Besides rolling a perfect hand and having your business launch with flying success – you need to make investment into your work.
The affiliate marketers you see touting their six-figure incomes are ones which understand that business needs solid funding in order for it to expand beyond a small home office. What’s particularly interesting about these individuals comes not from the money they’re pouring in but the right selection of their skills and resources to fund. After all, someone could hand you a million dollars which can be blown very rapidly if you set it toward a non-profitable direction.
With that being said, I’d like take you through six different areas of your affiliate marketing business that will garnish great rewards if you make the investment. Here’s the list …
#1: A Robust, Info-Packed Website
At the heart and center of your affiliate marketing business is your website.
Sure, you have other outlets for your message such as your email list and social profiles but it’s the website that becomes the central hub.
Setting up a website doesn’t need to come at a costly price tag but it is recommended that you understand when your personal design skills and ability to roll out new features have hit its limits.
The majority of your investment should go toward the following:
- Design and usability
- Content (posts, ebooks, freebies, etc)
Yes, that’s all you really need.
Over time, as your business grows, you’ll find your time invested in content to not have the same reward as working on new, premium projects and it’s this time when you should consider hiring a writer.
Likewise, you may want to understand you know design theory but don’t put it to chance – hand it over to a graphic designer because these individuals know the best practices and what works.
Investing affiliate business website will allow it to expand without the common growing pains that occur to popular, high-trafficked websites. In essence, make the investment and you need not worry about losing commissions due to a clunky design.
#2: A Premium, Authority Product
Relying on page views and affiliate sales as your main sources of income won’t allow your business to grow in a logical manner especially when products (and websites) fall out of favor or they begin to slow because of ownership burn-out.
The fast track to reaching a six-figure income is through the production and launch of your own product.
With a product, not only are you making direct sales but you can introduce an affiliate backend and have others promote your product for you (as you’ve done with others). Now you’re in control.
There are many success stories of affiliates that have gone the information product route but don’t limit yourself to an ecourse, ebook, or e-whatever – give physical products a shot, enter the world of ecommerce, try some consulting.
Having a product in the market immediately turns you into an authority figure because you have something greater for the community than free information (which everyone does).
The investment part comes when the writing, design, or launch is too far out of your skillset. You can hire people for all facets of this type of work whether it’s a writer, editor, designer, or paying for launch guidance. It’ll cost you but it’s worth it if you reach that extra ‘zero’ in your earnings.
Take a gander at those affiliates making it big in the industry – you’ll see that virtually all of them have products in the market. Once you have one success, you start knocking down the rest because you’ve built a list of BUYERS rather than subscribers.
#3: A Multi-Faceted Email List
The easiest investment decision you could make for your affiliate business is building a list.
Starting an email list costs less than a night out for dinner but it’s what you do with it, after it’s running, that truly matters and what actually starts to cost money.
Growing your list should be where you place much of your budget. Advertising, sponsored email drops, guest posting, cross promotion, and buying lists should be on your list. These will allow your list to grow far more rapidly than relying on search traffic.
Once the list begins to grow it’s a matter of expanding your work into new, exciting areas. The email list isn’t just a newsletter – it’s a complete medium for your message. Invest in high quality writing for your list, seeking sponsors for your newsletter, paying for someone to manage the list, and investing in tools for understanding your subscribers. Doing these actions will grow your list into a multi-faceted source of new and repeat opportunities for selling subscribers on your affiliate promotions.
Sign up for a few lists offered by the big names in the industry and see how they manage their lists. You’ll learn a lot from dissecting each email you receive but then take what you’ve learned, hire someone to repeat the actions, and start to reap the rewards.
#4: A Content Production Team
Here’s a little something you’ve probably noticed about the largest websites: they’re multi-authored.
There are a few outliers on the Web which certainly drive an incredible amount of traffic to their site but this is becoming few and far between. Nowadays, it takes an army of content producers in order to build a sit into millions of visits.
The next easiest investment in your affiliate business, besides the email list, will come through hiring writers to produce a stream of engaging content. You’re able to scale this investment so there’s no need to rush out and hire hundreds of writers; you could start with just one or two for producing a new piece each day of the week. From there, start hiring more as your revenue increases due to higher traffic (and the conversions).
The added benefit to hiring content producers, not just in written content but also audio and video, is that you’ll free up your time so you can begin working on new projects (maybe a premium product or two?). Having that free time is invaluable and well worth the trade.
Check out freelance marketplaces, writing out and ad for some smaller sites, or doing a search for those offering their services. Make the investment and pay well because good pay means good work.
#5: A Stable, Flexible Workstation
What would happen if your computer suddenly crashed and everything was lost? What if it was stolen? What if it crashes in the middle of a major presentation?
Computers are certainly robust compared to their earlier counterparts but they’re still a machine and they have their faults; couple in the errors imposed by the user and you got yourself a recipe for disaster. Do you want to risk it all on cheap hardware?
You wear many hats as an affiliate marketer – access to the Web is your lifeline.
You could certainly get away with starting your affiliate business on a small workstation such as a netbook or tablet but you’ll hit your limits in a very timely manner. It’s best to take the financial hit and upgrade your workstation to something that won’t limit your ability to complete work.
Consider purchasing video equipment if you plan to do video marketing, a great microphone for podcasting, software and online services for backup, productivity, and business management. Make that investment so that your business can stay flexible rather than dying off because it’s too restricted to evolve.
Knowing the affiliate mindset – you’ll most likely want the ability to be mobile (especially with images of working on the beach planted in your brain). A solid laptop is a solid investment. Great software and online services can handle the brunt of the work. You just need to ensure you’re getting the best Internet connection (which is worth it once you feel the speed).
Education is invaluable. Action is money.
Treat your time in affiliate marketing as if you’re in college. You should continually learn new and exciting things but, more importantly, put them into action. Likewise, you should befriend people, start discussions, ask questions, answer some, and dare to fail.
Improving yourself is the best investment because the skills you learn, experiences you have, and people you meet will do more for your business than some monetary investment in computer parts or email lists. Train your mind and you’ll become a master of affiliate marketing.
What areas of affiliate marketing do you invest in?