A Healthy Ride to Wealth

Online Marketing

How I Started Affiliate Marketing

Take a coffee, sit back, and read through as I tell you how I started in affiliate marketing.

My experience online started in fact last year, in October, a week or two before Halloween.  I read somewhere that it was possible to do money on the internet with something that we call "affiliate marketing".

Even if I had a decent salary as part as being an engineer, I was struggling financially.

Why, would you say?

Well, mostly because I have a big family to support with many expenses from a house that needed a bit of love.   So affiliate marketing came across as a good solution to start making extra money in a way to help me stay on budget each month and, maybe, regain the perspective to retire someday.

What is affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is, in my opinion, one of the best business model for the beginner to start with:

  • It stays affordable for whoever wants to start without investing to much money;
  • You don’t have to own a product. With that, you don’t have to care about shipping, customer service, etc;
  • On the hardware side, all you need is a computer with a connection to internet.

That being said, you will first have to put effort into learning the tasks required to become a super affiliate marketer.

Affiliate marketing works by promoting products and services from partners or other companies and by receiving a commission when a sale is made. The affiliate marketer attract an audience by publishing valuable content in his particular niche where offers are made proposing solutions for people having a problem to solve in that niche.

Since the goal of an affiliate marketer is to make money in a profitable manner, his daily activities should be focused on the areas that reinforce this objective, namely: generate traffic, capture leads, follow-up with them, and making offers.

Building my first website

At the time, a blog was perhaps the best platform to start with because I could share my knowledge and passion like I wanted, while having the possibility to put affiliate links wherever it was relevant.  I practice karate since over 30 years, so I thought this was the obvious topic to write on.

This convinced me to learn the basics of building a website from YouTube videos. Rapidly, I reserved a domain name, pay for a website hosting, and learned how to construct my own WordPress style blog.

My goal wasn't to be rich at all.  Just earn a bit more money.

I had no idea how to get traffic and leads, also I had no idea at the time what the word "traffic" would mean in this new context.

The Amazon experience

Nevertheless, after having published some posts, I subscribed to the Amazon Associate program for affiliate.

I made on my blog a section for books on karate that I liked most, and I put there some links and banners bridging to Amazon, where people could find and buy the books I recommended.  Also, I included affiliate links in almost all my posts, pointing to training equipment and other stuff.  Each time someone would click on my links and buy the object I presented to them, Amazon would pay a commission for that sale.

So cool!  I couldn't wait for my first sale... 

...but that first sale never came.

After 6 months of producing regular value content, my blog generated no sale, 0$, nada!

Eventually I lost my account on Amazon.  Yes they kicked me out! 

It's in their politics.  

No sale, you are fired!  Simply.  

I continued to work on my website for, let say, a month or so, searching for other programs as well.  Then I became discouraged, losing faith in my capacity to handle affiliate marketing.  

I thus decided to take some time away from it.

During this break I realized that all the efforts I was putting on my blog where vain. 

I was going nowhere. 

I was the victim of my lack of understanding on how this machine is supposed to work.
I felt frustrated. 

All my efforts, all my commitments, could have been more efficient if only I have asked for help instead of figuring all that by myself.  

I needed someone to tell me what I was doing wrong.  

The idea of finding someone I could trust on the internet was a dangerous one because you know, the internet is like a big jungle, and you have to be careful where you put your feet on.  

So I postponed the idea for some months during which I sell the house and found a new home getting stepmother with us. 🤔

Hoping for the best, “The Iceberg Effect” book

I reconsidered affiliate marketing when I saw an ad for a book called "THE ICEBERG EFFECT" by Dean Holland.  

The ad said exactly what I wouldn't really hear but what I was thinking inside: "The death of traditional affiliate marketing". The traditional way of doing affiliate marketing, apparently, is a thing of the past. 

This claim took all my attention.  

The ad was quite attractive to me because, with this book, it was offering a solution to my problem: the very reason why the traditional way is no longer applicable and what should be the new way of doing it.

So I subscribed to the mailing list and entered Dean's marketing funnel.  You have to know that Dean is a world-renowned author, speaker, coach and consultant.  Apart from his notoriety, there are many other things that convinced me that Dean was credible.  The fact that he was actively answering the comments about the ad impressed me.  

Despite all the money he was making, this guy takes time to share with people and help them.  He was communicating with ease and establishing a relationship with those people quite easily.  By behaving this way, he taught me my first lesson in marketing: 

learn to build bridges with your audience!  

I received my first "blinding flash of the obvious", like would have said my karate instructor.

Of course, I didn't subscribed the first time I saw the ad, but I thought to myself, it is in those little things that you often find your best opportunity.

Rapidly, without too much hesitations, I ordered the free book, only paying for shipping.  Once I received it, I read it twice.

The "Iceberg Effect" book was a source of motivation. After I read it the first time, it became clear to me what I got to do next, the actions I got to take.  One thing I realized overall was that I wasn't considering my affiliate marketing activities as a business!  This was my second flash of the obvious. 

I needed to start my own business!

Affiliate marketing is a real business and must be considered as such, otherwise, you miss the thing.

Like many, I was quite a bit afraid by the word "business". I don't know why. Maybe because it sounds big for me, like something I couldn't afford.  I realized it was just a misconception.  A lack of self confidence that the book helped me overcome.

In fact, I was missing a structure with good foundations.  

I needed to set my own business and an expert to show me the perfect blueprint, a plan that would get me straight to profit and more!

A partnership with Internet Profits ltd

Following Dean's emails recommendations I asked for more information about his partnership program called "Accelerator".   Then on schedule, I received a phone call from Dean in person.

We talked for near 45 minutes. Me, slightly intimidated, trying my best within an English language not always in-tune with my French accent, and Dean, answering all my questions in all its British sonority.   

Obviously, this was a great moment for me!

I climb on the boat and I registered to the program.

After having successfully completed a good training where I learned many things on affiliate marketing, I received help to get my business up and running online.  

I discovered that Dean was also a great motivator and for sure this boosted me with a solid attitude, the positive attitude you need to start in such a journey.  Furthermore, I have daily coaching when I want to, and mentorship to guide me and keep me focus toward my goals.

The rise of a new passion

But success will not happen without efforts, discipline, and some adjustments.  

I have a day job which takes most of my time so in order to find some place for the affiliate marketing business, I need to change my habits.  

This means no more Netflix shows in sequence in the evening.  Also princess Zelda must wait longer than ever before Link can save her.   I have to sit in front of my computer for an extra 1-3 hours every day with nothing but affiliate marketing on my mind.  

Sometimes it's difficult, but that's OK.  I invest this time for my business and I know how to do it efficiently.  If I get lost or if I'm becoming stuck on something, I call the coach and get on track again.

I told you already.  I'm a beginner.  I don't consider myself an expert at all.

Now that I'm started and clearly motivated, it's time to get people on my mailing list and manage for my first dollar in commission.  Sincerely, if things are going to work for me, I want you to hear it.  Stick with me, bookmark this page.  

The best is yet to come.

What about you?  Have you tried affiliate marketing before?

Don't hesitate to leave your comments below.

I would love to hear from you!


p.s. For karate enthusiasts, my first blog is still alive.  You can find it here: www.backyardkarateblog.com


13 Responses to “How I Started Affiliate Marketing”

  1. tony simms Avatar

    Thanks for this article, I love the fact that you are clear that affiliate marketing takes work, an extra 1 to 3 hours a day is quite some commitment. I see so many adverts saying things like “make an extra 10k working 1 hour a week” which is totally unrealistic for 99.9% of those starting out in affiliate marketing.

    All the best

    1. Martin Lefebvre Avatar

      Thank you Tony. I think it’s important to let people know that affiliate marketing is a real business and as such, you have to put efforts and commit to your tasks, especially when starting. Too much beginners are being told online that they will make quick money with affiliate marketing while sleeping or chilling at the beach. There is world of learning and efforts to make before reaching that stage. Let me wish you happy new year 2024 and a successful business!

  2. Alan Lim Avatar

    I can relate to your experience with Amazon.

    I did generate sales but as you know, with their very low commission rate, you will have to generate hundred of sales in order to earn a full time income online.

    It is just not sustainable.

    1. Martin Lefebvre Avatar

      With the knowledge I have now, I realize how I could have done it differently.
      Wish you a happy and successful new year 2024!

  3. Sherri S Pulcino Avatar

    Martin, I can relate to your story. I also tried Amazon Affiliate marketing amongst other programs and was frustrated as well. Good for you for persevering and finding another program that works for you. Discipline is key for any business. I look forward to following your progress.

    1. Martin Lefebvre Avatar

      When I first started in October 2022, I was discovering affiliate marketing. I was really far from the knowledge I have now. I thought that this consisted only in putting affiliate links here and there on a website. 😬 However this prepared me for what I do now, more seriously, and with a renewed passion.

  4. Tim Heard Avatar

    Hi Martin
    Great blog, very open and honest. I also like your site layout and format, it’s very easy on the eye.
    I look forward to watching you progress

    1. Martin Lefebvre Avatar

      Thank you Tim. Layout is from WP’s theme Twenty-Twenty-Three and made some customization to it. Good for desktop but doesn’t handle mobile. I had to make compromises with some layout elements in order for them to appear correctly on mobile version.

  5. Tom Avatar

    Fabulous Martin, thank you for your post.
    I see many people have unrealistic expectations when it comes to affiliate marketing. They think it is just about posting a link here and there and money will flow.
    It is a business, and it must be treated as such. Learn before you earn, dedicate time to do daily tasks, create discipline and stay motivated. This is difficult at the beginning but soon when you start seeing results, you become more motivated.
    With a good mentor, success is a matter of “when” instead of “if” would it work.
    All the best!

    1. Martin Lefebvre Avatar

      And many people will quit because their expectations were unrealistic. Learn and get that job done! Don’t listen to those gurus who said you will make big money fast as a beginner. Follow the proven plan and keep your WHY in sight. Reach your milestones one at a time. Thank you for your comments, I appreciate.

  6. Sharel Siarkiewicz Avatar

    Really good information for a person considering affiliate marketing. It’s always nice to hear it from someone who has tried various things. All of this reassures any creeping doubts that Dean is the real deal and can be trusted to guide you to success. Great blog!

    1. Martin Lefebvre Avatar

      Thank you Sharel! Dean is awesome. He gives more than he takes. I’m confident I found the right mentor for my business.

  7. Atif Perwiz Avatar

    Martin, a great post. Also a great account of how you started. Your reasons for WHY are similar to mine and I am also an Engineer as you know. Shame about Amazon, I have joined that programme too, maybe I should rethink that? You did great finding Dean, he is amazing. I look forward to seeing you flourish soon, Thanks. Atif

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