Plain and simple, making money as an affiliate on Facebook is not easy.
It continues to get harder as time goes on. But when you understand what it is that Facebook actually WANTS from an advertiser, your job as an affiliate gets much easier.
Much like Google, Facebook’s business revolves around user experience. They want their advertisers to deliver tremendous value to their users.
Makes sense, right? You can either fight it and get banned… or you can give them what they want and make money.
I don’t know about you but I like money.
That being said, the case study I have for you here is a great example of a smart affiliate abiding by Facebook’s policies and giving their users a great experience.
First, lets talk about what a “great experience” means on Facebook.
It could be a video, an image, a blog post, an article, or almost anything that delivers value to your prospect.
Notice I didn’t include a squeeze page or sales page in that list. People don’t want to be sold. And, it’s getting harder and harder to get Facebook to “Approve” an ad that leads to a squeeze page too.
They WANT you to advertise content. Period. Why fight it? If you don’t like it, don’t advertise on Facebook.
As an affiliate, “creating” content has never been easier than it is today. There’s literally an endless amount for you to just copy and paste right on to your site.
Copy and paste? Isn’t that illegal? I’m not a lawyer, don’t ask me.
I’m merely showing you how these multi-million dollar websites are making money. Ever heard of ViralNova? They recently got bought by some media company for $100MM. Yes, one hundred million dollars.
Not an ounce of original content on their site. It’s all “curated” from other sites. They basically find an interesting piece, copy all the images or swipe the video, and slap it right on their site.
In some cases, they’ll write a few paragraphs summarizing the story. But that’s it.
My 9-year-old son could do that. They make all of their money from ads on the site. They have nothing to sell. Never have.
It’s a form of arbitrage. Make more money per visitor from ads on the site than it costs to get each visitor to the site.
For a while, Facebook was sending HUGE, HUGE amounts of visitors to these “viral sites” until they caught on to what was happening.
They’ve since restricted the number of posts that show up in a person’s news feed from a particular Facebook Page.
READ: They want the Facebook Page to pay for advertising. Makes sense.
So now that this strategy no longer works, how are affiliates making Facebook a profitable source of traffic?
The answer is niched list building.
If you’ve known me for any length of time, you already know my answer to success online has ALWAYS been list building. It’s why I created The Newsletter Academy… to share my list-building experience with the world.
Doesn’t matter if you’re an affiliate or a product owner. List building is required for long-term success online.
And by niching down you can make more money by promoting high relevant offers. That’s the problem most viral sites have is their audience is too broad.
Okay, lets dive in to the case study.
The Herbs-Info.Com Facebook Affiliate Strategy
This site is all about herbs and natural remedies. HUGE niche, for those that don’t know.
They currently have 1.95MM Facebook fans on their Facebook Page: Herbs, Health and Happiness. Not too shabby.
Here’s their traffic strategy in a nutshell…
Find a potentially viral topic in your niche, “curate” the content, and share it on Facebook.
Like I said, for about two years, this strategy was killing it. Facebook LOVED viral content because it got shared thousands and thousands of times.
But what they didn’t realize was, they were giving away TONS of free clicks to these viral sites and the sites were making a killing on advertising without having to pay for the traffic.
So, while this strategy still works, it’s nowhere near as effective as it used to be. For example, they recently posted to their Facebook Page this article from their site:
“Amazon Tribe Creates 500-Page Traditional Medicine Encyclopedia”
It was posted 14 hours ago (as I’m writing this). It’s received 1,000 reactions and 451 shares. Still pretty good, right?
But they have almost 2 million fans! A few years ago, this post would’ve resulted in at least 5x the amount of engagement.
How do they fix this? I’ll get to that shortly. Let’s talk about what’s going on over at their website.
They’ve done a good job here. It’s just a typical blog, content on the left, sidebar on the right. But the main thing they’re doing that similar affiliates aren’t is… list building.
As soon as you land on their site (no matter the page) a pop-up appears asking to join their list. Below every post is a link telling you to join their list.
On their “sign-up page” (squeeze page) they do a good job of telling the story that I basically just told you here about how Facebook has cut their reach dramatically and to make sure to get on the email list so you don’t miss any stories.
Below each post is a slew of different Clickbank products, and I mean a SLEW of them.
But in my opinion, here’s where they’re losing money…
They’re wasting valuable real estate in their sidebar with a skyscraper banner. It’s one of the first things people on desktop computers see.
It should be occupied with your number one call-to-action… whether that’s to get on the email list or to buy a product.
Other than that, the site is pretty well done. From what I can tell, they’re not just copying and pasting content. They’re actually curating it.
Which really just means they’re repeating the story in their own words. Easy enough for anyone to do.
Something else I would do, especially on a site with this much traffic volume, is use a tool like Snip.ly on all of my outbound links.
Since they’re linking out in every single one of their posts, they’re sending thousands and thousands of visitors to other sites every day.
What Snip.ly does is it sends people to your target destination but it adds a little overlay box over top of that page.
You can control what’s displayed in that overlay. It can be a link or even an opt-in box. There are other tools out there that will do this.
This one is a great Snip.ly alternative. It’s a one-time fee and comes with unlimited uses.
They’re missing out on hundreds of opt-ins a day by not using this strategy.
Alright, before I end this, let’s talk about a new Facebook traffic strategy that a brand new affiliate marketer could use when implementing this type of site.
We know we have to advertise content but all of these viral sites HATE paying for traffic. They just don’t understand how to make it pay.
That’s how you can come in and eat their lunch, ultimately getting clicks for way less than anyone else. Because Facebook will show your ad as much as you want them too and they’ll reward you for having a high click-through rate.
So create a good piece of content by curating a story you found somewhere else. When you create your ad on Facebook, it’s extremely important that your targeting is spot on. You want really high CTR’s so that your CPC’s are cheap.
Since you’re just starting out, “Boosting” a post from your Facebook Page is pointless. You just need to create a post on your page and then promote it from inside the Ads Manager.
That’s the traffic strategy and that’s how you can get targeted clicks as an affiliate for low prices, but you have to advertise content. That’s important.
Here’s the next important piece of information…
The content you’re promoting should qualify the visitor as someone who would be interested in a product you promote as an affiliate.
Here’s an example…
I’m in the weight loss niche and I promote the Fat Diminisher product as an affiliate on Clickbank.
A great piece of content for me to advertise on Facebook would be a blog posted I created called “23 Health Foods That Cause Weight Gain”.
If someone clicks on that ad, they’re saying in so many words that they’re worried about their weight. That qualifies them as a prospect for just about any weight loss product I promote.
The next step is to get them on an email list where you can THEN promote affiliate products. I use almost 90% of my website real estate for list building purposes.
If someone lands on one of my sites, I want them on my list. It’s pretty tough to convert a brand new, cold visitor from Facebook, directly into a buying customer… even if you’re just selling a low-priced product.
Now, it’s not impossible, I’ve done it many times before. It’s just more difficult and you lose the chance of having them on your list for months to come.
If you’re just trying to sell right out of the gate, you’ve given them no value in advance. Always give value first, THEN ask for the sale.
Once they’re on your list, you have the potential to earn commissions off of them for years to come… just as long as you’re continuing to deliver value to them on a regular basis.