I just got off the phone with a very close friend of mine. I’d venture to say he is in my circle of best friends. Definitely in the circle of trust, without a doubt. We’ve known each other for over ten years now and actually our families spent the last weekend on vacation.
We had talked this weekend about a colleague of mine, former employee, that saw the other side of the affiliate fence and not only jumped over, but is now enjoying a nice financial benefit as well as the freedom that comes from being your own boss in affiliate marketing.
I think that story really pequed his interest. The reason for his call was to find out how one gets started as an affiliate. “Jamie, how did he do it, how could I make some extra cash by being an affiliate. Just how is that done?”
I love those types of questions. In it yields so much hope and promise and optimism. An opportunity is just waiting to be discovered and taken. It’s a great place to be and I love walking people through it. It’s one of the reasons we started an affiliate manager coaching program, I love to teach. I really do enjoy seeing people take something they have learned and be successful with it. But anyway, enough about me, this blog post was to be some sort of answer to his questions.
What are you passionate about?
That was my very first question to my friend. Since we knew each other so well, we walked through several different things he loves to do and his wife loves to do. There were several different things they were passionate about, knew a lot about, and would love to teach others about, or simply add value to the search process for those things. After talking a few of them through, I think we not only identified one that has great affiliate marketing potential, but one in which an online seminar or educational program would work very well for him. So, if you are asking how to get started, start by listing out the things you are passionate about.
Here are some things I’m passionate about, love to do, or simply know a lot about, for example purposes:
- Family – I’ve got a bunch of kids and spend most of my time not spent in the office, spent with them
- Camping – Love it
- Huntin’ & Fishin’ – If I could spend my time in the woods, that is where I’d be
- Music – I so wish I could play the ax like Slash or the acoustic like James Taylor, just sayin..
- Gardening – My wife and I have a pretty big garden and love every minute spent in it and eating the harvest
So there are some of my examples. We are actually working on a site that encompasses few of those into one, but that’s a story for another time.
Who is your audience?
After he had more ideas than he could shake a stick at, we moved on to the next important thing, who are you trying to attract? I recently was working with Matthew Scott of Strategic Incubator on our coaching program and this was one of the first things we did. We identified every type of target. We looked at who they were, what they were like, what they did and why would they need the information/product/site I was trying to build. So I walked my friend through this briefly as well.
Identify your target market in a comprehensive and detailed manner. Once you know who they are and how they got to the point of needing what you are thinking of building, then you can create that perfect, value added property or product and roll up affiliate marketing into it.
How can you add value?
Now that he had some great ideas, and he is working on identifying his audience, he, and you, can begin to brainstorm ideas on how you can add value to that person and become a great resource and destination for them. So just jot down some things that you feel would be of benefit. A great place to start is to search for those types of things. You’ll really want to identify a gap in what is being provided already. Adding value within a niche, value that isn’t being added already, service that isn’t being offered, is going to make you stand out and make success even that much easier. So go ahead, jot down some ideas and search around and see what you find.
After that it is really up to you. This wasn’t really a “three easy steps to affiliate marketing success” type of post, but if you start here, you’ll develop something that people will love to go to, tell their friends and you’ll be building a business that won’t be too worried about paid search costs, overall marketing expenditures and Google’s next update (can someone say Florida – I think I just dated myself).
What do you think? Am I off my rocker? Did I miss the boat? Do you have a story to share along these lines?