I have studied, researched, and tested every known method of Affiliate Marketing. Learning from all of the best in the business was not cheap, and certainly was not easy.
In order to satisfy my obsessive need for thoroughness, I had to join every promising membership site, purchase and complete expensive training courses, attend conferences, and online webinars.
Throughout my journey, I discovered amazing Entrepreneurs, Technical Geniuses, and Marketing Gurus. I also discovered the underbelly of Internet Marketing which is made up of Value-less products and flat-out Scams.
I exposed Con men, and called out rip off artists on moneymakerspy.com. I documented the good, the bad, and the ugly making much of it public as I made my way.
I did however keep many of the best secrets to myself, until now.
Some would say I went to excessive lengths to find a way to generate some passive income, but I was after an elusive anomaly, something I call “Genuinely-Passive Income”.
My definition of “Passive Income”, is when you get something for nothing.
I will tell everyone up front, truly passive income does not exist, except for gifts and streaks of luck playing poker or the lottery, and even these require some level of effort.
Somewhat Passive Income
As I began to realize that I was searching for a white whale, I adjusted my sights and set out on a quest for something more attainable, I set out to find “Somewhat Passive Income”, or income that could be sustained with the minimum amount of ongoing effort.
So after studying the methods of those who claim to be best at creating Passive Income, like Pat Flynn of SmartPassiveIncome.com.
I came to the conclusion that somewhat passive income was probably as close as one can get to getting something for nothing,long term.
Pat Flynn, may be considered the best in the world at creating Passive Income, but I can tell you his income is anything but passive.
Pat’s “Machine” runs 24/7 and does generate income while he sleeps but to keep this machine running,
Pat puts in long hours and has done so for a decade.
He has also had some advantages that you and I do not have the luxury of benefiting from, he got into the game early on when things were easier and more exploitable.
So what are the chances that people like you and I could do what Pat does?
Can a person, starting from nothing in today’s market, create long-term (somewhat) passive income?
The answer is yes, and not only am I myself living proof, there are others we can look at to see proof.
For instance, I discovered a somewhat lesser-known cat, like Full-time Trucker – Matthew Allen, at DumbPassiveIncome.com, who proves another theory I live by: When you want to succeed at something, find those who are the best at doing that thing, and do what they do.
Duplicating the online business models of top earning Affiliate Marketing Professionals is without a doubt the fastest way to earn your first dollar online.
The more you divert from those proven models the longer succes will take to achieve.
This means that getting creative and implementing your own ideas and methodologies into your duplicated blue-print, will only delay your success. Once you have achieved success duplicating my model, or someone elses, you can then modify your plan and customize it to fit your business needs and lifestyle.
Matthew created the website DumbPassiveIncome.com which is just like Pay Flynn’s website: SmartPassiveIncome.com.
Matthew pretty much does what Pat does, he has a website, writes about his efforts to create income, and is completely transparent in his financial successes and failures.
Matt, like Pat, reviews products and sprinkles his well written content with affiliate links and offers for proprietary products, services, and materials.
While both of these Bloggers have built a strong foundation around Affiliate Product Sales, both have incorporated other means of income into their business models.
Mart is selling third-party products through Amazon – FBA and is planning on moving into the sales of private label goods.
Pat has developed software and has been know to contract himself out as a Coach and/or Mentor and does speaking engagements.
These subsequent offerings are all the fruits of being an authority figure among your niche peers and developing a sustainable online business model that has multiple-streams of income and no single points of failure.
I wanted to say “Great Job!” to Matthew! His site is rated around 90,000 by Alexa which is absolutely monumental.
I hope Mathew is monetizing all of that great traffic, and good for him in going after one of the “untouchable Niches”. No one would touch this Niche head on due to fear of Pat Flynn’s domination in the Smart Passive Income Space. Matthew, you are my new hero!
It should be noted, up front, that the single most important element you can possess as a marketer is the ability to provide extreme value in exchange for very little if not nothing at all.
Your primary goal should be to find a happy medium in the time you spend providing value, and the amount of income that accumulates in your accounts without undue stress or complications (i.e., Customer Complaints, refunds, support etc.).
To be successful as an Affiliate Marketer, and make a significant amount of money, say $500 per month, you will need among other things, time, patience, a thirst for information or learning, persistence, and tenacity.
Affiliate Marketing School
It will also help some of you to put this process on fast-forward. To do so, I would suggest a Free, if not Premium, membership to the Affil’O’rama School of Affiliate Marketing. You can join for free and get a ton of help and resources, so at least do that now.
I started out with a Free membership and went to a premium membership a month later.
The greatest value I received from the Affil’O’rama membership was the community of like minded people who were doing the same things I was doing, as well as the tools and resources they have made available.
Affilo’O’rama is truly the most advanced Affiliate Marketing Resource on the Internet (except for me & this site of course!).
The next step is tough, but I want you to clean out your inbox so it is completely empty. If you think this is impossible, check out “Inbox Zero”. YOu can archive your current inbox contents and still use it as your searchable knowledge-base, we’re clearing clutter to maximize our daily performance and avoid unneeded distractions.
UnRoll Me – No More Email Updates (kind of)
Next I want you to Unsubscribe, or “Role Up” all of your online email subscriptions, newsletters, updates etc.
You have no time to spend on things I have already curated for you.
This step alone will increase the speed for which you make your first dollar online by 100%. Unroll Me is the best resource for doing this in an efficient manner and not feeling bad about it.
Select Your Email List & Autoresponder Host
Next Step is to join Aweber or MailChimp. Aweber has a $1 Trial and an updated interface with a good auto-responder. More on this later, go sign up.
Select a “Niche” – Sounds like “Neeshe” but saying it that way makes you sound like a douche
Next Step is to select a Niche, or a Business Line.
This will affect your domain name selection if you’re going to sell products or services through a website so try to pick a niche in which you are passionate about.
A good way to think of this is to think of a subject that you will not get bored writing about, or one that you will never run out of ideas to share. Our machine works the same regardless of what we sell or how we sell it so I don’t want you to stress out too much regarding the Niche you select.
Most other serious marketing coaches would have you mulling over tons of keyword and market research.
This drives the new marketer off of their core passions and interests which is a recipe for certain failure.
Chances are you have an idea you have been carrying around with you for quite sometime, start there and build upon it.
Also, ask me what I think of your Niche or Idea, just send me an email and I will be glad to discuss the pros and cons of your selected Niche. I have personally tried hundreds of Niches, and built hundreds of subsequent websites.
Here are a few niche websites I have built this year alone:
My machine is a combined recipe of my own ingredients and those of today’s Top Earning Marketing Gurus, like Ryan Deiss from DM Lab, Jeff Walker, author of the Product Launch Formula, and even a little-known App Designer, Nathan Barry, who created a multi-tiered launch, pricing, and presentation formula.
A Combination of Strategically Blended Ingredients
We will use technology to our advantage by utilizing complex tools in a simple way, such as eMail Autoresponders, A/B Tested Squeeze Pages, Visitor Abandonment Rescue Scripts, and WordPress.
Our Machine will be powered by several third party services such as ClickBank, Aweber or MailChimp, Leadpages, and GoDaddy (or host of your choice).
CVO and the Ultimate Online Business Model (UOBM)
If you already have a product, eBook, or Service you want to sell, that is fine. You will still need to market and sell Affiliate Products to fill holes in your CVO process.
CVO – Customer Value Optimization is the most important element in your online business model, it is your number one priority to learn and completely understand the CVO Process.
The CVO Process is about creating the ultimate relationship with your customers, and about you and the customer getting the most value possible from the relationship you have together.
It’s about getting more dollars from less customers, it’s about having the happiest & most loyal customers, who can’t wait to buy everything you offer, it’s about a virtual value scale, that measures the value each person gets from the relationship with you.
This scale should always be unbalanced and tipped way in favor of the customer at all times, and if you do so, you can reach any level of success, and any level of lifestyle you desire.
It is just a matter of adjusting the model to a scale that meets your needs.
The Machine – Automation of the CVO Process
The Machine is a System of organized Processes and Services you assemble in a custom manner to suit your business needs.
The Machine does everything from the beginning of the customer-life-cycle to the end of the customer life-cycle (yes, there is an end for some customers).
So you can start building your machine with as much (money and assets) or as little as you like, you can start with zero if needed, zero prospects, zero clients, zero products, zero websites, no social accounts – no worries.
“Understanding the greater strategy or context in which a marketer uses a Lead Magnet is the difference between the frustrated, broke marketer and the successful, money-making marketer. The greater strategy is called Customer Value Optimization or CVO. Your first step is to understand how Lead Magnets fit into the CVO strategy.” – Ryan Diess @ Digital Marketer
Print the CVO Process graphic to the left. Pin the CVO Process document to the wall next to your workstation.
Every time you lose your way with your Lead Magnets (or any other marketing tactic) look at the CVO Flowchart document. It will remind you of the greater strategy and put you back on track.
The Machine Parts List
The bulk of our Machine is made up of the following:
- any website, social network, or community forum
- email Address Capture System
- Autoresponder System
- Affiliate Products and Services Network
- Proprietary Products and Services
- Ad network or Organic Traffic Source
Strategies – Pay More for Each Customer, not Less
The Machine’s elements can be assembled according to any budget, all six elements have a free option but Free is not always better. In fact, another methodology I have learned the hard way, from Mr. Ryan Deiss and the folks at Digital Marketer is this:
It is better to Pay More to acquire each customer, not less. This goes against everything we have been taught about business, sales, and conversion. So, why would you want to spend $8 to acquire a customer, when you can acquire the same customer for $1…? There are several reasons.
For one, spending more to acquire your customers makes a huge impact on them, first impressions are everything and you never get another chance to make one.
The WOW factor of a great first impression can have a great effect on the mindset of the customer, these effects will last long-term and shape the future relationship between you and the customer.
Paying more for each customer shortens the life-cycle between the Trip-wire Offer and your Core Offer. It also instills more loyalty in less time. It builds retention right out of the gate, and ensures that the Relationship Value Scale favors the customer right from the get-go.
Giving Away Cars vs Giving Away Keychains
Think of a College or School that has a great football team, and to recruit up and coming players they give out keychains engraved with the school logo, phone number, and address. Then there is another School, who also recruits players, but they are more selective in who they court.
They court a much smaller group with only the top skill levels. Instead of giving away keychains, they give away cars, nice cars, expensive cars. The large and seemingly inappropriate gift causes a number of psychological advantages for the School’s Recruiting Team. The recipients of the Cars, are very, very grateful.
The Cars make the players feel, to some level, undeserving. A small level of guilt is manifested in the players minds, and this effect trickles down to those closely connected to the players and their experience in receiving such an amazing gift.
The players who received cars, drive their friends and family members around and they all share in the player’s heightened sense of happiness, well being. and positive outlook for the future.
When it is time to sign on with a school for the year, all of the psychological elements we have spoke about will come into play and there will be no question as to what school the player will choose. On the other hand, the school giving away keychains will have a long road ahead of them.
They will face massive competition, they will have virtually no established loyalty, and will have to build all of these elements from scratch after the draft, essentially starting from scratch. Hopefully you see the correlation here and the value in spend more to acquire your customers.
Now there is no shame in optimizing the costs of your high-cost conversion of a Prospect to a Customer, just be sure you are making a tremendous impact. This means you need to be offering tremendous value, usually in exchange for very little if not nothing at all.