Business Growth
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Affiliate Marketing

Following the various ideas we have covered in earlier episodes you may have been able to build a substantial following. Now is the time to consider affiliate marketing as a low-cost option to generating income.  This is particularly attractive if you do not yet have a product to sell.

What is affiliate marketing? It is an agreement where you agree to promote a product or service in return for a share in the income generated from your lead. If effect it is a fancy term for the historical, but still relevant, finder’s fee.

The most widely known affiliate program is the Amazon associate program where if someone clicks on your link you earn a commission on anything they buy in the next 24 hours, with some caveats. It is easy to set up your associate status, I did it in a few minutes. But there are a few things you should know, and I will share them in my new blog The Geriatric Entrepreneur launching to tie in the start of season 9 on IBGR next week. Although I will be focusing on the challenges of starting an entrepreneurial business later in life, as the tag line to my new site says “suitable for all ages” the content will be relevant to all.  Amazon is not going to make you rich a few hundred dollars a month is likely to be your maximum earnings. Some folks have made much more. If you have a good following and promote products that are relevant to your community you will achieve a level of success.

My earnings in the first week of being an Amazon Associate – zero dollars. I must build more of a following.

Other affiliate programs can pay considerably more. If you love a product check out if they have an affiliate program. Your sincerity in promoting it will come through and improve your chances of success.

Success story: Jason Flynn wrote blogs on security guard training that detailed the how, how he was producing his blog. He achieved number one status on Google with his content and that triggered a tenfold jump in his affiliate earnings. He promoted the tools he was using to produce his blog and in March 2017 commissions from Blue Host, his web site builder totaled $31,000, Aweber and Convertkit, $15,000, Lead Pages which helps you grow your email following, $7,000. Add it up, that is over $50,000 in affiliate earnings in one month alone.

A final note on affiliate marketing, if you are receiving affiliate income you should always disclose this fact to your readers, listeners or viewers. This is not only good form; in many countries it is a legal requirement.

To sum up the US Federal Trade Commission: Essentially, whenever a link is used on your website that results in a commission, you must disclose this information to site visitors. This extends beyond affiliate links, and must also be done for endorsements, sponsorships, etc. There are some other requirements such as the disclosure must be close to the trigger point. Even if you live in a country that does not require disclosure you should consider following the FTC guidelines. The US authorities have extensive reach beyond the US boundaries and by putting stuff out on the web you are by default doing business globally. Want to know more Ctrl+Click here. And note all the links in my show notes are for the benefit of my readers and listeners, I do not get paid a dime.

In her book Dorie Clark has several other ideas that I have not had the time to cover in my show.

She discusses using Podcasting to build a following. It is very simple to produce a podcast, I use Podcast.co. The challenge is to be consistent. I am fortunate, I have a deadline each week to produce four podcasts for my radio show and that keeps me focused. But success in podcasting comes from frequency, consistency and longevity. And I can attest to the need for longevity. I have been podcasting for over one year and I have over 150 published podcasts. My average monthly downloads are increasing as are my number of subscribers, but the numbers are still lower than I would like. But once you do build a solid following you can begin to attract sponsors and advertisers.

Another potential income stream discussed in Dorie’s book is to develop your audience via blogging or vlogging – using video instead of the written word. Like podcasting starting your blog is easy to do, again I recommend WordPress for setting up your blogging website.

I have no experience in vlogging, it you are interested invest a few dollars in buying Dorie’s book for tips on how to get started.

Another idea – bring your followers together in a mastermind group. Dorie recommends you only do this once you have a well-established following. Folks are busy and if you do not have a large number of contacts you can spend a lot of time chasing down enough people to attend the group to ensure it delivers value.

To learn more about Dorie’s ideas on how to create multiple income streams please consider buying her book using my Amazon Affiliate link. There is no additional cost to you and I will earn a small commission which will help keep this blog active.

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