10 Affiliate Marketing Strategies For Success
Affiliate marketing is usually one of the first methods bloggers and marketers will use to make money online. It’s also one of the oldest methods of making money online too. Although it has evolved a lot over the years it is still one of the best ways to monetize your website. Affiliate marketing today is a multi-billion dollar industry and it is growing at an incredible pace.
I’ve written about affiliate marketing before, but at this point, i would like to quickly remind everyone what affiliate marketing is. It’s the process of promoting another companies products/services and if people end up buying you earn a commission. You can join an affiliate network or affiliate with a company directly. Basically, you connect the consumer with a product. The better your marketing skills are, the more sales you will make.
There are thousands of affiliate programs you can join. Today almost every business with an online presence has an affiliate program. People are buying more stuff online than ever before. Almost half of U.S households have an Amazon Prime membership and online sales are increasing compared to the sales of brick-and-mortar shops.
Retail spending is actually growing (although not much) and the majority of that growth is spent online. Online shopping is easy, cheap and new better return policies have made it almost risk-free. People today are not just buying laptops, TV’s and gadgets online but also clothes, shoes and all kind of goods. You can be sure that this trend is here to stay.
Although the competition on the web is tough and with Google destroying websites with thin content things are becoming more difficult for new affiliate marketers. But when there is a will there is a way. Affiliate marketing it’s not easy but it’s not impossible either. Success requires hard work.
Below are some of my affiliate marketing tips & strategies that can hep you increase your online revenue.
1. Focus On Your Niche
A common mistake affiliate marketers do is trying to create websites in many different niches in an effort to generate income quickly. That almost never works. It’s just to much work. Building affiliate websites with thin content that lack authority is a strategy doomed to fail. Plus if you are not passionate about your niche you will run out of ideas pretty quickly. Try to focus on one or two niches and write content your audience will find useful. Write about topics you are familiar with and create quality content. You can’t stay focused or consistent if you are working on multiple niches at the same time. Choosing the right niche for you is very important but it’s also just the beginning. Don’t scatter your efforts, develop your content marketing strategy, promote your website and offer solutions to your reader’s problems. Becoming an authority in your niche is the most effective way to increase your sales.
2. Know Your Audience
Before you can sell anything to anyone you must first know about their needs and desires. Affiliate marketing is all about offering solutions to your readers. Understanding what your readers are looking for when they visit your website and offering them the right information is the best way to make sales. Listen to what they have to say, find out what their expectations are and help them the best way you can.
Your affiliate content should be relevant to their interests. That is the best method to engage with your readers. You write for them and not just for you. Don’t try to force your visitors to buy products just because you are affiliated with them. That’s a very bad affiliate marketing strategy and your conversion rate will be very low.
Build relationships first and then attempt to promote your affiliate links. Value people over profits if you want to be a successful affiliate marketer.
Always be aware of the money your readers are willing to spend and what they would like to buy. Don’t promote products/services that are irrelevant to your niche. Remember people won’t buy from you unless they trust you. Also, don’t promote products your audience can’t afford to buy.
3. Research Your Products
Promote reputable products which will be valuable and useful to your readers. Products that will help your target market to solve a problem. Don’t make the mistake of trying to sell everything just because you can earn a high commission. Think about your reputation first. You want people to trust you and come back to your website and buy again and again.
It takes time for a trustworthy relationship between you and your audience to be established and it only takes one bad product to destroy it. Make sure that the products you are affiliated with are in the price range of your potential customers.
Promote products you are already using and you know from personal experience they work. If you haven’t used them yourself make sure they are high-quality products with positive reviews and you can back up your sayings with evidence. Take the time to learn as much as you can about the products you are offering and create content telling people how to use them.
That way you can be sure you will not make the mistake of promoting something nobody is really interested in. In order to effectively promote a product, you must first know as much as you can about it and feel confident talking about it.
4. Don’t Rely On One Product
Promote multiple affiliate products from different merchants. That way you are protecting yourself and your business in case something goes wrong with that product. For example, if you face problems receiving your payment from that merchant or if there are significant changes with that product (price changes, quality deteriorates) the effects on your business will not be devastating. Also if the product you are promoting doesn’t convert that well you can still make up for the loss from the rest of your products.
A very common mistake people make is to believe that they can only monetize their website with Amazon and Google AdSense. They never look beyond those two and eventually, they get stuck. There are thousands of affiliate programs you can join in every niche. You just have to do a little research. You can learn more about affiliate networks on my previous post about online marketing tools.
But don’t just promote a variety of affiliate products. If you want to make out the most of your website/blog diversify your income streams.
5. Build Your Traffic
Attracting visitors and increasing your traffic is the most important part of a successful affiliate marketing strategy. Without people visiting your website and clicking on your links what’s the point of using affiliate marketing as a method to monetize your website. Right? Although it sounds like a no-brainer you would be surprised if you knew how many people do the exact opposite.
They place their affiliate links everywhere on their site (widgets, banners, etc.) and within a couple of pages/posts that have written so far and they seem to forget that they actually have no real traffic. First, you must drive traffic to your website and then you should try to monetize it. Case studies have actually shown that Google prefers that kind of marketing strategy.
More traffic means more potential customers and that means more sales. Diversify your traffic sources. Don’t rely exclusively on SEO for your traffic. Use social media, paid advertisement (PPC ads), email campaigns. Make sure your website is mobile-friendly too. Google updates sometimes can have a negative impact on sites even if they have quality content. And remember if you want your traffic to convert you must build trust first.
6. Disclose Your Affiliate Relationships
Letting your readers know you are using affiliate links on your website can help you earn people’s trust. After all is not only your obligation as an affiliate marketer to disclose that kind of information but it can help your brand look more transparent.
Although most people today understand that the majority of websites and blogs use affiliate links it is still important from a user’s perspective, to be honest, and upfront about your links. It also shows to your visitors that you are confident enough about the quality of the products you are promoting. Full disclosure is vital if you want to have loyal readers that will buy from you again and again.
Your affiliate disclosure must be clear both on a mobile device and on a computer screen. You can read more about disclosures at Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
7. Use Call To Actions In Your Posts
A call to action is simply telling your readers what you want them to do.
Do you want them to subscribe to your email list?
Do you want your readers to buy a product?
Be clear about what exactly is that you want your users to do and also explain to them how to do it if it’s necessary. Guide your audience to the right action and make sure your call to action is relevant to that particular page/post they are reading. Eventually, you will create many calls to action like buttons, “Click Here”, “Sign Up” “Leave a Comment” etc. So, you must determine in advance what you want to achieve with each one of them.
8. Establish A Trustworthy Brand
Like i said earlier affiliate marketing is all about trust. You want your visitors to come back to your website. They are the ones who will support you and buy from you. Trying to sell them something you don’t believe in or trying to deceive them by carefully concealing your affiliate links will lead you to failure. Also if your visitors believe your only objective is to make a profit out of them they will never return back to your site.
Why is it so important to establish trust?
Simply because your readers are the best advertisement you will ever have. They are the ones who will share your posts on social media, recommend your site to other people and give you backlinks. Of course, establishing is easier said than done but it must be the cornerstone of your marketing strategy.
So how can you establish a trustworthy brand?
By creating content that will solve your user’s problems. Don’t just write content thinking about how to sell your products. Publish content that can truly help your target audience. Content that will be valuable to them. Yes, you probably won’t make money from those blog posts but it will keep your visitors coming back.
Create a content marketing strategy that will add value to your readers. Create evergreen content (content that doesn’t become outdated) that will always be relevant and will keep driving traffic to your website. Invest time creating high-quality content that is well-researched full of useful information. Write “how to” blog posts and about the recent trends in your niche. Sure it takes time but that is the best way to increase your affiliate marketing conversions and build a trustworthy brand.
9. Have Patience
One thing you need to know about affiliate marketing is that it takes time. It’s not a get rich quick scheme. Even if you know the basics of affiliate marketing the chances are you will not make any money in your first month. You will have to analyze your data carefully and see what is working and what is not.
You must no be afraid to redesign your marketing strategy and start over again. You will probably have to test different products until you find the ones that are ideal for your audience. Affiliate marketing is a long-term business model to earn money online. But if it’s done right it can create a steady income for you. So, don’t give up in the first couple of months. You must be persistent and patient.
10. Learn More
It’s okay to ask for help. You can’t know everything and at the speed, online marketing is moving something that works today can become outdated in 5 months. It’s okay to outsource the parts of your online business you can’t do yourself. Like designing a logo, writing blog posts etc. It’s also okay to learn more about affiliate marketing by joining an online course (check my 3 legit online marketing training programs here).
If you already have a website/blog and tried affiliate marketing before but you failed to make a substantial income it’s because your marketing plan was wrong. Don’t abandon affiliate marketing or think you can’t do it.
If you want to become a successful affiliate marketer you must seek knowledge every day. You must study online marketing and educate yourself the best way you can. Explore new opportunities and always being on the lookout for new products in your niche. You must stay informed and on top of the trends.
Affiliate marketing requires creative thinking, careful planning, and precise execution. Above all, it requires you to have an entrepreneurial mindset. You must first master the fundamental principals of affiliate marketing before trying to apply them. But if you follow the techniques i have mentioned above then you are off to a very good start. There is nothing that can stop you from becoming a successful affiliate marketer.
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