AskPat 214 Episode Transcript
Pat: What's up, everybody? Pat Flynn here, and thank you so much for joining me. This is Episode 214 of AskPat. Super stoked to be here and, as always, I'm happy to be here to help you by answering your online business questions, five days a week.
Now, before we get to today's question from Melanie, I do want to thank today's sponsor, which is Lynda.com. That's L-Y-N-D-A.com. This is the best online learning platform and their videos are amazing. Super high quality tutorial videos to help you learn a ton of stuff in all types of categories. Stuff that's going to be helpful for you as a business owner. From business skills to leadership, communication, specific tutorials on how to use different kinds of software from photoshop to InDesign, all those types of things. Software courses are what I love to use and also, you know, I'm learning how to use the digital camera, or the DSLR camera, using tutorials from Lynda too. And they're not just like YouTube videos, like I was saying. These are like high quality, studio quality, bite-sized videos so you can learn at your own pace from start to finish. And guess what? I got a deal for you.
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Awesome. Now lets get to today's question from Melanie.
Melanie: Hi Pat, my name is Melanie Osmack, I'm a huge fan of your show because it challenges me to find more passive income. Even after ten successful years in business. I run a pre and post-natal fitness company called Fit4Two.ca. We've become affiliates for a few products that we believe in and that's going very well, but what we'd like to do now is get set up so that we can have affiliates promoting our products and services. We have a database website and currently use PayPal as our merchant account. We do have a blogger blog that might be part of the process, not sure. What do you suggest for creating affiliate links?
Thanks. Looking forward to your answer.
Pat: Hey, Melanie. Thank you so much for the question. Congratulations to you and your successful business and I think you can even make it more successful by getting set up with your own affiliate program. I think it's really smart for you to think about this, because, you know, a lot of people, they think about other people selling their products for them in exchange for commission, and they think, man, why would I want to share my revenue with this other person? Well, the whole idea behind this affiliate program is you are basically hiring a sales force, a sales team, to help you reach people that you wouldn't have been able to reach otherwise. To take advantage of relationships that people have with other people. To sell product to people that you wouldn't have sold product to otherwise. That's why these affiliate programs are so important and it becomes a win for everybody. It becomes a win for you, because you are selling more products, you have another customer in your database that you could potentially sell more things to down the road. The person who's selling for you, they get a commission or a cut of that total cost of what they purchased and the person who purchased that product is happy because they got the product that they wanted.
So this is really cool that you're thinking about setting up your own affiliate program for the products that you have. How do you get started? Well, there's a couple of different ways to do this: a lot of people, I mean, there's a lot of companies out there that will put their products, or give people access to their products to become an affiliate for their products, by going through an affiliate network. An affiliate network is a site that you can put your products on, or links to your website, where people can sign up to become an affiliate and get a commission for selling any sort of commission you chose and things like that. But the unique thing about a network is there are people already on that site that are looking for things to promote. And if you put your product on there to promote, you're going to see that you're going to immediately have people there helping to promote your stuff to their audience, and they might do a number of different things to sell that and you can create different terms as far as how you would want people to sell for you. You can set rules like no email marketing, you know, advertising only, or blog posts only. Things like that. Depending on what network you're on.
But Commission Junction and NeverBlue was one that I used back in the day as well. There's a lot of other ones out there. You can just look up affiliate networks. Probably one of the most popular affiliate networks, and it's not even really considered one, although it is, is Click Bank. Clickbank.com.
And you can put your product up on there, you can get affiliate links, you can get other people to sign up to become an affiliate for your stuff as well. But there are hundreds of thousands of people on there that will sell your product for you, or have the ability to find your product on that network, perhaps through a search, keyword search, or things like that (e.g. category search), and then sell your product for you and get a commission off of sales.
Now, I will say that in working with a lot of people who have put their products on Click Bank, a lot of people sign up to become an affiliate. Not very many of them make sales. It's, you know, the 80/20 rule. Tt's more like 95/5 rule. You know, 5 percent of the people who sell for you, who sign up through these affiliate networks, are going to be the big players for you. Now you may find that there will be people on there who do really well or you might find, that if you go on Click Bank, or any of these other affiliate networks, that, you know, it doesn't even matter that there were people there selling. They're not doing a good job anyway. It's sort of hit or miss and so, if you aren't feeling the affiliate network . . . and the other thing about the affiliate network is, let me give you one pro and one con.
One pro, a benefit, is that they handle the payments and things like that for you. So, Click Bank, for example, if people sign up to become an affiliate for your product, if they sell that product, Click Bank pays them the commission and then you get the revenue off of that. Same thing with Commission Junction. But the bad side of using an affiliate network is typically they're going to charge a lot more. You know, they're going to take their cut, because they're the middle man there for you. So, Click Bank, I think their fee is per sales, like, and gosh don't quote me on this, but it's quite high and I want to say it's something like eight percent? But that can be worth it for you, because if you do a manual affiliate program, you will have to manually pay your affiliates. Each and every month. And that can become a hassle and it might be worth some money by going to an affiliate network.
Now, I'm going to go over a list, if you'd like to create your own affiliate program on your own website and allow people to sign up and sell your product. I like that because you can have a little bit more control over your affiliates and you'd also be able to control, not only who those affiliates are . . . and there's something to be said there, you know, opening up the doors to anyone who wants to sell your products for you, versus inviting people to come and sell your products. Perhaps influencers in the industry where not everybody gets access, but those who do might feel special and might feel a little bit of responsibility to sell for you. So there's that. But if you're going to set up your own affiliate program, there's a lot of different pieces of software and integrations that you can use and I'm going to list a bunch of them here for you and you may or may not have heard of these. And, I do have experience with some of these, some of them I do not. But I know a lot of people who have recommended or use, or have used these.
So, PostAffiliatePro.com, Post Affiliate Pro. Again, and these are all ones that you can set up on your own site or your own. It creates your own sort of login area for affiliates to come in and see what's going on and be able to manage the campaigns much easier.
Affiliate Royale, that's actually from the creators of Pretty Link, actually, the URL shortening tool that I use and love. Affiliate Royale, that's royal with an “e” at the end, and that is a WordPress plugin. I actually use that to help sell physical products on a client's site of mine, or a student's site, and it worked out pretty well. The integration’s really interesting, but it enabled us to invite affiliates on and give them special and unique links to our shopping cart or specific items and then keep track of sales. And then every month we would cut them a check.
InfusionSoft is probably the most popular one right now for people who are really serious with their business and who are making a little bit of money because InfusionSoft is quite on the higher end of CRM email service provider. And what's really cool is as an affiliate for products using InfusionSoft, as their affiliate program, it's really smooth and easy and the tracking and reporting is really nice. It motivates me to continue to sell for those companies who do use InfusionSoft.
I also know E-Junkie. This was a company that I recommended a long time ago when I started running ebooks. It’s what I used to sell ebooks on GreenExamAcademy.com, and they have their own built in affiliate program. But, the thing with that one is the affiliates have to be on PayPal, and you have to pay manually. Like I said, all of these you'll have to pay manually. But, the PayPal only part of it is a little bit limiting.
I also know aMember. A lot of you use aMember as your membership site software provider. There are ways to integrate or add code to it to include some sort of affiliate program.
The company that I'm hooked up with on SecurityGuardTraininghq.com uses aMember for their training courses and they didn't have an affiliate program, but I approached them and asked them if I got in contact with their technical person. So that's a great thing that you could do. If you find a company that you want to promote their product, as an affiliate, and they don't have an affiliate program, you want to talk to their technical guy. You know. After you talk to the marketing person or the CEO and tell them, you know, you want to help sell their product and you have an audience that would be perfect for that. If they don't have one, you want to talk to their technical guy and that's how you can help set up an affiliate program.
So I did that with this company and they're like, oh, well we actually did research and aMember has an affiliate program tied into it. We just hadn't opened it yet and there's a little bit of customization involved, but it was very easy for them to put it up, and I started selling their product for them.
AffiliateWP, this is . . . the last three here I haven't used myself, but I have been recommended to use them. AffiliateWP, that’s, I'm guessing, a WordPress plugin as well.
iDevAffiliate, that's I-D-E-V Affiliate. That one, in particular, integrates with a lot of membership site software. I know it integrates with MemberMouse and also WP Wishlist.
And also, the next one and the last one is 1ShoppingCart. One, the number one, shopping cart, and that has a built in affiliate program as well.
So that's a big long list of potential ways to have other people promote and sell your product for you in exchange for commission to become an affiliate. So, Melanie, you have a lot of options out there and I would look at each of these companies and we'll have the links in the show notes for you. Again, this is episode 214. You can find it at AskPat.com and, you know, you can do your research and ask around, or even a lot of them offer demos as well. So, again, we talked about CJ.com, Neverblue, and Click Bank for the affiliate networks. There's a bunch of other ones too. You can probably look it up on Google and find more. Then there's Post Affiliate Pro, Affiliate Royale, InfusionSoft, E-Junkie, aMember, AffiliateWP, iDevAffiliate, and 1ShoppingCart. And maybe of those will integrate with what you already have going on, some of them you might have to change, you know, how you run your business and how . . . not how you run your business, but how you sell products to be able to integrate with something like InfusionSoft.
So, anyway, Melanie, hope that answers your questions. Thank you so much, and I wish you all the best of luck. An AskPat t-shirt is headed your way. For those of you who have a question you'd like potentially featured here on the show, just head on over to AskPat.com and, if you get it featured, I'll send you a free t-shirt. Be awesome.
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Thank you so much. And, as always, I love to end with a quote. Today's quote is from Magnus Jepson, who is the co-founder of WooThemes.com. It’s a site that you can go to to get WordPress themes. He says, “I doubt I'll ever go back to corporate work. Once you see the light, there is no turning back.” Amen.
Cheers, take care, and I'll see you guys in the next episode of AskPat.
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