Affiliate Marketing Is a Team Sport

Affiliate Marketing Is More Than a Collection of Techniques

About five years ago I bought a course teaching affiliate marketing for about $2000. The course covered about everything, starting with the right mindset for success, then how to select a niche, how to find products for promotion, how to build lead magnets and a list, how to make a plan. But the course was leading me nowhere.

Now you can say: If the student is ready, the teacher will be there, and you can turn the sentence round and say “if the student is not ready the teacher teaches in vain”. I was at that time not ready, my mindset was preventing success.

Although that course discussed the importance of the mindset and all technical aspects of affiliate marketing, one vital point was missing. Affiliate marketing is a team effort, it is very hard to earn a substantial and sustainable income as an isolated affiliate marketer.

Let’s Do Some Number Crunching

Here are a few assumptions on which I base the following calculation:

  • You look for a yearly income of about $100,000 per year.
  • You have costs for mailing lists, web hosting, traffic generation of about 30,000 per year.
  • You get a commission of about $3 for each sale through an affiliate link
  • You make 20 sales for every 1000 emails you send out.
  • You promote your recommendations by sending on average 3 emails to your subscribers.

In this scenario you need total revenue $130,000. At $3 per sale this adds up to 43,000 sales per year. to get there you need to send out 2,150,000 promotion emails per year. If you send to every unique subscriber 5 emails per week or 260 emails per year, you need about 8,300 subscribers. If you send 3 emails for each offer, you need to offer to every subscriber 87 products per year.

You can vary the assumptions a bit and come to not so drastic conclusions. But this will not change the big picture.

Isolated Success is Impossible

If you want to be successful you cannot treat each subscriber the same way. A new subscriber who came just in through a free download offer and doesn’t know you at all needs different offers than a subscriber who know you for many years.

I suggest that you probably divide your subscribers into three classes:

  • New subscribers who never bought something from you
  • Subscribers who did one or a few purchases
  • Subscribers who buy repeatedly based on your recommendations

Each of these classes need different offers. After taking care for some overlap I suggest you need 200 offers per year, or 4 good offers for your subscribers per week. To find four products you can recommend wholeheartedly no need probably review at least 12 products per week, or 2,5 per day if you work 5 days per week.

Your work schedule will look like this:

Daily:

  • Review 2.5 products like ebooks, video courses etc. for recommendation
  • Write three promotion emails per day
  • Drive traffic to lead magnets
  • Review results of your promotion and lead generation system

Ongoing:

  • Set up new lead magnets
  • Grow your knowledge and skills in your chosen field of expertise
  • Grow your authority status in your field of expertise

This is a fulltime job, and you might be able to do that after you have built a list of around 8000 subscribers, although chances are that you will still have to prioritize. This might result in promoting some products which are not so good, some sloppy written email promotions, a lack of industry research and a challenge to maintain the size of the list.

But what about the time before your list reaches 8000 subscribers, when the income you generate through your marketing does not yet pay for a living and you can’t put in a full work day into your project? You still have to send out three email promotions per day, find a new product to promote every day and do some research to develop your expert status. But you have only a few hours to do that, because you need also to spend time and energy in another job to pay for your living. Sounds hard to impossible? It is.

The Solution: Burden Sharing

You will not reach your goal just by working harder. If you earn your living with a normal fulltime job, there is no way to work more than 3 or 4 hours per day for your affiliate marketing project without damaging the quality of your recommendations and content. You have to work smarter. So let’s have a look at the tasks at hand: where can we safe time and effort?

  • List building, setting up lead magnets and driving traffic to them has the highest priority, because a large email audience is what you need to make an online living.
  • Building expertise and authority in your field is necessary. Without that your subscribers will act only in small numbers on your recommendations.
  • Reducing the frequency of promotion emails will reduce your cash flow as soon as your email lists have a few hundred subscribers

But what about reviewing and selecting the offers you promote? What if you need to find instead of 200 products worth your recommendation only 10 products by yourself? You will now research 5 products before you recommend one, and still perform only one product review per week instead of 2 or three per day. If you find 20 like-minded and trustworthy colleagues who share the product recommendations, everyone would have to find only 10 recommendations to reach a grand total of 200. And because 40 eyes see more than two, the 200 recommendations generated by a group are probably richer than the ones you would have found on your own.

The new task schedule looks like this:

Daily:

  • Write three promotion emails per day
  • Drive traffic to lead magnets
  • Review results of your promotion and lead generation system
  • Network with fellow marketers

Weekly

  • Review one product per week

Ongoing

  • Set up new lead magnets
  • Grow your knowledge and skills in your chosen field of expertise
  • Grow your authority status in your field of expertise
  • Find trustworthy colleagues for cooperation

This sounds much better. But there is another major shortcut. What if you could join an already existing network of marketers instead of creating one from scratch?

Join a Mastermind Group

It is obviously much more effective to join an existing mastermind group than trying to create one from scratch. You need a group of like-minded people who are willing to support each others, share ideas, information and recommendations. If you are not an established affiliate marketer the best way to find and get access to such a group is joining an excellent mentorship program. Your knowledge and skills will grow, with it your authority status. You will find many new ideas and early access to information about upcoming products for review and/or recommendation.

The mentorship program and the people in the attached mastermind group should be open-minded towards the niche you have chosen for your affiliate marketing business. And the people in the group have to be trustworthy. So you have to do a fair amount of research before joining such a group. But if you have found the right people, it can be very helpful.

Wii Sports Reviewed

As most Wii console packages come standard with the Wii Sports package I thought it would be a good idea to review Wii Sports.

Wii sports comes with five sports.

* Baseball

* Bowling

* Golf

* Tennis

* Boxing

You can play all but the boxing with the controller that comes out of the standard package. But to play the boxing game, you will need the nunchuck. At least two controllers and nunchucks are ideal as this game is best in a group.

Baseball:

Apart from the Mii’s having no legs the game is graphically quite nice. The game chooses your Mii’s as players first so you will see your own names coming up on the team roster first. It you don’t know what a “Mii” is, you can generate them in the Mii channel so keep all the stats for yourself, family and guests. I have one for each family member and the Mii looks similar (i.e. the kid’s Mii’s are shorter, slimmer, etc). The pitching in baseball is easy. Just hold the holder in your hand (cord attached to wrist for safety) and swing forward and downward – fast for a fast pitch, slow for a slow pitch. Pushing no button gives a straight fast ball, the “A” button a screw ball and “B” for a curve ball and “A” and “B” for a splitter (dropping ball).

Batting is even simpler – just swing the controller like you would a baseball bat. Timing is everything if you want a home run.

Unfortunately you can no longer steal bases as in the old Nintendo favorites, this and the fact the game is only 3 innings long are my only criticisms.

Bowling:

Ten pin bowling. Swing an underarm and hit the “B” button to release. My secret – hit the “B” at the very last moment – the ball will hit down and stay on track. This works until you improve to “PRO” level in which case you will notice the ball spins off to the side more. You can make the ball spin by moving your wrist while swinging.

I’m a much better bowler online than in real life getting scores of over two hundred. However the game is very realistic with bowling alley sounds, pins dropping and more.

Golf:

Like the real game, Wii Sports golf requires patience, timing and the right application of force. Up to a nine hole golf course with ever more difficult and challenging holes. The best bet is to be conservative in your shot selection and power it you want any hope of reaching a hole in par. Its also import in Wii Sports Golf to stay on the fairway as you have a significant penalty in power if you land on the rough.

Tennis:

This is the only game that is disappointing. Wii Sports Tennis is lacking the necessary control in the ability to slam and directing the ball it a matter of very fine timing. Also running the “Mii” over the court is difficult and slow, meaning you often are in the wrong place to even get close to hitting the ball. The two player game isn’t too bad if you play with someone else on your team as you are able to cover the court better making up for the lack of movement in the Mii’s.

Boxing:

Wii Fit Sports should come with a medical warning – see you doctor before you play, especially with the boxing because you will end up huffing and puffing. This is the most difficult to get to pro rating with the boxers you face getting increasing better. You will have to learn to dodge, weave and time your punch combinations. Its sometimes difficult to get the Mii to box as quick as you want, or in the place you want. I find making a side body shot particularly difficult. Boxers normally get back up after a knock down. Only a really good upper head shot combo while they are on the way down will keep them down.

Wii Sports also comes with a fitness and training option to test your reflexes, timing and power.

Its a great package to come standard with the Wii.