It’s the catch-22 of making money online.
You want to get started making money online fast but you don’t want to have to create your own product and deal with everything that comes along with that.
How can you have the security of your own consistent, reliable income stream online without having to create, and sell, any of the products yourself?
There’s a way to have the best of both worlds. I’ll explain how in this post.
The answer is, by first building your own email list.
An email list is an asset YOU own.
Any time you’re looking to make some money, you write up an email and blast it out to your list.
You’re also not tied down to promoting a specific offer as an affiliate.
Because let’s face it, offers won’t be around forever.
Relying on another person’s offer as an income stream long-term isn’t a good idea (read: sending traffic straight to other people’s offers without building your own email list first).
I actually set up one of these affiliate list-building campaigns a few months ago in the weight loss niche as a demonstration.
It ended up generating 87 email subscribers in about 24 hours before I turned it off. You can get that case study video for free here.
Here’s My Secret Affiliate List-Building Strategy
I’ll use the “make money online” (MMO) niche as an example to help give some vision to my strategy.
This is some high-level stuff, so I apologize in advance if I do a poor job of explaining it.
I’m happy to clarify anything that’s unclear, just leave a comment below.
The best place to start is in a book called Breakthrough Advertising that was published way back in 1966 by the man, the myth, the legend… Eugene Schwartz.
Inside this masterful book, Eugene hits us with something he calls, “your prospect’s state of awareness”.
Basically, what it boils down to is there are potential prospects out there with different levels of awareness. There are a total of five levels.
I’ll include all five levels below (in reverse order) with examples of how this would apply if you were promoting offers as an affiliate in the MMO niche:
#1: Completely Unaware
No knowledge of anything except, perhaps, his own identity or opinion.
In the MMO niche, this would be someone who isn’t aware that they need to make more money than they’re currently making right now.
Your prospect senses he has a problem but doesn’t know there’s a solution.
In the MMO niche, this would be someone who knows they need to make more money but isn’t aware of a solution yet.
Your prospect knows the result he wants, but not that your product provides it.
In the MMO niche, this would be someone who knows they need to make more money, they know they can do so with affiliate marketing online, but they’ve never heard of the product you’re promoting.
Your prospect knows what you sell, but isn’t sure it’s right for him.
In the MMO niche, this would be someone who knows they need to make more money, they know they can do so with affiliate marketing online, they’ve heard of the product you’re promoting, but they’re not sure if it will work for them.
#5: The Most Aware
Your prospect knows your product, and only needs to know “the deal.”
In the MMO niche, this would be someone who knows they need to make more money, they know they can do so with affiliate marketing online, they’ve heard of the product you’re promoting, they believe it will work for them, and all they need to know is what’s included in the offer.
Hopefully, this is making sense so far, because if you can understand this, you can literally buy traffic ANYWHERE and make it a killing online.
It’s all about speaking to the prospect based on their level (state) of awareness.
For example, let’s say you wanted to promote an offer in the MMO niche that’s all about affiliate marketing and it’s titled The Affiliate Marketer’s Handbook (just made that up, sorry if someone has a product called that).
Let’s also say you wanted to promote this offer using push notification ads on the ad network Zeropark.
If you go into Zeropark and set up a new campaign using a headline similar to this, “Everything You Need to Know to Be a Successful Affiliate Marketer Starting Today”… it’s not gonna work.
That would only be targeting the “solution-aware” prospects… the people that know what affiliate marketing is and how they can benefit from it.
This is the same 15% of the potential audience pool that every other affiliate is fighting to advertise to.
Why? Why are they all fighting over the same 15%? It could be for one of two reasons.
One, they just don’t know any better (they should be reading this post too).
Two, they’re just too lazy to jump up a level to attract the problem-aware prospects and educate them on what affiliate marketing is.
Here’s the other thing, push ad networks (like Zeropark) are the same as native ad networks.
There’s very little topic/interest targeting. At best, you can choose a category but even those are big and broad and rarely related to internet marketing.
My theory is, when targeting options are limited and you can’t identify someone as a perfect prospect for what it is you’re selling, you flip the funnel around and attract the biggest group of prospects as possible.
This usually ends up being the “problem-aware” prospects.
Funny thing is, you’ll actually find it easier than going after hyper-targeted prospects who have been beaten to death with every single offer imaginable.
So, instead of promoting that Affiliate Marketing Handbook offer directly, this is the strategy I recommend you use:
You start by leading with a solution to your prospect’s problem.
They know they need to make more money but don’t know how.
Your ad could be something like, “Here’s How A College Dropout Now Makes $10,000 Per Month Online”.
That would probably be too long for the main headline but you get the point.
You can adjust that monthly number accordingly based on whatever product you choose to promote.
Notice how I didn’t say anything about affiliate marketing or any other “industry jargon”?
You have to speak the language of the person based on their level of awareness.
They know they need to make money and maybe they even know they can make money online… but they still don’t know the solution. That’s where YOU come in.
Instead of sending these prospects straight from your paid ads to another person’s product, you first send them to your own squeeze page (a page where you give something away in return for the visitor’s email address).
Just use the same exact headline on your squeeze page that you use for your ad so it’s congruent, and tell them to enter their email address to learn more.
Skip This Step and You’ll Never Make a Dime
This last part is very important and if you don’t do it, it’s likely you won’t make any money.
You have to connect the dots for the prospect. Remember, they probably still don’t know what affiliate marketing is.
Now that you have their email address, you can use follow-up emails to “educate” them as well as the thank you page they’re sent to after opting in.
It’s actually very easy to explain affiliate marketing. Most of my friends and family get it pretty quick when I explain it to them.
You could just say something along the lines of…
“Bob is a college dropout who now makes $10,000 per month online doing something called affiliate marketing.”
“It’s simple really, Bob refers people to certain websites and if those people purchase a product offered on those websites, he earns a percentage of that sale, which is called an affiliate commission.”
Something that short and sweet is enough to connect the dots.
From there just say, “Now Bob is sharing his affiliate marketing secrets with a few lucky people. Click here to learn more”.
That’s it. Inside each of your follow-up emails, you could provide a useful affiliate marketing tip along with a quick pitch for a related affiliate product you earn commissions from.
Again, hopefully, this makes sense, if not please comment below and ask for clarification. I typed this out rather quickly and tend to skip words and sometimes entire sentences, lol.