How to make your first sale as an Affiliate
If you wish to become an Affiliate, follow these 5 steps to start selling online!
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If you wish to become an Affiliate, follow these 5 steps to start selling online!
Are you just starting out in the digital market and have made no sales yet? Stay tuned because this post was written for you: we’ll share some tips on how to create your first Affiliate website, and therefore, make your first sale.
Promoting digital products is a great alternative for people who want to make money on the web. Yes, it is possible!
If you’ve chosen to become an Affiliate, you will need to follow some basic steps to efficiently promote digital products.
Keep reading, because we will talk about each of them now so that you can make your first sale as an Affiliate.
The choice of digital product is crucial for you to succeed or fail as an Affiliate. The ideal thing is to promote a product related to a niche you know something about, even if you know little about it. This will make that you present a material that’s more in sync with the interests of potential buyers, increasing the chances of making your first sale.
What should you consider when choosing a product?
The sales page.
Main characteristics of a good sales page:
Keep in mind that not all good sales pages have all these characteristics. Some Producers choose to use a sales page with a video and a hidden CTA (which only appears after watching some time of the video). In this case, you must analyze the sales video and check if it has the characteristics mentioned above.
A product that has good promotional material will save you effort. Check to see if the product has banners, videos, emails available to Affiliates. This material will be important at this early stage, even for you to get a feeling of how the Producer has been promoting the product.
A product with a good support makes a big difference, if the buyer has any problem when making the sale (such as lack of credit card limit, for example). In addition, products with efficient buyer support often have a low cancellation rate.
You can have an idea by looking up the product online to check for possible problems and how they were solved.
After you analyze these factors, choose the online courses you are interested in promoting. In a text file, list what has caught your eye the most in each one of them. Score them and choose the products that have the best outcome.
When you finish this step, you need to have come up with a list of at least 3 products that are highly related to your audience.
With the chosen products, it’s time to decide how you will lead people to the sales page: with paid traffic or organic traffic.
Paid traffic is the use of traffic from other platforms or websites to take the buyer to the sales page. In this scenario, three tools stand out: AdWords (Google), Facebook and traffic Networks.
Adwords is the tool that allows you to announce on Google search. It uses keywords to feature your ad only to people who have searched a specific term chosen by you or a similar one. It goes through an auction of keywords and you pay only when someone clicks your ad.
Even going through an auction, it is not only the amount of your bid that defines whether your ad will show or not. The quality of the ad and its landing page are analyzed and Google scores them. In other words: even if your bid for a keyword is higher than your competitor’s, if it’s a low-quality ad or its landing page is not considered good enough by Google, your ad will not appear.
To find out what people are searching for, you will need to carry out an analysis of keywords.
The choice of keywords will guide your promotion strategy, whether to rank in organic search, or Sponsored Links (if you have money to invest on PPC).
For each product you’ve selected in step 1, list the related words and generic terms. For example, a sales page offers information on finances for small and medium entreprises.
When selecting products, you became interested in promoting an ebook on “Costs Reduction for SMEs”. Therefore, you can set broad keywords like “cost reduction” or “save money in the company”.
Then, access the tool Ubersuggest to check out suggestions related to the keywords you have chosen. It will bring the search volume of each term, in addition to other suggestions.
The aim here is to find words or terms related to your business that have a high search volume (preferably above 10,000 global searches per month) and low competition (this information is provided by Google Keyword Tool).
In this stage, you should have come up with a list of at least 50 keywords, preferably 100 keywords, with good search volume and low competition.
With this in hand, you’re ready to start creating your AdWords campaign. The Adwords channel has a step-by-step guide on how to set up every step of your campaign. You can access the channel by clicking here.
Advertisement on Facebook is made via Facebook ads. Ads on Facebook are displayed in two ways: ads on the news feed (like your friends’ posts) and ads in the right-hand column.
The first step to creating an ad on Facebook is to access Ads Manager.
Ads on facebook are composed of three levels: ad campaign, ad sets, and ads.
Campaign is where you decide what you want to achieve: traffic, engagement, app download, video display and leads generation. To make your first sale, it’s recommended that you consider taking traffic to the sales page.
Ad set is where you choose the targeting of your ad (location, age, gender, language, etc.), its placement (Facebook, Instagram, Network Audience or you can let Facebook choose by probability of success through the automatic mode), budget, schedule (what time you want the ads to be displayed) and bidding.
Ad is where you choose the format of your ad, you can choose among: single image, single video, carousel, slideshow, and canvas.
A tip: Facebook offers a page where you can view all types of ads, with design recommendations. You can access it by clicking here. Keep in mind that to choose the type of ad you’re going to display you need a Facebook page. If you do not have nor wish to create a page, you can just create ads in the right-hand column.
Like Adwords, your bid for the ad also isn’t the only factor in determining whether your ad will be displayed. Facebook has two factors, besides the bid, that determine whether your ad will be displayed or not: 1) quality and relevance score of the ad and 2) estimated action rates.
The quality and relevance of your ad are analyzed through people’s interaction with it. When multiple people interact by selecting an ad as useful, its quality and relevance score go up, but if your ad gets many negative comments, its score goes down.
Whereas the estimated action rate is an analysis of your ad made by Facebook. It calculates the probability of a person (inside the ad’s targeted audience) to carry out the action for which you created the ad. If you’ve created an ad to take your audience to a specific website, Facebook will analyze the probability of this action happening and use it to optimize the ad process.
Regardless of which channel you choose to advertise, in all of them you will get better results if you master copywriting skills.
The first step is to try to understand what your audience goes through, day after day, being bombarded by tons of ads. To do so, you can do three simple exercises:
1) Search ten times for terms related to your product and see which ads come up;
2) Like pages that talk about topics related to your product and watch as the ads pop up on your timeline;
3) Browse on websites with the same theme of the product you are promoting, scroll to the bottom of the page and check out links such as “specially chosen for you” or “you may also like”.
If you do this exercise for half an hour, you will see the amount of ads to which your audience has contact with every day. If your goal is to sell the product as an Affiliate, you will have to make someone who is being bombarded by ads choose exactly yours. You are going to do this using copy and images.
How to write a copy that draws the attention of your audience
A copy is a text with a specific purpose: get someone to perform an action.
A good copy is the one that convinces the audience to somehow click your offer, whether it’s arousing their curiosity, reporting something intuitive, breaking a pattern, using controversy, displaying a problem or creating a solution.
Arousing their curiosity: “20 simple things that have changed my life. You won’t believe number 7! “
Reporting something counterintuitive: Learn about the hamburger-based diet.
Breaking the pattern: Do you want to spend the best vacation of your life? Stay home.
Using controversy: Run away from financial problems. Invest your money in bonds.
Displaying a problem: Are you tired of wasting your life cooped up in excel spreadsheets?
Creating a solution: Do you want to travel but have no money? Learn about how to travel around the world without spending a dime
Moreover, a good copy can convince and convey a message in just a few words. Mixed or highly abstract messages don’t generate engagement.
Example 1: Do you want to learn how to stop procrastinating? Follow this advice.
Comments: In this sentence, you can identify a problem (procrastination), a will (stop doing it) and a solution (follow this advice). The message is simple and it expresses everything you need: click here and have a solution to your problem.
Example 2: Do you have trouble sleeping? Have you ever thought it could be emotional or you could just have a bad pillow?
Comments: This copy has a good start (it identifies a problem) but it did not provide any clear solution. It just raised a question about the insomnia problem (even if it is for emotional reasons or because of the pillow).
Example 3: Do you have relationship problems? I’ve got the solution for you!
Comments: Even though it mentions a problem, it is an abstract copy that doesn’t point out any specific problem. On the same note, it doesn’t lead a clear way of where it is going. If the product is about financial problems in marriage and the user who clicks it has jealousy problems in her relationship, she’s going to get frustrated and quickly leave the sales page.
You can also use mental triggers to write your copy.
Mental Triggers are an easy way to convince your audience. This term may be familiar because you sure got hit by it your whole life.
Have you ever seen an ad with the saying “last units”? Have you seen ads for city cars with formula 1 drivers? Have you ever seen any flash sale? All these actions have used mental triggers. The most used are: scarcity, authority, social proof, community, reciprocity and beliefs.
Scarcity: have you ever wondered why gold is one of the most expensive metals in the market? Only the fact that there is a limited amount of it in the world makes people attribute a value to it. This is exactly the scarcity principle, to create value from the limitation.
Example 4: “You’ve got only 24 hours take advantage of this promotion”
Booking, for example, uses the scarcity principle in an intelligent way. They highlight topics that call the reader’s attention thus creating urgency in booking a room.
Authority: People value more the opinion of those they consider authorities. What would make a bigger difference in your decision to buy a soccer ball: a well-known baker’s opinion or Cristiano Ronaldo’s?
Example 5: Learn about the method Arnold Schwarzenegger used to be strong.
Social proof: most people are unwilling to pay for the cost of uncertainty. Positive reviews about the product can be the difference between a sale made and a sale lost. Social proof has to be something truthful and the testimonials need to be honest. People have a good nose when it comes to fake social proofs. And you can be sure that, if your buyer feels she was wronged, she will never buy anything from who has wronged her.
Example 6: Meet the teacher who has taught Japanese for more than 2 million people
Community: people like to feel a part of the community. We are surrounded by this feeling our whole lives: family, soccer team, nationality, etc.
Example 7: Click here and join the largest Yoga community in the Americas.
Reciprocity: when people feel they have gained something from you, they feel as they have to repay the favor.
Example 8: Click here and download the free ebook on financial management.
Example 9: If my ebook on financial management has already helped you solve some of your problems, can you imagine what my course won’t accomplish? Buy it now
Beliefs: When two people who have the same beliefs find each other, they automatically relate to each other. The principle is exactly this, to share your beliefs so that your audience can relate to you.
Example 10: Do you believe that a world with more love is possible? Click here and learn about this beautiful initiative
Now that you know how to create the copy for your ads, it’s time to learn how to choose its images.
The image is the front line of your ad. It’s what first draws attention to your ad. Main characteristics of images:
Quality: Do not use low-resolution, blurry or dark images. Poor-quality images will only lessen your ad conversion, as they are not click-inducing.
Faces: images with faces and portraying happiness often have a higher conversion than faceless images or pictures with sad facial expressions.
Meaningful: the chosen image has to be related to the ad. There’s no point in adding a beautiful image to an ad and it has nothing to do with the message of your copy.
The Idea: The image chosen must convey a message or awaken an emotion. If you want to convey the idea of freedom, the image chosen should, by itself, communicate this message.
People pointing: people pointing to the screen or to the call-to-action button usually have good conversion rates.
Common sense: It is essential that you do not use shocking images to your audience. Some people, eager to make a sale, end up adding racy images to their ad. In addition to not coming across very well, it may cause your ad account to be banned.
Highlight your image: your ad image is there to draw attention and cause the buyer to focus on it. Without emphasis from the rest of the page hardly anyone will click your ad.
Use the image in accordance with the rules of the chosen platform: there’s no use choosing the perfect image if it cannot be displayed. Ad tools analyze your ad before it’s displayed on the platform. Act in accordance with the rules so that your ad account isn’t banned.
Use image banks: a quick way to find ad images is to get the images from such banks. On this post here you will find several options.
If you have a faithful audience on social networking sites (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, etc) or a YouTube channel, you can use it to make sales.
Know your audience: It is important that you understand your audience well (what they want, what their profile is, what they buy, the best way to communicate with them, etc) before suggesting any product.
Work on your brand: on social networking sites you are your brand. People will only buy something from you if they believe that your opinion matters. So, it is essential that you build your authority. Usually, people rely on others because they are specialists in a topic or great trendsetters.
Find the best way to advertise for your audience: If you have never tried to sell for your audience, they may not see your first ad with good eyes. So, invest in creativity. Don’t restrict your advertising only to a post on a social networking site. You might consider making a review of the product, an unboxing, talk about the authority of the product as something that caught your eye, provide testimonials about the product, etc.
Don’t SPAM or attempt to force the sale: people do not want to be bothered with ads of little relevance or that are meaningless. If you are known for sharing exercise routines, it will be very difficult to sell to your audience a course in computer programming. Worse than ads of little relevance is spamming. Spam does not convert and still makes you lose followers by doing something people reject.
Use your copywriting knowledge: copy isn’t only for paid ads. You can use your knowledge of copy to come up with creative titles for your videos, picture descriptions to write video scripts.
Work with partners: you can establish partnerships with other people to increase your audience or to target a different audience from what you’re used to.
If you already have a blog and a good number of hits, you already have all the space you need to promote a product.
Use the posts that have some good engagement to your favor. A great strategy that sometimes goes unnoticed is to analyze the posts that have more hits and put the ad of the product precisely on them.
By doing so, your ad will reach most of the audience of your blog.
Work the organic access to your blog: learn and apply SEO (Search Engine Optimization) techniques.
Does your site feature on the first page of Google search for any term? If the answer is negative, apply SEO techniques to increase organic traffic to your blog through Google searches.
You can put an email capture form on your blog to be in closer contact with your audience. It can be positioned on the sidebar of your blog, in the middle of the text, in a popup that opens when the person is thinking about leaving the blog.
Know that when someone registers their email in your form, they are giving you a vote of confidence. Do not use their emails for SPAM or just send sales emails. Deliver content to your audience and test until you figure out what the right time to send a sales email is.
Use the Producer’s promotion material: many Producers have a lot of promotion material, such as images for banners, text for emails, videos, etc. Use of this material on your blog to promote the product with materials that have already been tested by the Producer.
Put the ads in the correct places: use the heat map tool on your website to place the ads where people interact the most. Tools like Hotjar or Crazy Egg can analyze what areas on your blog have more interaction. Putting the ads on places that attract more interest on your blog makes it easier to convert.
Each Affiliate has a profile that will show the best way to go: working with paid or organic traffic.
If you haven’t discovered your profile yet, visit our post about types of Affiliates and you will find out if you’re an Authority or a Scientist.
With all this information you are ready to get your hands dirty and make your first sale. Good luck with your business!
Author’s Note: this post was originally posted in April 2013 and has been updated to provide more accurate and complete information.