When Starting Off: Questions and Answers

This probably should have been my first blog – with a repeat every couple of weeks as a reminder! Many of the comments from last weeks blog were mentioning that having answers to the questions I raised when starting your Affiliate Marketing business would have been great to have when they started off. So, I figured “why not provide a better answer than what was provided last week?” Grab your pen and paper, here we go!

What niche or industry will I focus on?

First off, what’s a Niche? Simple description is a specialized area of a broader market that will allow you to differentiate yourself from competitors. So what’s your Niche? Are you passionate about cooking? maybe it’s gardening? Determine the area you’re passionate about – that, to me, is the key – and see how you can profit from it. Don’t forget, your Niche is fluid; it can change. As an example, YouTube started off as a dating application, I think that’s changed along the way.

Who is my target audience?

This question is oh so very important. Understanding the demographics, the interests, and needs of your potential customers will essentially determine your success. Older folks will remember when Coke tried changing their recipe back in 1985; the new recipe was met with so much backlash that they went back to their original formula.

What products or services will I promote?

As an Affiliate Marketer, you need to choose products or services that align with your niche and audience preferences. Trying to sell different types of products may dilute the interest of your potential customers. Now that doesn’t mean that you can’t be selling different Affiliate Marketing links from different companies. Your business is still as an Affiliate Marketer – you just need to make sure that you keep the links in line with what you’ve decided. Using the cooking analogy, even if your main niche is cooking, you could still provide links which sell cooking utensils.

How will I find affiliate programs to join?

The web is so full of this information, I couldn’t start to show you the different areas where you could find this information. Don’t forget though; your research of this information is the same as if you would be writing up your business plan. You need to find out everything about who you will be promoting and answer the following questions as well.

What commission structure do affiliate programs offer?

Many offer different payment terms; some offer payments 60 days – you know, just in case of cancellations. They may also have different commission rates for their different offers. One other question relative to that is cookie durations (and no, this isn’t about how long your cookies are going to stay moist). Cookie durations is relative to how long  you can earn commissions after someone clicks on your link – even if they don’t make a purchase right away.

How will I drive traffic to my affiliate links?

Traffic Traffic Traffic – (I can hear my mentor Dean Holland say this so many times) – Plain and simple: without Traffic – you don’t have a business. Period. The great part of todays Social Media services is that if you play your cards right, you can definitely get the traffic you require to be successful. Learning about those different services is key; and if I may be so bold: learning one of them at a time is best. Don’t forget; I’d rather have 500 engaged customers than 10,000 that are just browsing. (More on that later). You will also need to consider strategies such as content marketing, social media, SEO, email marketing, or paid advertising. (Another “more on that later” moment that just popped up!)

What content will I create to promote affiliate products?

Planning the types of content (blog posts, videos, reviews, etc.) that will resonate with your audience is key; and don’t forget the other important aspect: how much time you will dedicate to do this? If you’re telling me that you only have 1 to 2 hours a week to work on your business, you’re probably going to look more to blog posts than videos – editing a video can take much more time when starting off and learning that part of the business.

How will I track clicks, conversions, and commissions?

One big aspect that you’ll be working on as well is: finding out if what you’re doing is working? Choosing tracking tools or platforms to monitor the performance of your affiliate links will also be key. You can research and find so many platforms to properly get this done; Google Analytics is one good one that you could start with.

How will I build trust with my audience?

Trust. So many people take this for granted. Being truthful in your comments and telling it like it is will definitely go a long way in making sure that your audience trusts you. Trying to tell or sell them the “get rich quick” way of doing things will definitely scare them away. Disclosing to everyone that you have an affiliate relationship with and will receive payments from links you provide is one big way to be transparent.

What legal and compliance considerations do I need to address?

Providing clear privacy policies as well as terms of service and making sure that the emails you send out are compliant is one great way to make sure you’re compliant. Don’t forget, with the new parameters for email deliverability Google and Yahoo instigated in 2024, you need to make sure you’re compliant or else you can find yourself shut down pretty quickly.

How will I optimize and improve my affiliate marketing efforts over time?

Honestly, this question comes up so many times by people who start an Affiliate Marketing business. That being said, the best way to make sure that you have the answers you need for this part is to join an Affiliate Marketing business like the one Dean Holland provides. This entails and will need for you to understand how to regularly analyze data, test new strategies, and adapt your approach based on performance metrics.

What are my short-term and long-term goals for my affiliate marketing business?

This question really comes back to the same thing as if you’ve started any other business: your business plan. Think of it this way. Could you answer this question if you were going into the bank for a business loan? You need to be able to define what the specific objectives and milestones for your business will be and how you will track progress and measure success – in 3 months, 6 months, a year, 2 years and most likely 5 years. If you can do that, you’re definitely on the right path.

Like what you’re reading or have questions? Don’t be shy, write it up in the comments section for me to reply and more importantly, don’t forget to subscribe to our Newsletter!
To your success…to our success!

12 thoughts on “When Starting Off: Questions and Answers”

    1. Thanks Warren,
      I just thought that by giving a little more to chew on when I provided my previous comment would go a longer way.
      All the best!

  1. Marc, that’s an amazing set of questions. You’re right that something that we should’ve done right upfront. Never mind it still has lots of value to people that read it. You address some really great points that need to be considered and it’s very clearly laid out. Well done I’ll be referring to this one many times. Thanks, Atif

    1. Hi Atif,
      Thanks for your comment; definitely something to work on – on a regular basis!
      The irony is that every time I’d add a question & answer, there was another one creeping up!!
      Take care!

    1. Hi Ken,
      Definitely need to follow our vision and goal. Setting them is crucial in helping us stay focused on those short & long term goals!
      All the best!

    1. Hi Kelli,
      The weird thing was that I still had a bunch of questions & answers that I could have added! Something to add in another post.
      Appreciate you dropping in & providing me with your comment.
      All the best!

  2. Hi Marc,
    Good review of the main topics raised within affiliate marketing.

    I like your response on building trust with your audience and believe this is core to the success of affiliate marketing.

    ‘Being truthful in your comments and telling it like it is will definitely go a long way in making sure that your audience trusts you.’

    1. Hi Eleanor,
      Thank you for your comment and yes, trust and truthfulness are two powerful words when you’re looking to create an online business. So many out there are just willing to pretty much say anything if it will mean that they make a quick buck or two.
      I truly believe that by being truthful and honest with those who come to see what you have to offer you will not only gain their trust but also gain so much more!
      All the best!

  3. Marc, what a great post for the new affiliate marketer!! I mean this sincerely, I wish I had come across this post when I first started my journey – I like how you broke everything down and ultimately how you described the multiple aspects to affiliate marketing. I do agree perhaps this would have been a great first blog.. but honestly, would you have been able to share as much insight had this been your first? Also… I think this also could be described as a great FAQ page… or for future reference, a great FAQ newsletter email. Just a thought.
    Loved this! Looking forward to your future posts!

    1. Hi Lauren,
      Definitely happy that you’re happy! LOL! All kidding aside though, like you, I’m definitely one that would have liked to have found these questions/answers. Then again, I started online when dial-up was in its infancy so chances are, I may not have been able to find it. Love the idea of adding this in a newsletter – definitely on the “to do” list; thanks!
      In any case, I’ll try to continue with other questions and answers for anyone who’s looking to start. We all want to win!
      All the best!

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