In This Article:
- What an online platform is
- Why you need an online platform
- Types of online platforms
- Advantages of having an online platform
- Setting up your own online platform
In previous posts we defined affiliate marketing, we talked about choosing your niche and we discussed affiliate programs. Today, we talk about online platforms. As an affiliate marketer or someone who just yearns to make money online, you will need to have an online blog and other online platforms. An online blog is a type of platform too. I separate it from the others because it is the single most important online platform. It is better, not necessary, to have other online platforms to support your online blog, not as just standalone online platforms. But you can live with having just an online blog as a platform(not recommended though).
So, what exactly is an online platform? An online platform is a home base for establishing your authority and building your audience. With an online platform you can express yourself and build your credibility. In business, credibility and trust are everything. Also, you can use your platform to share your thoughts, your critics and your experience. Thus, doing all of this will make you come across as an authority in your niche. There is more to this, meaning there are specific reasons why you should have an online platform.
Why Do You Need An Online Platform?
In the previous section introduced the concept of online platforms. Here, we discuss more on why you need to get an online platform of your own. But, before we move on. I would like to illustrate the concept of online platforms with some well known examples. An online blog is a platform, a Facebook page too, a YouTube channel too, an Instagram account also.
Now, you have a clearer image of what I mean by online platforms. Lets get you more acquainted with the concept of platforms within this context. Lets outline why you need a platform.
Control Of Your Brand And Business:
When you use an online platform, you control what type of content you put out there. You also control when you post content. This is great because you can constantly rely on this to promote your affiliate links. Also, while promoting affiliate links on your own platform, you will not be marked as spam. This is because, you do not force people to visit your platform nor your affiliate links. They do so on their own. Then again, if they like what they see, they will know where to find more next time.
Credibility And Trust:
If you have a platform, people know where to find you. In addition to that, post a lot of content that adds a value. This will make people to view you as an authority and an expert. This will make you reputable. Finally, when you are more reputable, you are more reliable. As a result, people will click on your affiliate links more often than not. They will trust what you say more and follow your advice more.
The key here is valuable content, never overlook this part. Valuable content does not have to be out of this world. You do not have to reinvent the wheel to make your content valuable. Here, valuable means useful. You just need to post content that is useful by your audience, even mildly. If what you provide is useful by any means, then you got yourself some valuable content.
The Best Way To Get To Where You Want To Go:
No matter what way you look at it, this is really the easiest way to succeed in affiliate marketing. The best way to promote anything is through you platform. In other words, you are more likely to capture people’s attention with a platform of your own. Because they are already waiting for what you have to say. When people already know you as an authority, they will constantly be waiting for updates coming from you. And where will they find those updates? On your platform.
It is more productive, doing this using a platform, than if you just interrupt people. You interrupt by just placing your link without any ado and expecting them to click. Readers who are still new may click. Nothing more. Because they do not associate any trust to you. Hence no trust to the product you promote. Readers more familiar with this simply bypass the link. As a result, they will think you are just another amateur trying to make a sale, desperately.
Types Of Platforms:
There are mainly two types of platforms. I classify them into two. I do so because it really just boils down to these 2. According to me. The 2 main types of platforms represent different set of advantages. Also, using one form or another depends more on your tendencies and funds. So, lets get into these 2 categories.
An online blog( simply called blog or weblog) is the most important platform of all. I say it is the most important because, it is a complete segment of the internet owned by you. You are not limited to posting restrictions like on Facebook and twitter. Also, you are not limited to posting type like YouTube on Instagram.
Having your own blog means being the captain of your own ship and taking all the decisions. However, when I mean having your own blog I do not mean using a third party service like Blogger or WordPress. I do not recommend using these because you have to abide to all their terms of service. Also, the appearance of the blog is not entirely in your hands. I think you can change that if you are an expert in HTML or CSS. But how many of us are?
In the end, for design and control sake, you better create a self hosted online blog. In another post I will walk you through the process of creating your own weblog. Also, this method is recommended by most affiliate networks themselves like Clickbank.
Social Media Platforms:
Social media platforms include Facebook pages, twitter accounts or YouTube channels. Using a social media platform on its own is not only difficult but it is risky too. To put it in another way, placing your business in the hands of a social media platform means handing your business to someone else. This can be really bad. For example, if they think you get reported by other users, your account may be closed. Another example is, if they change their terms and conditions, this might put your whole business down.
It is very difficult to send quality traffic from social media platform to another social media platform. Let alone monetizing that traffic. I say so because, it is not always best to try to use Facebook and twitter to send people to your Facebook page. You may face negative reactions and some people will just think you want to get more followers or more likes on your page. Which is what you want, but not this way.
You will need an online platform to grow your business and influence online. We saw that there are two main kind of platforms. I recommend you use an online blog. A self hosted online blog. In addition to that, you use a social media platform in order to support your online blog. So, you make your platforms cross promote each other.
You may use more than one social medium, but I do not recommend that from the start. This is because you would have trouble keeping up with handling 3 or more platforms as a beginner. For example, you could attach a Facebook page to your online blog. Or you could use twitter.
Another advantage to this is that cross promoting your platforms may give your even more traffic. At the very least, it will keep your audience more engaged.
So, there you have it. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get more updates.