Monthly Archives: March 2017

Affiliates, Con Men and Snake Oil sellers?

Affiliate Marketing

What is it we are doing?

I am getting asked ‘what is it you are doing? So in this blog I want to step you through what we are doing as Affiliate Marketers.

As you know Tanya and I want to retire to life in Portugal where we are building a beautiful home. We want to do the things we enjoy. To go to the places we want to see and explore.  And to be able to help our kids, grandkids and chosen charities. The thing is, we can’t do this on our current projected retirement income. We were faced then with two choices:

Sit and moan about it. We could mope around wishing we had saved more and accept a mediocre retirement.


Do something about it. We could find something we can enjoy doing together, that we can do part time in our retirement. Something that can be done from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. A business that has the potential, over time and with hard work, to provide a significant income.

We chose the ‘Do Something’ option!

Affiliate marketing

We decided that selling goods on the internet was the answer. We undertook some research and decided that Affiliate Marketing was the right course of action for us to follow. Affiliate marketing has two sides to it; someone can:,

Option 1: Produce a product, create all the sale material, recruit affiliates (commission only sales people) to sell it for them and then manage the sales and commissions.

Option 2: Becomes an affiliate of one or more products someone else has produced and promote them for a commission on the sales they generate.

We have decided that we will undertake both selling other people’s products as well as develop our own. I will talk about what we are doing with both these options in a minute, but! First let me first address the ‘Snake Oil,’ ‘Internet Con’ and ‘Pyramid selling’ comments we get from time to time.

It’s all a con!

Within Affiliate Marketing there can be people that sell ‘useless products,’ claim ‘miracle’ results, or promise ‘get rich quick schemes.’ Its true. But you can get bad people are trying to sell you junk stuff both online and offline. Not all internet sales pages are cons, nor do only charlatans use affiliate marketing! Big name companies such as Amazon and iTunes have affiliate programs. You can find affiliate marketing programs for items as diverse as mattresses through to private jet hire. Some pay commissions that are as little as a few cents per sale, other pay thousands of dollars per sale. If there is any opportunity that suggests you can make big money with little effort, then treat it with caution. Its exactly for that reason that we chose the route we did.

We started with option 2

We have discovered that there is a lot to learn about selling on the internet, particularly if you want to do it honestly, ethically and efficiently.  As I have mentioned before, we have signed up to get training (how to do it) and coaching (do this, stop doing that). The taining and coaching will help us make a success of this. It is evident to us that Option 2 is much more immediate and easier to implement for a beginner. This is what we are working on now;

Working as Affiliates with other products

As we learn what we should be doing, and as we build up our presence online, we want to earn an income. We are taking advantage of the fact that we can point others to the same coaching and training program, we are on. Those that sign up through our recommendation earns us a commission. This is simply recommending things we have found helpful to those that want to learn how to make money online. There are several entry points into the training programme, each suited to a differing level of knowledge and ambition. For a beginner we want to keep things simple. For a more experienced marketer we want to be able to go into the advanced training. So it makes sense to have different options. To get a view of what training is on offer, why not book a place on this free webinar?

At the same time as we are promoting these training courses we are offering advice on other products. Some of these products also earn us commissions as affiliates. For example, we are ‘GetResponse’ affiliates. ‘GetResponse’ is an email management programme that allows people to subscribe and unsubscribe to email newsletters. For some people this is an essential tool, and as we have pointed them to the tool ‘GetResponse’ pay us a commission. It does not cost the customer any more by going through us, but ‘GetResponse’ can pay us a fee as they have not had to spend money acquiring that customer.

Building our own products

Clearly there is good money to be made simply promoting other peoples products, but Tanya and I also want to build and promote our own products.  To do this we are taking a softly softly approach and testing the waters as we build up our knowledge and capabilities. So we have two products in the pipeline.

The first is a simple software programme that allows the user to create a single piece of content to post to multiple social networks. It asks for a ‘Headline’, ‘Main Body of Text’ and ‘Associated Image’. Then at a press of a button that content is sent to the user’s social media accounts such as Facebook and Twitter. Initially we will ‘sell’ this software for nothing more that the users email address as we want to discover if the product is useful to or not. However eventually (if these appears to be valued by the original users) this will become a product people can register as affiliates to sell on our behalf.

The second product is a training webinar that we are producing in partnership with Dean Holland our Affiliate Marketing coach. This will be an entry level webinar setting out what affiliate marketing is all about and how to make it work.

 Like minded Individuals

I hope this has makes sense and that you now have a better idea of what we are doing. The first step in us building this online business is to gain an audience, in effect to lay the foundation for all that follows. That is what we are doing with this blog and what we will be doing with the webinar. By being open and honest in sharing our journey, we are hoping to attract like-minded people who also want to take this route to making an income.

If you want to know more, be informed when the webinar is ready or get sent more information on what we are doing then please comment below. Remember, Tanya and I real people, were not over the top ‘RaRa’ merchants or conmen, and we are interested to hear your story.

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Life is like a merry go round, with all the fun of the fair

Fun of the fair blog imageHi

Puppet on string

Sandi Shaw – Puppet on a string

Do you recognise the slight paraphrase of the Sandy Shaw lyrics in the title of this blog? They come from Puppet on a String.

“One day I am down on the ground, the next I’m up in the air!” That sums up my week!  This week has been both exciting and frustrating.

I have been looking at how I can improve my marketing skills. It’s been exciting to see what tools and media are available to us as online marketers. However, it has been frustrating how long it takes to get things to an acceptable level, let alone right!

Following on from last week’s blog where I spoke about putting video onto the blog pages,  I’ve now done that for some the blogs. I still have some more to go, including this one, but it is getting easier to do now! I have also been working on welcome and advertising videos as well as some banner adverts. The creation of the copy, along with the technical challenges have contributed to the ‘down on the ground’ moments.

So, why the advertising?

Dean, my coach and mentor, has been working on a brand-new, entry level, Affiliate Marketing training course. This course goes live in a few weeks. I’ve been fortunate enough to have a look at the beta version, go through the course and feedback my comments.

As you know Tanya and I have been working at this for a few months now. One of the things that we’ve discovered is just how incredibly overwhelming all the information is. There is a host of stuff you need to learn. A host of elements you need to get right. And a host of things you need to be doing and thinking about. It can get very confusing. Reviewing the course helped make so many things clearer for me.


The course certainly has the KISS factor (Keep It Simple Stupid). As I started to go through the course, things began to get so much clearer. It wasn’t just that Dean was restating things that I’ve learned before, although there was that as well,  it was also because it was so clearly presented and logically structured.

The course took me about three hours to complete, (there are six parts, about 30 minutes each, some a little longer some a little shorter.). They follow a very logical route setting out the different options around affiliate marketing, the different models you can employ, and the various elements but you need to put in place.

Module Controlled

Because of the way the course is structured you have to take each module in sequence, and you can’t move on from one module to the next without completing a knowledge review. This is so powerful as it forces the student to progress one step at a time. One of the problems in our industry is that people either skip the learning or dip in and out in an uncontrolled manner.

Another issue we see a lot of is ‘start-stop people’!  These are people that start one thing and then stop jump on to another, start then stop. A brilliant and innovative way Dean has come up with to help motivate people to continue the course to the end is to offer rebates on the fee for each module they complete.  As a student completes one module and passes the knowledge review, they earn a credit. As the student moves through the modules, the credit value grows. When they complete the final knowledge review and graduate, they can cash in the credits.

The credits system is very useful because there is a monetary value to them. The student can take the credit value a monetary payment, but..they can also use them as a credit to the next course, gaining a generous discount that far exceeds the cash value.

Ups and Downs

Avoid the con imageThis new course has been the source of the excitement this week. As this is going be out in a few weeks, I’m busy now preparing advertising material,  (banner ads, video, etc).  Here’s a sneak preview of one of my banner ads. I was going to do a series of these based on puns, bit when I produced one based on ‘net loss,’ Tanya said’ enough’!  I was getting too obtuse.

If you want to know when the course comes out, please sign up to our email list, and we will let you know.

The frustrations have come with learning some of the technologies required to put together all that I need together. To be able to produce good-looking eye-catching and effective advertising, I have been looking at ad creation, video and particularly on screen video avatars. I have been playing with green screen video, you know, that’s where you film against a green screen, and then that green background can be removed.  Getting the lighting right,  the green screen right, and the video right has been trial and error. It has taken a lot of time and been quite frustrating! To help I get this right, I needed to order some lights and green screen material. They still have not arrived! Making do with curtains and house lights is simply not cutting the mustard.

Copy – Not as easy as you might think

Another frustrating element has been discovering just how difficult it is to create effective advertising copy. I want it to be punchy, engaging and relevant. I don’t want it to be based on exaggeration, oversell or hype.  It needs to make people want to view the page on and offer. This copywriting skill has been and continues to b,e a steep learning curve. I have so much more to learn.

Next week, with my new green screen material and lights, I hope to spend a bit more time playing around and coming up with some decent videos and snippets.  when I do I will be sure to let you see.


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