The Best Kind of Affiliate Marketing
The internet has brought out a new side of affiliate marketing: the kind where you can build an entire website around selling another product (that you didn’t create) and generating a profit with less effort. This kind of affiliate marketing has led to an increase in spam, junk sites, and pointless content.
This is not the best kind of affiliate marketing. It has cast a dark shadow on a strategy that actually is effective… assuming you actually have skills / passion / experience of your own to begin with. The previously mentioned strategy shall here fore be called “lazy man’s dream” because it is based on the concept of not having to work for an income, whereas true affiliate marketing is for those who are making a living doing something you love to do. That is the life.
True Affiliate Marketing is About Building Relationships with a Relevant Business.
In this case, two is better than one. If you are a sole proprietor of your business, find another sole proprietor who markets to the same audience as you. It’s that simple. You won’t need to change your entire business structure to gain the advantage of cross-promoting each other.
If you’re a copywriter specializing in print, build a relationship with a graphic designer specializing in logos and brochures.
If you’re an SEO or internet marketer, build a relationship with a web developer.
If you sell flowers, build a relationship with a local bakery or chocolatier.
The point is simple… build a relationship.
Now there are some blurred lines between true affiliate marketing and “the lazy man’s dream”, including link building. But there is a big difference between manually hiding a backlink on a “Partners” page and having a genuine referral.
Because sometimes customers want more than you provide. So you can put together packages that combine your services with the services of an affiliate… and suddenly your conversion rates increase because you can offer more. (Likewise, building a relationship with a relevant industry leader will bring you new business as well.)
It’s a win win… but it is not the same thing as building an entire website around a product that you’ve never used just because it has a higher commission rate. True passion, skills, and experience are what make you a qualified candidate worthy of building a relationship with for an equally beneficial relationship.