In many ways, Affiliate Marketing is like trying to navigate a marble through one of those tip and tilt mazes. Not only have you got to navigate the maze, but you must also avoid some pitfalls along the way.
So, in this post, I am going to share with you how Tanya and I managed to get through the Affiliate Marketing Maze and make it to home. I believe that you can get there too. So here goes.
Sounds obvious, but if you are the sort to give up at the first pitfall, then Affiliate Marketing is not right for you. To succeed in Affiliate Marketing takes determination and perseverance.
Tanya and I are quite a way apart in temperament. I tend to be upfront and confident, while Tanya tends to hang back, is cautious and less outgoing. So before we decided to embark on this Affiliate Marketing venture, we sat down and had a good chat. I was all “Let’s do it!” Tanya was more “What will this entail?”. So together we worked it all through and decided that;
I had been looking at various websites, Affiliate Marketing programs and products. But I was finding it difficult to make sense of it all. I had got the basics, ‘pick a product, get people to buy it, earn a commission.’ However, I was unsure how exactly to set that all up. We started by looking at JVZoo. It seemed that the better product vendors were fussy about who they allowed to sell their products. Added to that there was just a lot to learn.
We decided that we needed help (and a lot of it) to get this Affiliate Marketing ball rolling. You may be abler than we were, but we green around the gills. We needed help. After some research, we decided to invest in an Affiliate Marketing coach; this proved to be a big plus in so many ways.
We now had the products, the system and the technical tools we needed. These included a website, autoresponders, training courses and support.
With so much available to us in terms of marketing options, it was easy to get lost or distracted. We could very easily be trying something new every day. To set our focus and to keep going we decided to concentrate on a couple of main Affiliate Marketing approaches. Tanya took the primary responsibility for our Facebook page (go on, search Facebook for Tony and Tanya Online). There she posts good motivational, ‘keep you going’ stuff daily. I took on the main responsibility for the blog and regular live broadcasts.
The key was to have a very clear focus on a couple of Affiliate Marketing approaches rather than many. This has indeed enabled up to keep going at a steady pace that I honestly believe would not be the case if we chopped and changed at each twist and turn.
Another big bonus for us was that our Affiliate Marketing coaching program has multiple webinars to motivate us, an online community group that is active and encouraging and offers an ‘Accountability Partner.’ An Accountability Partner is someone who we share our plans with regularly and who challenges us if we missed out goals.
With so many obstacles in the way, it is easy to see why success as an Affiliate Marketer is so hard to achieve. One major issue is simply the low rate of commission versus the high cost of buying visitor traffic. Another is ensuring that you have the ability to attract and capture highly targeted traffic that is going to respond to your offer. These were big deals for Tanya and me.
With limited experience in the Affiliate Marketing field, we found that a number vendors on JVZoo were just not interested in us. Others were more than happy to have us sign up, but provided nothing by way tools and systems to ensure we generated valuable traffic. Or they simply did not include us in the high-value sales items needed to make big commissions.
Once again it was the coaching program that made the difference for us. Every step of the way we had advice and guidance of which way to turn. The times we were told NOT to do something were just as valuable as the time we were told what to do.
So for us, the key to avoiding the Affiliate Marketing pitfalls was to find a coach and mentor we could trust and follow the advice and guidance we were given. Our hope is that you too find your way through the maze and make it home.
To help drive home our point, and to provide details on five common pitfalls we have created this fun free Android Game, The Affiliate Marketing Maze Game
Do please comment on this blog in the box below; we promise to answer all genuine questions and comments. If you want to know more about our mentor, drop us an email, and we will get back to you ASAP.
We decided that joining an Affiliate Marketing coaching programme would help us achieve our dream to enjoy a new life in Portugal. Look at the photo above this post. I took this shot outside Colos this September. Who would not want to live here? We started looking for ways to make extra money online. We honed in on IPro. The story continues;
I am sharing with you the things Tanya and I have learned as a result of being members of the IPro coaching program. These insights and other tips we have picked up from elsewhere are free for you to use as you see fit. However, I want to be clear at this point, so there is no misunderstanding, IPro also provide us with the opportunity to market the IPro coaching that is making the difference for us in our business.
If you want to join a FREE live webinar that details the IPro opportunity, then we have a few spots available. Click the link below to reserve your space on the webinar coming up this Monday. (Don’t worry if it points to a session that is now closed, you will be added to the next available date and notified by email)
[button_5 bg=”orange” text_color=”dark” text=”reserve-your-spot.png” align=”center” href=”https://rn132.isrefer.com/go/webclass1/tonyandtanyaonline/BlogInvite” new_window=”Y”/]
[feature_box style=”33″ title=”LEARNING%20POINT” alignment=”center”]That link above is our first affiliate promotion. Simply adding that button to this blog has the potential to earn us commissions.
When we say we are going to be open, honest and record our journey step by step, this is the kind of thing we mean.[/feature_box]
The sales call.
We were driving down from Lisbon to stay with my daughter in a tiny village just outside of Odemira. The area around her might as well be called ‘Nowhere’ because she is right in the middle of it! We had agreed to take a follow-up call from IPro and so on the way down we parked up. You can dress it up any way you like, but the call we took in that Portuguese service station was a sales call. The aim of the call was to find out a bit about us, establish our motivation and, if possible, sell us another service. Now don’t get me wrong, it was not a ‘tell-evangelist’ razzmatazz sell, nor was it a ‘sleazy second-hand car salesman’ sell, it was professional and well executed.
We were on a Skype video call, so I spoke as Tanya, mainly, hid away out of sight. You will get to see that Tanya can be quite shy, so it’s exciting to hear her say things like she did today. She told me that posting all the motivational memes in our Facebook page, is making her very confident about what we are doing.
Anyway, I digress. We chatted away about us and about the program and about the various options open to us. We were just getting to the interesting part when I got distracted. I was suddenly treated to the spectacle of a rather large and sagging posterior, thrust right up against my window. The lady trying to sort out her roof rack on the car next to us was standing on her car door seal and reaching up, in doing so, her backside was thrust out against my car. She had a very short dress on and was now treating us to the sight of next week’s washing. It quite put me off for a moment. I had to ask again what was on offer if we took the top of the range package.
It came down to this. In addition to the normal training and webinars, we would get technical support and extra coaching. Rather than us having to follow the step by step guides in setting up all the technical aspects of our Affiliate Marketing business they would do that for us. We would get all the technical backend stuff set up for us, consultation on the setting up and branding of the business, help with the tone and ‘voice’ of our content, extra coaching calls, basically everything we need to have the best chance of making this work. All this came at an extra cost. There were cheaper options (and indeed there are free options), but Tanya and I agreed, as we sat in the Portuguese sunshine, that we would go for this lock, stock, and barrel. We signed up there and then for the ‘Elite Partner’ level.
Now we were in, we needed to get started, and so another call was arranged for later in the week. This time with our new partner relationship manager and motivational coach, Louis Doughty.
Did I mention that my daughter lives in the back and beyond? It truly is beautiful there, just look at this secret picnic spot just down a sandy track from her front door. The trouble is that the electricity to her house is… of an independent spirit, shall we say. Also, being in the valley surrounded by mountains, the mobile signal is non-existent. Thankfully she has a landline that delivers broadband so we could Skype for the call.
As the time for the call arrived, the electricity supply left. The result of having no electricity was that the WIFI stopped working! With five minutes to go before the call, I was without any communications. You know how some people say they had mountains to climb to get their business off the ground… well, guess what! It is a bit of a drive out of the valley before there is any mobile signal, but at the top of the mountain, it’s strong and steady. So, picture if you will, this overweight, unfit, fifty-seven-year-old grandad running up the side of a steep Portuguese mountain, holding high a mobile phone. If you immediately think of Pheidippides running from Marathon to Athens, you might need to think again. One of Hannibal’s elephants lumbering up the Alps might be nearer the mark.
20 minutes late, sweating buckets, as red as a London pillar box and puffing like Thomas the Tank Engine on a bad day, I started my call with Louis. I immediately liked this man.
The call covered a variety of topics as listed above. Over the next couple of weeks, I will take you through each of the elements and explain why they are important. I will show you what tools and resources I have put in place, and detail the process we went through. I will show you examples from our own business and point you to the tools and resources you can use to recreate what we have. What I can’t show you though, is probably the most important element, the coaching. From this call onwards, through other calls, via email, Facebook and webinars, we have been coached every step of the way and it has made a big difference. For example;
One of the first things we were asked to do was to write our life stories! Together Tanya and I sat down to do just that. It was fun and quite surprising to see just how varied our life has been up to now. It has been full of ups and downs, but mainly ups! You can read a bit about our story on our about us page, and we are also currently producing a video that goes a bit deeper into the story. This ‘life story’ exercise is important, so you might want to take note of the learning point below.[feature_box style=”33″ title=”LEARNING%20POINT” alignment=”center”]Why would we take time to write out life story? It’s because we want to build a relationship with you. We want you to get to:
This Know Like Trust equation is an important part of Affiliate marketing. You will know that we have been upfront about our purpose, ‘to become successful affiliate marketers’. In writing this blog we hope that a few of those that read it will want to find out more and follow the same route we have. If people follow our affiliate links, then we earn a commission. People are much more likely to buy from those they know, like and trust.[/feature_box]
Over the two weeks following that call we started to go through the training material. At the same time, we roamed the beautiful Western Alentejo looking a ruin or dilapidated ‘monte’ that we could buy and restore. It occurred to me that what we were doing in our new business was very similar to what we were looking to do with our restoration project. In both projects, we have a vision for what we want that is a long way from where we are. Both projects will require us to learn lots, listen to those who have already done it and be prepared for some knock backs. Both projects will take a bit of time to bring to fruition.
We are so glad you are following our progress and hope our experiences will help you in your own business, If you feel you can’t wait, then I do advise that you sign up for the free webinar I mentioned, here is the link again.
.[button_5 bg=”orange” text_color=”dark” text=”get-on-the-webinar.png” align=”center” href=”https://rn132.isrefer.com/go/webclass1/tonyandtanyaonline/BlogInvite” new_window=”Y”/]
To be sure you don’t miss out on any of our updates, free content or surprises, make sure you add your name to our mailing list by following this link: Add me to the list!
Live the live you deserve!
Tony and Tanya
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
That might sound like a strange quote with which to start the very first post in a blog about affiliate marketing, but it’s particularly apt. You see we are inviting you to come on a journey with us as we explore the world of affiliate marketing, We are building our business from scratch, and documenting our progress step by step. And though we are new to affiliate marketing, we are not exactly wandering lost.
So in this blog, I’m going to share with you how Tanya and I got to the position where we wanted to start an affiliate marketing business. I’m going to share with you the particular path that we chose to follow and why we chose that path. I am going to document every step of the way so you can follow in our footsteps if you so choose.
Tanya and I have dabbled with the idea of making money online for some years now, but with little success. I do have two online products which have made me a little bit of money. The first is a photo of a bucket that is leaking water. This photograph has been on the Dreamstime website for about ten years and has netted me a total of around $1,000. The second is a book I self-published about managing third party suppliers. This book is about four years old and has earned me about $200. Neither of these products is going to enable us to live the life of our dreams!
As retirement approaches, Tanya and I started to look at moving out to live in Portugal (country and region we love). To live the life we want we need to supplement our pensions. Also, I did not want just to stop working and vegetate. We wanted something we could do together that would make a serious difference to our finances, but not require a 9 to 5 commitment. This need for something to do that would earn us money drove us to start looking seriously at the different options available on the Internet.
If you have tried searching for online opportunities yourself, then you’ll know that it’s a minefield. There are so many ‘get rich quick’ schemes and ‘flash in the pan’ products out there. Things like binary options trading systems that will supposedly make you tens of thousands a day! Or offers to sell you a system that will generate $50,000 in 30 days. It’s a jungle populated by no end of false gurus and wannabees, with their equally false testimonials and dummy bank statements. They claim to be able to turn you into an overnight Internet success, yet so many of them have little more than a ‘photoshopped’ existence. We did not want to have any part of that, either subscribing to it or promoting it.
In our case, we stumbled across the answer almost by chance. As we searched and researched for a solution, we discovered Affiliate Marketing. The concept is simple. Find a product (or products) you would like to promote. Sign up as an affiliate. Promote the product online. Cash the commission cheques. Simple! It’s a bit like painting a masterpiece. Find a subject. Set up your easel and canvas. Slap on the paint. There is your masterpiece. Simple! Just like painting, there are a few people that are naturals, but the rest of us have to learn and practice and will have varying results. So we sought out some training.
To get started, we signed up to a basic introduction to Affiliate Marketing course. And guess what? The guy selling the course was an affiliate marketer, and so he promoted another product! It was this other product that made the difference to us (in fact I hardly even opened the first product). It was this new product that gave us the confidence to set out knowing we were able to follow a proven plan, with all the steps laid out before us. This is the reason we are not stumbling around lost in the Affiliate Marketing jungle.
Our product owner invited us to attend a live webinar with a ‘special guest.’ I was so green and new to affiliate marketing that I had no idea that this was an up-sell. Maybe because I was green, I came to the webinar expecting to learn. What I did not expect was to have my eyes so completely opened about the problems with affiliate marketing. The guest set out exactly why so many fail to make an income from affiliate marketing. I am so glad I listened and was very willing to buy the up-sell. The up-sell process was, in fact, a two stage process. Having bought into the basic level, I was invited to hear about two further levels, and these included a step by step plan and some coaching session.
So having committed at a basic level, I arranged to have a call to hear about the high-level options. It was at this point that I decided to let Tanya in on my little secret!
Tanya is ever patient and very supportive. If I had told her, I wanted to open a new business as a Gumologist (Yes it’s a real job!) she would have said “Yes dear,” cheered my on from the sidelines and been there to comfort me when I complained of jaw ache. But this was different. I did not just want her support; I wanted Tanya to be part of the business and work with me on an active, daily basis.
The evening I signed up to the coaching we sat down, and I told her what it was all about. I outlined what I wanted to do, said that it would take time and effort and spoke about how I wanted to do this together.
She was, of course, supportive. Tanya liked the idea of us doing something together, but as expected, was apprehensive about what it would entail and what she could bring to the party. Tanya has always been self-effacing and often can not see the immense value in her thoughts and actions. She was unsure but willing to give it a go. As it happened, we were just off on two weeks holiday to Portugal, so that would give us some time to talk things through.
We were driving down from Lisbon to Odemira (A beautiful riverside town in the western Alentejo) at the time we were scheduled to take the call about the two further options open to us. So we stopped off at a motorway service area to take the Skype call. Sat there in the shade of a busy service station, on route to a beautiful, relaxed, quiet and hidden valley in the Alentejo, we had the most significant conversation for many a year. We listened and learned about the two premium levels of membership in the coaching program we had signed up to.
Both levels included an element of coaching, training, technical guides and membership to a closed group of like-minded highly motivated and extremely encouraging affiliate marketers, some still wet behind the ears like me, other very experienced.
The highest level offer included a lot of the technical aspects of setting up the business done for you. Things like:
These were all things that are spelled out in all the training material but that I knew would take me hours to do myself. Tanya and I sat I the car and discussed the level of commitment needed and the options presented to us. In the end, we decided to invest in our future by going for the more expensive top option.
The next week was exciting as we moved forward, it involved running up a mountain, reviewing our life story and visiting a few old ruins, but that will be the subject of next week’s blog.
I hope you have enjoyed our story so far and would be thrilled if you commented below. Tell us about your journey. Ask us questions about our business. Or simply let us know if you think we are fools to have taken this route. We are real people who will read and answer your comments.
For now, though, it would be a great boost to us if you were to like this post or join our Facebook page where Tanya and I provide motivation and encouragement for anyone active in online marketing.
Live the life you deserve!
Tony and Tanya