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Affiliate Marketing Secrets (Part 2): Affiliate Marketing for Your Courses & Products

Last week, I gave a basic overview about how to get involved in the affiliate marketing game and make money by promoting others’ items and ideas. Over the next few weeks, I’ll dive into the details, tactics, and strategies I use to effectively make money with affiliate marketing.

Today, I’m sharing how you can round up affiliates to market your own products and courses.

Let’s talk about the nuts and bolts of an attractive offer for affiliates. What percentage of revenue do you give them?? How do you handle payout considerations? How do you handle the financial side? How do you make it easier for affiliates to promote you? …And what’s the dark side of affiliate marketing? (This one can catch you unexpectedly, if you’re not ready.)

By the way, if you want to hear this in podcast form, simply follow this link.

Why You Should Hire Affiliates

When you need to expand your customer base without the extra work of promotions and broadening your reach, affiliate marketing provides an excellent way to build hype for your product or course. They share your work with the audiences they’ve already built—so you don’t have to.

Affiliates share your creation with their email list, Facebook group, or Instagram followers. Whenever someone clicks a special link and buys your product, affiliates get a percentage of the sales. 

If you want other people to promote your product or course, set up an affiliate program. You’ll see higher conversion rates and build your customer base without having to put extra work into finding an audience you might not otherwise reach. 

But you need to know how to divvy up the money for affiliates and manage the details. Affiliates want to see stats about their conversion rates and how much traffic they pushed through the links. Affiliates also want to know they can trust you to follow through with the percentage of sales you’ve agreed to give them.

To run a marketing program that benefits both you and the affiliate, you have to know some of the risks and understand how to run a dependable program. Read on for four ways to get started.

I’ve got more knowledge and tactics you can use to take your business ideas to the next level. Check out my FREE guide!

4 Tips to Starting an Affiliate Program

These practical tips will help you know which steps to take as you get started in the affiliate game:

  1. Look at Industry Rates for Hiring Affiliates

Whatever industry you work in, check the common affiliate rates. If you have an e-commerce platform, see what others in the same industry currently offer. In the information-based spaces of selling software and courses that teach specific skills, the standard rate is about 50%. This means if an affiliate promotes a product or does a webinar, they make 50% of the sale price. 

Some affiliates in other industries do 75%. Sometimes, I offer 100% on the front-end product to encourage affiliates to promote. I get more affiliates because of the attractive deal, and I make up for it because I get more upsells on the back end

For a product or course with a recurring element, commissions tend to run at smaller amounts. You pay affiliates on a regular basis following their promotions, and the rate can be between 10%-30%.

  1. Structure Your Payout Process

You can set up affiliate platforms in a number of ways. For example, you can choose a funnel-building software, like ClickFunnels. These sites allow you to set up affiliate pages and run them directly from your account. You can also go with an affiliate marketing platform, like WarriorPlus or ClickBank. These affiliate marketing networks handle the details, like affiliate commissions, for you. 

If you have an affiliate you don’t know, you may want to delay paying them until it goes past your refund period. Product and course creators commonly set up affiliate platforms to hold the money until that time expires, and then release the commission to the affiliate. Then, if a customer returns your product, you don’t have to worry about losing money to the middle-man.

Platforms like WarriorPlus have ways to handle those issues for you.

  1. Make Promotions EASY for Affiliates

As the course or product creator, you should make promotions easy for affiliates. They should have the ability to just copy, paste, and run your promo.

Every launch I keep a joint-venture document with all the information for the promotion. It’s got basic product descriptions, links to the sales pages, and links for upgrades. I include email swipes they can send to their subscribers and still make them look like they wrote it.

The easier it is for them, the more affiliates you’ll get to promote your products. They’ve done the work of building an audience, so they want you to do most of the work they can promote.

  1. Stay AWAY from Shady People

I’ve agreed to promote a product during a contest where the creator went back and changed the contest money payout without telling anybody. I’ve had people not pay me at all for promotions. Shady people run around in the affiliate marketing spaces. Do NOT be afraid to CUT ties and stay away from them. 

I make a conscious decision to run my business in an ethical manner. Sometimes, it can feel like I’m the only one doing that. Watch out for the temptation to lower yourself to the level of others who don’t make moral decisions. The lure can be strong when money’s involved.

I treat everyone with respect. When I say I’m going to pay someone, I pay them. I meet deadlines. I act professionally, and I expect others to act professionally with me. When I start interacting with someone who’s not, I cut ties. I don’t care how big their audience is… I don’t need the headache. As a result of these standards, I wake up every day feeling good about my business. 

When you start working with affiliates, always cross your “t”s and dot your “i”s to make sure that you don’t put yourself in a situation that could hurt you. Run your business in an ethical and professional way. Follow all the correct legal steps, and make sure you do everything aboveboard. That way, you can feel good about the business you run.

When you run your first promo and you get hundreds of new customers because someone sends your product to their lists, it feels unbelievable. You don’t really have to do anything except provide the affiliate with some email swipes and promotion materials. Once you start, you’ll never go back.

Watch for next week’s post about promoting other people’s products as the affiliate marketer.

For more secrets the so-called “gurus” won’t tell you about making money online, check out my podcast.

About the Author
Tom is the host of What's the Secret podcast and co-founder of Offlinesharks.com

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