and copy/paste a URL, you can make money from affiliate marketing.
#5: IT’S TOO COMPETITIVE
This is a huuuge myth about affiliate marketing that needs to be dead already. And this applies to other industries, too. Like, coaching or blogging.
People get scared because they don’t trust their uniqueness, their expertise, and the rapport and trust that they can build with their audience.
Trust is never competitive.
If you can genuinely connect with your ideal clients and your audience, show them how the product will REALLY benefit them, there is no point to think that it will ever get too competitive.
Imagine recommending a toothbrush to your best friend. They would probably listen to you if they are complaining about their own toothbrush being too rough on their gums, right?
#6: I NEED A LOT OF PEOPLE AND TRAFFIC TO MY WEBSITE
Yes, building a following online can take some time. Especially if it’s your first time doing it and you have no real marketing strategy.
Let’s take a new blogger as an example. Let’s name her Susy.
Susy has been building her blog for 3 months now. She has around 50 posts, and a couple of those posts have some affiliate links.
She spends a little bit of time each day to promote her blog on Facebook and Pinterest, However, she does it sporadically and is not focusing on building trust with her audience.
Susy may make a couple of dollars from Amazon in those 3 months work, if any. Eventually, Susy will quit and tell people that it’s impossible to make money with affiliate marketing.
You see, even though Susy had some traffic coming to her blog, her audience never learned to trust her and take her up on the recommendations for the products that she promoted.
If Susy had focused on building trust with her audience or even suggesting these products to her friends, she would have made a lot more money.
#7: I NEED A WEBSITE
If you’re a solopreneur and have an actual online company, you’ll probably want to have a website. A website is like your house on the turf of the internets. Your website does the selling for you.
But, even if you don’t have it, there’s many other ways to make money from affiliate marketing.
One of them is recommending products to your friends who, you definitely know would enjoy the products.
I will talk about other ways you can promote these products for commissions in part 3 of this series, so stay tuned!
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AFFILIATE MARKETING – DEBUNKED!
Did I answer your doubts about affiliate marketing? Do you still have any questions or things that you’d want me to touch on? Feel free to ask those in the comments!
Do you know anyone who’d benefit from this post? Share it with them using the social media buttons on the left!
Need a great step-by-step course on how to start with affiliate marketing as a beginner? Check out my girl Ana from The She Approach. She has a great course on how to become successful at making money with affiliate marketing! It’s super affordable, too – just $57!
Hi! I’m Cornelia.