In this inflationary environment, having additional revenue streams is quite beneficial. With affiliate marketing, you can sell products and earn on the side. Admittedly, it is not for anyone. So, is affiliate marketing for you? Juliet Clark brings back Fran Asaro to help you identify how affiliate marketing can be advantageous and whether or not you qualify for it. Fran is a YouTube mentor and strategist and the founder of The Senior Tuber Community. With these under her belt, she has been helping creators optimize, monetize, and leave their gifts and legacy on YouTube. She speaks to us about Amazon Associates and the differences between affiliates, joint ventures, and power partners. Remember, while affiliate marketing can help you financially, you are still serving the people who look up to you. Fran shares why and how to choose the right products and services. Let this episode help you navigate the world of affiliate marketing.
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Is Affiliate Marketing Right For You?
In this episode, our guest is one of our repeats but she was so popular last time with her YouTube training that I wanted to bring her back. I’ve also brought her back as a contributor to the 2024 magazine. Our theme in 2024 is Ditching The Middleman: Strategies To Bypass Distributor Fees. I want you to welcome Fran Asaro. She is a YouTube mentor and strategist for mature creators, sharing how to optimize and monetize their YouTube channel. As the Founder of The Senior Tuber Community, Fran helps both professionals and hobbyists leave their gifts and legacy on YouTube.
We’re going to talk about something a little bit different than YouTube but something where you could use a little bit of what we’re talking about. We’re going to jump into affiliates, power partners, and JVs. As the economy slows a little bit, we’re going to be looking for additional revenue streams. I want you to know what works, what doesn’t work, and why. We’re probably going to have a pretty robust debate here because I disagree with her on some of these.
Fran, welcome to the show. It’s great to have you again.
Thank you. It’s good to be here.
We had a discussion a while back about affiliates. I’ll add some stuff about JVs and power partners as well. I’m not huge on affiliate marketing but I’m going to let you try to change my mind a little. I’ll tell you why I dislike some of the other things and like the others. You do a lot with seniors and affiliates. Tell us about that, what kind of revenue you look at, and how you put that all together.
I understand that a lot of people have aversions to affiliates. Pretty much what I try to do is explain it the way I have it in my world. Sometimes, people come on board and sometimes they don’t. I would rather somebody make that decision based on knowing and having some education about it and then deciding and choosing.
One of the reasons why I do affiliates is because I want to help people have other forms or streams of income. They’re selling their products. Some people don’t have products. Some people become YouTube partners but some people don’t. I want to give people the opportunity to make money right away, even if they don’t have their digital products. There are other ways you can make money. There’s merchandise. If you want to put a store on YouTube, you could do that. You can also have sponsorship.
There are things you could do but not all of them are people qualified for. Having an affiliate is something you could do immediately. It’s the same thing with digital products if people do have it. What it looks like to be an affiliate is not to be selling people but to be sharing. If you have an audience, they want to know everything about you like what you had for breakfast. They love you and want to know it.
When I am working with somebody that I admire like my mentors, I want to know what camera they’re using. Why not share and make some money at it? The whole thing is to share the things that you strongly feel good about or things that are serving you. It doesn’t always have to be a thing. Sometimes, I’m sharing services and other people’s stuff and not collecting but because I believe in it. It’s the way you would share a favorite movie or meal and you get paid a little bit for it.Share the things that you strongly feel good about, things that are serving you. Click To Tweet
Here’s the thing. You’re not charging the recipient any money to do so. They don’t have to pay anything extra. Sometimes, they get to save money by going through your affiliate link. I have some things like, “You get 50% off if you go through my link.” Why wouldn’t you? Some people want to support you. They know you’ve been doing this YouTubing or any content creation for free. They want to support you. There are ways on YouTube. You can have a super thanks button where people could thank you or affiliate products where they could support you by buying them.
I mentioned that my office was fried and I bought a new surge protector. Somebody went out and bought the surge protector the very next day, the one that I shared that I bought. I did the research and they didn’t have to worry about it. It’s little things like that. As far as what you could earn, it depends on your audience, on the products, and how much they pay. If you’re going to be an Amazon affiliate, they call it an Amazon associate, for instance, their affiliate link is only good for 24 hours unless they put it into their shopping cart.
You share something. They’d have to buy it right away unless they put it in their shopping cart and then it’s good for 30 days. There’s not a heck of a lot of money in that. I’ve gotten affiliate checks as much as $800 by sharing somebody’s program out there that they pay on their programs. You could receive anywhere from a few pennies a month to several hundred dollars, depending on how much you include in your world.
I’ve never had good luck with Amazon associates because if you don’t do it regularly, they cancel your account. We’ve tried that with books to no avail. It’s been interesting, although I did make money. Somebody bought a vacuum cleaner, which I didn’t even remember sharing. I don’t even know how that happened.
Here’s the thing about that. If you share about a book and while they’re on it, they buy the vacuum cleaner, you get the point.
That’s what happened. I was going to say that and I was shocked. What’s interesting about Amazon and the affiliates is I’ve gone on when some of my clients have complained on Amazon that they got a bad review from somebody who could not have read the book. I’ll go into and look at the history of that person and see that they’ve never bought a book before either. For some reason along the way, they’ve gone in and done a bad review. It’s very interesting the way Amazon runs everything. With the affiliates, you share a link with your audience. That’s a little bit like Joint Ventures or the JVs where you are sharing a link.
Here’s the difference when we’re talking about it. With the joint ventures, it would be me sharing something that’s an upcoming event where Fran’s going to sell something. If a person who used my link and attended and bought from Fran, she would pay me. The problem is a lot of times with JVs versus affiliates, you get big ugly lists of people who will never buy because they’ve opted into something. In that sense, I do like the affiliates more as long as they’re not being pushed as sell all the time because there’s a downside to the joint ventures. You could make money with them but you also get big lists. You’re spending more money with MailChimp, Builderall, or whatever you’re using as your mail server.
There are two sides to affiliates. 1) Your people become your affiliates for your programs and others where you use them for products you want to recommend. Instead of JV, it’s much simpler. They’re joining to become a part of your affiliate program. They want to promote you. You have a plan on how you share anything upcoming. They take advantage of it and that’s how they make money. That’s something I have become affiliated with some of the people I believe in the most.
The main point right there is don’t go out there and have a whole series of affiliate products that you’re not using yourself. Back at the beginning of affiliates, that’s why people shied away because people said, “This is easy money. I would never use this product but now I’m going to.” I ran into a problem with affiliates probably before you were doing all this in 2014, 2015, and 2016. Every year that I coached, a coach was having me sign up for things that didn’t serve me.
I’ll give you a great example. In 2016, Infusionsoft. She was making a bundle because everybody in her coaching program was using Infusionsoft. However, it was too big and powerful for the people that were in the program. You do have to gauge, “Are the people that you’re serving it to ready for that product?” I agree they want to support you but you also don’t want to create a revenue stream where the product is not serving.
It’s not a good fit. I do the same thing because I find some of these CRMs very sophisticated. I love them but it’s not good for somebody who’s starting. I also have a program I tell people about. It’s because I had to think about my audience, not the one that might pay more or that I like best. It’s about, “Who does my audience need at the level that they’re entering?” You have to think about your audience.
The CRM that I use because of the magazine has unlimited email and email lists. I would never recommend it to anybody. It’s the most horrendous program on the planet but it serves my financial needs.
There’s thought that needs to be put into it. If you are planning on becoming an affiliate for other people’s products, having a link isn’t going to make you a dime. You have to talk about it. If you love it, then you shouldn’t be afraid to talk about it. If you don’t want to talk about it, then you shouldn’t be an affiliate. You might want to promote it with a story or a video.
Put it on YouTube and say, “This is something I’m using. I love it.” Let people see your passion. That’s how people are searching for those products. They want to see your view. That’s how you can make money at it. I have 30 or 40 companies that I’m an affiliate for but I can’t promote them all. When I fell in love with them, I kept the affiliate link but I didn’t promote them all.
Readers, if you’ve ever seen Fran and if you haven’t, go back to one of our previous episodes where she did a training. She waited until the end and shared TubeBuddy. It makes perfect sense for her to do that. She’s the Senior Tuber. Before, I complained about something that I couldn’t understand on TubeBuddy. She pulled it up and showed me everything wrong but it’s something that she uses every day.
It’s a tool. I use it every time I upload a video.
I’ve taken them out of my coaching programs. I recommend SocialBee but I don’t have an affiliate link. I want people to choose on their own. I had that bad experience with the coach back in 2016 when you’re paying $300 a month for something. You need a VA because you can’t use it yourself. You realize very quickly that you’re paying too much. You’re not that big and it’s not serving you. Do you ever go to some of those sites where you can sign up for different affiliate programs?
It’s called an Affiliate Hub. I belong to ShareASale and Impact, not because I chose them but because the products that I wanted to participate in are under those hubs. I happen to have belonged to a few hubs because of that.
I did have an affiliate for something inside ShareASale but we dropped that product in our repertoire. We didn’t need it anymore. We used to be an affiliate for Greenvelope because we did launch parties but I don’t care to do them anymore. They were big during 2020 when you couldn’t do a book launch at a place. We would do them online. It did service. They have these big beautiful invitations that people automatically open for the event.
Let me get into JVs a little bit. I used to coach for a JV organization. I’m not going to say which one. The way that affiliates are different than JVs is let’s say, Fran goes out. She’s having a big event. She’s going to sell a big program at the end. She comes to me and says, “You’ll be a joint venture partner.” What that means is that there is a landing page. I have a code. I send people to it. They sign up for the event. They buy something and I get paid.
The reason that’s different than the affiliate is that person is building a list of the people I’ve sent them but I also noticed that, in the process, people wanted free stuff. I would get these big ugly lists. It wasn’t like they were trying. Usually, there was a gift involved. Let’s say if Fran was doing it, she did the ultimate YouTube guide. People were going in to grab that and they didn’t necessarily show up for the event. Fran had this big ugly list of people who wanted free stuff.
We ran into the other thing with what Fran does with the affiliates. You get paid every time. None of your affiliate partners has ever missed a payment. The amazing part of the affiliates is there are big companies behind them usually. With joint ventures, I would have to rely on the person that I promoted to pay me. We are coming into this area where the economy’s going down a little bit. I’m hearing from some people that they did a joint venture and then that person didn’t pay them because they didn’t have enough money this month. That’s the downside of that versus the affiliates on there.
It’s more obligatory. It’s like an exchange. You have to give and take. It’s like a choice. It’s more of an obligation when you belong to some community that does that.
There are dangers in it. Shannon Procise with Media Magic is a JV where we bring people to the party and they pay. She does it very well because people show up for the event. I noticed that even within that, Shannon pays right away. There are other people that she works with who aren’t paying her. You have to stay on top of it and chase it, which you don’t have to do with the affiliates.
I did have somebody who started their affiliate and they didn’t have it done right. There was no measurement. They couldn’t keep track of it. I caught it. They fixed it. I don’t think it’s happened ever again. It works out. I like it a lot because I love to promote the people I believe in. If you’re having an event and I say, “How can I support you,” and you send me a link, images, and texts with the content that you want, I say, “Send me everything and I’ll go blast it for you.” I have 50,000 people. They want me to blast their stuff, and I don’t mind. I’m not ashamed to say that I collect money off of doing it because it’s what I do. I will stop everything and spend whatever it takes me to do a few hours or whatever it is to do what I have to do. People ask me all the time to do it.
One thing about the JVs. Readers, Fran explained to you how she uses products that are based on what she does. With the JVs, you have to be careful. I had a big list of unsubscribes because I shared a product or an event that didn’t align with my audience. You have to be careful with that as well. You probably know from building your list that lists are premium. When you start losing people, there’s a problem.
Be mindful of what you’re putting out there.
How’s that different from power partners? I would consider Fran a power partner even though we don’t have a formal agreement. I know Shannon and Tracy do. There are some people that I have power partnerships with. Those are people you’re friends with. You’re promoting their products. Those people make a personal introduction to me. If they buy, I turn around and pay. That’s usually for bigger things and not what you’re doing with the affiliates. Would you say they’re smaller purchase items?
Not always but I received $800 for 1 sale for doing that. For the most part, it depends on what you’re doing. I have one of my Senior Tubers as a painter. She’s putting out paintbrushes, canvases, and things like that. She’s not an Amazon associate. She doesn’t want to be. She doesn’t like Amazon. I recommended that she go to the people she buys from and become an affiliate of them. She’s getting a few dollars on that. Things depend on what you’re using.
Where does she do that? On Patreon? I am a painter. I followed a couple of people on Patreon. I noticed that they sell kits and stuff there.
I know she’s on YouTube. I saw her on Facebook doing online sales for her paintings. She does online and local classes. She teaches beginners for acrylics.
Is it Michelle, the painter?
Her name is Sharon. She’s a good painter.
I follow a lot of Michelle, the painter.
She’s Sharon Durbin Graves.
You bring up an excellent point. You can go over to Patreon and do some of this stuff as well. I would bet if I went over, she’s on Patreon because they have memberships over there.
She does have a membership. I don’t know where she manages but very likely she does.
I’ll check it out because I follow a lot of it. I’m practicing. I had no idea what was going on over on Patreon. The power partnerships are a little bit different. They’re people you know. You are part of the Shannon Prosthesis group. You’re one of the mentors there. For me, you would be a great person. I have sent people to you. I don’t know if they’ve purchased or not but it’s that thing where I make a personal introduction, “This is my friend Fran. This is what she does. She might be able to help you with a certain thing.” It’s a little bit different in that sense. I have big-ticket items. I’ve paid people $1,000 for referrals and stuff. I do that right away. There are different things that you can do. What are some of the other hubs for affiliates?
There’s Impact, ShareASale, Commission Junction, or something like that. I probably belong to a few of them. You have ClickBank and that’s a big one. There are a lot of them because affiliate marketing is bigger than you would know. There are hubs out there if you’re an affiliate marketer where you can put all of your affiliate links with all your notes and images so people can see what you’re referring to and why. You can make these little mini websites of your affiliates.Affiliate marketing is bigger than you would know. There are actually hubs out there. Click To Tweet
I went to Chris Johnson of LifeWay and then I have my site, which I don’t do stuff like that. If I referred somebody, I would refer them to my site and then Chris and I would make a commission.
You could refer to that site or have a resource page on your website if you want to and say, “For anybody who wants to know what I do, these are my supplies. This is what I use every day. You can use it or not.” They have a link. That’s all. You could promote a link to your page. I’ll bet you there’s a plugin for it to help you to make it even easier.
Probably, for your website, I bet there is.
Plug to build an affiliate page.
Do you go out and talk? How do you spread the word about it?
As appropriate, TubeBuddy is always in the conversation but when I find something, I find Opus Clip that turns long-form video into short form in minutes. Everybody’s paying for this to be done. It costs $100 for the whole year. I was so in love with it. It made me 46 one-minute clips out of three 20-minute videos. I was excited. I made a video on it immediately. I made it right away.
When that happens, if I find something, I put it out there. If it’s new, people are searching for it. I might as well have a video out there for it. As I fall in love with something, I share it. I’m getting better at it because I’ve been holding onto links for years. I don’t have that same passion. I have to reconnect with the passion I have for something as it’s needed, is when it comes up.
The group that I teach, The Senior Tuber Group Live meets every week. We are free to share our affiliate links there on the creator page that they belong to. It’s a membership. When we have something, everybody says, “Try this. This is my affiliate link.” We accept. That’s what we do. We support each other in that. It become our language. It’s an acceptable language instead of saying to people, “I don’t want to keep paying her for her thing.” “Why not? She gave you a gift that you didn’t know about. It’s going to save you time or money. She made $5, $10, or whatever it was. Wouldn’t it be worth it?”
Yes, especially with a lot of these new AI tools. I tell my clients about Gamma and Opus. I have quite a few clients that are using Opus. I don’t use it as much as I should because I use Podetize and they give me clips but it is cool because you can pull a short out in minutes to go back and post and get interested in everything. I have a question about the shorts. You did a whole big thing on it. Can you do end cards and things like that on the shorts or is that only for the full length?
You can’t use end screens. I put in a card once but I don’t see it as an option anymore. They removed it as an option when I was uploading. You can’t use that but there are other things you could do to optimize. You can still put your description and a comment in. If you put a comment in with a call to action, it doesn’t sound like it’s doing much but it’s part of the YouTube algorithms. They’re looking to see that you’ve done those things.
You might not need to put in subtitles because it depends on who’s making your shorts. The subtitles might already be in there and then you don’t want to have two subtitles. There are some things you still should do. You can’t put in a thumbnail but if you upload your shorts through your phone, like TikTok and Instagram, you can choose the frame. If you have a frame that looks like a thumbnail, you can move it to that frame and then it will show that it’s a thumbnail.
We’re going to have Fran back to talk about some of the other YouTube stuff. Readers, if you’re following the magazine, follow it because, in 2024, we’re going to be talking about Ditching The Middleman: Strategies For Bypassing Book Distributor Fees. What Fran teaches is a great way to do this on YouTube because your book and a call to action for your book can be all over that.
If people are buying the book from your website via your supercharged YouTube channel, you are signing the book, you’re selling it yourself, or maybe selling it with a one-time-only offer for a program and you’re ditching that 55%. Working with Fran would help your YouTube channel and probably your book sales and the ability to ditch those distributor fees.
Think how many people are out there writing books. How many people do you think are putting their videos on YouTube and working an audience? Not many. You’re in an environment where you have somebody teaching you this. You’re lucky you belong with Juliet. All of a sudden, you are going to be doing 90% of the people aren’t doing and that’s going to give you an advantage.
We did it on Fiverr with my son’s book. We haven’t put them up yet. There’s something called Midsummer Journey. We went over to Fiverr and had his characters created. We’re looking for someone to animate them. What better way to supercharge a fiction book sale, which fiction is hard to sell than having these shorts of what’s going on with the book action and getting people enticed to do that? While all non-fiction authors should have a YouTube channel, putting out content and that call to action, there’s no reason why fiction authors can’t play with it and do that as well, especially with the shorts. Nobody’s expecting a full-length, hour-long movie of your book but the shorts are easy.
A lot of people are using the shorts. They might read the book on a long-form video or a chapter than imagine shorts to go with that. Each short gets a lot more views mostly. Those lead to the long-form videos with the Opus Clip and the new feature that YouTube has where it says the recommended video that you can put the link right in your short. It could lead to the long form.
For those of you doing fiction, Kindle Vella has serialized books. That is an excellent way to connect the two of them. You may read a chapter or a serialized version to Kindle Vella, which you’re making money on, and then go over to YouTube and attach that video as well to get people interested. Fran, where do we find you? You’re going to tell us about TubeBuddy.
TubeBuddy is my best friend. I use it all the time. If you have under 1,000 subscribers, you get 50% off. It’s $26 for the entire year and it’s going to make your channel. It gives you your SEO. It tells you what you did and did not do based on the SEO. There are ways where you could put templates in there so you could set up much easier.
It’s a little bit of a learning curve in the beginning, and then all of a sudden, it’s going to save you a lot of time. Where it might take you an hour to upload, it’ll take you minutes. It’s worth it. They can find me at SeniorTuber.com. My YouTube channel is YT.SeniorTuber.com. Over there, it’ll lead you to my Facebook Group @SeniorTuberCommunity. That’s where they can find me. I’m here to help. You can even book a session with me when you get to my website. Book a session if you have questions.
Readers, it’s worth it. We pulled up one thing on my YouTube channel. She told me every single thing that’s wrong with it.
What I don’t like is somebody puts out a quality piece and nobody’s going to see it. That’s the thing. It doesn’t matter how good your piece is if nobody’s going to see it.
I haven’t worked on my YouTube channel because I have more people who listen via podcast than they do on the YouTube channel. Here’s the thing. We’re doing the monthly training. A lot of times, we send people over to YouTube for that monthly training because you are sharing slides and doing different things that you might want to see the visuals on. Fran, thank you so much. That was super informative.
This is so fun. Thank you for having me.
We’ll talk soon.
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- Commission Junction
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About Fran Asaro
Fran Asaro is a YouTube mentor and strategist for mature creators, sharing how to optimize and monetize their YouTube Channels. As the founder of The Senior Tuber Community, Fran helps both the professional and hobbyist leave their gifts and legacy on YouTube.
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