Am I flashing my SiteSell affiliate check in your face to brag?
No, not at all.
When it comes to telling other people how to make money online, it’s all about credibility.
And if you can’t prove you’re actually profiting, then you sort of get lumped in with all the other “how-to-make-money” sites that leave people wondering if that Webmaster has the profits to back-up their advice.
So I thought about it and realized I could turn my success into a blog post to help inspire others.
That check meant a lot to me. Not just because it’s the largest check I’ve received from SiteSell, but because it caused me to reflect on what so many people do wrong in affiliate marketing.
So I thought I’d tell you what has worked for me…
I Use Most Products I Promote
I’ll be the first to admit, when I first started telling people to buy Site Build It!, I didn’t own it.
I was extremely wowed by the fact I could earn $75 per sale (and yearly residuals) that I immediately begin blasting banner ads and text links for SBI! all over my site.
Not a single person bought it for months.
And why would they?
I was just another cold, impersonal website asking them to shell out $299 for the possibility of making money with a website. But of course, I couldn’t really prove it worked because I didn’t own it.
As the years went on, I kept reading all the successful case studies about SBI!. It seemed that every month SiteSell was adding a new success story to the batch. My curiosity got the best of me.
So I bought SBI! in 2005 and created flat-stomach-exercises.com. Not only did I make my investment back in 3-4 months with Google ads, but the site rose to the top of the search engines faster than any site I’d ever created.
Of course this made for a great story on 2CreateAWebSite.com – a site that teaches people how to build websites.
Case studies and real-world examples sell like crazy. So if you are trying to get your audience to buy something, why not build a case study that outlines your experiences with the product?
Saying “The product’s great!” is one thing, but being able to show how it’s worked for you takes PREselling to a whole other level.
I Try to Be Brutally Honest
It seems when I started emphasizing that not everyone succeeds with Site Build It!, my affiliate sales went up. Sounds kinda strange at first, but if you think about it, it makes sense.
When you are reviewing a product and only talk about the benefits, people get suspicious – especially when there’s an affiliate link tied to the recommendation.
However, when I started creating videos and explaining that Site Build It! is not a get-rich-quick program, it’s a lot of work and does not promise instant success, that increased my credibility and helped my sales.
People are so used to websites aggressively pushing products, they find it refreshing when someone doesn’t sugarcoat everything – especially when it comes to a product that supposedly helps you make money.
People Often Ask Me For My Affiliate Link
When you PREsell effectively, you’ll find some people want to make sure you get that commission. I get emails all the time from people who want to make sure they are purchasing from the right link.
Long gone are the days when I used to hide the fact I was an affiliate.
I decided that if I’m giving people my honest opinion of something and showing that I use the product, why should I hide the fact I’m getting a commission?
Sure, the affiliate link probably turns a few people off, but for the most part, people don’t mind it if they believe you are being upfront and honest.
So What’s the Point?
I didn’t write this post to tell you to join SiteSell’s affiliate program, because if I may be honest, most people are not going to generate 4-figure checks every month. (Unless your site is geared toward Webmasters.)
SiteSell’s products perform well on my site because I have the traffic and the right audience. And you can do the same with a product or service that fits with your visitors.
The point is, if you are not seeing the type of commissions and sales you’d like to receive from your affiliate programs, think about your model and approach.
- Are the products you market relevant to your audience?
- Are your recommendations filled with all fluff and no facts?
- Do you even use the products you promote?
- Do you make it easy for people to ask questions?
And if you’re spending so much time trying to hide the fact you are affiliated with the company then ask yourself “Why?”
The way I look at it is, if you really do like and use the product, what reason would you have to hide your affiliation?
Years ago I would never admit I was an affiliate because I thought it would turn people off.
And while that is still true to some extent, the majority of the people won’t care as much when they feel you are being honest and giving them valuable information.
Yes, developing case studies can be a lot of work, and that also means you’ll have to invest in some products along the way.
But wouldn’t you agree the credibility and rewards you’ll gain in the long-run are well worth the effort?