Learn Affiliate Marketing, Don’t Start a Company

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The other day there was a post from one of my private groups and one person asked what traffic sources should he push to promote his product. My reaction right away is you have a product and your asking how to market it? Seems opposite to me.

It baffled me a lot that I did a video. The reason why is because a lot of people do something without really understanding how to promote or have any sort of strategy or even have the foundation to start a campaign, let a lone a business. So I went on an explanation on why I think affiliate marketing is the best way to build your foundation.

I learned this way and I am successful, so this is what I think works. The theory is to start at the bottom and learn, I call this the marketing ladder.

What I pretty much explained is how one person who wants to own or start a business is to learn the basics. To learn the basics, you should start at the most bottom. I believe affiliate marketing is bottom tier and not in a bad way because I know a lot of people that has taken their affiliate business into a real business with employees.

The reason is because of several aspects which I will explain below:

  • You learn to create landing pages, web hosting, coding, design and UI/UX, optin pages, social pages
  • You then ask yourself how to send traffic to your landing page
  • You then learn traffic sources from Google, Facebook, Banner Buys, Search Marketing
    • If you are on a budget then most likely brand marketing, content marketing, seo, social marketing
  • You learn about the numbers when it comes to buying traffic to conversion.
  • You learn to test direct linking vs landing pages
  • You learn to test capturing leads, which then turns into email marketing
  • You learn more traffic options like co registration, list buys, list swaps, banner exchanges
  • You learn to optimize and test all traffic sources from social to long tails

As you can see each tier or part of marketing is learning something because the last lesson learned helps you ask the next right question to be curious and learn the next lesson. Learning affiliate or direct response marketing allows you to think and expand your thought process. You need a very creative thought process in marketing!

If a person asks how to promote their product, then they will ask what their numbers should be, then they give up because its not converting, then they have and lose at business ownership.

It is always better to start at the bottom and learn slowly than start at the top and try to learn and lose at everything. You may have the budget and team to do everything which is fine. If you are brand new and want a business because everyone has a business then learn the business.

I don’t like it when people ask the basic questions, ask the questions that can yield a true marketing conversation and even results. Instead of asking what traffic to use, ask I tested 2 ad variations on a traffic source, but one ad received XX CTR and the other received far less – anyone have a good idea why.

That is a far more interesting conversation for the group and me to get involved because I am curious. Generic questions get you generic and candid responses. I teach everyone to start with affiliate marketing because it truly teaches you online marketing.

More importantly it gives you the foundation to have a business and market your product!

  • erikasimpsonlat

    Im just starting in this industry, thank you for the insights, its really a big help!

  • welcome! I hope the video was informative

  • Malcolm

    IMO successful affiliates, turned product owners, typically are more direct marketing-centric than the rest of the SMB space. “Former” Affiliates seem to place greater emphasis direct marketing methods and attempting to measure the Revenue Per Visitor which can definitely be an asset (as when simply figuring out a revenue model), but they also hold onto some habits that can slow them down. Habits like delegating poorly, being too focused on marketing versus product, and relying entirely on online marketing channels.

    I don’t think most people have what it takes to be a good affiliate, I actually think it’s much easier to start a successful business. Just my two cents.

  • what is a successful business? you still have to market your product? your service? your agency? or whatever it is. affiliate marketing helps creates that foundation to help you learn the marketing aspect. an idea is pointless if you cant get it out to people.

    successful affiliates evolved, understanding the business everyday it is a learning curve and from starting with something small helps you learn and expand as you continue to grow. when starting a business right away, your creativity isnt as visual as an affiliate marketers.

    remember affiliate marketers even turn their affiliate marketing into a business, they still have to learn the standard ROI and expansion and even close deals to grow further from into marketing.

    having a foundation is essential. starting with no knowledge of marketing makes a business a dead idea.

  • This is good advice. Starting with affiliate offers before creating my own really helped me understand the industry as a whole much better. As you said, you need a foundation to build on.

  • Al Murillo

    Hey Iam;
    This is so true as a matter of fact when I started on the affiliate marketing world; I have started as becoming a network. I kind of knew about the different types of traffics and what not but that is not the same as working as a an affiliate and watching your progress as you make mistake and learn more. I had some family problems and I had to let go of the network. I am now here 3 years later trying to start from scratch again. Things had changed a lot in 3 years. My question is: you have mentioned to make a landing page to monetize your traffic even more. How do you do that? do you need to create a landing page for every vertical and collect emails?
    Thanks for reading my story. By the way if you ever back in FL let me know so we could meet. Last time we tried we could not manage a time that it will work for both.

    Thanks again