Want to make a six-figure income with affiliate marketing?
Yes it’s possible. But over 99% of people fall short of this goal.
What separates that 1% from everyone else? The answer is simple…
Successful affiliate marketers have a system.
As I mentioned in a recent post, most affiliates fail because they don’t have a system.
The truth is I make a six-figure income with affiliate marketing. What’s funny is I’m not particularly smart. And I’m not a great marketer. And if you’ve read some of the posts on this blog then you know I’m not the best writer in the world.
The only reason I succeed is because I have a system.
With this system I use a lot of automation. This helps me make money if I’m at home or if I’m hiking up the Dolomite mountain range in Italy. I don’t have to be a cog in the machine for this system to work. It runs smoothly without my interference.
There’s a very stupid mistake I see a lot of affiliate marketers make. They put their affiliate links on various websites and think they’re building a business. Sure they might get a sale or two, but they’re not creating a system for long term wealth.
So let’s talk about this system.
In this article, I’m going to reveal the five tools which make my affiliate system operate on autopilot. I couldn’t run my business without them. And if you’re serious about making money as an affiliate marketer, I highly recommend you use each and every one of these tools.
They’re that important.
Sidebar: Yes, I’ve included affiliate links in some of these recommendations. With that being said, these are tools that I personally use. I would tell you to use them even if they didn’t put mad loot in my pocket.
Okay, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s talk about these five tools. To help you out, I’ve put them in order of importance:
Tool #1- Web Hosting
Hate to tell you this but you’re gonna need a website. Forget what you might have heard about free hosting or leveraging web 2.0 properties, a real affiliate business has a real website that’s hosted on a real web server.
You can’t build long term income if you’re directly linking to a merchant’s website. You need is a website where you can “brand” yourself as an expert in a niche. Then you use your guru status to gently recommend an affiliate product. That’s how the money is made in affiliate marketing.
Now, I know technology is a major obstacle for many new affiliate marketers. They think it’s really hard to figure out how to create web pages and deal with various hosting issues.
I’ll be honest here, when I got started with Internet Marketing, I was the same way. I was extremely intimidated by all the things I had to do to host my website. But I managed to learn everything through trial and error.
If I can do it, you can too.
The good news is most web hosting services offer a bunch of tutorials and services that can help you get started. Furthermore, web hosting doesn’t cost that much. Usually you’ll end up paying under $10 each month.
The service I recommend is Host Gator. This is the same web hosting service I use for my affiliate site and for this blog. I’ve used this service for five years and I’ve never had a problem.
Plus Host Gator has excellent customer service. I’ve forgotten my password at least five times and had to call them to retrieve it. They really helped me out and didn’t even laugh at my stupidity.
#2- Email Marketing Service
It’s true…the money is in the list.
This is something I didn’t realize for many years. Like a lot of affiliate marketers, I direct linked to a merchant’s website, thinking I was building a business. But my income skyrocketed once I started building a list.
Now, in order to manage this list you’re going to need a specific software system. One that’ll put your email marketing efforts on autopilot.
A good service allows you to send emails in a timed sequence (known as “autoresponders”) and also delivers broadcast messages to your list whenever you feel like it.
To be honest, email marketing requires a more lengthy explanation than I can do here. So just know this…you need a list and you need an email marketing service to manage this list.
The service I use is Aweber. They’re industry leader in email marketing. And almost every affiliate I’ve talked to uses the Aweber system.
I love Aweber because it automates my entire marketing system. Each week I spend five hours writing content and uploading emails to this site. Then Aweber handles everything else.
Furthermore, I’m almost at the point where everything is on complete auto-pilot. This summer I’ll be traveling to Europe for 3 to 4 months. And during this time I won’t have to worry about my income because I know Aweber will be automatically emailing my list subscribers while I’m off having fun.
#3- Opt-In Page
As I just said, many affiliate marketers don’t take “list building” too seriously. This is a huge mistake that’s going to cost you lots of money.
Successful affiliate marketers always have a special page which is designed to build their list.
Known as an opt-in or landing page, this is an area of your site that’s specifically designed with one goal in mind…Get the person to subscribe to your list. It doesn’t have a bunch of links. And it doesn’t contain any affiliate offers.
q A quality opt-in page only has a few things:
- A free offer (see below)
- The benefits the subscriber will receive from this offer
- A text box where they enter their name and email address.
That’s it. When designing your opt-in page your only goal is to get that person on your list. At this point, you’re not going to worry about making money. Just get ‘em on your list and the email marketing service will do the rest. (Trust me on this one.)
#4- Lead Magnet
You be wondering “how do I get people to subscribe to my list?”
The answer is simple. You offer them an ‘ethical bribe’ to make them join.
This is called a Lead Magnet.
A lead magnet is a piece of content you give away in exchange for permission to market to a prospect. It could be anything from a small report to a full multi-media course which teaches a skill.
Now there’s a science to a lead magnet. You need to create a quality offer. Something that people would pay money to receive. The reasoning is simple. If you’re giving great value to the subscriber for free, you’ll increase your chances of making an affiliate sale because trust has been built.
Also, I recommend testing your lead magnets on a regular basis. You might be surprised at how quickly you can increase subscriber rates by giving them a different offer.
What I usually do is create two different lead magnets then split-test and see which produces the best results. This leads us to our final affiliate tool…
#5- Ad Tracking Software & Split Test Software
Technically these are two separate tools. But later on you’ll see why I grouped them together.
Before I get to that, let me give you the reasons why both these tools are critical to your affiliate business:
Ad Tracking Software- Like I said before, I’m not the greatest marketer in the world. With that being said, the thing(s) I’m really good at is testing and tracking.
Here’s why this is important…
Good affiliate marketers are always experimenting. They test different methods for generating web traffic. They test various product offers. And they test different email sequences.
That’s where ad tracking comes in.
With ad tracking, you insert a piece of code into your marketing campaign and then measure which method brought you the best outcome. Like a sale or a subscription. Then when you can separate the “winners” from the “losers”, you concentrate on the methods that worked the best.
Split Test Software- Another item that’s a critical part of my business is a split test software package. I have this tool installed on my opt-in page and helps it me increase my subscriber rates.
Here’s how it works…
Let’s say 100 people come to your site. About 50 are shown one version of your opt-in page. The other 50 are shown a different version of your opt-in page. Then the split test software tracks the number of subscriptions for each version. When you decide to end the test it tells you which version produced the best results.
What makes this process really work is you keep testing different versions. Once you have a successful opt-in page, you keep trying to improve upon it and see if you can create another variation that’ll bring a much better result.
An Ad Tracking & Split Test System- I know I probably confused you with the differences between each tool. The good news is I use an inexpensive solution that tracks ads and split tests my opt-in page. It’s called AdTrackz.
I like AdTrackz because it makes it easy to manage affiliate campaigns. All you do is install it on your website and create links for each ad you use. Then as you promote your site, AdTrackz will tell you which campaigns are working the best. It’s an inexpensive tool that does a lot of cool things.
Putting This All Together…
Once again, I’ve exceeded the standard word limit for a typical blog post. I hope you got something from this article.
I honestly feel that a successful affiliate business requires a system that you can put on auto-pilot. And to make this happen you’ll need a lot of tools. In my opinion, these aren’t optional. They’re mandatory.
Each tool I recommend in this post are the ones that I’ve used to earn a six-figure income. Hopefully you can see why they’re really important.
Now you might be wondering: “How do I put all these tools together?”
Well that question deserves another post. To make my affiliate business run smoothly, I follow a very specific blueprint—a system that basically runs itself.
Fortunately for you, I’ll be covering this system really soon. Right now, I’m working on a how to present this information. I’m trying to decide if I should make a video or post a diagram. No matter what, this will take a week or so to put together. So stay tuned…Take Action. Get Results.
12 thoughts on “Do You Use These 5 Affiliate Marketing Tools?”
Thank you. That made sense of a lot of things to do with Affiliate Marketing that I hadn’t quite figured out for myself or understood before. Very useful 🙂
Don’t think I’m quite ready to go after it in a huge way yet, but I’ll be revisiting this post when I am ready because I think you’re onto something here. Good job!
Thanks Heather. Keep an eye out in the next week or so because I’m going to create a video that shows how all this works.
Anyway, let me know when you really go after it. I can give you a few pointers that might save you some of the headaches that I had to go through.
Thanks Steve – I’ll look forward to that then 🙂 And I’ll keep you in mind for when I’m ready to start; it probably won’t be for a month or two yet though, still getting used to having a blog itself.
Same here…trying to figure out this whole blogging thing. There’s definitely a pretty big learning curve.
Yep, even if you spend months looking into it before you ever start… the second you do that all goes out the window and you have to find your own way anyway. Pretty challenging, yet fun 🙂
Thanks for the post great information. I’ve never heard of AdTrackz before, I’ll be sure to check it out.
I think the last time I commented here was your Homer post.. I’ve been a bit busy.
You are so right about the learning curve, it’s pretty tough to get going.
It gets even harder when you get some people who obviously don’t have a clue, selling you BS on make money online when they haven’t themselves.
I feel a rant coming on so will just close by saying that I’ve noticed a lot of the real deal guy’s and girl’s like you telling people how it is, so thanks for that.
Glad to have you back. Hope you have freed up some time, if not I just did a post on time management you might enjoy.
Yes, there are a lot of of slick and over-hyped people who exist solely to separate you from your money. I am starting to see a backlash to this, though. There seems to be a lot more people who really know what they are talking about creeping up. (or maybe I am just finding them).
Anyhow, welcome back to Commenting.
Great tips here Steve. I’ve seen Hostgator mentioned before. I’m about to create some new sites, so I’ll definitely consider this.
Adtranz too sounds very intriguing will definitely be checking it out.
I have been really happy with the service that hostgator has provided me. It is a very solid service.
Ps. where is the other article on blueprints!
Thanks for the tips, Steve. Split testing is something I’ve been meaning to start doing for my blog. I think most people don’t start thinking about split testing until they actually start making money from their blog.
Like Neil, I hadn’t heard of AdTrackz before. Definitely gonna check it out.
Looking forward to your post on automating all of this.
Steve, Thanks for the great tips. I’ve also used HostGator and their customer service is great. I’m helping my team integrate social media platforms into their network marketing businesses and appreciate your clarity. Online terminology can be confusing, however, your brief discussion of the 5 tools you recommend is very clear. I notice from your comment to Heather, which I realize was quit a while ago, that you are working into blogging on a regular basis. Many people get frustrated with the time it takes, however, it is well worth it. Thanks again. Janet
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