Same here, this post kind of fell from the sky at such a great time. Been building a great community of readers over the years but reached a point where I’m losing money maintaining the site and newsletter. As you said, the ads don’t bring much -ironically I use Adblocks too but affiliate marketing always seemed like a weird and opaque subject. I’ve read many of Chris Guillebeau’s books in the last few months (this is how I discovered your site actually!) and I didn’t realize he had affiliate links for instance. Your post opened up a new window of possibility for me. Still need to process everything and do the work behind but a big thank you to you Sean!
Tip 9. Build Trust with your Followers and Market. There’s nothing better than having people trust you when you’re advertising to them. When you build a relation ship with the people you market to it will allow you to build a far better business online. By trying to just sell to people who don’t trust you is a recipe for disaster and that’s why you should try and build trust before you give them your affiliate link.
I eventually learned the best model (for me) was to copy what Yoast did… charge a flat free for SEO Audits. People were always super happy with my audits. I still have my SEO audit templates (one for local SEO, national SEO, etc). Sometimes it would only take me 4 hours to write an audit and I would get $750, sometimes more if they wanted a more thorough audit. Maybe I undercharged?
You'll also need ecommerce software, fulfillment software, worry about warehousing, customer service and refunds. But that's not all. You'll also need traffic. Think search engine optimization, Facebook ads, and other social media campaigns. It is hard work, especially on your own. You could opt for Amazon's platform, which might be the easier route. But, then again, at the end of the day, this is a serious business, which could produce significant profits. So you're either all in or you're not.
As you probably know by now, most affiliate tracking software is pretty complex to get setup! You won’t have any setup issues with LeadDyno. We designed it to be really easy to integrate with your website. Many of our E-Commerce integrations are “one-click.” For example, if you’re a Shopify store owner, you simply enter the URL of your store, give LeadDyno permission to connect with it, and you’re done. You simply do this once, and you’re ready to start rolling out links and marketing materials to your affiliates! We also provide complimentary setup help. We’re available to assist five days per week via phone, six days per week via live chat, and seven days per week via email.
Be sure to check what kind of customer support you can expect from your affiliate program once you have signed up. Do your research online and if possible, speak to other sellers using the program to get their thoughts. Can you speak to someone via phone or Skype or do you have to wait 72 hours for email responses? Be clear on this because trust me, you will need support at one point or another.