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My #1 Bulletproof Strategy for Selecting the Best Affiliate Products

by Steve Scott | Join Him On Facebook

How to Find the Best Affiliate ProductsSo you’ve discovered a great niche and found a few potential products.

The question is:

“How do you know which affiliate offer to promote?” 

This is an important question to ask.  In fact, the wrong choice means low affiliate commissions and a risk of losing the interest of your audience.

So any affiliate offer must match what people really want.

Fortunately there is an easy way to select the perfect affiliate offer.  It comes down to using a simple strategy that I’ll reveal today…

Why Most Affiliate Offers Suck

We’ve all had this happen before.  You join an email list hoping to learn about a specific topic.

Unfortunately all you get are emails that sound like this:

Magic Profits Software Genie automatically builds websites and earns money on autopilot.

Check it out here:  ==> {affiliate link}

I earned $56,897 last week with only 30 minutes of work.

Go here now to download this magical program.  ==> {affiliate link}

See you at the top!

Annoying Guru

P.S. You really should buy this program ==> {affiliate link}

It’s awesome and makes you piles of money

Many affiliates get it wrong with their offers.  They think that “marketing” is about hitting people with a ton of promotions.  What they don’t do is take time to truly understand their target customer.

Every member of your audience is a person with hopes and fears just like you.  They don’t need a ton of offers.  Instead, they want solutions to the specific problems/obstacles they face on a regular basis.  Never forget that fact!

The best affiliate marketers know what their audience wants.  They don’t guess.  Instead they take the time to get “inside the head” of potential customers and find out what’s really going on.  You can do this by creating what’s called an “Affiliate Customer Profile

It’s a simple strategy that’s broken down into two steps…

Step #1: Research Your “Typical” Affiliate Customer

Think carefully about who follows you.  These will be the people who buy your affiliate offers.  So it’s mandatory to know what goes on in their head.

You can learn a lot by asking three questions:

  1.  What is their goal?  (Define the specific outcome they want to achieve.  More importantly, figure out when they want to do it.)
  2. What are their obstacles?  (Define the external things that prevent them from achieving their goal.)
  3. What are their fears?   (Define the internal factors that’s holding them back from going after what they want.)

How do you figure out these questions?

The best way is to browse specific websites and do market research.

To start, go to these sites and enter your primary keywords:

These sites list the common questions that people ask in your niche.  So use them to get specialized market research.

Next you’ll want feedback from existing audience members.  Pay attention to what people say and you’ll get a wealth of invaluable information. Take a look at:

  • Blog comments
  • Emails from your audience
  • Questions on popular forums
  • What other bloggers recommend

Researching your niche is an important part of finding the best affiliate offers.  So take some time to find out what they want and what’s holding them back from success.

 Step #2: Create an Affiliate Customer Avatar

Creating a Customer Affiliate AvatarNext you’ll create a customer avatar.

(No, I’m not talking about ten feet tall Smurfs.) 

An avatar is a tool for understanding the motivations of your customer.  It helps you figure who they are, what goes on inside their head, and what emotional “hot buttons” are important.

Bottom line…

An avatar is a fictional mock-up of your perfect customer.

You create avatars by taking the research from step #1 and using it to tell a story about your ideal customer.

Here are a few tips for creating an avatar:

  1. Create multiple avatars for each type of person in your audience (Do at least 2 to 3)
  2. Give a name to each avatar.  Make it rhyme.  (ie: Newbie Ned, Scared Sally, etc.)
  3. Use specific psychographics and demographics in the avatar description
  4. Do a complete background for this fictional person
  5. Find out what are their primary obstacles to getting what they want

Now, you might wonder:

“Why is it important to create an affiliate customer avatar?”

Avatars are a great way to understand the basic needs of your audience.  They’re used whenever you write content or look for offers.  In my opinion, avatars are the best way to match an audience with the right affiliate product.

Introducing – Frustrated Freddie

It’s not hard to write a customer avatar.  Here is an example I’ve created for the affiliate marketing niche…

Frustrated Freddie

Freddie is a great husband and loving father of two small boys.  For the last ten years, he had a high salary media sales job in New York City.

Unfortunately he was recently laid off because of the recession.

Right now, Freddie has a 9 month severance package.  So this gives him a bit of time to figure out his next step.  One idea is to start an Internet business.  In theory, this would give him the freedom to make money while spending lots of time with his family.

After careful research, Freddie decides that an affiliate marketing business is his best option.  He’s willing to work hard and is motivated to replace the six-figure+ income that he had at his media sales job.

Freddie took his time building his first site.  He followed the advice of many “gurus” and created content that targeted specific keywords.  Then he quickly built backlinks to this web property.  Finally he leveraged this traffic by linking to reviews of popular affiliate products.  Ultimately, Freddie hopes these product reviews will generate a substantial affiliate income.

Fast forward three months… Freddie was making a decent income from this affiliate site.  It wasn’t a lot.  But it the money was steadily increasing. Then one day Google launched their “Penguin Update.”  Suddenly Freddie’s site dropped down to the 10th page on Google’s search engine listings for his primary keywords.

After the Penguin Update, Freddie has come to realize that:

No Traffic = No Money

Freddie is now really worried.  His severance package will expire in six months.  So he has to succeed in affiliate marketing OR start looking for another job.  Freddie needs to replace his old income and he’s not entirely sure that affiliate marketing is the answer.

Late at night, Freddie has many thoughts running through his head:

  • “Is affiliate marketing a complete scam?”
  • “How do I build a business that will continuously support my family?”
  • “What did I do wrong with my first affiliate site?”
  • “How do I generate web traffic without relying on Google?”
  • “Should I start looking for a REAL job?”

Freddie is willing to work hard for his success.  Unfortunately he’s frustrated about the “failure” of his first website.  Now he wants to build an affiliate business that produces long-term results.


That’s my example of an affiliate customer avatar.  Painting a complete picture of this fictional person helps you get into the mind of your audience.  As a result, this makes it easy to find out what offers are best suited for their situation.

Your Assignment

I have a simple assignment for you today.  Create at least one avatar for your affiliate business.  Make it match the archetype that best describes your core followers.  Include the following on this profile:

  1. A name
  2. Background information
  3. This person’s goals (what they want and when they want it)
  4. This person’s fears
  5. The obstacles this person faces

Finally, print out this customer profile.  Tack it on a wall and refer to it whenever you’re creating affiliate offers. My suggestion is to write content like you’re having a one-on-one conversation with this avatar.

I used customer avatars for over a year now.  They’ve done wonders for helping me pinpoint the exact needs of my audience.  As a result, it’s easier to write content and select great affiliate offers.

What do you think?

Comment below…

Take Action. Get Results.




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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Deborah White

This was a great article Scott. I did something like this to get a visual in order to pull my clients out of the crowd. I went into a magazine and cut out a picture of a woman and put it on a vision board along with some pictures (same magazines) of what she is doing and what she has problems with. What I like about your suggestion is naming her along with the frustration that she feels. I just love this! Thank you.

Reply

Steve Scott

Thanks Deborah

(and Everyone else)

Sorry about the late replies. I was on a mini-vacation.

……A picture on the vision board… love that. Such a great way to really visual your core audience /client. When you can really see them as more than faceless names, it really helps to write to them like friends rather than just some random person/customer

Reply

Thomas @ Mobile App Tycoon

Awesome post! The best few lines by far:

“Every member of your audience is a person with hopes and fears just like you. They don’t need a ton of offers. Instead, they want solutions to the specific problems/obstacles they face on a regular basis.”

EPIC quote! If only everyone thought like that!

Thomas

Reply

Omar Von Gimbel

Hey Steve,

Thank you again for all the value you give. You have been one of my favorite resources for affiliate marketing. As a matter of fact, I refer others to your blog as THE default blog structure.

I have even been getting consulting jobs helping local business create products and get them online. Your email mod from Affiliate Marketing Without the BS has been my first go-to resource each time.

I was just teaching a client about the avatar.

Anyway, thanks again for all the value you give

Reply

Steve Scott

Thanks Omar,

Glad you like it! ANd really glad you are getting value from the affilate marketing w/o bs. I am really happy to see people really using it!

Sorry for the late reply, thanks again for dropping by and commenting!

Steve

Reply

Marcin

Steve,

some time ago in one article you wrote, that you’re slowly moving away from your main affiliate business. Is it mainly because of losing passion about this subject or the income decreased due to “exploiting” your list?
I wonder how long a list can be profitable on average and how much income can change with time (assuming that you do the same thing and constantly provide value).
Do you mind sharing some thoughts?

Reply

Marcin

Any chance for your reply?:)

Reply

Steve Scott

Marcin,

Very sorry for the slow reply. I have been on a mini vacation and have barely been keeping up with writing. That is no excuse for not replying though.

Anyhow, let me answer now.

My main affiliate business is still doing fine financially. Though I would like to slowly move away from it, I do still use it and it is still profitable with little work, so it is hard to divorce myself from it.

So, I guess the answer is the “losing the passion” for it. Generally when you build a good list, it keeps growing. (if you do not “burn” the list) So although I have an attrition rate (less than 1%) my growth is higher than attrition.

For that niche at least there is no cap on time, I would assume. As long as the autoresponder stuff you write is “evergreen” and you mix in some timely broadcast messages from time to time.

I hope that answers your questions, again sorry for the slow response.

Reply

Marcin

Many thanks for your reply. You have these mini vacations pretty often, lucky you!:)
One more question: do you buy media to get new subscribers on your list or it’s all “free” traffic?

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Chris @ NPI

Hi Steve,
great idea with the Avatar. I must try it with my customers :)
But there is one thing, I must straighten out. You wrote:”One idea is to start an Internet business. In theory, this would give him the freedom to make money while spending lots of time with his family”.

Making money online is hard job, and if you really want to get a lot of money from it, you must work even harder, than in normal work. People think, that it’s easy, fast, and really cool. But it’s only cool :)
Thanks for sharing, Chris

Reply

Steve Scott

Chris….Absolutely!!!

I make no bones about affiliate marketing being easy. IT is hard work…specifically with a full time job. Many people fail because they just do not have the time and energy to pour into something with no IMMEDIATE return or gains. It is a lot of “working for tommorrow”

I guess my point is that the “Theory” and “idea” new people have when starting out does not always align with reality. You CAN make a living with affiliate marketing…but it is never easy and simple. If what I wrote made it sound that way…I really appreciate the clarification!

Steve

(Sorry for the late replies, I was on a short trip)

Reply

Adrienne

You are the affiliate King as far as I’m concerned Steve. You’re honest, you share such valuable information with anyone who wants to learn about affiliate marketing and you aren’t afraid to help others get even farther.

What a fabulous tip and thanks for sharing with us who your ideal customer is. That makes perfect sense. People have always asked me but since I enjoy helping everyone I could never narrow that down. I believe I honestly can now.

Thanks so much for that Steve and hope your week has gotten off to a great start.

~Adrienne

Reply

Steve Scott

Adrienne,

Thanks for a great comment (sorry for the tardy reply). I do believe that having a targeted (and specific) customer(s) like this that you write to is really important. Having more to say than “hey you” is essential…specifically for something like email marketing, which is traditionally so darn impersonal.

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James Pruitt

absolutely spot on steve.

I first did the customer avatar about a year ago after watching a video by Dino Dogan on it. really helped me understand more about who my customer is and where I am working to take them on their journey. now, every article I write, every podcast I record, and every email I send is a conversation with my avatar.

Reply

Steve Scott

“every email I send is a conversation with my avatar”

That is perfect James!!

Glad you have been getting value from this idea for a while now! It really works!

Reply

TrafficColeman

Some people just slams you with offers in their emails marketing..this is just not the route to go. People will sooner or later tune you out.

“Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

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Dennis

What a cool thing you said here Steve, I just took some 15 minutes and wrote 3 different avatars for my niche, it was such a great exercise! now I hope I have a much better idea of what needs to be addressed on my emails and be able to help that person to let her/him now I understand their situation

thanks a lot!

Reply

Steve Scott

Thanks Dennis,

Glad you are getting some good value from it! It is so simple to make up a few Avatars…but it can really help when you are writing to someone a little more specific.

Reply

fred

Yes, clients are person. So we should relate to them on a personal manner, personal touch has magic effect that can touch even the most hard-hearted person. Visualizing helps also.

Reply

mike

Scott, I was curious if you have been through Andre and Steve’s TLB course. They teach some of what you hit on here.

Reply

Steve Scott

Hey Mike…I’ve gone through Andre’s Autoresponder Madness course. I really like his slant on avatars and learned a lot from it. I’ve heard about TLB; but haven’t had a chance to check it out. What did you think of it?

Reply

reeha@inkjet

Great post Steve. I learned some new concepts of affialte product and get the theme that personal touch got higher results and expectations than other strategies. thumbs up for these suggestions.

Reply

Becca

That is an awesome post. You have really layed out your points in great detail. Very easy to follow with good content. We should take get hold of this post, read and impliment the points outlined.

Reply

Ian Belanger@IM Graphic Designs

Hey Steve,

Excellent post! I think that the hardest thing for newbie marketers is finding out who their target market is. I know it has been for me. I love the whole avatar idea.

As you know, I am a web designer and finding clients is the hardest thing to do in my business, as I’m sure it is in anyone’s business.

I guess it is time for me to create my ideal client avatar. I think I may model my first avatar after you, since you are basically what my ideal client is. “A website owner who knows exactly what they want to do with the design of their website/blog, but just doesn’t know how to do it, or doesn’t have the time.” I hope that is alright with you.

Thanks for sharing your knowledge Steve and have a good one!

Ian from IM Graphic Designs

Reply

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