Affiliate Tips: Importance of Making Contacts, Mentors and Confidants

August 4, 2011 - by admin · Filed Under Affiliate Marketing Articles 2 Comments 
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    I think I mentioned this earlier, but one of the MOST ESSENTIAL tips of affiliating is having a solid, close network of contacts that you can bounce ideas off and learn from.  At least that’s been the case in my experience.

    Why are Good Contacts So Important in Affiliating?

    Having good contacts isn’t just useful, it’s essential.  I can’t think of a single area of affiliating where having the right soft of contacts doesn’t pay dividends in one way or another.

    Learning from Others and Moving Up the Ladder

    I guess the most important part is having experienced mentors or people that you can learn from on a day-to-day or monthly basis.  You can learn a shit load of stuff just by browsing the internet, but if you have someone giving you the right advice, or links to important news stories/discussions, then you can learn even faster.

    When I first got into affiliating I had a ton of people teaching me things such as how to use wordpress, the foundations of SEO, uploading stuff through an FTP client (basically all of the complex technical stuff that throws most people off).  In a nutshell, I think having close contacts to help you enables you progress to the next level much faster than you otherwise would.  Even a quick minute’s advice on how to negotiate with AMs or Ad buyers can help you earn a lot more on a particular deal.

    Marketing Ideas and Inspiration

    I know a couple of peolpe who keep their Skype turned off while they’re working to avoid distractions, but I’ve found having my Skype turned on has been miles more fruitful for business. I’m not even kidding; half of the ideas for my websites such as iPhoneBetting.org, MobileCasinoBonus.org, and finding nice unregistered domains such as Spreads.org.uk, have come directly from Skype conversations and bouncing ideas off people.  It’s the rapid communications and advice from knowledgeable people, such as whether a domain is a good value, that leads to profitable, effective decisions.  Even quickly asking for a friend’s advice on a new site design can lead to rapid improvements.

    Outsourcing Work

    Secondly, even once you get to the point when you can run everything yourself and are making decent income, you’re still dependant on other people to outsource your workload.  High quality writers, SEO brokers, reliable coding experts and logo designers aren’t the easiest things to find.  It pays to have reliable guys that you can count on for outsourcing things, and if you have a top guy then make sure you don’t lose him.  The fewer contacts you have in your network, the fewer options you’ll have for outsourcing stuff, and the less efficient your business will be.  I regularly ask people for personal recommendations when I’m looking to outsource work, and I also give feedback to people who ask me.  People are also more likely to limit what they say on a public forum (most big affiliates don’t even waste time in forums), hence the quality of information from your contacts will be miles better.

    Even experienced affiliates making $xxx,xxx per year can have difficulties diversifying into new niches. However, the right contacts can make expansions such as these much easier and efficient.  Just as an example, I was recently trying to get into the Forex niche and having a hard time finding writers or websites to advertise on. I then managed to stumble across a major Forex affiliate (through a Flippa.com website sale) who was able to sell me some advertising, point me to some great Forex writers, and give me advice on the best forex programs to promote.  Essentially I’ve just made a priceless contact.

    I think this is actually a really good lesson for anyone reading.  A great way to make contacts or find a writer is to find a website at Flippa.com in your niche and contact the site’s owners.  He’ll obviously know some writers and will be able to help you out.

    Using your Network as a Competitive Edge

    Finally, even when you’re a baller affiliate, it’ll often be the case when it’s the people you know that will give you an edge over your competitors.  Being able to get links from premium sites or do guest posts on people blogs isn’t something that your competitors can instantly copy.

    Make Mentors: Make Confidants

    This is actually from a section in Mark McComack’s book (the head of IMG) “What They Don’t Teach you at Harvard Business School”, but I think it’s extremely important to have mentors and confidants in affiliating too.  As Mark says, both mentors and confidants will lead to very effective business relationships.  Both will want to buy from you, help you out, and want to do you a favour whenever they can.

    Of course, having a confidant doesn’t mean giving away all of your trade secrets for nothing.  But, passing on information which doesn’t affect you but which may be helpful to others can be very productive.  For example, recommending the theme designer of SportsBetListings.com to a friend or letting someone know of a forum where he’ll find a ton of useful advertising deals.  I’ve also had people give me insane SEO tips or just give me free advertising/work for the sake of it.

    I’ve been lucky in that I’ve had mentors in all sorts of areas of affiliating such as SEO, WordPress, Advertising, AMs and other stuff in general.  But it all adds up in the end.  I wouldn’t have even started my first website if it wasn’t for Manuel at GamesandLuck.com.

     

     

     

     

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