In my opinion, selecting the right affiliate product to sell or market has nothing to do with the commissions they offer, what promotional materials they have, their EPC’s (earnings per click), or any such nonsense that most affiliate marketers tout as being so important. While those metrics can give an indicator of the popularity of the offer, and its ability to convert, there are far more important factors that should be taken into consideration first….
The best affiliate product choices are the ones that work!
Contradictory to what many online marketers teach, I firmly believe in promoting products and services that I use as part of my business (or in my personal life), that I know produces “real” results for me, IN other words, something that I know works. What a concept, right?
So many marketers promote and even review products and services that they do not use, have no idea about, or cannot actually verify it does what it says it does – just for the affiliate commissions. That does not mean that the product itself isn’t any good, but for me there is a huge integrity issue. The question is who do you want to be?
It is one thing to make money, it is another to recommend or sell products that you can’t stand by or that you yourself have never used or seen in action. Is that the foundation for a real business?
If you look at the Internet Marketing industry. Check out Munch Eye as an example. Most of the products listed on this site will go on to sell hundreds, if not thousands, of copies… but honestly, none are going to make you successful online. Most use psychological sales and scarcity tactics and a rehashes of other products with a twist that consumers and people “seeking shortcuts” buy up without reservation and in most cases never actually use.
So yes, as an affiliate you can make money selling these products and services, but pick wisely. Again… I ask you what is your intention… is that the foundation for a “real” business. Remember, longevity comes from building a reputation, a relationship with your followers, and from being able to re-market to your lists but always with providing “true” value first.
If you don’t believe in yourself, your product, your service, or whatever it is that you are promoting, then your success will always be mediocre at best… and sooner or later it will catch up with you. I watch so many “BIG” marketers promote utter junk. I know these people do not use 95% of what they promote in their businesses… yet for some reason they have no issue with it… the thing is, because they already have an established following, and products and services under them, people get caught up in the hype. But things are changing!
The people that make the millions, do so by building a “real” sustainable business along with a good reputation. Affiliate marketing is a supplemental income stream. It is a way to “add value” to their existing businesses. Those that still get through using questionable marketing tactics will eventually fail as more people wise up and eventually realize some of the universal truths of online marketing.
If you are just starting out, to compete with these people who already have large lists or a huge following, you need to set yourself apart, create strategic alliances, do so by being honest, but asking for review copies of products, and by promoting the products and services that actually help you be successful!
It is ALL in the marketing
Any marketer knows knows that you can sell anything and make money online. The formula is pretty simple… have product to sell or market, get traffic, build a list… and scale that to whatever heights you can.
The Internet Marketing industry is a great place to learn advanced marketing tactics. As a research tool and in some cases to find some useful systems to help you on your way. But it is not the solution. In some cases you are better off launching your business before you bother getting sucked into the void of information overload.
Needless to say, you can observe how vendors market with slick, scarcity driven, but well crafted sales funnels. Which is the ultimate take away… even better than being an affiliate if you learn how to structure your own offers and become a product or service vendor yourself.
Just check out the JV (Joint Venture) pages for any offer on Muncheye, and look at how they incentivize people to promote their products, how they structure there back-end offers (upsells / downsells / OTO’s aka one-time offers) to literally extract as much money out of each sale as possible. Here is an example from a product I promoted (and use… and love)…
You can see, that this chart taken from their JV/Affiliate page. It shows how their entire offer was structured for their initial launch and the possible total sales per purchase that I could make. If you were to fall into the trap of buying some of the products or services offered by vendors on Muncheye you would very quickly see how lucrative it can be to promote some of these products in your own business… assuming they are related to your niche.
While there is nothing at all unethical about this type of marketing tactic… known as a sales funnel… heck it is smart business. How often have you bought a burger and been asked if you want to make it a combo or if you would like fries with that? What about buy two get one free? etc… etc.
The issue is, that some of these marketers create a frenzy of buyers using affiliates to promote the offers, incentivizing you to promote for them, they sometimes use misleading verbiage and screenshot with a high level of sales psychology. Doing these launches actually help them bypass FTC regulations and scrutiny because the launches come and go fast and they do sometimes offer great deals. But if you don’t need it, won’t use it, and do not take them up on the money back guarantees… then only you lose.
So when picking affiliate products to promote… think about these things. Consider who you are and who you want to be. It is wrong to pretend or intimate that a product or service itself is responsible for generating the revenues or success as stated and touted on the sales page… in ALL cases it is 100% not accurate and most likely unrepeatable by anyone that has not got a certain level of experience or willingness. Having a disclaimer means nothing when it comes to integrity.
To know how to make money online is to understand how to market and what drives and motivates people to purchase and buy products and services. It is to tap into desire and to incite an emotion and to target leads with a high buyer intent effectively. But you do not need to mislead them. If you feel you do, then do something else, or figure out what it is that you are really afraid of.
The promise of failure and the ultimate irony
So many people turn to the online world with the promise of making money and starting a business on a dime only to fail because they think that it can be done with a piece of software or plugin, or without doing the work necessary, to do build a “real” business and to make the necessary strategic alliances to truly succeed.
Most of what is sold is nothing more than distractions purchased by people who themselves are searching for the next “Magic Bullet” that will give them the edge they need or because of the steep limited time discount for that “future” scenario where the product might come in handy… after which many other far better products will get released if they ever need it at all. Do you get my point?
Don’t be that sort of a marketer. Use the tactics, but be ethical, and promote products that you can genuinely stand behind and have tested or actually used yourself. The goal should always be to become the product or service provider, but affiliate products and services are great ways to jump in and make extra cash and to bring great products and services to your clients or lists. But be real.
Tricking or misleading people to make a sale or to compete with others shows weakness of character. It is a shame that this buy, buy, buy mentality becomes a necessary learning curve for most all people looking to the internet for “free” or “easy” money or the next “secret” that will improve their business, or make them thinner, more beautiful, muscular, smarter or whatever it is that people are looking for,
Even the marketers who are guilty of promoting product after product as an affiliate, just because they can and it makes them great money, if you actually sat down with them and asked them what led to their success (assuming they are “really” successful), they would most likely tell you it was when they themselves stopped being the consumer and started becoming the seller. Ironic, isn’t it? They took action, but to do so, stopped doing the very thing that they are dependent upon to make money.
Then we wonder why the FTC and other organizations want to make the lives of affiliate marketers so difficult, imposing tough rules, and why Facebook and Google don’t like straight up affiliate offers being advertising on their platforms. If we were honest and good about it, we wouldn’t need those rules.
So what does this have to do with selecting and affiliate product to sell or market?
Hopefully…everything. Run your business like a business. Build a following. Be authentic. Speak the truth. Don’t buy into or feed the hype. Help people.
When I look for affiliate offers or products to promote, I simply look at the things that I already use in my business or in my own personal life. It is not complicated. If it is something new, I test it out, I use it, then if I find it is has some value to me, then I consider letting others know. Then all the numbers and EPC’s and bullshit don’t matter. I can sleep at night and my people appreciate it and buy more from me as a result.
With physical products the lines are less blurred, either the product is good quality or bad, but in the day and age of false reviews and offers promoted by the income it will bring, rather than the service it provides, and accessing a persons real need, the more difficult things become.
Can you still make money as an affiliate and follow all my rules?
Of course. I do. But it depends on how lazy or aggressive I am with my marketing and SEO. I can literally make thousands of dollars a day, without a list, and without fanfare. Note that I said without a list. This is just with optimized YouTube videos and a few tricks that I have up my sleeves. If I am willing to invest the time in ads, create a site, and create bonuses, then the sky can be the limit… depending on the product of course.
I look to longevity, if it is a new product, what is the vision or goal of the product or service, how revolutionary is it really. I cannot state how many products are just similar versions of the same thing riding the wave of what is trending right now. An example of this is video marketing.
Recently there have been at least 10 different video marketing tools that were released. Of all of them 6 were junk. The remaining 4 I use to varying degrees, but nothing beats my virtual assistant. Why? Because what she does compared to these other systems cannot be replicated, is not spam, and give me the edge over all the other people using the same software’s.
With some offers, I may only make a few hundred dollars, but I am in control. I get out of it what I put into it. But if you multiple those results with an active list of people who like and trust me, that amount can multiply significantly, with just one email. But if your on my list, you won’t get daily e-mails about an offer, heck not even weekly. I am too busy with my real businesses. But if something comes along, that is worth promoting, you may find me promoting it but not in all venues. It is just not worth the investment for me.
If you foster relationships with people, based on trust and a friendship, they will become loyal customers for life. That is what I want. Not the one off sale. Luckily for me, my businesses and my income was not built around bombarding people with the next best thing or offer… just the good stuff.
At the end of the day, promote what you know, what you enjoy, and what you like (and can stand behind)… because it works, not because it will make you money. That is how you create a lasting evergreen business and lasting list of clientele and customers that will reward you in ways you cannot even imagine.
Remember, consumers spend, and marketers sell. Wealthy marketers are rarely consumers because they are focused on selling and targeting more buyers. Consumers are constantly searching for a shortcut to something and if your the one providing that something… you will get them hooked… but it had better be good. Marketers are always looking for the next sale but the easiest sale is always the one that you don’t have to make.
Focus on your business, make alliances with people you know and trust, offer products and services that you yourself use and can vouch for, and soon enough you will become a respected authority in your industry.
Check out my resources page for products and services that use in my business and that I can and do stand behind. 🙂