The Critical Shift From “Selling” to Helping As An Affiliate

When I first started dabbling in affiliate marketing, all I wanted to do was make money, as fast as possible. As a result, my primary focus was on ‘selling stuff’ to people.

I believed that if I could just find the “secret sauce”, then I could sell a boatload of products as an affiliate and start living the laptop lifestyle.

LOL. It’s pretty funny when I think about it now. But that’s where my head was at!

Little did I know… focussing on ‘making money’ above all else, was actually keeping me from achieving real success. It kept me looking for ways to ‘sell stuff’ online, which is the exact opposite of what I should have been doing.

Eventually, I realised that, in order to get what I wanted, I needed to actually help others get what they wanted.

Sounds simple, right? That’s because it is.

It’s difficult to focus on helping others though, when your primary focus is on selling them stuff to make money. When your focus is on “what’s in it for me” instead of “what value can I give to people, to help them solve a problem”. It really is.

Which is why you need to shift your thinking and start focussing on helping others.

At least, if you want to create an income as an affiliate. Not only this, but doing so will give you a great sense of personal satisfaction. Something money cannot buy.

I’m not exaggerating when I say, I had NO online business before I changed my my focus from selling to helping. I was playing games, and I was not treating affiliate marketing like a real business- which it is. When I changed my focus to helping people, I started building a real online business. I started getting real results.

Once you understand this concept, I mean REALLY grasp it, a ‘light switch’ will go off in your mind. You will not see affiliate marketing the same way, nor should you. Once you apply this concept within your online business as an affiliate, your results will skyrocket.

Anyone can apply this concept, in practically any business. But it’s especially relevant to affiliate marketing, which is why I’m sharing this with you today.

Why Helping People is KEY to Success as an Affiliate

First and foremost, your job as an affiliate is NOT to sell a product. The vendor already has a sales funnel in place, so your job is simply to send the right people into that funnel.

In some respects, this makes your life a lot easier. You don’t have to worry about stock levels, shipping, returns, employees and a whole bunch of other time consuming stuff.

But your job of sending people (traffic) to relevant offers as an affiliate, is equally important. Which is why many companies will happily reward their affiliates with decent commissions for any confirmed sales they bring them.

You send the buyers, the company handles everything from there. Awesome.

When you boil it down, the affiliates who send the most targeted traffic to the right offers, are the ones who earn the most revenue.

However, many beginner affiliates believe that this is ALL they need to do. Find a good offer and send traffic to it. As a result, their focus is on ‘selling stuff’ to whoever will buy though their affiliate link.

But this approach is WRONG.

Why? Because you have not built an audience of people who know, like and trust you.

You need to build a targeted audience and offer them unique value first. Only then can you effectively promote a relevant product as an affiliate.

When you do things in this way, you will build trust with a targeted group of people, who will continue to buy through your affiliate link time and time again.

The value of trust cannot be overstated when it comes to affiliate marketing.

Related: Complete Beginner’s Guide to Affiliate Marketing

If the people you are trying to ‘sell to’ don’t trust you, they’ll never buy through your affiliate link. Period. People are quick to see through cheap sales promos, and they’re sick of being marketed to by sleazy internet gurus.

The same is true for offline business.

Think about a time you visited a retail outlet, and you were ‘sold to’ by a salesperson. Did you enjoy that experience? Me either.

I don’t know about you, but I deliberately avoid most sales people who approach me when I enter a shop. You know the type. All they can see is dollar signs, and their sole focus is on selling you something.

I almost always bypass this person, and quickly fog them off when they approach.

However, if a staff member actually tries to help me (in a ‘non-salesy’ way), I listen. I trust their advice a LOT more and as a result, I’m more inclined to buy what they recommend.

They’re still making a sale, and I’m still buying. It’s all in the APPROACH.

So, if your goal is primarily to sell something, people will see this, and inevitably lose trust in you. They know you don’t have their best interests at heart.

When you switch your focus to helping people, this whole dynamic changes.

You care about helping your audience, so you spend time researching who they are and what they want, to help them in the best way possible.

Instead of looking for a quick sale, you’re looking to offer value. Which means, instead of a thinly veiled promotion, you give your audience value first, before ever asking for money.

People see this, and they respect you for it.

You will naturally build trust because you’ve helped these folks, before asking them for anything in return. No one likes being sold to, but they will happily purchase products they want, through someone they know, like and trust.

This simple shift in focus, results in a much more rewarding experience for you, your audience and the vendor you partner with.

How To Help People In Your Niche

The first step to helping people in your niche effectively, is to learn who your audience is.

The more you understand the people you are trying to help, the more able you are going to be able to help solve their problems. Whatever they may be.

There are many ways to do this such as visiting relevant forums, social media groups, blogs with comment sections and more. Pretty much anywhere your audience is going to be spending time, is where you want to be yourself.

You can also learn how to do keyword research, which will show you what people in your niche are actively searching for in Google.

Once you have a good grasp on who your target audience is, you need to think about what you can do to help solve their problems. You want to offer your audience value.

I personally do affiliate marketing with a website, which is a lot easier than most people think. It does take time, but anyone can learn how to build a successful website with no technical knowledge these days.

So for me, offering value means creating useful and relevant content on my website.

I do keyword research to find what people are searching for, and from there, I create content my audience finds valuable based on those keywords. The end results is getting useful and relevant content ranked in Google, which brings targeted traffic to my websites.

When you have targeted traffic, you can promote relevant products as an affiliate.

The products you choose to promote will vary from niche to niche, but the important thing is to promote genuine products that are worth buying. Ideally, products you’d buy yourself, or have bought yourself already.

To re-cap this process:

  • Learn about your audience
  • Offer your audience some form of value for free
  • Promote relevant products that help your audience solve a problem

Each of these steps are critical, and the best way to do them is with ‘helping’ in mind. When your focus is on ‘selling’ you are sure to fall down in at least one of these key areas.

The ‘Bi-Product’ of Helping is Longterm Profits

When you’re focussed on making money quickly by selling anything and everything, building longterm success is merely an afterthought.

Anyone can throw a campaign together and make money without truly helping anyone. Yes. But this is almost always short lived.

Why? Because you’ll destroy your reputation instead of building relationships with those in your niche. When you’re the person who sells anything to anyone as long as it makes you money, people will lose trust in you. Which is critical to success online.

Also, because your reputation is shot, you’ll have no assets to leverage. Rather than having an email list, social following, or blog readership (assets) for example, where you can continue recommending relevant products for years to come, you’ll always be looking for new people to ‘sell to’. This is a very costly and unprofitable strategy at best.

On the other hand, when you focus on helping, you will create longterm success online.

You’re always looking for ways to help your audience, and to offer them value. Which results in a good reputation, trust, and authority within your niche. Which ultimately results in a more profitable business.

There is a place for selling. Yes.

But in my opinion, selling is best left for the vendor, while affiliates focus on helping people in their respective niche. Doing so will result in longterm success, and a business you can be proud of.

6 thoughts on “The Critical Shift From “Selling” to Helping As An Affiliate”

  1. Hi Tim

    I really never looked at at this with the perspective you just gave. Makes a lot of sense. I appreciate you taking the time to email me and being concerned on how I’m doing .

    Well I have to admit I have been slacking on my training and need to get motivated again. That will happen very soon.

    I’m so sorry ! I guess I just need encouragement for I have a lot of negativity around me . They say “They’ll believe it when they see it happen,

    Anyways it’s nothing to do with Wealthy Affiliates because I love how everyone is so helpful and kind .

    Thankyou For Caring


    • Hi Lisa,

      Glad I could help and thanks for commenting!

      Yeah I can totally understand this. I went through the same thing myself so I know it can be hard to deal with.

      Most people are naturally skeptical of anything ‘outside the norm’, so there will be people that will say stuff like that. Even well meaning friends and family. I guess a lot of people prefer the ‘safety of a job’ over building an online business. And good for them, there’s nothing wrong with that.

      But at the same time you don’t want that negativity derailing you from achieving your goals.

      So well done for pushing forward regardless. Because there is a lot of potential within the online space, and you can do this. All you need to do is learn the process and take massive action. It really just comes down to how bad you want it and how much effort you are willing to put in.

      Anyways thanks for sharing Lisa, and I wish you the best going forward!

  2. Hi I know about IT, PC issues, troubleshooting, an that stuff, how I can help people with that if a Lot oficina information on Internet, how can I be different?.

    • Hi Abrahama,

      Competition in a niche isn’t a bad thing, it means people are making money. And with a topic like that, there are going to be tons of great keyword/ topic ideas, which means plenty of traffic potential.

      What I recommend is following the training within Wealthy Affiliate. Because you will learn how to be successful within both high and low competition niches.

      I also recommend spending some time researching your niche. Look at the top sites, forums, social media groups, questions people are asking etc. So you can find out what people are searching for and how you can potentially solve their problems. You will also learn what people in your niche are searching for by doing keyword research, which is something WA teaches you how to do in detail.

      Hope this helps and reach out if you have any other questions going forward.



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