There is no shortage of so-called affiliate marketing experts out there. Just one visit to the Warrior Forum WSO section will reveal all sorts of experts that want to share their secrets and money-making systems with you… for a price, of course. There are many other sites where affiliate marketing experts give advice, sell courses, and ultimately get you trapped in their email marketing list.
I’d like to discuss some of the issues with even the best affiliate marketing experts with the highest intentions. I have probably called myself an affiliate marketing expert a few times, so am I saying you should take all my advice with skepticism? YES! Allow me to explain further…
Affiliate Marketing Experts Only Know About The Past
Even successful affiliate marketers are only experts about the PAST. Think about it… what is an expert, really? An expert is someone who knows what HAS worked. Not what WILL work.
I have earned hundreds of thousands of dollars through affiliate marketing in just the past year alone. Does this make me an affiliate marketing expert? Sure. I’ve proven that I know what has WORKED. That’s fantastic, but do I have any idea what will work just 6 months from now? Or what will work for you? Absolutely not.
I’m not saying it’s a bad thing to listen to those who have previously been successful with affiliate marketing. What I am saying is that you eventually need to find your own unique system. You can’t just expect to copy others and get the same returns. It doesn’t work like that. We are all unique individuals with our own unique strengths and weaknesses. I enjoy writing and so my main strategy is creating a ton of very high quality content pages. Maybe you would rather make videos and have a YouTube blog create a course on Udemy.com. Or maybe you have an extra special talent with creating conversations on social media. Maybe you would rather sell your own products and services instead of simply advertising and selling other peoples stuff?
To each their own! What has worked for me, or any other affiliate marketing expert, may not work for you. And what works for you, may not have ever worked for anyone else ever before. Ultimately, you must find your own path.
The Internet Is Always Changing
Those of you who have been around the online business community for a while know all about the Google Panda and Penguin updates. For those of you who don’t know about these Google algorithm changes, you can read more about Google Panda here and Google Penguin here.
Before those updates were released, all of the SEO experts and affiliate marketing experts were recommending what WORKED. However, as they were soon about to find out, what worked in the past didn’t necessarily mean it would keep working in the future. The Panda and Penguin updates crushed thousands upon thousands of online businesses, essentially overnight.
Want to know a little secret? My business exploded during those updates, because I didn’t listen to the “experts”. Everyone else was touting black hat SEO tactics at the time, but I took a long-term view of my business. Knew black hat SEO was something Google was actively fighting against, so I kept everything white hat. Had I listed to the experts at the time, I probably wouldn’t be where I am today.
The point is, the internet is ALWAYS changing and no affiliate marketing expert can predict future changes. From new devices that will inevitably come out to ad blocking technology and changes in opinion from the general public about being advertised to – what works today likely will not work in just a few years. In that regard, none of us are really experts when it comes to affiliate marketing.
What Would YOU Do?
Let me address one other issue about so-called affiliate marketing experts out there. Many of these so-called experts simply want to sell you stuff. An e-book, a training course, or maybe they just want you to sign up for their email marketing list… whatever. In order to do this, they will say just about anything. They will tout how they have found a simple method to earn thousands per month or how they found a super secret traffic system that will send 10’s of thousands of visitors to your site every day. Let’s put this into context for a second…
What would YOU do if you figured out a super secret system to make thousands of dollars. My guess is, you would create as many sites as you could and replicate your system as many times as possible, make millions, then retire. That’s certainly what I would do!
Instead, some of these affiliate marketing experts want to convince us that they want to share all the secrets to their system in a $10 e-book. Sure, we might laugh, but some of these e-books and “training courses” sell thousands upon thousands of copies! They aren’t getting rich off of the system they are selling to you, they are getting rich off of selling the e-book.
When You SHOULD Listen To Affiliate Marketing Experts
With all of that said, there are times when you absolutely should take some advice from affiliate marketing experts. When you first begin researching, don’t purchase anything. There is a ton of very valuable and free information that you should research first. There are a lot of great YouTube videos, free training videos on Affilorama, the Warrior Forum is filled with awesome threads (just stay away from the WSO’s), and of course there are hundreds of free articles on this very site you’re on right now! You basically just want to get an overall understanding about how affiliate marketing works before you start dumping your money into training courses and e-books.
Now, once you have done some free research, you’ll have a better idea of how affiliate marketing works. If you plan to build your business in a similar way as I’ve built mine, you’ll need to learn some things initially, which can be done for free.
How To Learn Affiliate Marketing From Experts For FREE
Learning How To Develop A Website: If you look at websites today compared to websites 10 years ago, they look and function much differently. So while websites will always need to adapt and change with the times, you should definitely learn how to create a site of your own. Fortunately, with the advent of WordPress, anyone can develop a site with a little bit of training. How do you learn how to build a WordPress site? There are tons of free videos on YouTube where you can watch over someones shoulder as they do it. Here’s just one of many, many, many examples:
Learning About Keyword Research & SEO: My affiliate marketing strategy relies heavily on keyword research and ranking highly in search engines. So, before you start writing on your site, you need to create a site blueprint. In other words, you will need to research what people are searching for in the search engines, and create pages that rank for those particular search phrases. In order to learn this, you can use the free video section on Affilorama (you’ll need to sign up for an account, but it’s free).
That’s pretty much it! If you know how to build a website and perform industry research so you know what articles to write, you pretty much know everything you need to know. The rest is all up to you and your own creativity.
Obviously I’m simplifying things a bit. There’s a lot involved with affiliate marketing such as proper marketing skills, social media, outsourcing, managing a web server, and a million other things you come across. The thing is, don’t know what you need to know until you just dive in and start DOING! When you start doing instead of learning, you will begin to figure out your own unique formula to success and you will learn what you need to learn as you go along. The vast majority of what you need to learn is available totally free across the web.
Some Final Thoughts
Am I saying you should never buy a course or e-book from an affiliate marketing expert? Nope! In fact, I purchase them myself from time to time. However, I never expect the e-book or training course to teach me how to make thousands of dollars per month by following their step-by-step system. I just hope to pick up on little nuggets of information here and there.
Remember, affiliate marketing experts know what has worked in the past, not necessarily what is working now or will work in the future. Nobody can really predict what will work in the future. Also remember that nobody who is making thousands per month with a simple system that is easy to replicate will share that with you for $10 in an e-book. If someone is using a lot of hype to sell you a course, you should probably pass. Instead of focusing on false monetary promises, find experts who promise to teach you a legitimate skill, such as how to improve your copywriting or increase social media engagement or create more effective YouTube videos. If you’re not learning a new skill for yourself, you’re not really learning anything at all, even if it’s coming from a so-called expert.