We’ve all heard of marketing and the pivotal role it plays in every brand’s success. After all, successful marketing means that a brand has managed to effectively reach its target audience. And with the dawn of a new era chock-full of technological advances, new branches of specialized marketing have begun trending.
One of these branches is affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing isn’t a very novel idea. It gained traction with marketers all over the world in the past decade. But what is rather novel about this industry is the fact that there have been more and more communities of affiliates banding together.
This is strange at first glance.
Affiliate marketing basically involves a brand and an affiliate marketer. A brand essentially pays an affiliate a certain amount of commission to promote or market their product to said affiliate’s audience. One must not confuse affiliate marketing with influencer marketing, though. Unlike influencers, affiliates do not get paid a flat fee to promote a brand. Affiliate marketing, rather, leans heavily upon building partnerships with a brand. Plenty of affiliates opt for this form of marketing because it’s cost-effective and affiliate programs are often quite flexible where compensation models are involved.
Now that we’ve grasped the gist of affiliate marketing, it’s pretty obvious that affiliate marketers don’t necessarily need to partner up with other affiliates. After all, they’re already marketers who have paired up with brands.
So, why are more and more affiliates getting together to form communities?
Looking for Communities That Help Educate Affiliates
When one first starts out in affiliate marketing, the first thing they need to do is obvious: learn. That’s why video tutorials and thick paperbacks on the affiliate marketing realm are made. Some people prefer to self-learn. But there are some who flock towards affiliate gurus who have the capacity to lend them their prior knowledge in the marketing field.
“By the time the pandemic hit, I had created the Ministry of Freedom, my flagship coaching program that reveals literally everything I know – from review videos to e-mail marketing, to product creation and software development, all the way to paid advertising and scaling,” Jono Armstrong, the founder of the Ministry of Freedom, said in an interview.
The Ministry of Freedom is an example of a coaching program for affiliates. It provides a space where affiliates can come together to learn about affiliate marketing. It’s essentially a coaching service provided by one affiliate for other affiliates. Jono Armstrong himself started off as a lone wolf. He began to get into affiliate marketing via Shopify and Amazon’s affiliate program, but eventually, he stumbled upon digital products. It was there that he found his niche.
“Digital products give 50% to 100% commission per sale, unlike physical goods or Amazon commissions which offer a maximum of 5%. I just needed to find a free way to promote these products in order to get paid.”
Armstrong finally settled on YouTube. Its free traffic granted him the opportunity to reach a wider audience without much cost. Armstrong also sought to deepen his knowledge on paid ads and traffic marketing by resorting to – you guessed it – another person who was more experienced in these areas. Eventually, Armstrong established the Ministry of Freedom.
The Ministry of Freedom is one of several affiliate communities that exist for the purpose of education. Besides coaching programs, there are plenty of names on YouTube that offer tutorials on affiliate marketing. Grant Cardone, John Crestani, Peng Joon, and Lisa Irby are some of the many YouTubers who quite popularly offer advice and insight on how to navigate the world of affiliate marketing.
Expanding One’s Network as an Affiliate
Australian blogger Darren Rowse advised, “The key to successful affiliate marketing is to put in the time and patience to build on your connections.”
While building networks usually pertains to brands and companies in affiliate marketing, it’s also helpful for affiliates to connect with each other. Like most communities, one stands to gain something from like-minded individuals who share a similar passion.
Affiliate marketing forums offer such communities. Through forums, beginners can get valuable advice on which affiliate network or traffic source would be suitable for their set of skills. It’s important to be able to tell whether a traffic source is useful for helping one begin their journey in affiliate marketing, or useful for scaling one’s brand as an affiliate.
Forums also give affiliates free resources. These include landing pages, creatives, and other relevant tools that may come in handy when determining campaign components’ performances. A new member of an affiliate marketing community could also stand to gain bonuses, coupons, or promo codes.
Another invaluable benefit members of affiliate marketing forums stand to gain is that they’re now connected with people who may be more well-versed with current news-worthy events in the industry. This is particularly helpful where insight is given from all over the world. There are threads and reviews given by affiliates from various backgrounds.
This provides an inexpensive and convenient way for an affiliate marketer to garner insight from other experts in the field. All it takes is a simple scroll down a webpage.
Forum members also gain the benefit of discovering planned updates on products before other non-members can. Forums generally provide up-to-date news on such matters as a feature. This helps its members to make informed choices about the best brands to work with.
Birds of a Feather Flock Together
Sometimes, people recruit affiliates into their programs. But it’s not easy to persuade other affiliates to jump on board – even with successful marketing strategies, some might still be wary. Trustworthiness was, in the past, a common issue, and affiliate fraud still plagues those who aren’t careful enough.
That’s where being a part of a successful affiliate marketing community comes into play.
Affiliate communities are living proof that an affiliate is trustworthy and authentic. These communities are also self-sustaining in a way – much like a closed terrarium. The members feed each other insight regarding what customers prioritize when hiring affiliates. Those who are more experienced in some industries can lend a hand by letting the other members know how best to approach certain clients.
Having a supportive, positive community of affiliates to support you is never a bad idea. It helps affiliates build their personal brands.
Sustaining Your Relationship with Affiliate Communities
So, you’ve decided to join an affiliate community. Like any relationship, this method of networking requires nurturing.
Firstly, consistency is key. This is the general rule for people who join career-related communities. It’s not enough to just feed off information silently. To truly reap the benefits, one should engage with their community of affiliate partners constantly.
The second rule is quite a no-brainer: be transparent. Trustworthiness is earned, not given blindly. So it’s important for affiliate partners to give their peers regular updates on financial reports. Even the simple act of responding to one’s concerns positively and sincerely makes a huge difference.
Thirdly: share, share, share. As freely as you reap the benefits, so, too, must you share your resources. It’s important for a community to progress together. Give and receive constructive criticism, and never shy away from helping your fellow affiliates whenever they encounter a roadblock.
“An affiliate program is only as good as its affiliates,” said Jessica Starks, a writer from Easy Affiliate.
In essence, affiliate communities are budding and blooming these days. Any person can finish the race on their own. But to really attain success in every milestone, it doesn’t hurt to learn from other experts in the same industry.
Simply choose your peers wisely, and take comfort in the fact that you are not alone in your journey through affiliate marketing.