O.K. May I start out by saying that I am by no means a very experienced affiliate marketer. I am still a baby when it comes to this area however, I am continually learning. My intention here is to inform you about what I’ve learned through both the experience I have had, my online marketing course, and any reading that I have done on the topic.
Firstly, what is affiliate marketing all about?
As an Affiliate Marketer, your task is to refer people to online products or services. If the people you refer decide to make a purchase, you receive a commission.
There are a few ways to refer people to products and services you affiliate with. The most common ways would be with the use of paid advertising (eg Facebook, Google or Bing ads) or via a website (eg writing blogs).
As an affiliate marketer, your main task will include creating and managing websites, creating marketing campaigns and conducting data research to measure the efficiency of your work.
I promise you, it sounds a lot scarier than it actually is. Mind you, if I read those tasks before I decided to start affiliate marketing, I may have never started.
I know that anyone can do anything they want if they persist in taking correct consistent action. I also know that by taking things one step at a time and focusing on the things that need to be done in the present rather than in the future, learning affiliate marketing becomes enjoyable. As far as the skills go, you may already have many of them, and those you don’t have, you can learn.
Let’s Look At 7 Skills You Will Need To Be An Affiliate Marketer In A Little More Detail.
Self Discipline Is A Must
Running your own business is awesome. You get to be your own boss, work hours that suit you, and you are not dependant on other people for your success.
However, running your own business means that no one else is going to do the work for you (unless you begin outsourcing tasks – but even then you need to keep on top of your outsourcing to ensure those tasks get done – so I am told anyway). You need to have the self-discipline needed to sit your butt behind your computer most days of the week and be productive in your ability to get your work done.
Becoming a successful online marketer does take time. You need to think of your business as a marathon, not a race and you need to know that affiliate marketing is not a get rich quick type of business. You gotta be in it for the long haul.
Success will come down to putting in the hours and not giving up
Explore Your Creativity
As an affiliate marketer, you need the ability to come up with original ideas for marketing campaigns, be able to write compelling ads, and, create appealing landing pages with good copy.
I seem to have a habit of learning things the hard way and designing my own landing pages has been no exception. When I first started paid advertising, I had what I thought was a good crack at writing copy I thought was pretty good, but the poor success of those landing pages taught me that you can’t write just anything you think sounds good on a landing page. There is a formula for writing good copy.
Writing innovative copy can be learned. A couple of books that have been suggested to me that teach great copywriting include:
- Hypnotic Writing by Joe Vitale
- Copywriting Handbook by Sugarman
- No Bullsh!t Marketing by Dan Kennedy
Writing engaging content to current and potential customers, combined with the ability to be 100% totally you, will also make a world of difference for your affiliate marketing business. Do not be afraid to be yourself. Allowing yourself to shine 100% creates your uniqueness and it’s your uniqueness that will attract loyal subscribers.
NB: The SFM provides content and courses on writing good copy
Thanks to the boom in digital technology, designing a web page is a lot easier than you may think. If you have never designed a website before, I’d say the toughest thing about it is spending the time actually doing it. If I had spent full-time hours (ie 9 – 5) creating my initial marketing website (using WordPress, not a template provided by the SFM) I’d guess it would have taken me no more than about a week. Considering I started out with minimal computer skills I’m both amazed and, dare I admit, proud of the fact I actually constructed my very own website. When you are in the same belt, I’m sure you will feel just as proud of yourself too.
There are many web hosting sites that offer free, user-friendly website builders with easy drag and drop templates.
As far as computer skills go, so long as you can cut and paste, drag and drop, and use search engines to find solutions to any problems you may come across, you’re set to design your very own web page.
Having a bit of an eye for design is a positive, however, you do want to be able to design your website in a way that is unique to you. Avoid copying other website designs if you can.
Data Analytics & Problem Solving
Have no fear – it sounds a lot harder than it actually is. Basically, all data analytics is, is the ability to be able to look over your data so you can see what aspects of your advertising campaigns are working.
You need to be able to check such things as which of your ads are running best, the types of customers you are attracting, when customers visit your site and you need to be able to make comparisons between the content you create to see which type of content works best.
To do this requires conducting regular reports and then using the results of your reports to optimise things like your website and advertising campaigns.
For example, if your ad is not attracting enough traffic (ie there are not enough people clicking on it) then you need to look into the possible reasons why. Are there enough keywords? Does your budget ensure your ads are shown when someone enters a particular search term into a search engine such as Google?
Or maybe you’ve got traffic, but people who click on your ad do not subscribe. This may be a landing page issue or perhaps your ad is not appropriately targeted to the right audience.
Once you’ve done your investigating you will need to go about resolving the issue. You might find it takes more than one attempt. Trial and error may be needed to solve any issues that your marketing faces you with. Have I mentioned that affiliate marketing does take patience? (in more ways than one)
That’s the thing with affiliate marketing, you are on your own. There is no one else to help you. Affiliate marketing courses such as that provided by the SFM can teach you how to overcome marketing issues but there will always be a case of trial and error.
Thanks to the advancements in digital technology you do not need to be a whiz on the computer. From personal experience, I’d have to say the ability to cut and paste, use search engines, and send emails are essential. Anything outside of that you will learn as you go.
Even something like setting up tracking for ads you create involves the ability to cut and paste codes into the right areas. It’s just knowing where to cut and paste them – which can be easily learned.
Side Note: tracking is simply about assigning your own code to particular ads so you know where
your leads (subscribers) have come from.
Some understanding of computer programming might come in handy and sure, I.T. people do have an advantage in a few areas, but there is nothing that can’t be learned online these days. It’s just a matter of taking the time.
Marketing and Sales
Your marketing needs to engage clients, drive traffic to your website and spark interest in your product. That traffic and interest gained from your marketing efforts then need to produce actual sales.
Purchase happens by convincing potential clients that your product or service will be of value to them. Your marketing efforts need to come from a perspective of you being able to understand your customers so you can then help them find solutions to their problems with your product. It’s all about them.
Developing the skills to enable you to do this is vital to the success of your affiliate marketing business. Time spent reading or doing courses on consumer behaviour and psychology in marketing will be time well spent. Check out books by Malcolm Gladwell.
Believe it or not, storytelling will become a big part of your marketing campaigns. People do not want to be given hard sales copy with boring facts. Give someone a fact and they’ll more than likely come back at you with, “well, how do you know that?”. I must confess, I am not so good at this aspect as yet because I am very much a “get to the point” type of person myself.
I am learning that most people do appreciate a good story. Stories allow people to relate to and trust each other. Your story does end up having to relate to why your product is worth buying though.
Communication is a huge factor when it comes to marketing. You need to be able to tell people such things as:
- What your product is about
- Why your product is so good
You will need to develop a rapport with your potential customers to build relationships and connect on a personal level.
You need to be able to gain the trust of customers so that you can be seen as a leader. As a leader, you can be seen as a person who can give advice, and recommend products and services you believe in.
Become a leader.
The ability to network with other people in businesses involved with online marketing may come in handy too, especially when it comes time to outsource some of your tasks or perhaps join forces with another business in order to evolve.
Initially, affiliate marketing requires you to have a strong work ethic so you can persist at taking the correct consistent action it takes to start achieving success. Once you start achieving that success and become more experienced, you end up becoming a “jack of all trades”.
Sure, there are lots of skills needed to be a successful affiliate marketer so the thought of getting started can be overwhelming. I find if you just take things one step at a time and learn as you need, any feelings of overwhelm are erased. You may actually surprise yourself and discover you already have a lot of the skills required. The skills you do not have you can learn. There are loads of great affiliate marketing courses, recourses, and tips out there you can source (like those taught by the SFM – plug plug ;))
So if you are the type of person who enjoys a lot of variety within a career then affiliate marketing may be right up your alley