The Affiliate Marketing Lifestyle

The Affiliate Marketing Lifestyle

– The Reality Behind the Hype and Is It Right for You?

Hopefully, after reading that lengthy introduction to affiliate marketing, you’re now ready and raring to go. We’ve seen how you’ll essentially be taking other people’s business models and then just repeating them for your own profit. And we’ve seen how you can repeat that process over and over again to scale up your income to a huge  extent. So it’s pretty much a dream job in many ways.

But how likely are you to succeed? What does this job actually entail on a day-to-day basis? How much can you realistically expect to earn and what kind of person makes a good affiliate marketer?

Let’s take a look…

Affiliate Marketing – The Reality

We’ve painted a pretty nice picture of affiliate marketing so far as a job anyone can do and that can generate big income. And it’s certainly true – a lot of people making a huge amount of money marketing this way and it’s the very best way to make a living if your key goal is fast and straightforward income.

But will you be able to pack in your job tomorrow? Most likely not. Of course there are still challenges when it comes to being an affiliate marketer and there’s still a  fair amount of work and smarts involved – otherwise everyone would be doing it.

As a marketer you really have two options. One is to market through advertising – using Facebook Ads and Google AdWords in order to reach a highly targeted audience. The other is to build your own audience over time who will trust what you have to say.

The latter is the preference because it allows you to build a stable income selling repeatedly to the same group. It also means that you don’t have to pay for advertising. But unfortunately, this strategy is also a lot more slow going and it takes a lot of time to build up the kind of trust and authority you need to begin making money. If you choose to go the advertising route though, then you need to invest money into those ad campaigns in order to get money out. In theory, you should always earn money back and get a good ROI for  your efforts  – you’ll  be  paying  a  few  cents per click  so  if  you  are targeting the right people you should make a few sales before your overheads exceed your profits. But this takes time and effort to get right and that in turn means that you might lose a little money before you hit upon the perfect ‘formula’ to start generating cash. There’s an element of luck here too as you need to happen across the right product and the right advertising campaign to maximize your income.

Most affiliate marketers will use a combination of these strategies – they will advertise while at the same time building a mailing list and running a blog.

For these reasons, you certainly shouldn’t hand in your notice tomorrow and it will take time to start seeing BIG income.

How Much Will You Earn?

So how much can you expect to earn precisely and how long will it take? Well, the answer to this ranges hugely depending on your product, the amount of work you put in and your luck.

To be completely honest, it certainly is possible to start seeing an income in the first day. If you choose the right product and pay for some ads, you might well generate a couple  of sales before long.

But when you start out with your sales page, you can expect it to convert <1% of the  time. That means that for every 100 visitors, you’ll get less than one sale. With practice it can get higher (10% being a very good target for the advanced marketer).

Likewise CTR (click through rate) on adverts doesn’t tend to be particularly high   either

– maybe about .1-.2%. So now you have a situation where your ad will need to be seen by 1,000-2,000 people for you to get a single sale. Luckily if you’re paying for advertising, you will only pay when someone clicks your advert – but that still means you’ll need to pay for 100 clicks before you’re likely to make a sale. What’s more, the more you pay for each click, the more likely it is that your advert will be seen (adverts appear based on ‘bids’ with the highest paying ad winning the ad slots most regularly). If you pay 30  cents per click (a fairly average amount in order to get your required 10,000 views), then you’re going to be paying $30 to get your one conversion. (All this will be explained in more detail later on, for now just go with it).

If you’re getting $40 for each sale then, you’re now spending $30 for $10 profit. To earn a reasonable $200 a day then, you’d have to be spending $600 on advertising. That’s a fairly big investment and especially if you’re nervous to begin with.

And if you plan on building your own audience so you don’t need to rely on ads, then you’re going to need to get your website/mailing list/social media account to the point where you’re reaching 100,000-200,000 people a day in order to make a real living.  This is something that certainly won’t happen overnight and rather you’re looking at a good few years before you’re likely to get to that point. And that will be a few years of posting articles, sharing links, networking and trying to avoid being dissatisfied with your slow start.

Should you give up? Not at all! Everything will be explained in this book and we’ll look  at some methods you can use to save time and enhance your profits. But just know that you’re not going to be rich overnight (despite what those adverts claim). You’re going to have to work hard – and work smart – in order to reap the benefits later on.

What Are Your Goals?

This then is going to be perhaps your most important lesson in the entire book – and it’s something that will help you to practically guarantee success no matter what business model you end up settling on.

The key is to know your goals and to know your timeframe. Unrealistic expectations is the single biggest obstacle for 90% of affiliate marketers and is more often than not what ends up being their undoing.

If you become an affiliate marketer thinking that it’s going to make you rich overnight and thinking that it involves nothing but posting occasionally to a blog, then you’re  going to be very disappointed. Likewise though, if you think you need to quit your day job and take out a loan in order to spend the next two years developing your marketing platform then you’re going to be putting your family in financial jeopardy and you’re going to be taking an unnecessary risk.

Instead, you need to have realistic goals and a realistic time frame. Using the calculations above, you should be able to come up with a reasonable $10 a day business model using a landing page and a $30 ad spend. This is something most of us can afford to risk. Meanwhile, if you can get your website page views up to 200 a day, then you can realistically get $10 a week within the first couple of months.

As long as you’re willing to wait that long and as long as you’re willing to invest the necessary (and small amount of) time and money, then this is practically guaranteed  and relatively low-risk.

That’s not going to change your life of course. BUT what it will do is to allow you to earn

$70 from advertising a week and $280 a month. Suddenly, things have started looking up. And if you add the $40 a month from your website, you now have $320 a month profit in total which comes to $3,840 a year.

Before you scoff at that, think about how much of a difference just this small amount of money could make to your lifestyle. This is enough to afford a holiday to somewhere rather nice for you and your partner! Or maybe you could put it into savings and earn

$38,400 over ten years before tax and interest. That’s a pretty nice nest egg for a child and a decent deposit on a small house even!

But what’s more, is that this ‘small’ amount of regular income will grow over time. Because after the first couple of weeks you’ll have more money in your pot and you can begin to increase your investment in ads regularly. As long as your conversion rates stay consistent, the more money you spend on advertising the more you will be able to scale your income!

And of course your website traffic will grow over time and there’s nothing to prevent you from setting up more revenue streams… Suddenly, the amount you’re earning will grow and grow.

It will take you a long time to become a millionaire then but it’s possible to get there – at least partly thanks to the exponential growth that you often see as a marketer (which is to say that you don’t gain one new follower a week but more likely several and then several more at a time).

But the point is that it will take no time at all to start seeing an improvement in your lifestyle. Don’t aim too big to start with; make this your initial goal and then grow from there. That way you’re far less likely to become disappointed and to give up.

How to Quit Your Job and Become an Internet Marketer

What’s more, this gives you a much more stable way to become full time as an internet marketer and it means there’s no risk and nothing to be afraid of. Want to ‘quit the rat race’ and stop working eight hours a day in a job you hate? That doesn’t have to mean suddenly quitting and storming out and leaving yourself with no steady income!

Instead, all you have to do is to set up a small amount of income through affiliate marketing to make a little bit more cash… and then to grow this income steadily over time to the point where you’re making a lot of money. Only once you’re earning a very stable income do you then consider quitting your day job and going ‘full time’ as someone who works online. You could even try earning money fully online on a ‘trial basis’ to begin with, or you could reduce your work to be part time – or do a job that you enjoy even if it doesn’t bring in as much cash. There’s zero risk, nothing to be afraid of and everything to potentially gain!

Lifestyle Design and the Digital Nomad

Keeping your ‘ultimate goal’ in mind as an affiliate marketer is also important for other reasons. A lot of people who start working online will do so because they want to change the world and to be a famous entrepreneur. A lot of people start out wanting to be the next Mark Zuckerberg.

But often, those same people would find that achieving that would actually be unfulfilling. If you’re trying to get to a place where you’re doing less work, then setting up a huge international business actually isn’t the answer. It’s also clearly not the quickest way to make it happen.

As an affiliate marketer, you will be making money by taking an existing business model and product and selling it to people. You categorically are not changing the world and thus you won’t be a famous entrepreneur. You might build some recognition as an influencer in your niche if you build a mailing list, but you certainly are not Mark Zuckerberg – it’s important that you’re okay with that before you go ahead.

Actually though, this is what many of us actually want when we set out to start earning more money. Think about the things that would actually make you happy:

  • -More time with your family
  • -Less financial stress
  • -More money to travel and see the world
  • -The ability to get up when you want/to lie in bed
  • -More time to spend enjoying hobbies/working on your passion projects

Now if you think of these points as being your actual goals – suddenly it doesn’t make sense to take on more responsibilities as the head of the next start-up. ‘Success’ in the traditional sense is not actually the fastest route to freedom and security. Affiliate marketing on the other hand cuts all the excess that comes from running a business and just gives you the freedom and the income.

This is what’s known as lifestyle design. Lifestyle design was originally popularized by Tim Ferriss in the book The Four Hour Workweek and it describes the process of choosing a career and income to suit the kind of lifestyle you want. Instead of fitting your life around the job you do and deciding how much you travel and where to live on that basis, you instead choose your career to support the lifestyle you want.

You don’t actually need to be rich to live in a sunny country – you just need to be able to work remotely. And you could probably afford to travel more if you weren’t paying for an expensive commute every day to work! Lifestyle design means prioritizing the things you want out of life and this is made very possible when you work online in any capacity.

And the natural extension of lifestyle design? For those who love to travel and see other countries, that would be to become a ‘digital nomad’. A digital nomad is someone who doesn’t have any single address and instead travels the world, working online as they do. If you work online as a digital nomad then you won’t need an office and you’ll be able to work from anywhere as long as you have an internet connection. Combine this with the fact that you’ll be earning passive income and there’s nothing to stop you from travelling around the world and working in cafes or on beaches as an affiliate marketer.