Note: this post obviously has affiliate links because this whole post is about how I’m trying harder at affiliate marketing. 😉
Regular readers know how obsessed I am with doing more with less.
Which is why it might be surprising that prior to December, I hadn’t done much affiliate marketing.
I was part of several affiliate programs for tools and programs I used, and promoted them where it made sense, but there was nothing intentional about it. I didn’t make an effort to join programs, or even to promote the ones I was already a part of.
And really, it was silly.
When you talk about tech and automation as much as I do, affiliate marketing makes so much sense! 🙌
It’s an area where I’m naturally talking about tech tools all the live long day. And even outside of automation, having worked in online marketing for so long prior to starting my online business means I know a lot about a lot of tools, and my audience knows this and asks me questions about it.
So between the personal emails and messages I was sending answering people’s questions and my own content, I was referencing things that probably had affiliate programs really frequently.
Hell, I was talking about things I actually was an affiliate for, but not using my affiliate code because I’d forget or just didn’t feel like it or something.
Tbh, affiliate marketing just was not a priority. 😬
But like I mentioned in my most recent monthly update, I haven’t been able to work as much lately while I’ve struggled with my illness’s most recent flare-up. I’ve had to postpone some big money-making projects, like launching new services and running a promotion for Build Your Own VA.
Since I haven’t been healthy enough to dive into long-form content creation much lately, I’ve been playing a lot with smaller projects, like improving the sales funnels for BYOVA, re-optimizing old content for SEO based on more recent keyword research, and more.
And one of the projects that’s been the most fun? I’ve been running affiliate marketing experiments.
Sure, a lot of best practices focus on creating a lot of targeted content for offers you promote, and sure, that’s on my “to do…someday” list. But when I only had an hour or two per week to work, small experiments were perfect.
I may not have built out a huge system that’s bringing in a thousand bucks, but I’ve been able to test and verify each of these strategies without putting in a ton of work, and now I’ll know what to focus my efforts on when I have more time!
So today, we’re diving into how exactly I’m testing these strategies!
Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing
Now, let’s clear something up quick. Did I come up with all of these ideas completely on my own? No, I stole them from the freaking Queen of Affiliate Marketing.
And I mean that I stole them in the best way.
Michelle makes complete bank from affiliate marketing in ways that have never skeeved me out, which believe me, is hard to do. 😝 I’m a judgmental content snob, but her stuff never feels cheesy, and obviously it could not be working better for her.
So I threw money at her Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course to steal her strategies. 😉
And! And! And! I’m offering a bonus for anyone who enrolls.
Like I talk about later in this post, the main place I’ve applied Michelle’s strategies is with my email list. I have tagging and segmentation systems, automated funnels, and more helping me make affiliate income, and it’s where all of my success and hard cash money 💰 has come from.
If you buy Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing through my affiliate link, you’ll also receive a free ebook all about my affiliate email marketing systems.
You’ll learn how I build interest lists for the products I promote, what content I send different segments, the system I use to plan and schedule content, and how I promote so many things without getting on people’s nerves! 🙌 It’s a juicy ole case study, with screenshots of my actual account setup.
The affiliate marketing experiments I’m using to make more money from less content
1. Crazy segmented email marketing
This has hands-down been the most profitable experiment so far.
The main thing I took away from Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing is how important it is to be consistent with your efforts.
Not just because it takes time to get good at anything, but because it takes time for your audience to get used to your new efforts and to get familiar with the products you promote.
But, like I said, one reason I’ve chosen now to toy with affiliate stuff more is because I don’t have a ton of time, I’m not trying to create a ton of new content.
And if there’s one thing that startup life has taught me, is that tech is a great replacement for time!
So if I didn’t have time to create wonderfully in-depth content for everyone, stuff that could convince anyone to buy the affiliate offer, I would use tech to find a workaround. That ended up being creating wonderfully succinct content for really targeted audiences who didn’t really need to be convinced to buy.
Enter crazy segmented email marketing.
You see, I have an annoyingly large amount of tags, segments, and automations in my ConvertKit account. I know so much about my readers that I know exactly which affiliate products are perfect for them, and writing promo emails becomes a short and easy task.
First of all, I have a tag for each affiliate product I promote, and using ConvertKit’s link triggers, whenever someone clicks on an offer, they’re tagged as interested in the product. Then I can talk to them about it forever and ever.
Then, I have a lot of other tags and segments going on based on how subscribers behave. By combining those to raise awareness in affiliate products and the product interest lists to send more more promotional content to, I built myself a nice little set of affiliate funnels. 🙌
In the free case study I’m offering to Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing students, go into more detail about the ConvertKit tagging system I built to nurture awareness and interest lists, and then what content I send them.
So…yeah…may wanna buy that. 😉
2. Affiliate program landing pages
Oh man, I wish I had a finished one to show you, because I have a feeling they’ll be one of the most effective things I do. (Check back later, because I’ll definitely update this!)
You know how you’ll see a social media post about how an influencer is getting amazing results from a certain tool, or learned so much from a certain tool, but then just link you to the affiliate sales page instead of telling you more about their experience?
To me, that gives someone no reason to purchase through that link. If I click on it, I want to learn MORE about how they got amazing results or what they learned from it.
So I’ve written content for landing pages to solve this problem.
Think of a short cover page or webinar landing page that summarizes and offer and what you learn – doing something like that is a great way to share your unique experience with an offer and really convince them.
I’ve written content for 3 affiliate landing pages so far:
- Paul Jarvis’s Chimp Essentials course – sort of a mini-review focusing on what you learn and why you need to.
- BoardBooster Pinterest automation – it’s mentioned a lot in my courses and blog content, so I wanted a central place to summarize and update my results from it.
- The Plus Collaborative – as a contributor to the paid magazine and resource library, I want a place to add more info on what being a contributor even means, and which content of mine you can find when you become a member.
I still need to set up a good landing page template and then actually create them, but I can’t wait to update you on their progress compared to what I’m currently doing – sharing a link directly to the product’s sales page.
3. Dedicated affiliate webinars
We’ve talked about how profitable webinars are for years. Lately, I’ve also been hearing lots of rants and raves about affiliate webinars. Once I went through Michelle’s course and understood my affiliate marketing strategy a little more, I realized why.
Affiliate marketing just amplifies all of the existing strong points of webinars. They have a captive audience and high conversion rate, but they’re time consuming to plan and create, especially for a one-time thing. And for me, I suck at the pitch. God, I suck at pitching my own work. I totally clam up.
But with affiliate webinars, someone else is coming up with the content – and the product it’s promoting. And you may not even need to pitch it! 🤗 That’s taking the hardest parts off your hands.
You then just need to promote the webinar, and you make bank. And if you just sold something with a recurring cost, there’s a good chance you just make RECURRING income.
Hot diggity. 🎉
So make sure your audience shows up, and your affiliate partner will handle the rest.
Or, go ‘head and do the whole thing yourself, but create content promoting an affiliate product instead of your own products or services. This lets you promote more than one product in one session – normally a no-no – and again, ride that sweet sweet passive income train.
This is becoming such a popular strategy with webinars, so I decided to jump in and bring 2 different influencers to talk to my community in the next month or two. 😀
I’ve also started planning a webinar idea repurposing one of my successful affiliate blog posts as a live training, so there’s that too! Once I do go back into more hardcore content creation mode, that is.
And obviously, I’ll come back and update with this post from about how my March webinar goes. 😀
Experiment for yourself
Like I said earlier in the post, the biggest thing that I’ve learned about affiliate marketing from Michelle’s course is that you have to be consistent, you have to try multiple methods, and you have to put offers in front of your audience over and over again.
I tend to have the problem of coming up with great ideas and executing them lazily, I didn’t want to keep doing affiliate marketing that way though, especially when it’s such an easy fit for my content.
So I want you to take a look at your business and think about where affiliate marketing might fit into what you’re already doing, so you can make more money from less content.
If you need help figuring that out, Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing will break it down like Missy Misdemeanor Elliot. 💁🏻 Remember – if you buy through my link, send me an email and I’ll send you my