Today I want to talk about being an affiliate and earning commissions outside of the whole JVZoo / Warrior + scene (also Click Bank).
When most people think of affiliate marketing in the MMO (make money online) niche they tend to think of products sold on networks like JVZoo, Warrior +, and to a lesser degree Click Bank. Now I want to be clear about one thing: there is nothing wrong with those networks. I personally promote products as an affiliate on two of them and I make a lot of money doing it However products on those networks can be difficult to promote for people just getting started for a couple of reasons:
First, you really need to have a list, and a relationship with your list to promote on these networks.
Second, the products and the vendors on those networks dont have the kind of ‘world’ branding as bigger name companies do. This is why you need to have a relationship with the perspective buyers in order to get a sale, you in essence have to lend some of your trust and authority to your prospective buyers in order to complete the sale.
Third products on these networks tend to be very specific, hard core MMO products. Some of them are very hype, some are bad, some are total scams. Its a lot of work going through sometimes dozens of them just to find the ‘diamond in the rough’ that is worth promoting.
Fourth, because these are networks with both good and bad vendors on them, other websites tend to error on the side of caution. For example you cant run a Facebook ad to a JVZoo affiliate link. Heck you cant even type JVZoo.com in a Facebook comment or chat. (I’m not picking on JVZoo, I love that network, I’m just saying it how it is)
But what if there where products by huge well known brands that you could promote? Products that almost everyone working online will need and that pay you extremely well for every sale you make?
Well good news. There is 🙂
Two that come to mind right off the bat are HostGator and Aweber. Im going to talk about each one of their affiliate programs first and then I will go into a bit of detail on how you can promote them.
Everyone doing any kind of work online needs a website so your potential customer base here is huge. While you might be thinking ‘but everyone already has a website’ you need to remember that the world is a very big place. There are always newbies just getting started.
Imagine selling a $7 product and getting paid at least $50? Well that’s what HostGator does. You send them a referral that purchases even a basic hosting plan and they will give you a cool $50 bill (paid via check or PayPal, within 90 days). Even better they also have a reverse pyramid commission structure. What this means is the more signups you send them each month the more you will actually be paid per signup (see graphic above).
For example if you sent them 1 signup in a month you would get 50 bucks. Not bad. Some extra cash is always a good thing. If you sent them 7 signups your per signup commission would actually be increased to $75 so you would get $525 that month.
HostGator does not allow you to incentivize people to signup through your link and they really prefer you to send traffic primarily though the clickable banners they provide. So how are you going to get sales? Well if you had a blog you could make tutorials, training, or just interesting articles on it. Then you could use social traffic (Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube) to drive people to your blog posts. Also if your consistent you would get SEO traffic after a while as well. At the end of each post you could have a banner for HostGator hosting. This would work especially well if you personally use HostGator for your website.
So what kind of traffic would you need? Well lets assume that you get once banner click per thousand site visitors, and one out of three people that click actually buy. This means you would need 3000 site visitors to get a sale on average. Now that might sound like a lot but its actually not. After a while you could easily be getting that kind of traffic every week from SEO alone. Also if you have things like on exit lead capture on your site (like you can do with my Bounce Baby plugin) you can run ads to your site as well and even if they dont actually click your banner get a benefit from the ad.
Will being a HostGator affiliate make you rich? Probably not. But a reasonably well trafficked website, one with decent content on it that people want to read, should have no huge trouble making a couple of hundred dollars in extra, and largely passive income from it.
While HostGator with their clickable banners gives you the potential to make some passive income, Aweber actually gives you the opportunity to be proactive with your marketing.
First of all Aweber pays you a 30% commission. What this means is that if someone buys a $19 Aweber package you earn $5.70. Ok that does not sound like a lot. However you have to keep in mind that this is a per month payout. You will get 30% for every month that your referral has an Aweber account. Even better if they upgrade to a more costly plan your payout will be based on the upgraded plan cost.
Also Aweber gives you an affiliate link and does not restrict you to a banner. You can advertise your affiliate link using any legally acceptable means (even with email marketing). Given that you get 30% of all your customers payments and have none of the costs or hassles of actually running the platform this can be a very lucrative offer. It can almost be like having your own company since most companies don’t even have a 30% profit margin.
So how are you going to get people to signup? Well as I said, they are very few restrictions like there is with HostGator. What this means is you can get very creative.
Here is one example: What if you created a free training course on email marketing? Of course this training course would show Aweber in all the examples and would have links built into it to get an Aweber account (your affiliate link). You could then drive traffic to it through the normal free channels and also through paid ads.
Another example: could be creating a WordPress plugin (or even taking a free one and modifying it) that has something to do with email marketing. Perhaps a pop up plugin, or a lead capture plugin for example, give it away for free and have your affiliate link built into it.
Would running paid traffic to this work? Well lets do some math:
Lets say you are paying 20 cents per click, and 75% of the people accept your free training or plugin (your not going to ask them to opt in). That means on average your paying 26 cents per person to accept your free training or plugin.
If you did this over a 30 day period and spent $5 per day you would be paying $150 over the month and would be expect to have 576 people accept your freebie. Now lets assume that 2% of the people who accept your freebie buy an Aweber account (it could be more or less depending on how ‘pushy’ you are in the freebie), that means you could expect just about 11 people to signup for an Aweber account and earn you aprox $62.70.
I know what your thinking. Are you retarded Brett? Im losing money by your own math!
No your not 🙂 Because you have to take into account that your getting paid each month. So lets assume that 1/3rd of those people keep their account for a full year on average (some will be more and some will be less). That means over a course of a year you expect to get (62.7X12)X.33=$248. So your annual ROI on that $150 investment is (248-150)/150X100 = 65%. Try getting a 65% ROI from your banker! Hell try asking your banker to get you a 20% ROI!
Of course this will require you to have the money to spend on the paid ads knowing that it will take several months to get a return on it. However even if you are not in a position to do this you can still use free traffic sources like social traffic or SEO to give away your freebie.
These are just two of the many affiliate offers out there that I thought of off the top of my head:
There are many other big name companies that are more than willing to pay you a nice chunk of each sale in exchange for sending them a customer. While most people in the MMO niche automatically start thinking of sites like JVZoo, Warrior + etc (or Amazon if your trying to do eCom, but thats a whole different article) the truth is that affiliate programs are a tried and true formula that is used by some of the biggest brands on the internet. With a little creative, and forward thinking you can make a lot of money by promoting brands that are well known, established, and trust worthy.
A quick note about the reviews on this site: I am an affiliate for every product I review. The vendors of these products give me them without charge in order for me to test them. However all my reviews are done as honestly as possible and I make no promises to the vendor prior to writing my review. Should you click a link on this site that takes you to a paid product this link will be an affiliate link and I will be paid a percentage of the sales price should you decide to purchase that product.