$10k In One Week – And How To Find A Laser Focused Affiliate
At the start of December 2014, I launched my brand new product to the world.
After weeks of putting together the content, structuring the site, recording and editing the videos, and then organising the content into an online course, I was mega excited to open the doors and start earning some money!
In this post, I want to share with you how I made $10k in just a single week, and how you can find an affiliate who is laser targeted to your niche.
HOW I MADE $10,498 IN ONE WEEK
Well, before I go any further, I want to explain something important.
The $10,498 was shared 50/50 between my affiliate and I.
The affiliate drove most of the traffic in that first week, and it directly resulted in 116 sales. 13 customers asked for a refund within the 30 day money back guarantee, which gave a total of 103 sales, which generated a healthy £6,901 ($10,498) in sales.
We both received $5,249.25, which was a nice chunk of change. This income was cemented at the beginning of January, when the 30 day money back guarantee ran out.
AUCTION ACADEMY HISTORY
In December 2012, I launched Auction Academy 1.0.
It was my first foray into the world of video courses. I decided to go down the route of a video course because I believed that video was a perfect fit for what I was teaching in my course.
It was also the next step up from the Instant Start Business eBook, and gave my business some degree of diversity, because now I was able to market two products – one of which would be sold as a ‘Premium’ product.
Another reason I went down the video course route was down to the responses I got from some affiliates when I asked them to promote my eBook.
The ‘big’ affiliates I approached in my niche all came back and said the same thing;
“Your eBook is priced too low to make this joint venture viable.”
When I investigated further, some of these affiliates were only promoting high ticket products – so of course, making 50% on a £17 eBook was pennies compared to what they were making on a £97 product.
And that gave me the push I needed to create something that catered not only more towards them, but also catered towards my target customer as a video course was perfect for the content I had been delivering through eBook format.
AUCTION ACADEMY 2.0
On the back of that success ($20k+ in revenue from the original Auction Academy with the help of an affiliate), here I am now with Auction Academy 2.0.
It’s bigger and better, and the production values have come on in leaps and bounds since the first iteration (In fact I squirm at the quality of the video in version 1.0 now!).
And once again, I wanted an affiliate on board to give me a huge push in terms of sales and earnings.
FINDING AN AFFILIATE
When the idea of getting affiliates on board to promote my product first popped into my head, I went down the traditional route of Clickbank or JVZoo.
While I saw some success, it wasn’t what I had hoped for. In fact, I stopped offering it on these platforms because the affiliates were not targetted enough. I had one affiliate who promoted my product to a list that just wasn’t in keeping with the niche that my product was in.
So I did things another way.
I actually did some quite extensive research, and got a list of names and email addresses of people who were connected to my niche. In effect, I was taking a laser like approach to finding an affiliate that operated in the exact niche I was selling.
Makes sense right?
HOW TO FIND AN AFFILIATE FOR YOUR PRODUCT
If you have a product, and want to get affiliates who are closely associated within the niche your product caters for, then you really should give this a try. It’s a simple 3 step process that will have you lining up potential affiliates in no time at all.
In one sentence, write down what your product is about. In my case, my sentence was "Starting an eBay business and making money on eBay"
Using Google, copy and paste that sentence in, and hit the search button. You can also try different keyword combinations if you wish.
#3 EMAIL & RECORD
Find sites/articles that discuss your niche, and then find the contact details of that website. Email them with your proposal (and of course, free access to your course), and record all details.
My products are about starting a business on eBay, and making money on eBay.
So I wanted my affiliate to be someone in this niche. Or at the very least, have an article relating to that niche.
What happened with Clickbank and JVzoo was that any affiliate was coming along and promoting it blindly, with little or no knowledge about the product or the subject matter.
What I found was my product being offered to people on lists that had no interest in the niche my course was in. Naturally, it just didn’t work out.
With this simple 3 step approach, you and I will be approaching people who are connected to our niche, meaning you will have a greater chance of getting a sale.
Below, I explain the 3 step process in more detail.
STEP #1 – DEFINE
It’s really really important that you define exactly what your product will do for the end user. Without this, you really are taking a leak in the wind.
Define what your product is about, and then enter the terms into Google.
STEP #2 – SEARCH
On the results page, go through all of the results. You may find products already there, ignore these and concentrate only on the results that are from sites that are article driven (ideally blogs).
As an example, I found this article which was ideally suited to my product.
This sort of article was perfect because this blog was all about making money. The post, which was from August 2014, is a case study style post, where the blogger attempts to create a small ebay business.
STEP #3 – EMAIL & RECORD
Once you find a site or article that matches your product niche (like the example above), now is the time to search out the contact details for that site and make an approach.
Most sites should have a contact me link, this is what I found on the Skint Dad site.
This was great, because it showed the site was open to Joint Ventures such as the one I was proposing. If you find something like this, the better chance you have of success.
Once you have emailed that person, do ensure you keep a record of it. A simple Excel spreadsheet is fine, detailing the date, the email address, the contact name and any other miscellaneous items you want to add in.
RESULTS FROM THE CAMPAIGN
I found 24 sites that I felt would have been a good fit for myself as the product vendor, and the affiliate.
Of the 24 emails I sent:
- I got 11 responses (45.83% response rate).
- I got 6 flat out ‘no thanks’.
- I got 5 provisional ‘Yes, I’m interested’.
From these ‘interested’ replies, 1 of them never got back to me, so that one was scrubbed off. Which left 4. Ideally, I wanted to work with more than 1 affiliate, but 1 wanted 80% commission (see below) and 2 of them although liking my product, decided that they would not promote it after all due to them promoting other products of similar nature. The dialogue was left open with these affiliates, and they told me to contact them again in a few months.
Which left me with one affiliate. This affiliate had a website, and was excited about my product. He didn’t ask for any more than 50%.
Originally, I had wanted him to review it on his website and then send an email to his list. However, he told me that he did not want to go down this route as my product has a shelf life (eBay is a constantly evolving platform) and he didn’t want to put his reputation on the line if I pulled the product in a few months or whatever.
So it was agreed that he would send it to his list, twice over.
I was happy with this, and agreed.
DEMANDS NOT MET
Of course, some affiliates will want the world from you. Two of the emails I received back demanded more than the 50% commission rate I had proposed. The biggest demand I had was for 80%, with another wanting 60%.
These were demands that I simply wasn’t going to meet.
Now, if this happens to you (which it may do), then saying ‘no’ is actually the WRONG thing to do. There are a couple of things you can do to negotiate without killing the deal stone cold in the water.
THE ART OF NEGOTIATION
Negotiating with affiliates is a key skill you will need to acquire. While I was taken aback at the 80% cut one affiliate was asking for, it wasn’t new to me. And my response was not an immediate ‘no way!’ like you would have thought.
Instead, I got back and asked them if they would consider staying at 50%, but with performance related rewards built in.
It still wouldn’t match the 80%, but I went in with the 50% commission rate plus:
- £100 bonus at 50 sales
- £200 bonus at 100 sales
- £300 bonus at 150 sales
So on my £67 product, if the affiliate made 100 sales they would get 50% of every sale plus a total bonus of £300.
On 100 sales, that would give them £3350 (on 50%) and £300 in bonuses meaning they would walk with £3650. Still a far cry from the £5360 they would have walked with on 100 sales at 80%, but it showed willing at the very least.
If you do find yourself in a situation where the affiliate wants more than the ‘standard’ 50%, these are useful bargaining chips that you can come back to the table with.
$10k in one week, and how to find a laser focused affiliate for your product
Here are the overall stats for the affiliate campaign.
- 2491 visits were sent by the affiliate
- 116 purchased (4.6% conversion rate)
- 13 asked for refunds (11.2% refund rate)
- £6,901 ($10,498) total income
- We walked away with £3,450.50 ($5249.25) each
I was a little disappointed with the refund rate. 13 customers asked for a refund, which meant I had a 11.2% refund rate. However, all being said, you are always going to have the tyre kickers and the ones that are simply there for the free ride. As well as the odd few, who, well, they just didn’t like it or find value in it.
You can’t please all of the people all of the time.
Overall, I was extremely happy with the results, as was my affiliate.
As well as the affiliate campaign, I had my own campaign where I promoted the course as above.
I gave away free access to previous customers of Auction Academy (because the content and methods I teach are similar to version 1), and also promoted it on the forum I am associated with.
I’m actually fairly disappointed with it if I am being completely honest, and proves why you should find an affiliate to help you with the promotion.
Here’s my stats:
- 31 customers
- 423 visits
- 1 refund
- Revenue £837 ($1,272.74)
I have 2 pages and 2 slightly different set ups. For the forum, I marketed the course at just £27 ($41.04)
With the affiliate, I offered it at £67 ($101.84), but that did include extras such as personal consultations (which by the way, only 18 of the 103 people have taken me up on so far).
I marketed the course at £67 to the forum at the start, but I had 0 takers. I then offered it as a Black Friday Special at £37, again 0 sales. On reflection, I decided to remove the consultation and a couple of the other extras, and market it at £27 to the forum.
I decided on this strategy because the forum is full of people who are just starting out – and who also have very little capital. So it made sense to market it at the lower price to that customer base.
The following costs were incurred building and creating the Auction Academy course.
- Hosting with WPengine: $9.90 a month (I have the 10 site $99p/m package, with each site costing $9.90 on breakdown.
- Profit Builder Theme: $67 Developer License. Drag and drop page builder which helped me build my sales page and all internal membership pages. My Review is here.
- Vimeo: £159 ($241.68) per year for the Pro account, allows me to upload videos and have them played from within my membership site.
- WishList Member: $97 single site, protects my inner pages and allows only paying customers to gain access.
- WP Affiliate: $49 single site license. Allows you to create an affiliate program within your WP site.
- TOTAL COST: $454.68 (Not including the hosting)
Adding my own sales campaign to the sales the affiliate brought in, the course as of February 2015 has personally brought me in $6523.99.
Minus expenses of $454.68, my gross profit is $6069.31 (£3988.57).
* All earnings you see on this page is based on a £1/$1.52 exchange rate, which is the rate on February 10th 2015.
WHY YOU NEED AN AFFILIATE
If you have a product and you have not found an affiliate to help you promote it, then you are missing out big time.
An affiliate can reach people that you may not have a reach to. They provide customers who may not have otherwise seen or heard about your product.
And they put money in your bank account.
Of course, the first thing you should do is offer your product to your own lists and websites. So I offered it to:
- Previous customers
- Specific lists of my own
- Forums I am associated with
But after that, you simply must enlist the help of affiliates who are in the niche of your product to help drive the traffic – and the sales.
Over to you now. I want to know what experiences you have had with affiliates. Was it a success? Have you tried a method similar to what I describe above, completely overlooking the big affiliate platforms?
Let me know in the comments below!