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The Easy Way to Grow Your Audience and Sell Stuff

Want to know what the biggest problem you'll face when trying to sell anything online? It’s not the time it takes or even the amount of money it costs to advertise. It’s not that your product sucks. It’s not that you can’t write a killer sales page (although this helps).

The biggest problem you will face has been around for ages. Marketing Guru Peter Thiel put it best when he said…
Poor distribution—not product—is the number one cause of failure.
In other words, if you can’t get your stuff in front of the right people you’re going to fail. So the problem is this--how do you get your stuff in front of the right people? Enter affiliate marketing.

What is affiliate marketing?

Definition: A way for a company to sell its products by signing up individuals or companies ("affiliates”) who market the company's products for a commission (entrepreneur.com)

In other words, affiliate marketing is what happens when you sell something for someone else and receive a cut of the sale. You can also partner with someone else to get your own stuff sold to a larger audience. In order to have an effective affiliate program you need at least three parties:

Merchant: Dude with the product to sell
Affiliate: Dude advertising for the person with the product
Consumer: Person willing to buy the dude’s stuff from the affiliate

Why should you try affiliate marketing?

Your biggest problem is not your product. Your biggest problem starting off is your platform. It’s simply not big enough to make money from. This is why you need affiliate marketing.

There are at least two solid reasons to try affiliate marketing.
  1. To get your stuff in front of a crapload of the right people fast and make good money.
  2. To make money from commissions advertising a product that you believe in.
Affiliate marketing works both ways--for the person trying to sell their own product, and for the person trying to sell someone else's product. You should use affiliate marketing to get your product noticed or to promote things you believe in.

What does affiliate marketing look like?

It depends upon if you want to sell your own product, or if you want to market a product you believe in.

Seller

Maybe you have a really cool idea for a great book. Think of this scenario. You spend months designing the book, making sure it appeals to your target audience. You finish a rough draft, hire an editor, and publish the final draft. You wait for the sales to roll in, but nobody buys. Was it because your book was terrible? No! It’s more likely that you don’t have an audience.

Reaching out to companies and business that your readers frequent, you can use their platform to reach a bunch of people that would normally never hear about your book.

You can also reach out to individual authors and entrepreneurs in your niche, offering them incentives to market your book to their audience.

Marketer

Now maybe you don’t write books or build courses. Maybe instead you love to cook. You devour books and courses about how to make a perfect meal. You know more about Asian cuisine than anyone on the block.

What if I told you can use your knowledge and passion to sell products you believe in! Digital marketing expert Yannick van den Bos describes the process of affiliate marketing:
  • Find a product you love
  • Find an audience
  • Send all traffic to a landing page with a free giveaway
  • Monitor the results
Taking the example above, you love the cookbook Korean Food Made Simple. You find out that other middle-aged chefs would love this book as well. You run ads to your blog where you not only review the book but offer a free e-book of your own to collect emails. Then you monitor the results.

To wrap things up, you need an audience in order to sell a product. If you don’t create products but have certain interests you can market the things you already use and love.

For more quick tips like these, feel free to subscribe for pro marketing advice delivered to your inbox once a week.

SOURCES
Adams, R. (2017, May 25). The Definitive Guide To Affiliate Marketing. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/robertadams/2017/05/25/the-definitive-guide-to-affiliate-marketing/#5b1bff8a75ff

Affiliate Marketing Made Simple: A Step-by-Step Guide. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://neilpatel.com/what-is-affiliate-marketing/

Bos, Y. V. (2018, March 15). How I Make a Full-Time Income in My Spare Time -- And How You Can, Too. Retrieved from https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/310184

Crain, Z., & Ekstrom, J. (n.d.). Affiliate Marketing Definition - Entrepreneur Small Business Encyclopedia. Retrieved from https://www.entrepreneur.com/encyclopedia/affiliate-marketing

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