Affiliate Marketing A Beginners Journey – Part 1
In the first of what will no doubt become a series of posts I look at some of the issues I faced when trying to start Affiliate Marketing.
For the last several years I had been supplementing my meagre part time income using Matched Betting but as anyone who has done it knows, there is a time limit on how long you can keep going because eventually the bookmakers will restrict your accounts.
So I started looking at other means of earning an income online, preferably ones that had greater longevity and potential for scalability.
One area that seems to be very popular is affiliate marketing. You don’t require a product or support. You are merely promoting the product and get a commission for any sales you manage to achieve.
After watching a number of YouTube videos on the topic I decided to make a start by signing up to Clickbank and creating some landing pages for some of their offers. The more I looked into it though the more roadblocks I seemed to find or put in my own way.
Don’t forget that any links I provide to paid services are likely to result in tepagemi enterprises receiving a commission. If you are thinking of subscribing to any of the services/products I discuss then using my affiliate link is much appreciated as that help keep this site free to access.
Affiliate Marketing A Beginners Journey: Roadblocks
Should I set up as a Limited Company straight away?
I live in the UK so the majority of my posts will have a UK slant. In the UK a Limited Company structure has a big advantage over just becoming a sole trader, namely that your personal assets are separate from the company. However it also means there are more bureaucratic hoops to jump through which would make it quite costly if the business didn’t turn out to be profitable so in the end I decided to start as a sole trader and if I achieved a sufficient level of success then I could convert to a limited company structure later.
How do I make my web presence compliant with relevant laws?
GDPR, CAN-SPAM, copyright law etc. can be a huge minefield. It is becoming increasingly difficult for any business but especially small business to remain compliant. If you are a sole trader you could easily spend days researching any of a dozen issues. It is one of several topics that the online ‘gurus’ fail to mention in their ‘How to make $X per day’ videos on YouTube.
You need to make sure that any email marketing you do is restricted to email addresses that you have permission to contact. You should also offer an unsubscribe feature. Don’t forget that any email marketing you send out should include a physical address. Since I will be working from home, at least initially, then I also setup a correspondence address that I could use for the business as I wasn’t keen on having my home address splashed all over the internet.
Make sure that you spell out what information you record about visitors to your website this can mean things like IP addresses not just names and emails. You will also need to offer a contact for any Subject Access Requests under GDPR legislation. Basically anyone can ask you to provide a copy of any information you hold about them.
Note that I am not a qualified legal professional and that any recommendations I make are purely based on my interpretation of information on the internet and should not be considered legal advice.
Can I get help from Government startup organisations?
I have to be honest and say that my experience of dealing with government agencies that are meant to help startups was very disappointing. It seemed to me there was very little help for the type of company I wanted to setup. In fact it seemed to me it was more about trying to get startups to take out business loans with banks.
Maybe if you are trying to start a manufacturing company or a cake shop then you might have a different experience or if you live in another country maybe they have more organisations that could help you when you are starting out.
Are there any offers I want to promote?
A high percentage of the offers on the networks like Clickbank, JVzoo and WarriorPlus for example just make me uncomfortable. Magic drinks that cure any number of ills from diabetes to being overweight are a particular irritant. I am both overweight and diabetic and quite frankly would think it very unlikely (probably nigh on impossible) that a ‘magic’ drink is going to cure me of those problems.
At the end of the day the vast majority of people that are overweight are that way because they eat more calories than they burn by exercise and generally just being alive. I don’t think I could bring myself to market that type of product just to earn money, it would mean I am still doing something I don’t really want to do just to pay the bills.
If you are diabetic then you would probably get better value from watching this TEDx Talk video.
There are also lots of dubious sounding software systems that promise overnight riches with no coding skills, no website, no email etc, etc. Please just take a step back and think for a minute – is it really likely that a piece of software costing $20-$50 is going to produce life changing amounts of money for you with just a few mouse clicks a day. If something sounds too good to be true then 99.9% of the time it is!
Its human nature to look for short cuts to solving our problems but unfortunately as much as we wish it they rarely exist.
So what are you going to promote then I hear you ask? Well I think software programs are the way to go but trying to offer ones that people actually want. For example anyone trying to do any form of online marketing is likely to need some way of creating sales funnels. Someone with web design experience already may be quite happy to go and make landing pages using a builder such as Elementor.
Not everyone is as comfortable building websites/pages that way though and needs a more systematic approach. This is where the likes of ClickFunnels, Kartra and BuilderAll come in. ClickFunnels is arguably the de facto standard for building marketing funnels but it is also an affiliate marketers dream since everyone coming into the industry is likely to hear about it and want it. ClickFunnels is also excellent at selling itself and its various addons. However for a beginner it is quite expensive at $97 per month.
Kartra arguably offers better value for money due to the number of extra features it has but it is similarly expensive.
Builderall is more beginner friendly in terms of its pricing structure which starts at $19.90 per month for their paid plans.
So there are 3 pieces of software that I could promote. While the commission on any individual sale is relatively small you should remember that these are monthly subscription plans so if someone signs up through your affiliate link and uses the software for 2 years then you will get 24 times the commission for a single month. Do you see the value then in going for software packages that have recurring monthly fees?
So I’ve decided to stick to promoting software for the foreseeable future. In the next post in this series I’ll be looking at ways to promote the software.
Related content: Affiliate Marketing, Part 2
Other: Hotels.com Affiliate Program, NordVPN