affiliate marketing

Affiliate Marketing – Profit By Not Selling

I am assuming you have an interest in affiiate marketing simply because you’ve decided to read this post.

Maybe you’re a very experienced marketer who is just checking out why used this particular post title. The answer to that one is easy – I got your attention.

However, please forgive me for a moment whilst I explain to my other readers exactly what this affiliate marketing business model is all about. OK?

Affiliate marketing is when you promote products or services, and earn a commission when a purchase (or desired action) is made via your referral link.

Operating an affiliate marketing program takes a lot of work and effort. There’s also probably lot of competition so it’s going to take you time to start earning reasonably regular affiliate commissions.

However, affiliate marketing is still one of the most lucrative and easy ways to get started online.

What may be surprising is that, from my experience and learning from the leading bloggers in my niche, you will sell a lot more of your affiliate offers if you DON’T try to sell them on your blog.

Now I know this sounds a little crazy but let me explain.

I know that many affiliate marketers will disagree with me. To be honest, I’m always willing to learn from folks who are far more successful than me with affiliate marketing.

affiliate marketingSomething Different To Think About!

To be successful with affiliate marketing and your blog you need to be continually developing relationships.

Success as a blogger as well as an affiliate marketer relies upon your ability to consistently be seeking out potential connections online.

 

 

Producing valuable, relevant content and building relationships are the cornerstones of every blogger’s success.

If you are relatively new to the blogging world like me (less than 12 months) then we need to be consistently reaching out to folks in our niche and be building authentic relationships.

I reach out to folks in my niche everyday – sometimes just to “touch base” with people I have already connected with. It’s amazing how simply making a “How’s things?” enquiry can lead to so many interesting opportunities. Why? Because thse days people are sick and tired of being bombarded with offers and promotions and they react so positively to a genuine “no strings attached” question.

These relationships can and will form a critical part of your reputation for being trustworthy, competent and generous with your support.

You need to constantly be “putting yourself out there” if you want your blog site to be found.

By the way many people don’t realize that these relationships can often turn into much more than just friendly contacts online.

Are you reaching out to others in your niche every day? If not why not?

It’s not only enjoyable but it can also be extremely profitable – just as long as you treat the entire process as an “enjoyable engagment” experience.

My experiences have also shown me that these relationships can do wonders for your blog reputation via their comments and on-going support.

Don’t Ruin All Your Hard Workaffiliate marketing

After doing all the hard work of building your reputation don’t ruin it by being greedy with your affiliate marketing.

As a relatively new blogger there are ways to monetize your site.

However, I am recommending that trying to sell affiliate marketing offers to your readers is NOT the way to go.

Selling affiliate marketing products directly on your blog can be a “triple whammy negative” for your blog and your reputation.

Firstly selling on your blog can destroy the level of engagement on your posts.

Now think about this.

What happens when you do all the research and hard work to present valuable and relevant content and then roll it into a sales pitch or an ad at the end of the post?

My experience (limited as it is) showed me that it will definitely stop people from commenting.

Not only that.
Because of the “sales pitch” you introduced into your post folks are far less likely to share your post in social media. 

If you’re relatively new online you may want to listen to my podcast about
Deadly Affiliate Marketing Mistakes

Don’t Pitch – Make Them a Mafia Offer

If I visited your blog (and I definitely will if you leave me a comment) would I feel like you were trying to sell me something?

Or would I feel welcomed, clearly see what you’re all about and be able to really enjoy my first visit to your place?

Please don’t think I’m being rude but the answer to those 2 questions will determine if I bother to read what you’ve created or get the heck out of there as quickly as I can.

Let me share something with you.
I have had my share of blog post and blog page disasters.

A few times I tried creating what I thought were extremely valuable blog posts highlighting a particular “pain point” of my target audience, that led naturally to an affiliate product solution.

The outcome was very limited engagement, zero social media shares and no sales.

I then looked around to see what the leading bloggers in my niche were doing.

There were some long established blogs with huge monthly traffic that were clearly successfully selling affiliate offers.

Well obviously that business model was not going to work for me. My blog was not well established and I am still working on building up the traffic flows to my site.

However, I also noticed some other top bloggers who had completely “pitch-free” or “no sell” blogs.

The only item they “sold” was the opportunity to join their mailing lists and enjoy a host of free goodies in the process.

They made subscription offers that were almost impossible to refuse because they
simply UNDERSTOOD THEIR AUDIENCE

affiliate marketingThe Penny Finally Dropped

It was then that I realized what I should be doing.

Follow their lead and focus entirely on building rapport and engagement with my audience.

These top bloggers with “no sell” blogs were always responding to questions and comments making their posts “gold mines of advice.”

 

I loved this and obviously so did the majority of their readers.

These bloggers build up trust and credibility with their valuable blog content and attract many subscribers to their free offers.

List building 101

What these really top bloggers (who were also highly successful affiliate marketers) were doing finally hit me right on the nose. Yes it was like list building 101 revisited.

You see when these bloggers approach their subscribers to sell them an affiliate or any other product, more of them buy because of the existing trust factor already created via their blog content.

They had discovered that list building is a great way to sell affiliate products from your blog.

Never try to close the sale on your blog but rather encourage your readers to join your lists.

Make the “join your list” offer totally relevant to the particular blog post topic.

Right below is an example of me offering my readers how to get free training about how to get targeted traffic to any affiliate marketing offer?

      Click Here For Your FREE Targeted Traffic To Any Affiliate Offer Training

These “in-post” invitations to join my lists have been very successful.

I appreciate and understand that with limited traffic, getting your blog visitors to join your lists can be a bit of a challenge and it will take time.

However, once you have a blog visitor on your list you can communicate with them over and over again.
This is obviously so much easier than trying to get a first time blog visitor to become a customer. I’ve never been that lucky.

Affiliate Marketing Success Take Timeaffiliate marketing

One other important factor is that even if you don’t earn anything immediately from affiliate marketing on your blog, you might earn a very good income because of your blog.

Why?

Because you can use your blog as a platform to build your personal brand. Over time this will create your reputation and lead to a greater chance of your readers and followers buying your products and recommendations.

According to my latest Google Analytics stats more than 54% of my traffic is new traffic and I know only a small portion of those visitors actually read my posts.

I’d love to be able to attract more of them to stay with me but at least when they exit they do have an option to join with me and receive lots of goodies.

My “exit pop-up” subscription list is in fact one of the most effective subscription links I have on my blog.

Email Marketing Not Affiliate Marketing Focus

As far as my affiliate marketing is concerned, apart from a few banners, the only affiliate links I show on my blog are on my “Resources” page.

Did you notice that all other links on my site have the primary focus of building my email lists?

I just love seeing who subscribes with me every day and am always thinking of ways to make them feel welcome.

Do you really welcome your new subscribers or just go through the motions? Do they actually see you when they first join with you?

Now back to the affiliate marketing bit.

It became obvious to me at my stage in the blog evolution stakes, that one of the best ways to do affiliate marketing on my blog is to not just offer great content but do it in my own conversational way.

I also provide this relevant and valuable content without ever asking for people to buy any of my affiliate products.

My START HERE Page

Yes I make it very clear what I’m all about and how I can possibly help my readers when they visit my “Start Here” page. 

However, even here the only links I only provide are optin links with no direct links to any affiliate offer.

Please don’t get me wrong here. I am extremely proud of the affiliate marketing arrangements I have available and in fact I have personally used them all very successfully.

But unlike so many others, I feel way more comfortable building relationships and building lists on my blog rather than trying to sell them affiliate marketing offers.

affiliate marketingMy Affiliate Marketing Blog Strategy

I love sales and in fact I have a very successful sales background.
But for me I want my blog to be perceived as a “safe, welcome and memorable” place to visit.

So to differentiate myself from my other internet marketing competitors I have made my blog an “affiliate marketing free zone”

 

My strategy is one of “attracting not driving traffic” to my blog where hopefully the visitors will enjoy the experience. Yes its going to take time and yes I know that I can’t win them all. However, if some of my visitors can at least get some sense of who Peter Beckenham, The Remote Thai Village Blogger really is, then I believe I have a real chance of adding them to “my tribe” – and start building a real connection with them.

This is the real focus of my blog and an integral part of building a long-term business.

When my blog visitors click any of the “Learn More” or “Yes I Want This Training” tabs they are then asked for their email address to get access to whatever I’m providing.

After clicking more the tabs more often than not that blog visitor will enter their email address as they have already expressed some interest in the topic.

I learned this important lesson from one of my blogging mentors, Donna Merrill.
Donna says that “building a list on your blog is far better than selling an affiliate product directly”.

Why?

Because by offering great content about say internet traffic and then asking readers to join my “free internet traffic training program”, I have found that I get a far higher response than if I simply asked them to buy something on my blog.

This is exactly what I experienced with subscribers on my “free traffic training list”

I could then approach them with both any free list building offers as well as relevant and appropriate paid affiliate products.

Affiliate Marketing Is All About Trust

When a friend recommends a product to you, you more than likely will listen. This is not the same when a stranger makes the same offer.

One thing I must add is to make sure you are always building trust with your email subscribers by offering relevant valuable information and ideas as well as your occasional affiliate offers.

This will lay the foundation for your profitable affiliate marketing.

So to successfully sell affiliate offers from your blog make list building your number 1 priority

Click to Access FREE 4 Part Affiliate Video Training Program

My Affiliate Marketing Blog Links

The only place you will find some of my affiliate marketing links is on my Resources page. And here I also make it very clear that as an affiliate I may receive commission for any purchases via the links I provide on that page. 

Your Turn

I know how busy you must be so I’m extremely grateful of you taking the time to leave me your comments. Thank you – it’s greatly appreciated.

I have a question for you.
In your experience I wonder if writing to someone via email to introduce a product feels more personal than reading about that same product in a blog post?
What success have you had selling affiliate products directly from your blog?

Peter Beckenham

I'm an Aussie entrepreneur who lives and runs his internet marketing business from a remote Thai village. Like you I was overwhlemed and confused when I first started online but I've worked out how to ethically make money online. If you enjoyed this post then SUBSCRIBE TO MY BLOG COMMUNITY where you will get lots more information about how to make internet and affiliate marketing work for you.

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54 Comments

  1. Hi Peter,

    First time here 🙂

    Awesome post. I haven’t gotten into affiliate marketing, so I appreciate the run down.

    I know it’s easy t think it’s a good idea to start selling right away by adding links to products in your content. I’ve found, though, that it’s best to form relationships. Real and authentic ones. Thankfully, I’ve done that – and I’m grateful to know some terrific people.

    I’ll bookmark this and pin it. This will come in handy.
    Great to meet you.
    Dana recently posted…Lose Weight Quickly (or do it the right way)My Profile

    • Hello Dana and welcome to my place,

      Always excited to have first time visitors and delighted you found the post helpful

      Actually there are a range of “affiliate marketing” posts here on my blog so please make sure you check them out.

      I would appreciate your feedback on them.

      As you have not yet started with affiliate marketing may I recommend you check out the 4 part series of “Affiliate Marketing For Beginners” posts – I think you’ll find them very helpful.

      Thank you again for your visit and awesome feedback Dana – much appreciated

      Best wishes from the remote Thai village marketer

      Peter
      Peter Beckenham recently posted…Know, Like, Trust – Simple Success SecretsMy Profile

  2. Hi Peter,
    Yes, you make a good point – it most certainly *is* all about the relationship building. So much so that the audience should possibly be surprised when they find you have something to sell, or they come to *you* and ask if you have anything to sell – that’s where some *big* money can lie!
    Cheers, hope all well in Thailand,
    cheers,
    Gordon

    • Hello and welcome back Gordon,

      you hot the nail rght on the head mate – building a relationship with your audience that creates the know, like and trust factors so that whenever you make an offer, it’s perceived as a solution to a problem rather than an attempt at selling smething.

      That really is the secret of a successful business

      Thanks as always for your contribution to my blog Gordon – much appreciated

      Best wishes from the remote Thai village marketer

      Peter
      Peter Beckenham recently posted…7 Awesome Ways To Get More Blog Post CommentsMy Profile

  3. Hi Peter,

    I enjoyed every second I spent reading this informative piece owing to the fact that I plan to venture into affiliate marketing in no distant time.

    I totally agree with you that relationship and engagement before sales is the effective strategy for every internet marketer. Most newbies rush into selling probably because they are so desperate for money, they fail to embrace the fact that internet business is not a get rich quick scheme.

    I have a new ”make-money-online” blog where I engage and build relationship with my readers and I must confess that the result have been very encouraging, what I think I’m lacking is the issue of list building. No doubt, I’ll pay much attention to that aspect so as to increase my number of returning visitors.

    Thanks for sharing such an educating piece
    ~Chinedu
    Chinedu Ngwu recently posted…Submitting Your Next Job Application – 6 Things to KnowMy Profile

    • Hello and welcome Chinedu,

      Absolutely great to have you visit with me today.

      I am delighted if you found my post about get started online helpful as that is the best feedback I could ever get.

      You are absolutely right when you mentioned that way too many new marketers rush in looking for quick rewards without a thought about relationships and long term survival of their “new business” Its amazing just how more profitable you can be if you DON’T chase the money but rather provide as much value as you can.

      I look forward to coming over and checking out your blog later today Chinedu but I truly must tell you that list building is key. Please give it real focus so that your relationship skills can nuture your subscribers and explode your business potential.

      Chinedu if you need any help with list building or affiliate marketing please connect with me – I’d be delighted to help you.

      Best wishes from the remote Thai village marketer

      Peter
      Peter Beckenham recently posted…Get Started Online the Smart WayMy Profile

  4. Hi Peter,

    I tried to understand the real meaning of affiliate marketing. Thank God i found it here. You link was share on a bloggers blog (enstine muki) although it was listed among about blogs we can comment on with commentluv.

    But what i found here is that your article about affiliate marketing had expand my knowledge on affiliate marketing, where by i can now join some affiliate services and strategies how i could make more earning via affiliate marketing.

    Thank you very much Sir for an awesome article.

    Regards
    Victor Ome Umukoro recently posted…Steps To Get A Job That Pays $400,000+ Without A College DegreeMy Profile

    • Hello Victor and welcome to my place,

      Great to have you visit with me for the very first time.

      Enstine Muki is a very supportive and superb blogger so I’m delighted you found your way to me from his blog.

      Thank you for your very kind words about this particular blog post and I’m very happy you found some real value for your affiliate marketing future.

      Victor I recommend you check out the 4 part series about Affiliate Marketing right here on my blog. This series was designed to help beginner and struggling affiliate marketers to really achieve success with this business model. Her’s where you can see Part 1 of this series.

      I hope you find some more great value in this affiliate marketing series and please let me know if there is anything in particular you’d like help with – always happy to share and help if I can.

      Thank you again Victor – I truly appreciate readers who take the time to leave me their feedback like you did.

      Best wishes from the remote Thai village affiiate marketer

      Peter
      Peter Beckenham recently posted…Affiliate Marketing – A Guide for Complete Beginners Part 2My Profile

    • Hello Vishal and welcome to my place,

      Using YouTube to promote yur affiliate links relies on YouTube accepting your continous promotions so be careful with their terms of service.

      Do you have a blog Vishal? Would you like some help with your affiliate marketing? If so let me know as I’d be delighted to help you if I can.

      Best wishes from the remote Thai village affiliate marketer

      Peter
      Peter Beckenham recently posted…Affiliate Marketing – A Guide for Complete Beginners Part 2My Profile

    • Hello and welocme Alize,

      There is no doubt that if yu have a niche based website where people know in advance that they can visit there for your Amazon products then your message is clear and I wish you every success.

      Product reviews are a good way to provide some value (and incentive) to your visitors just as long as the review is fair rather than a “sales pitch” for a particular affiliate product. People are sick of these approaches and will leave the site very quickly probably never to return.

      My only concern is that you do not mention building an email list which I hope you’re doing as this will be more more important than any of your Amazon affiliate products. I still prefer to focus on this aspect of my business first rather than create blog posts to try and sell my visitors.

      Thanks for your visit Alize

      Best wishes from the remote Thai village affiliate marketer

      Peter
      Peter Beckenham recently posted…Affiliate Marketing – A Guide for Complete Beginners Part 1My Profile

  5. Hi Peter,

    I agree with you about our reputation to be everything for us, without it we are nobody, that’s why we need to promote things that we know are good, people selling things they don’t even know will hurt their business for sure and their reputation, leading to failure.

    About the pitch, looks like the classic guru bullshit, that’s why being real and honest make the difference, “sell the problem you solve – not the actual product”, a really good quote that inspire me all time.

    As always your posts are super complete, very helpful and informative, thanks Peter for sharing all your experience with us so we can improve and avoid mistakes :).

    Have a good day mate!

    Regards,
    Nicolas.

    • Hey Nicolas and welcome back to my place mate,

      Reputation is absolutely everything – especially online when your visitors never get the chance to meet you face-to-

      Nicolas I agree with you totally when you talk about only promoting things we not only have used but that we also believe in. If you feel uncomfortable about offering it as a solution to anyone (even your grandma!) then more than likely you don’t fully believe in that particular product solution and you should stop promoting it.

      Love that line – “sell the problem you solve” – I’ll remember that my friend.

      Actually I’m about to change the focus of all my future blog posts and that line will really help me keep focussed.

      In future I want to position my posts to be more helpful to folks who are thinking about starting online or have just started and a bit lost.

      Thanks for sharing as always Nicolas – appreciate you my man

      Best wishes from the remote Thai village blogger

      Peter
      Peter Beckenham recently posted…Affiliate Marketing – Profit By Not SellingMy Profile

  6. Thanks Peter, good information about affilate marketing. there are a lot of tips I can find in internet so sometime I don’t know what I should start or what I should do but this post make me start to do affiliate all over again with your information.

  7. This is a brilliant post peter. Literally would change someones directuon in a very positive way. Topic by topic the article gets stronger and stronger. Great write up. I hope newbies realise hiw powerful this info really is! In my opinion youve give the blueprint and plan to successful blog marketing

    • Hi Sam and welcome back to my place,

      Thank you for your very kind and supportive wrods my friend.

      Yes like you I hope newbie affiliate marketers reading this post really appreciate that I shared from the heart these experiences and suggestions.

      Sure I have lots to learn but I’m always more than happy to share whats happened with my affiliate marketing experiences – hopefully it will save people lots of wasted time and efforts.

      Thank you again Sam – appreciate you coming by and leaving me your feedback

      All be best from this remote Thai village blogger

      Peter
      Peter recently posted…Affiliate Marketing – Profit By Not SellingMy Profile

  8. Hey Peter,

    I agree with you 100% about making affiliate sales. Its less of a challenge to sell products when you’re building relationships and not trying to sell.

    I do have to say that the only time Ive sold straight from my blog is when I do product reviews which I haven’t done a lot of.

    I think solopreneurs should focus on relationship building and list building. The key is build trust and competency among your audience. When you can do this, not only will selling become easier but also it becomes a lot more fun to build your business. All it takes is finding the right people to engage with.

    Thanks for sharing Peter! Have a great rest of the week!

    • Hello Sherman,

      Absolutely agree – building relationships and list building is the critical path we must all follow if we want to succeed online in the long term.

      I can see that a really good product review can be beneficial to affiliate sales just as long as this strategy is not maintained for every single post.

      For me, my blog is a welcome mat to my community and I sure don’t want to hit in the face any visitor to my front door, with some sort of affiliate offer.

      Quality traffic to our blogs is hard enough to get without pushing them away right from the start with some sort of affiliate marketing sales offer.

      Yes it sure can be a lot more fun when you’re building relationships rather than simply focussing on trying to sell, sell, sell. The. relationshiope we can build will not only be far more satisfying and enjoyable but will also open the doors to opportunites that far exceed the simple affiliate marketing sales approach

      Thanks so much for your contribution to my post Sherman – it is very much appreciated so please come back again soon. OK?

      Best wishes from the remote Thai village blogger

      Peter
      Peter recently posted…Affiliate Marketing – Profit By Not SellingMy Profile

  9. Hi Peter,

    Love the “Mafia offer” hey…you don’t know who I know lol! But so true. Also thank you for the mention because list building precedes any sales. If someone goes through the trouble to give you their information to get a free offer, you already have started a relationship. Now, via email you can build that relationship stronger than you ever can on your blog.

    Its been working for me for a long time and glad you found that information useful. I also notice that you embedded that link in your blog post for access for your free 4 part video offer. Awesome!

    Fantastic advice!

    -Donna

    • Hello and welcome back Donna,

      I couldn’t resist the “mafia offer” bit because its the truth and I couldn’t think of a better way to express it!

      Its really great that you are sharing your expertise here re relationship building.

      The fact that such a very successful and highly regarded blogger like you relies on email follow to build your relationships rather than trying to do this on your blog, is good news for me.

      That’s the approach I’m taking as it feels so much more natural to build relationships like this.

      We can provide lots of specific relevant value to our subscribers over time that also encourages them to keep coming back to our blog. It also enables us to position our subscribers to think seriously about any particular relevant affiliate marketing offer we have to offer them.

      The embedded link to the free 4 part video training has been very successful so far because its not in my readers face – but it does line up with the message in my post.

      Thanks again Donna for taking the time to visit my place – truly appreciate you taking the time to do this.

      Best wishes from the remote Thai village blogger

      Peter
      Peter recently posted…Affiliate Marketing – Profit By Not SellingMy Profile

  10. When I started my 2nd blog oh so many years ago, I had an affiliate ad at the end of each one, and they rarely had anything to do with the article. Back then the idea was to share something, get a lot of traffic, and every once in a while someone would be interested in what you were sharing, click over and possibly buy something. Some people clicked but no one bought, which makes sense at this point but back then it didn’t.

    At some point I decided to stop adding those things to every post, though I will occasionally have some sort of affiliate ad in an article, most of the time leading to a book I’m reviewing in that post. I do that because one, I probably liked the book and two, because I don’t do any list building.

    Nope, no lists, no capturing email addresses… never have, but I do think about it from time to time. I haven’t really gone out of my way to sell things online, but as I transition my mind from wanting to travel to make my money and wanting to stay home more often, it might be what I finally decide to do… maybe that is… lol
    Mitch Mitchell recently posted…Popups Ruin A Blog Readers ExperienceMy Profile

    • Hello Mitch and welcome back again my friend,

      Wow you really surprised me when you mentionmed you have never done any list building.

      I assume your blog gets lots of traffic already with people like you interested in travel so the idea of list building has not been all that important to you.

      We are at opposite ends of the blogging spectrum Mitch as here at my blog I am still working hard to build targeted traffic to a blog that admittedy is only 6 months old.

      An important part of my traffic strategy is to encourage as many visitors as possible to join me and my community here.

      Then I can continue to communicate with them via email (plus with skype and Facebook at times) and get them coming back to my place on a regular basis to check out what’s going on here.

      These folks are also an integral part of my affiliate marketing strategy over time as that’s my main way of generating income.

      Good luck with your travels Mitch – sounds like you have one ideal lifestyle my man.

      Best wishes from the remote Thai village marketer who travels very little these days!

      Peter
      Peter recently posted…Affiliate Marketing – Profit By Not SellingMy Profile

  11. Dear Peter,
    I love the idea of your resources page. Yes, I was just saying to Donna Merrill on one of her posts, that to me when someone visits your blog or site is it welcoming? Is it like walking into a home with no one there-cold? Or is it inviting and does it feel like there is heart there?

    MMMMMmmmmm you’ve got me thinking about this resource thingy I love it. I think the problem has been that the marketers who are hypey and snakey are the ones who are doing all those things you say we shouldn’t be doing and so we don’t want to look like them now do we?….got me thinkin’ mate, got me thinkin’…..great value in this post. Very helpful.-Jennifer
    Jennifer Giacoppo recently posted…“Whacky things that help me stay focused.”My Profile

    • Hello and a big welcome back Jennifer,

      Always great to have you visit with me as I appreciate your valuable comments.

      The “resource” page idea is working quite well for me re affiliate links but I don’t plan on trying to make a fortune with that page – its more of a soft sell appraoch.

      One other thing you may want to consider and use your excellent video marketing skils with, is to create your own version of my “Helpful Hints” page – this is where I regularly embed short YouTube videos I create on various topics I think would be og interest to interent and affiliate marketers.

      But the real purpose of this strategy is LIST BUILDING.

      My real focus with all my affiliate marketing is via my email marketing not via my blog. My blog is my home online and its hopefully a welcome mat that encourages visitors to join me and my community. Well that’s my strategy and I guess only time will tell if I got this right.

      Many thanksa gain for your visit Jennifer – awesome mate

      Peter
      Peter recently posted…Affiliate Marketing – Profit By Not SellingMy Profile

  12. Hi Peter,

    As I read your post I realised that my own attitude to blogging has been undergoing a subtle change very recently.

    Previously I had done quite a few “selling” posts – and some of them worked fine, but I wasn’t very comfortable about it. (Even though I only promoted products I liked, had tried and thought relevant.)

    On reflection I think that was because the majority of the products I was selling were very low priced products, so I had to keep hammering them out to generate sales. I had NO proper sales funnel in place and no strategy.

    Recently, like you, I have taken on affiliate products with a proper sales funnel, and including higher ticket items.

    Knowing I have a proper sales funnel has made me a lot more relaxed about my blog and I no longer feel I have to keep reviewing $10 products! Even before I read this post I’d removed most (not all LOL) of the banners from my site.

    I think you’re definitely on to something here Peter! Thanks for the tip 🙂

    Joy – Blogging After Dark
    Joy Healey recently posted…Fighting Crooks Online And Offline: BewareMy Profile

    • Hello and welcome back Joy,

      Great to see you again at my place. You make an interesting point about being more relaxed when you’re not trying to push affiliate sales all the time.

      To me it just seems much more enjoyable (and profitable) to be simply creating as much value on our blogs as possible with the sole purpose of building and maintaining our blog community.

      Hopefully when people visit my blog they can see very quickly what I’m all about and what I can do for people and my “Start Here” page may interest a percentage of my blog visitors to then join with me.

      Actually the banners thing was something I was thinking about as well – I’m not exactly sure just how profitable they are as I didn’t set the tracking links up correctly. Sure they all lead to the affiliate offers but I need to edit the tracking code or remove them all together. This is wrk in progress for me.

      Many thanks for you visit Joy – always appreciate your honesty and openness.

      Best wishes from Thailand

      Peter
      Peter recently posted…Affiliate Marketing – Profit By Not SellingMy Profile

  13. Hey Peter,

    I couldn’t agree with you more about this but you probably figured I’d say that.

    I love that term, the Mafia Offer… I have to agree with everyone about what you shared and I know that those pitching their products were either taught that’s what they should do or they’re just desperate for money. I know that most who come into this business think that what they’re sharing is awesome and everyone will want it. I’m sure the products they’re pitching are awesome but as we both know, that’s not the way you go about it.

    It’s ALL about trust, it’s ALL about helping your audience solved a problem. So if you can start building a relationship with them and hopefully get them on your list that’s where it can continue. We all know that people, when they need a product, will purchase it from someone they trust. That’s the way to go about this and you’ll have a much more successful business in the long run when you build it this way.

    Great share Peter, thanks for bringing this to everyone’s attention and I hope anyone who is doing affiliate marketing will learn from you.

    Have a great week my friend and rock on.

    ~Adrienne
    Adrienne recently posted…How To Stop Failing Miserably With Your Blog (Even if You Feel Tired and Worn Out)My Profile

    • Hello and welcome back to my place Adrienne,

      Always great to have your feedback and expert comments.

      I’m glad you agree with my approach to affiliate sales as you’re right – it’s all about trust.

      If you are a relatively new blogger then your major objective is to be building your reputation – your competency in the minds of your readers.

      No one likes to be sold to but everyone loves to buy things that solve their needs and wants.

      And people love to buy from folks that can relate with and trust. So to me it seems very logical that new bloggers need to add as much value as they can with their content marketing strategy and at the same time take massive action in reaching out and building connections online.

      The more connections and valuable content you have the greater the chance of being recognised as someone who is worth listening to.
      By having a blog with lots of interaction like yours Adrienne gives visitors an instant impression that this blogger must know something.

      This first impression to me as a relatively new blogger is so critical to my perceived value to my readers. But by not pushing my affiliate offers down the throats of my visitors I am finding more and more people are willing to join my blogging community and that to me is where I will achieve my success as an affiliate marketer.

      as always many thanks for your superb feedback Adrienne

      Best wishes from Thailand

      Peter
      Peter recently posted…Affiliate Marketing – Profit By Not SellingMy Profile

  14. Hey Peter,

    I love this post! Why because I’m affiliate marketing geek and I use my blog to generate those commissions.

    The second reason I love this post is that you use it to let us know you know exactly what you want. That’s the foundation of every business. If any one doing any form of business misses this point, the business would have been laid on a sanding soil.

    I understand that you put content, relationship and engagement first, then affiliate marketing behind your list. As a matter of fact, that’s the winning strategy.

    As a marketer, I have known that the best way to generate a sale is to try not to sale. If we focus on identifying your readers’ problems and providing solutions, behind this, sales will be generated.

    I do generate affiliate sales from my blog through problem solving product reviews. There are two things when it comes to reviewing products:

    1 – Product Features
    2 – Product Uses

    Focusing on uses (rather than features) helps the readers see a solution to their problems. Therefore, they don’t buy to give you money. They buy a solution and that’s what makes them stick around.

    The crucial point here is to provide a solution and if we have this at the back of our minds, we will not be running behind affiliate commissions.

    You mentioned the trust factor and that to me is a key point. Almost everyone online does some investigations before buying a product. If they do Google search and find your blog, their first impression can either keep them around to read a little more or kick them away.

    If you recommend a product through a review on your blog, your new readers would like to ask the question ‘who are you and why should we take your word?’

    Are you just doing it for the commissions or you want to help us solve our problems.

    In real life, if you are sick and arrive at the hospital, the way you are received can already be the start of your treatment. If the reception is poor and what they care about is your money (without proper attention to your sickness), chances are that you’ll make a U-turn to the next hospital.

    If you are well received and enough attention paid to you, you’ll be comfortable and a good relationship would have been created between you and that hospital. Everything else can continue from that foundation of trust.

    You make some solid points Peter. Though you think you are a “baby blogger”, you’ve got great marking brains.

    Do have a wonderful week ahead as we keep sticking to each other
    Enstine Muki recently posted…Hostgator 60% discount code Limited Time Promotion!My Profile

    • Hello Enstine and welcome back to my place,

      Wow what a fantastic comment – I am deeply grateful for the immense value you have just added to my post by sharing your expertise and experiences.

      The concept of using “problem solving product reviews” works really well for you Enstine because you are already a very well establsihed blogger and a highly respected one as well. However, for newer bloggers this strategy may not be the best option especially as they are still trying to build their own competency and reputation.

      The “trust factor” is just so crtically important and I like the analogy you gave with the hospital.
      We only get one chance to make that all important first impression on our blog visitors and hopefully they feel both welcome and respected.

      Thank you again Enstine for your awesome feedback – thank you for taking the time out of your hectic schedule to add such great value to my post.

      Best wishes from the remote Thai village blogger

      Peter
      Peter recently posted…Affiliate Marketing – Profit By Not SellingMy Profile

  15. Hi Peter, great platform dude.

    Love this post. If you provide value rather than
    trying to hit people with the ‘hard sell you are going to
    make more sales on the back end.

    As long as your sales funnel is working smoothly
    giving away value in terms of advice will benefit your
    internet business more in the long run.

    Thanks

    James Hughes

    • Hi James and a big welcome to my place,

      Absolutely agree with you mate re giving as much value as you can as often as you can.

      People get so hung up (I call it desperation!) about pushing their offer down their blog visitor’s throats every chance they get.

      The result is very predictable – that visitor promptly leaves never ever to return.

      What a wasted opportunity. If you get a visitor then treat them with respect and do everything you can to generate some sort of engagement. Trying to sell them something will definitely not encourage them to engage with you.

      You’re absolutely right James when you talk about the “back end” Heck there is way more money to be earned if we can just get the visitor to take the first step – comment with us and subscribe with us. This is the start of a long-term connection that we can build over time using our email follow up systems PLUS reaching out to them where possible.

      And yes of course your sales funnel must be proven to convert.

      Just as long as we allow our subscriber to really understand who we are and what we’re all about first. Then the conversions will take care of themselves as they will be based on a trusting valued relationship not just on some smart sales talk!

      Thanks again for your visit James – come back soon OK?

      Best wishes from the remote Thai village entrepreneur

      Peter
      Peter recently posted…Affiliate Marketing – Profit By Not SellingMy Profile

  16. Hi Peter.

    Excellent information here.

    I agree that w e should be focusing on building our email lists through our blog by writing valuable content which helps our readers with their problems. I rarely promote anything in a post. I may have mentioned the BCB or the Affiliate Club a couple of times, with thinks that go to separate pages were they can check it out for themselves, but my posts aren’t purposely selling anything to anybody.

    You’ve seen my posts. No banners in the content, only on the right side of the page. I have a “Recommended Reading” and a “Recommended Services” page where people can purchase anything if interested.

    Thanks for this great post.

    Have a good one……..Chris
    Chris DeeWaard recently posted…6 Easy Ways To Bring FREE Traffic To Your BlogMy Profile

    • Hi Chris and welcome back,

      You know its an interesting challenge we have as bloggers.

      We definitely want and need to create a “place online” where our visitors feel interested and safe whilst at the same time we must ecourage them to join with us so that we can contimue to build a connection with them that hopefully over time will bloom into a trusting relationship.

      Without any effective list building as bloggers we’d be out of business fairly quickly so its vital to position our invitations to join us in such a way that they are attention grabbing but not too much over the top.

      Chris I like your idea of “Recommended Reading” and “Recommended Services” – that is a very clever and non-threatening approach to your product offers. Well done mate.

      Best wishes from the remote Thai village blogger come marketer

      Peter
      Peter recently posted…Affiliate Marketing – Profit By Not SellingMy Profile

  17. Hi Peter. I have had some success both ways. I think it depends on the affiliate offer. For example, I am an affiliate for my web hosting company. I don’t try to sell it through blog posts because I think no matter how it is framed it will still come across as an advertisement. I promote it mostly while I am helping other network marketers with my company get their business online, usually while we are live on Skype. Other offers work well as a resource mentioned directly in a blog post. There is an online tai chi program that works very well when I mention it while writing a post about the health benefits of exercise or of tai chi specifically. Either way, my focus is still on building trust and sharing information that has been valuable to me, not on selling an affiliate product.
    Ben recently posted…The Logical Song: Is Being Logical Always a Good Thing?My Profile

    • Hi Ben and welcome to my place,

      I can see what you mean and agree with you re the way you have positioned your affiliate offers.

      Actually if you go to the “Resources” page on my blog you will find I am also recommending affiliate products I have actually used successfully.

      Yes our focus must be on building value and trust but at the same time we need to also focus con our future viability and that means building our tribe or community whilst we share all this relevant and helpful information.

      Thanks for your great feedback Ben – appreciated very much.

      Best wishes from the remote Thai village blogger

      Peter
      Peter recently posted…Affiliate Marketing – Profit By Not SellingMy Profile

  18. Hey there Peter,

    Awesome post here. I 100% agree with you. A blog should always be value based. No one will want to read anything that’s selling from start to finish. It’s a waste of time and odds are, there aren’t any questions answered. The person just ends up frustrated and still confused.

    One thing I’ve learned in my 5 years as a blogger is when I lead with sales, my conversions are usually lower unless the traffic source is hot and targeted then that’s a different story. However when I lead with nothing but value, the response is always off the hook. I also get tons of sweet and touching messages in return. Nothing beats that.

    I just find it amazing how powerful a blog can be especially when you build it for the people. The concept is simple…you help others to help yourself. Everything you need will fall into place once you provide value on your blog, build a list, build a relationship with that list and just be yourself.

    Thanks for sharing this Peter. Lots of great value. Keep it up!
    PJ Zafra recently posted…How To Live Life With No Regrets – 4 Key Steps That Would Greatly Reduce Or Eliminate RegretMy Profile

    • Hi PJ and welcome back to my place,

      It still amazes me how many posts I can find, especially in the internet marketing space, where all you see is pitch after pitch after pitch.

      No one in the right mind would bother to stay on such a blog. Nobody wants to be bombarded with hype and promises without the blogger even bothering to try and engage the reader in some way. These blogs are simply a collection of sales pages and I just wonder if they ever make any money.

      PJ I totally agree with you mate when you speak about “leading with value.” Thre are so many folks online desperately seeking a solution to a particular problem. If we can show we understand them, engage with them and show we care then there is no doubt when we also provide a relevant solution then the reader will be more than interested.

      Why? Because we took the time to show them the clarity of our message – what we are all about and what value we can bring to the reader.

      This requires time and effort but if we want to build a long-term online business with our affiliate marketing we need to be crystal clear about the business ww are in and exactly what we can bring to the table as relevant valuable solutions for our affiliate marketing prospects.

      That’s one of the reasons why I created my START HERE page – to let folks know exactly what my message is.

      PJ its always great to have your feedback – many thanks

      Best wishes from a rmote Thai village blogger

      Peter
      Peter recently posted…Affiliate Marketing – Profit By Not SellingMy Profile

  19. Hi Peter
    Another great post. You say it as it is.
    A blog should be a social meeting place not a shop. The content must encourage conversation.

    One of the best things about your little village on the net is that the visitor never leaves empty handed. Valuable content is scarce but this is what you give. Thanks for that.

    Sales is an art just like blogging is an art. Unfortunately many Internet marketing teachers do not tell you too much about either one. They focus on the details of the product they have to offer.

    The marketer should have the attitude that the product they sell is what is is. Nobody can change that. What you can change is the way people perceive you – are you simply another salesman or a warm, caring human being? Sales talk on a blog does a lot to create an image for yourself that you do not want or need.

    Its been great visiting again. Stay well until next time.
    Igert
    Igert recently posted…Yes, You Can Make Money on the NetMy Profile

    • Welcome back to my place Igert,

      Always a pleasure to have you visit and share your thoughts.

      I could not agree with you more when you say our blog content must encourage conversation. We must do our very best to give our reeaders the very best experience possible so that they may consider coming back again. Engagement is a must if we want to keep our blog visitors interested.

      That’s why I approach my posts in a conversational way. Sure I realize this will not appeal to some folks but that’s OK with me. Just as long as some people discover the real me and enjoy their experinces at my place.

      Sales is an art there is no doubt abut that. I actually love sales especially when the customer thanks you for solving their problem.

      If you approach sales the right way then people will consider you more of a consultant rather than a sales person. But hey, a great sales person is a fantastic communicator and not necessarily one of those “fast-talking types” we all hear about.

      In fact the vey best sales people are not considered to be sales people at all by their clients.

      Enough about sales – one of my favpurite topics by the way Igert – actually I’m planning to do a blog post about sales soon that will shake a few feathers that’s for sure! So watch out for that post.

      Thanks again Igert – your kind words and great feedback are greatly appreciated.

      Best wishes froma remote Thai village blogger/salesman/consultant

      Peter
      Peter recently posted…Affiliate Marketing – Profit By Not SellingMy Profile

  20. Another brilliant and information packed post Peter. Full of great advice and, personally, just what I need to be reading right now. I am ramping up my blogging activity and this information will really help to save me wasted time and effort heading in the wrong direction.

    As you say, this is a mix of your own opinion and what you have learned from others but it makes perfect sense to me and is the way I like to be treated by other blogs I follow.

    Looking forward to putting this into practice with my own blogging from now on.

    Thanks, Gordon

    • Hello again Gordon and welcome back to my place,

      Thank you so much for your very kind words of support – you’ve made me blush my friend!

      I am absolutely delighted that you found some real help with this post Gordon.

      When you ramp up your activity please make sure you put me on your list as I’ll be more than happy to visit your blog and contribute whatever I can.

      Thank you again Gordon – can I quote you my friend?

      Best wishes from a remote Thai village blogger come affiliate marketer.

      Peter
      Peter recently posted…Affiliate Marketing – Profit By Not SellingMy Profile

  21. Hi Peter

    Another great post you have here. You brought up some valid points about affiliate marketing.

    However, I want to give you the other side of this coin. I have had a blog or two where I’ve done very well with affiliate marketing by posting links in the blog articles. Those people usually don’t join my list, which is a disadvantage, but they buy directly through the links which results is a higher volume of sales.

    My method revolves around writing articles that provide the solution in the form of a product. And it works quite well.

    This type of model requires a lot of traffic either organic or paid traffic continually coming to the website.

    I think it is just a different marketing model altogether. They are both valid. But one is driving traffic and sales, while the other is driving traffic and building community, then sales.

    Anyone who is blogging should decide what their goal is and then create their business model around that goal.

    I love coming to your blog! You’ve done such a great job with building community and providing valuable content to your readers.

    I learned a lot reading this article, Peter. Thank you again for giving us a sustainable business model to consider.

    Lisa
    Lisa recently posted…How To Find MLM Prospects Online And Influence PeopleMy Profile

    • Hello and welcome back Lisa,

      I totally agree with you Lisa. It’s really a matter of the business model we want to implement.

      As an established blogger and marketer you could drive lots of traffic to your blog posts and make affiliate marketing sales.

      However, this is a bit of a “one-shot” strategy. As you mentioned, the people who clicked on your affiliate links and purchased your product solution, rarely if ever subscribed to your lists.

      This is exactly where I was coming from in my post. Most if not all new bloggers do not have the experience, the blog rankings or the money to drive lots of traffic to their blog posts.

      So my recommendation for new bloggers trying to establish some sort of long-term viabiity, is to follow the “non-sell” strategy.

      New bloggers should focus on “attracting” not “driving” traffic to their posts by reaching out, blog commenting and building relationships.

      Once they start to attract traffic their next focus should then be on building their community not going for the quick sale. List building is critical to the survival of any new blogger.

      They should then let their email follow up marketing generate their sales potential.

      So yes Lisa – horses for courses as they say. There is no doubt that successful established bloggers can and do make a fortune selling affiliate products on their blogs. But it should also be noted that it took a lot of time and effort to create the trust, traffic and tenacity required to make this model work.

      Always a pleasure to have your input Lisa – fantastic addition to my post. Thank you

      Best wishes from a remote Thai village “newbie” blogger

      Peter
      Peter recently posted…Affiliate Marketing – Profit By Not SellingMy Profile

  22. Hi Peter,

    Love that – the Mafia Offer!

    Look, you are right. For the sake of making a few shekels here and there, bloggers may miss out on the real payoff that flows from having site visitors optin to their list. That’s why I removed banner ads from my original blog – it was festooned with them. And I stopped pitching various offers in my blog posts too.

    You mentioned trust, and when people sense that you’re a pitch machine, they’ll run a mile. Bloggers need to remember that this is not rape, it’s a seduction process. Step by step, gently does it.

    Which brings me to another point. People use these silly tactics for various reasons. Perhaps they were taught by a bad mentor. Or perhaps they are impatient – they want instant results, and they figure the only way to get them is to be aggressive.

    Many people think that making money online is easier and faster than it is to make it offline. This is a huge myth. In fact making money online is often harder and it is almost always slower. Why? Lack of intimacy, lack of human touch and connection. That’s why I layer in offline activities, such as phone conversations, so I can get closer to people. It makes a huge difference.

    If people want to make more affiliate sales, they should work at satisfying the ‘know, like and trust’ marketing rule. Their blog can help to do that, and their follow up emails can extend things further. To me, the blog is just a tool to entice people to give us their email address, because list building is the name of the game.

    Thanks for another great post, Peter

    Kim
    Kim Willis recently posted…8 Ways to Convert Uncommitted Lookers Into Hot Prospects OnlineMy Profile

    • Hi Kim and thank as always for your visit to my place,

      It’s a sad fact of life but the “lure of the fast buck” is alive and well online.

      You are absolutely right about the perception held by many that its far easier to make money online then offline. What a lot of misinformed rubbish.

      You hit the nail right on the head when you mentioned “intimacy” This to me is the biggest challenge to becoming a successful online marketer. We need to be able to generate some sort of connection with our blog visitors in order to start building some trust.

      That’s exactly why I mentioned that for new bloggers they must focus on creating some sort of memorable experience for their blog visitors. Make “your place” different – let it relfect who you really are. Sure you’ll not appeal to everyone but there will be a percentage of your blog visitors who do relate with you. This is the start of your “tribe building” process. Focus on getting these visitors to become readers and hopefully subscribe with you as well.

      If a new blogger, with little or no reputation, simply startes blasting out posts using affiliate products as the solution to some specific “pain or problem” they may get a few sales. But they’ll never build a community or grow a long-term business online.

      Your “seduction not rape” analogy is sadly very true. So many marketers ruin their reputation, their sales potential and their online future simply because they adopt a greedy, aggressive approach to selling that nobody wants or likes.

      Great addition to my post Kim – thanks as always for your great feedback.

      Best wishes from a remote Thai village marketer

      Peter
      Peter recently posted…Affiliate Marketing – Profit By Not SellingMy Profile

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