Sell Other People’s Expertise
I distinctly remember when I first learned about affiliate marketing. At the time, I had somehow landed up living in Perth, Australia.
The reason I’m telling this story about my internet-marketing adventures, is that it demonstrates how anyone can use their own life experience and skills, then use it to their advantage when it comes down to internet marketing.
Most everyone is good at something, maybe good at a hobby, strong in a certain sport, teaches a subject, you get the picture. Well, you can bank that. Here’s how I did it anyway, you can do the same.
I’d best give a brief little story about my musical background first, which I managed to change into affiliate marketing products and online sales. The same criteria apply to anyone wanting to get into the digital marketing world. It doesn’t matter who or what you are, everyone has the skills to repeat this process. Just change the menu to suit yourself.
Before I hit Oz, I had been scraping a living together as a musician in Ireland. I say ‘scraping’, because there were some good, and some not so good times.
I eventually ended up playing with a band in Lanzarote, and then Mallorca. Now, these were amazing gigs to have, compared to the mundane gigs I was used to in Ireland.
The Irish gig setup was a difficult enough job, and a job it is. Sure, there were some funny times, mixed in with some fantastic nights. But it was a lifestyle in itself, something different and certainly not run of the mill. I was fortunate enough to meet some amazing people and musicians through it. Even ended up working with some friendly folks from a circus ‘Hola, ¿Qué tal? amigos‘.
My Dublin gigging adventures included playing a Friday night residency in a Blues-Rock band with Brian Downey (Thin Lizzy) at the back, the incredible Gary Moore turned up one night .. and also many a gig in a band with Glen Power (from The Script), in both Dublin and Mallorca.
An eight-month stint in The Dubliner pub in Mallorca would take a book to write lol. Ok, so back to Ireland ..
Back to Ireland
‘Up and downtimes gigging with original and covers bands in Ireland’ would probably be the best way to put it. Sometimes a mixture of both, anything to pull in a penny.
I was also giving guitar lessons to students, and I bought a Commodore C64 from one of them. That was the start of my computer journey.
I then moved up to an Atari ST (Cubase was amazing on that), Windows 98, then Windows XP .. in German, ouch and ja ja.
The Proverbial ‘Hoover Salesman’
And in the meantime, I was also working a ‘normal’ job. Yes, I was that proverbial ‘Hoover Salesman’. Well, it was a home appliance, electrical repairs, and sales shop. So I dealt with various white goods which included hoovers. So I will claim that title, I did sell ‘em. That’s my story and I’m a-sticking to it.
- Note: First of all, ‘Hoover Salesman’ is a bad name to call my job at the time. Because ‘Hoover’ is a brand name, the correct term to use there would be ‘vacuum cleaner’. Lol, the number of times I had to explain that to customers, and now I find myself saying it on the internet. But today, I see ‘branding’ in a different light.
Anyway, I learned a lot about salesmanship in that little shop, it had it’s learning curve. It was my first B2C experience in the real world I guess you could say (Later I also worked in the B2B section of this industry too).
I was good at it after a while, dedicated myself to the task. Kept learning and improving as much as I could. I became manager of this tiny little shop, which turned into a mini-goldmine for the owner.
Ok sorry, I’m rabbiting on about hoovers, sorry ‘vacuum cleaners’. Now, where was I?
Back to Perth, Australia
Oh yes, we were on about affiliate marketing. So there I was in Perth, and I needed to come up with some way to start earning money outside of being a musician because the gig scene wasn’t too healthy where I was.
I distinctly remember asking myself one day “Hmmm I wonder is it possible to make money on the internet?“. I really didn’t know, it was early days for the digital marketing industry as such. Talk about ‘green’, even the industry itself was a newbie at the time :).
Well, I was so happy (relieved actually) to learn that it was indeed possible to earn money online, my idea wasn’t crazy after all. And I’ve been at it ever since.
Hobby Based Affiliate Products
As I got more into it, I learned from a website called Sitesell, about selling hobby-based affiliate products. So that’s where I started. Actually I first discovered the whole world of internet marketing through a Canadian guy called Ken Evoy, along with that Sitesell program. I’m forever thankful Ken Evoy.
I learned from the recognized ‘Gurus’ as time went on, learned the artform you could say. Indeed, I was well bitten by the IM bug, even studied it in college and went on to earn a diploma in digital marketing.
I learned the digital marketing ropes and I put together guitar packages and sold them through Clickbank. Through Clickbank I got affiliates to sell them too.
My First Digital Product
Here’s one of my early products shown below, it was concerning the electric guitar, based and built upon many years of playing experience. It was centered on a ‘hobby’ product as suggested, but lol it was more of an obsession, to be honest. So that helped.
My tactics included approaching other guitar webmasters to promote the programs through their list (this is a golden opportunity, can’t recommend it enough). But in order for this technique to work, your product must be of high quality. If it’s not, other webmasters are not going to promote it to their list. Their reputation depends on their recommendations.
I also ran affiliate ads for musician sites in the US and Europe. Oh, and I had a few Adsense ads running as well.
Software Program Affiliate
I went on to work as an affiliate for a guitar software program which I used, and I knew that it was an excellent piece of software. I used it myself, and I highly recommended it to my own guitar students.
This is a typical way to run a niche related affiliate website. I learned a lot and made some ‘money while you sleep’, as they say in IM land.
Enter the Copywriter
Nowadays I write about affiliate and digital marketing as a copywriter. I found that going from the transition of being a creative musician (including a lyric writer) to copywriter, had many similarities. Both styles of writing have a lot in common which I was glad to discover. That meant I wouldn’t have to start from scratch learning a new skill. And copywriting is indeed a skill that you have to learn, and aim to master. It’s like playing an instrument, there’s always something new to learn.
I fell in love with it, it’s an art form in itself. And not only that, it’s been scientifically proven that it works. When I first read that statement, I thought it was fake. But it ain’t. That’s getting into A/B testing and related stuff. I’m gonna cover that in a future post.
Yup, I’m fascinated by the psychological end of copywriting, just love it. Watch out though, because it can become infectious (that’s a positive IF you take the appropriate action and use it). It can also make a huge positive difference to your bottom line in both on, and offline sales.
The Affiliate Marketing Copywriter
And now we’re back to Affiliate Marketing, hurray sez you. This is where the Copywriting comes in.
If you want to sell an affiliate product (or anything) online, it is, without a doubt, best to use some strong copywriting. This will make all the difference to your sales.
So there you go, I did a bit of hunting around and came up with some answers that changed my life. I learned that it WAS possible to earn money online. I got hooked straight away. And if I can do it with no ‘proper job‘ history behind me (or a CV for that matter), anybody can. Call it a ‘career change’ if you like. Upgrade your skills as you go if necessary.
Giant Communication Tool
See, I realized after a while that the computer, along with the internet was just one giant communication tool. That’s how I began to look at it. A global way to connect and network with people from all over the world. And if you happen to have something to sell to interested parties along the way, digital marketing is the way to go.
If you don’t have a product as of yet, or maybe even an eBook (that’s how I started), well create one. Concentrate on a niche that you know something about, write an eBook about it, and sell it online. Maybe even go for selling it on a platform like Kindle or Amazon.
Hmmm, customers, sales, communication with people. Now, where had I come across this before? Aha, enter Mr. Hoover Salesman once more. But this time I switched my previous real-world sales skills, to suit the new world of digital marketing. Transition complete, but ALWAYS still learning and earning.
Hey, if you have done something similar, or would like to learn more about digital marketing, please leave a comment below would love to hear your story.