Shannon Smith is a full-time affiliate marketer who teaches others how to make money online. When the pandemic hit, I lost my waitressing and personal training jobs. I took the loss as a sign to build the online fitness business I had always dreamed of.
I sold 90-day fitness programs that included custom workout and meal plans and weekly coaching sessions over Zoom.I made about $1,000 to $2,000 a month and supplemented my income with savings and COVID stimulus checks. But I ended up working 10-hour days and getting burned out. So after a year of trying, I decided to part ways with my fitness business and find another way to make money.
For months, I had seen affiliate marketers — people who get paid a commission by an online retailer for website traffic or sales — on my TikTok feed. I was skeptical at first, but I had nothing to lose. I took an online course that convinced me that affiliate marketing could be a worthwhile business model, so I went all in.
In July 2021, I used my TikTok and Instagram accounts to market affiliate products. I began posting multiple times a day, giving tips on how to start a side hustle, earn passive income, and grow your presence online. All the while, I promoted business and wealth-building tools and programs.
By October, I had amassed 43,000 followers on TikTok, my largest platform. Since then, I’ve made an average of $8,600 per month in passive income (a.k.a. commissions off my affiliate posts, including several months-old ones and posts that sold recurring subscriptions).
If you had told me a year ago that I could do what I love — creating helpful content right from my phone and working just two hours a day — I would have laughed. I now have the freedom I’ve always wanted.
At 24 years old, I was able to move into a beautiful apartment in New York City. I get to travel frequently, and my life no longer revolves around work. To build an affiliate marketing business, you don’t need to have a TikTok presence. It can be done through a website or some other social media platform. Success won’t happen overnight; it takes time and effort at first. Here are my top five tips for getting started:
1. Ask for help from the experts. —-
Find people who have done what you want to do and learn from how they did it. Reach out to them and ask if they’ll help you build your kind of business. You will save a lot of time, effort, and money by doing this.
You can learn how to start an affiliate marketing business through courses, one-on-one mentorship programs, and online communities. I used the 15-Day Business Builder Challenge to learn new things and get better at what I already knew.
2. Don’t start with multiple niches and products:
To focus your efforts, make content on one platform and find one winning affiliate product to promote.When you know how to market that product well, you can move on to other products. I think you should make a list of all of your hobbies and interests and then look into the best affiliate programs in each category before you choose just one niche.
If you want to add affiliate marketing to a website or account you already have, your niche should be the kind of content that your audience already likes. If you have a lot of pictures of your dog on Instagram, look for affiliate products related to pets. I’ve seen that health and making money are two of the best-paying niches because products in these areas are often in high demand.
3. Find high-priced, winning products to sell. —-
You will spend the same amount of time and energy promoting a $2 commission product as you will promoting a $2,000 commission product. So the key is to find affiliate programs with high prices and make those the main part of your business. I find good affiliate offers on sites like ClickBank.com and Digistore24.com. When deciding what products to sell, I look for those that:
High gravity, or a lot of marketers working to promote the product. If a lot of other people are trying to sell the same product, it probably works for them. You can make recurring commissions if people sign up for your product on a regular basis and pay for it every month.
When the rate of returns is low, it means that most people who buy the affiliate offer are happy with it. This helps me make sure that I’m only recommending good products. Upsell opportunities mean that when someone buys the basic offer, they also have the option of spending more money to add upgrades to that product. You can make money from both customers with low budgets and customers who are willing to spend more if you offer them the chance to do so.
4. Build trust with your audience:
Make sure your content is real, no matter what platform you use to market it. People want to buy good things from people they can trust. My audience can always relate to and understand what I write. I earn their trust by doing things like putting my email address in my social media bios and responding to direct messages from my followers. This shows them that they can always contact me if they have any questions about the products I’m selling.
5. Develop your marketing skills:
Affiliate marketing is not a way to make a lot of money quickly. You need to learn skills like copywriting, getting people interested, and talking to people.
These are the skills that separate a good affiliate marketer from a great one. There are many online courses, like Dave Sharpe’s The Legendary Marketer and certain courses on Skillshare, that can help you master them.
Courtesy: CNBC Make It