Presell Through Info Products
Blogging As A Free Tier
The standard affiliate marketing blog model is a kind of a free tier. It consists of publishing keyword-targeted blog posts that recommend affiliate products to visitors. Then links are built to rank these in Google.
Since there are too many bloggers doing this, the competition is high. There is a considerably smaller percentage of bloggers that go to the next level by creating a course.
If you really look at it, there isn't a huge difference between learning something from a blog post or learning the same thing from an e-book or a course. However just by taking the time to create a course, you give more apparent value than your competition.
Info Products As A Free Tier
Info products (books and courses) are a high impact, low-cost vehicle for driving business growth, which is why you need to create an info product and implement this info product strategy if you’re a business owner or entrepreneur.
A funnel is a series of steps, a route that a potential customer is directed to take.
An info product funnel is a marketing strategy that takes the reader through a journey in order to become a lead (potential customer) for your business.
Note: When I say info product funnel, I am not talking about a sales funnel (i.e. a funnel that drives traffic to sell your book or course). Instead, I’m talking about a lead generation funnel (i.e. a funnel that drives conversion using a book or a course to attract leads).
Your book or course will be at the beginning of the funnel, not at the end. You want to lead people to your service or product, starting with, and through your course/book (free or paid).
In an info product funnel, your potential customer is your reader, and through your book or course, you want to move your reader through a series of steps that furthers their relationship with you, the author. You are ultimately using a course as a customer acquisition channel, to generate more leads, or get more people to buy your service or (affiliate) product.
The strategy is the following:
- Your course or e-book gets into the hands of the reader.
- Reader begins to read in order to learn more about the problem they want to solve.
- Reader encounters relevant, organic plugs to your service or product throughout the text.
- They take action (convert)
Why use a course/book for lead generation?
Here are the top benefits of using a book to attract leads:
- Credibility. When you author a course as a book, you’re instantly seen as more credible than those who haven’t. There’s a level of trust that you earn when people hear that you have published something.
- Authority. What do almost all industry experts and thought leaders have in common? They’ve written a book! They run a course! When you become an author, you become an authority in your field.
- Business Opportunities. Becoming an author opens up a whole new world of opportunities for your business, like speaking gigs and public relations. Use it to increase visibility in your field, and you’ll be amazed at how many doors can open up for you.
- Increased Referrals. Readers who love your work will recommend it to other people in their circle, which means more leads for you.
- Client Acquisition. When you share your work with the world, you unlock a new acquisition channel that brings in more customers and clients. And when you do that, you’re able to increase revenue and scale your business. That’s what’s at the heart of this strategy!
Like any funnel, the goal is conversion, which happens when you get your readers to take the action you want them to take.
Conversion can mean different things for different businesses, depending on what your end goal is.
Examples of successful conversions, or actions, from a book/course are:
- When a reader joins your mailing list and becomes a subscriber
- When a reader joins your community, or tribe
- When a reader schedules a consultation or strategy call with you
- When a reader purchases an upsell you offer, such as a bonus course or other paid offer
- When a reader purchases an affiliate product you recommend
Creating A Course
Creating a course is not that hard – if you put a bunch of blog posts in a sequence, you have a course. (Yes, there are some technicalities with access restriction, sales, etc, but that is the main concept.)
The layout of my courses, which you see below, comes from the Thrive Apprentice plugin, not the theme. (That is an example of how to place an affiliate link as a relevant, organic plug.)
For a one-time fee of $67, you can install it on 1 website and get 1 full year of support. Unlike other plugins, you get unlimited free updates even when the year expires.
You will also need to create squeeze pages, sales pages, etc.
I use Thrive Architect for this, because its landing page gallery contains over 250 landing pages, all tested for conversion by real marketers.
Architect has a very similar pricing - costs $67 for 1 website with 1 year of support and unlimited free updates.
For lead generation I use Thrive Leads, because this plugin will help you get more opt-ins by automatically placing your opt-in forms into every post, pop-ups, slide-ins, ribbons, etc.
Each of these plugins are available for 5 sites for $97.
Smart choice: Instead of buying plugins separately, for $228 you can get all of the Thrive Themes plugins, including Thrive Quiz Builder and all of their premium themes, to use them on 25 sites. Even if you cancel your membership after 1 year, you still get lifetime free updates on everything, the only thing you don't get is live support.
Suppose you team up with a blogger friend to share your costs, paying $114 to have this for the lifetime of your blog is an awesome deal.
The Presell Flow
This is how the entire flow may look like:
The presell can consist of any number of pages, but I believe that around 5 is the ideal number.
My favorite presell is a course, but it can also be an e-book or just a sequence of pages on your site.
Traffic enters at the front. The CTA (call-to-action) is at the end, it should ideally be to get them onto your email list. Because of the multiple steps you may get less sign-ups, but those that make it all the way through are engaged hot prospects and want to hear from you.
The opt-in can also be a signup for a free membership.
Or you can link to an affiliate offer.