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Affiliate Marketing Advice: Why I’ve Told 3 People in the Last 2 Weeks NOT to Buy from Me

One of the reasons I think affiliate marketing gets such a bad rap is that there are a lot of unscrupulous players in the game. Half the battle of being successful in making money online like this is finding out who to trust – especially when you first start out. I discovered this first-hand when I started my affiliate marketing site.

Note: This post contains affiliate links. Here’s the site’s affiliate disclosure policy for full details.

How to Find Reputable Products & Services to Promote as an Affiliate Marketer

When I started researching products and services to promote, it took me months to find a few that fit my niche that were offered by reputable providers. There is a lot — and I do mean a lot — of garbage out there. Finding the good stuff can be like going on a treasure hunt. You have to wade through a lot of muck to find the goodies — but oh, when you do; they can earn you money almost on auto pilot for years, especially if you choose ones with recurring payments.

In the last couple of weeks I’ve either flat out told, or steered three people away from, purchasing products from me. That’s what inspired this post. First, following are the emails I received and my responses. At the end of this post, I explain why I responded the way I did; list five trusted affiliate programs you can promote (no matter what your niche is); and explain what you’re “really” selling as an affiliate marketer.

1. Question about SEO Writing Ecourse

Hi Yuwanda,

I want to take your course. I started with upwork since 1 year and I can’t make a living. In fact, I write in french (I am a french speaker and more confortable). So I want to take your course to help me create a writing business online.

Also I would like to know if copywriting and seo service are the same. I read many of yours posts and it looks like they are the same, what will be great for me. please answer me.

Best regards,
~NA

My Answer to This Potential Purchaser

N:

Thanks for reaching out. In answer to your query, SEO and copywriting are not the same thing. In simplest terms, copywriting is writing content that gets people to take some form of action (eg, subscribe, buy, call, etc.).

SEO is a TYPE of copywriting; specifically copy written using certain online rules so that a website/product/service can get found online. Learn more about SEO writing here. As you seem to be confused on this, I don’t think my course would be a good fit for you. You seem to need a more basic course, which I don’t offer. There are plenty online, so just Google it until you find one that fits your needs.

Also, as I only know about the English-speaking market — I can’t advise you properly as a primary writer of French. Perhaps that’s why you haven’t had much luck — because your English writing is not up to par. FYI, you might want to look into doing translation work as you seem to have a decent command of English. Perhaps that would be a better fit for you as a freelancer instead of writing.

I hope this insight helps, and good luck in your freelance endeavors.

2. Question about Affiliate Marketing Course

Hi Yuwanda,

OMG I wish I found your website along time ago. You seem to have so much knowledge. I’m trying to become a freelance writer and I sadly purchased another freelance course from someone else. I’m sure yours is filled will great information to get someone going.

I do have a question. I’m on the middle of maybe being laid off from my full-time job. While my plan was to leave that job completely I can’t do it or support myself without that income.

I saw your affiliate marketing course and I was wondering if you think that may be a good supplement if I put it into work, until I get my freelance career going?

I do plan on purchasing some of your ebooks in the future especially the SEO ones.

Thanks for your time.
~NR

My Answer

N:

Glad you found the site helpful. Dig thru it, there’s a ton of free info you can act on without buying anything.

In answer to your question, it takes a while to make a FT living as an affiliate marketer. Sure, some luck up and hit it out of the park in a few months, but for the vast majority, it takes longer. So no, I wouldn’t advise using affliate marketing as an income supplement.

If you’re more advance and already know things like SEO, have a defined niche, have made some headway AND are willing to put in the work, then yes, maybe. But I wouldn’t advise anyone to COUNT ON affliate marketing for any kind of income who had no experience — for at least six months.

FYI, the affiliate marketing course I took (http://bit.ly/2l1Dkhj) – and highly recommend — is good if you’re interested in learning how to start earning money in affiliate marketing. I’s one of the best I’ve seen and from a trusted provider. So yeah, I recommend it. But look at it as a long-range game plan, not something that’s going to replace your day job in a matter of weeks, or even a few months.

3. Question about SEO Writing Ebook

Hi there,

I am considering purchasing your book soon, but I had a question for you. The idea of writing SEO articles is very exciting, and I am sure this would be a perfect fit for me. I am looking for a lucrative side hustle that I can turn into a career with some hard work. I want to be realistic about my expectations though. So here goes.

Would it be realistic to set a goal writing roughly 15 articles per week within a month? This of course assumes that I follow your instructions carefully and work super hard. I understand the need to market daily and build clientele, but I want to be realistic in my expectations so that I can budget accordingly. Thanks for sharing your expertise with us newcomers!

~CW

My Answer

C:

First, thanks for your interest in the ebook.

In answer to your question, I can’t give you any guarantees because there are simply too many variables, eg, price, writing ability, marketing ability, niche targeted, competition, deadlines/turnaournd times, etc.

What I will say is this — the more you market and the more competitive your rate is — esp to those clients that have tons of clients, eg, digital marketing agencies, web design firms, SEO companies — the better chance you have of landing clients.

If you already understand SEO, the ebook will give you all the tools you need to successfully get started. If you don’t understand SEO, then one of the SEO writing ecourses on Inkwell Editorial’s school on Teachable would be a better fit (InkwellEditorial.Teachable.com).

I hope this insight helps, and good luck however you decide to proceed.

Best,
Yuwanda

Affiliate Marketing Advice for Newbies: Why Turning Away Sales Can Earn You Even More

When you get into the “make money online” niche, contrary to popular belief, you’re not selling a product or service. What you’re really selling is trust.

And if you betray that, you will most likely never get it back again simply because there are so many others online who do this type of marketing. It’s easy to just go to another provider.

Feelings = Money

Think about it this way, if you bought a pair of sneakers online and you’d emailed the vendor and they said they have the exact color you wanted, but they sent you a different color – and they refused to refund you your money after you made them aware of the mistake – would you ever buy anything from that vendor again?

Even if they had 1,000 testimonials saying how great they were, would you spend your hard-earned money with them ever again? Probably not, right? I know I wouldn’t. I’d just find another vendor.

I don’t care how much I loved the shoes; even if only that vendor sold that particular style, I’d never purchase from them ever again.

In fact, the very sight of their name would make me angry because all I’d be able to remember is how they ripped me off.

‘I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.’~Maya Angelou

Years later, I may not remember the exact transaction or the specifics of it, but what I would remember is how angry I felt at being ripped off. That would always leave a bad taste in my mouth, and a cold, prickly feeling in the pit of my stomach when I thought of that vendor.

Conversely, if the vendor apologized for their mistake, refunded me my money, and offered me a discount on a future purchase, sure, I might be disappointed that the style is no longer available and I didn’t get the shoe I wanted, but what I would remember is how they handled it.

I’d be much more likely to do business with them in the future – especially if I have a discount coupon I could use for future purchases. This vendor would leave a warm fuzzy in the pit of my stomach.

A Warm Fuzzy or a Cold Prickly?

Which feeling do you want to leave your customers with?

Don’t be so short-sighted or desperate as an affiliate marketer that all you think about is the immediate sale. You want repeat customers, and you also want them to refer you. Speaking of, check out the follow customer service statistics (you do realize you’re in the customer service business as an affiliate marketer, right?).

Customer Service Stats Every Affiliate Marketer Should Know

As these stats underscore, customer service counts. And, honesty is one of the foundational blocks of customer service.

I read something long ago that’s stuck with me to this day, and that is, “People do business with those they know, like and trust.” You may be able to remove one of the other pillars and still get a sale every once in a while; not likely, but maybe. But if you remove the trust pillar, the whole house of cards come tumbling down – most likely forever. Don’t risk it for a few dollars today; bank on the future dollars your honesty will bring in tomorrow.

How Much I “Lost” in Sales

Let’s just say that I managed to convince all three of these people to purchase – even though in my opinion, it wasn’t in their best interest. Here’s how much I ostensibly “lost” in sales (numbers rounded off):

SEO writing ebook: $50

SEO writing ecourse: $200 (assuming they took the bundled course offering, which is currently $399; half of that comes to me; the other half to my joint venture partner)

Affiliate marketing e-course: $80 (the course is $197, for which I earn a 40% commission)

Total: $330

So I lost a potential $330 in sales. The way I look at it though is this … is it worth it to sell my soul for $330? Because when you lie, you sell a little piece of your soul; at least that’s what I believe. I’m already an insomniac, I don’t need anything else weighing on my spirit to keep me up at night.

So be truthful with your customers. The karma you’re putting out in the universe will pay you back ten-fold. You truly can’t put a price on a “warm fuzzy,” which is the feeling you always want to give everyone who does business with you – whether that’s today, a year from now, or five years from now.

5 Highly Respected Affiliate Programs to Join that Earn for Every Niche

In the beginning of this post, I talked about how hard it was to find reputable affiliate programs to promote. Following are five I highly recommend that are appropriate for any niche.

1) ShareaSale: This is a great affiliate marketplace to start with. It has thousands of products and services across hundreds of niches you can start promoting right away. They’re super easy to sign up with and pay you in two ways — on specific products you promote, and on leads you send their way.

2) AuthorityHacker: Building an authority niche blog is a great way to make money in affiliate marketing. One of the best ways to learn how to do this is via Authority Hacker. The creators of the site founded a highly successful digital marketing (SEO)  agency in 2011, serving well-known clients like Macy’s, Tripadvisor, Atari and Evite.

They know what works online, and what doesn’t. They put that knowledge to use to build their own niche sites, and help others do the same, giving you a front-row seat as they do so via in-depth case studies like this.

3) Email Subscriber List Manager: AWeber is the leading autoresponder / email marketing service, and this is a needed service for everyone who does business online. It’s the one I use. You earn recurring monthly commissions, which means that for every person you refer, you earn money from them as long as they have an account with AWeber.

Most people keep their email lists for years and never switch providers because it’s just too much of a pain (I know, I’ve done it) — especially the larger a list grows. I’ve had my account with AWeber since 2009. While their interface can be a bit quirky at times, their customer service is second to none.

Every interaction I’ve had with them has been instant (quick reponse), pleasant and helpful (they always solved my problem). One time, they even recovered almost 2,000 email addresses a vendor I’d given access to my account deleted maliciously. For this alone, I’ll always be loyal to them.

4) Web Hosting: HostGator is  my web hosting company of choice, for all the reasons mentioned here. It’s also one of the leading web hosting companies in the world. This is another needed service that everyone who does business online will eventually need, so is an evergreen way to make money in affiliate marketing. FYI, here’s how to quickly and easily get a blog up and going with HostGator.

5) Domain Name Registrar: NameCheap is the company I use to register most of my domain names. Again, it’s one of those services that everyone who does business online will need at some point.

BTW, learn why you should never register your domain name with your web hosting company, in my opinion.

Notice a theme with the last three listed here? Yep, evergreen services that anyone who is serious about making money online will need to invest in. So start with those if you’re having trouble finding affiliate marketing programs to promote. You can’t go wrong with these — and they’ll earn you money almost on auto pilot for years, if you set them up right and promote them consistently.

We All Need Inspiration

Comments like the following keep me inspired to stay true to myself – and to you. Not, mind you, that I need any push in this area. The whipping my mama gave me when I was 10 years old for stealing Snickers bars from a TG&Y (anybody remember those old five-and-dime stores?) pretty much did the trick for me – for life! LOL! 🙂

  • Thank you Yuwanda for your energy, your insights, your determination and your active example of holding yourself accountable in front of all of us. That’s pretty fearless.
  • Thanks for your new posts in the Facebook Group. You are really caring. Keep it up.
  • You always have such excellent insight and advice. I get so down on myself because of my snail pace. You remind me that if I would just keep going I can do it. Thank you so much.

Here’s to cultivating lots of warm fuzzies in your affiliate marketing career!

Start Making Money Online: Join Inkwell Editorial’s Affiliate Program

If you have a blog that’s applicable to freelance writing/blogging, here are the products for which Inkwell Editorial has an affiliate program, and instructions on how to sign up and start earning.

Your Insights

What’s the one thing someone could do that would make you never purchase from them again? Feel free to share in the comments section below.

Til next time,
Yuwanda

P.S.: Ever wonder how other affiliate marketers got their first sale, and how long it took? Now you no longer have to!

P.P.S.: Find Thousands of Money-Making Products & Services to Promote.

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    Comments

    1. Shardasia Jacobs says:

      Great article! I looked into affiliate marketing some years ago, but never got involved. I came across Vick Strizheus online, and to say the least, my interest was piqued again, and I decided to make sure I got the necessary tools to take doing this business seriously (clickfunnels, getresponse, clickmajick, and so forth). Also, the way you responded to those potential buyers demonstrated a great deal of integrity. My background is in real estate, and it can be a very cut-throat business. I learned that walking in integrity will take you a mighty long way. I took being a person of integrity very seriously and because of that I’ve had several repeat clients and plenty of referrals. Real estate is definitely still my passion although I’ve decided to branch out with affiliate marketing. I agree with your comment 1,000% that “What you’re selling is really trust.” As you said, there is so much junk out there–you have to be so careful. People can so easily hide behind their computers and online personas. Thank you for writing this post. Tons of valuable information. As someone just getting started, I found Vick’s program to be extremely useful. He is doing a 100k operation where he’s showing members what to do step-by-step for free up until a certain point. The steps that are provided for free will definitely help get you up and running in this business and with some further research online, a person could truly be on their way to making money. Of course, in most cases, you’re not going to make $100,000 in two days, especially first starting out, but a person will definitely be positioning him or herself to win. Here’s the link if anyone’s interested: 2freedomnow.com/7steps-yw

      • Shardasia:

        In a past life, I was a realtor — in NYC of all places. Talk about cutthroat! But it was fun. I did rentals and sales. I didn’t hang in there long enough to make a go of it; but I don’t regret the experience at all.

        Glad you found this post useful, and thanks for sharing your journey.

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