10 Affiliate Marketing Strategies For Success

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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.

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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 AdSenseThey 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. 

Online traffic

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. 

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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. 

Conclusion

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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37 Responses

  1. fernglow says:

    Hi Nikos! Really interesting article on affiliate marketing! I really find what you say true and really must remember some because although I know, I am not applying it!

    Really glad to find this article as it has helped me reiterate the points for affiliate marketing as I tend to forget them after reading. Will be sure to bookmark this page and really looking forward to your next articles!

  2. MIck says:

    Great website on Affiliate Marketing! Your website should be a must read for newbies starting out in Affiliate Marketing. You provide a ton of information for someone contemplating if Affiliate Marketing is for them. I wish I read your site before I got started. Your 10 strategies are right on! I couldn’t have said them better myself. I think the most overlooked strategy that you pointed out is “PATIENCE”. It is normal to want to succeed quickly but building traffic to ones site takes time and a lot of hard work too. You provide a lot of great content and visuals. Good job and I hope you succeed very well with your website.

  3. Chris says:

    Hi

    Great information on some affiliate marketing strategies here.

    There is a lot of things to consider, but i think the number one thing that most people forget is that a great amount of patience is needed to succeed.
    Like you have mentioned, most affiliate marketers don’t make a lot of money in the first few months.

    There are also some other handy tips I have taken from this blog and I will be bookmarking this page.

    Cheers

    • Nikos says:

      Hello Chris,

      Thank you for taking the time to read my post and leave a comment. Patience is really the key. Even when you think you are doing everything perfect usually there are still many things that you can improve. A lot of people will quit in the first 2-3 months because they didn’t make any money. But this is simply how things work online. It takes some time to gain people’s trust and increase your traffic.

  4. Ilias says:

    Hi Nikos and thanks for sharing. It is a great post for beginners but everyone needs to remember the basics.

    As you said, affiliate marketing is a business and takes some time to be successful.

    I see those guys on forums who say that everything is dead like SEO, Facebook, Twitter etc. They just give up too soon.

    Thanks,
    Ilias

    • Nikos says:

      Hello Ilias,

      Unfortunately this happens very often.  People give up after a couple months. Even if your first attempt end ups in failure you could just try with another niche. But if you really want to do it you will make it eventually. I know that sounds like a cliche but it is true. 

      Thank you for your comment. 

  5. Simon says:

    You mention building traffic, to me this is the name of the affiliate marketing game once you learn the how to write quality content on a regular basis.

    I am currently finding Google+ the most powerful social media platform to accomplish getting posts ranked, even in a website’s early days.

    When I first joined the Google+ platform I was inexperienced and never shared any other peoples links until I realised a few others were sharing the odd link of mine.

    I returned the favour by sharing theirs and then I noticed every-time my links were shared by others, Google usually shared those shared links on the first page of Google search when you type in your web post title into the search bar.
    This is powerful stuff for a website’s early day and shows the importance of a shareable society.

    Thought I’d share your excellent post on Google+,
    Simon.

  6. Nikos says:

    Hello Simon,

    I agree with you that Google+ is a pretty powerful social media platform. Thank you for sharing my post on your Google+ account. 

  7. Weston says:

    Great article! It’s neat to know that affiliate marketing is one of the oldest ways to make money online and to see how it’s changed so much over the years. It’s crazy how much online sales have increased in such little time. Like you said, it’s more convenient to buy online and new/better return policies make online purchases increase that much more.

    When I first got into affiliate marketing I had the idea to build several different websites in different niches to try to earn money faster, but, thankfully, the training I went through discouraged me from doing that. After building just one website, I now understand how much work it would be to keep up on several websites at a time.

    Thank you for the helpful list of tips. From your list I found that I still need to disclose my affiliate relationships and add a call to action. Like you explained, this will build trust with my followers and help them know what I want them to do.

    Thank you!

    Weston

  8. Alok Singh says:

    A very informative site for newbies like me who are new to affiliate marketing. Newbies are normally in a hurry to make money instantly and hence, forget to focus on the main purpose of the blog which is quality content creation. If one does not follow this properly then one is doomed to fail in the long run.

    And patience is the key here as it is rightly pointed out because it is not a get rich quick scheme where you will become rich overnight. It is a slow and gradual process but once it starts gaining momentum then one can truly realise the power of the internet.

  9. William says:

    I am doing affiliate marketing for a year and these and these 10 strategies are certainly awesome, your first point is the one I get stuck on – FOCUS ON THE NICHE – I have been doing 3 different niches and I would have to say I am failing in all 3, I find it so difficult to become an authority and I am way to scattered to manage all 3.
    This post has certainly puts things into perspective – I really do appreciate these tips.
    Social media I am also struggling with – I tried facebook boosts but didn’t work out as I planned – can you provide any tips on how best to do FB boosts?

    • Nikos says:

      Hello William,

      Boosting posts on Facebook almost never works. I know how that sounds but i have also tried Facebook boosts with no results. So, i tried to find out why that happens and how to use Facebook ads effectively. 

      Here is why that happens:

      Blog posts are usually meant to be educational, entertaining or just about sharing some kind of information about a specific topic with your readers. But if you think about it informational posts are not really designed to convert people into customers. That’s why the moment you stop paying for a FB boost all the traffic disappears. 

      You also need to be a very good copywriter in order to make money with FB boosts. I am not. Most people aren’t. It takes a lot of practice to become a good copywriter. 

      So, what should you do?

      In my opinion it’s better to use Facebook’s Ad Manager. You will find that if you click in the top right corner of your page. In the drop down menu you will something called ‘Create Ads’. Click on that. You just have more control over who sees your ad and more options are available to you. You can choose the action you want people to take when they see your post. 

      It might take a little bit more time to create your ad using that compared to just boosting a post but the results can be much better. Also, since not every post is worth you money use Page Insights to see with which ones your fans are engaging the most. 

      Finally, you can increase your conversions if you drive people to your landing page or directly to the page where you tell them to buy the product/service you are promoting. In other words, the majority of those visitors may never visit your site again but you will actually make more sales. It sounds risky but if your sales page is properly designed you will convert more people to customers. 

      I believe that technique could help you. 

      Thank you, for your comment. 

  10. Jacob Schilling says:

    Hi, thanks for this informative article, I feel that it will help me with my future endeavors. I really want to get involved within my niche, but every post I get, and share on social media, while I do occasionally get them to view my website, I usually never get any real interaction. This really causes me to struggle with building and interacting with my audience since I can never seem to get anyone to organically react.

    Do you have any suggestions for me to get more people to react organically to my content?

    • Nikos says:

      Hello Jacob,

      Well, i know it might sound like a cliche but content is everything. You must create engaging content. My post 10 writing tips for bloggers could help you with that. Also, your content could be a lot more than just text. You could use infographics and videos on your blog posts. They are shared a lot more on the social media compared to posts that are just text. 

      Create strong and relevant call to actions that grab people’s attention. You could also provide your visitors the option to subscribe to your blog or an email newsletter. Returning visitors usually engage and interact with your content a lot easier compared to a new visitor that just landed on your site.

      You could try using a live chat in your website so you can directly engage with your visitors. 

      Try to make your website as easy to navigate as you possibly can. Link internally to useful and related content to help your visitors find more information. 

      Engaging and interacting with your audience may not be the easiest thing in the world but it can be done. One of the best ways is to ask yourself what makes you interact with other people’s content? 

      I hope the suggestions above will help increase your visitor’s engagement. 

      Thank you for your comment. 

  11. Janina says:

    Great and helpful article! Good work!
    xoxo Janina
    http://www.janinaloves.com/

  12. Denise says:

    This is a very detailed and well written post, I will make sure to apply these tips as I grow my blog, am only in my first month, thanks for sharing

  13. Gabriella says:

    This was a great article! It was very informative! I will definitely be applying these tips to my affiliate marketing strategy!

  14. Mini says:

    Amazing article!
    I am a newbie and have just started with affiliate marketing. This article is indeed helpful and explains the key concepts of affiliate marketing in detail. Also, I agree that patience is the key.

  15. Michael says:

    Hey. I run a blog for about 8 months, what it’s you wrote, that it’s not worth to add links to every post when you have no traffic it’s true. I focused on writing useful content all the time and I did not focus on adding banners or links. It was worth it because Google loved my website much faster and started to see traffic after about 6 months. Thanks for this interesting article.

  16. Danis says:

    Great post. Keep up the good work. Shared on Facebook.

    Good job.

  17. AnnetteCristina says:

    Great article! Number 4 is definitely something that many affiliate marketers fall into. So, for instance, lots of people were making good money selling top tier products through MOBE (My Online Business Education) until the FTC, using its Gestapo tactics, shut everything down overnight. Guilty first before proven innocent seems to be the prevailing motto.

    Not to get off the point, thousands of affiliate marketers were instantly cut off. I was still in the early stages and I was able to recoup all my costs but many more were not so fortunate. That incident cemented the lesson in my mind, NEVER put all your eggs in one basket!

    • Nikos says:

      Hell Annete,

      Thank you for your comment but i don’t actually agree with you. In my opinion FTC should have shut down MOBE years ago. It’s definetely a program i would never recommend to anyone as it was designed to make as much money from their members as they could. And the majority of their members lost their money and never earned anything.

      So in my opinion FTC did you a favor. Programs like MOBE are the worst way to learn affiliate marketing and start a business online.

  18. Stiger says:

    Which is the best marketing strategy for my tour company am in Tanzania

    • Nikos says:

      You should try a number of strategies yourslef to find out what works for you and your business. The affiliate marketing strategies mentioned above worked for me and i believe they can be used in any niche.

  19. Jasmine N Williams says:

    Yeah, it’s REAL hard to get people to buy the products that I endorse. Maybe they don’t have the money at the time I posted.

    • Nikos says:

      Hello Jasmine,
      There are a number of reasons why this could be happening. The key is to accurately define your buyer personas. What is that they are looking for and how the products you promote can satisfy their needs. Affiliate marketing is all about helping your target audience solve a problem.

      Thank you for the comment,
      Nikos

  20. Ayodeji says:

    Great content, my problem has always be the niche until I made researches on selecting a good one. The most important part of building a blog is to find the right niche, which is often overlooked. If you choose a niche with too much competition, high – level websites will beat your blog down. If you choose a smaller, demand – free niche, your blog will hardly make an impact. You need to find a niche in the middle and an easily monetizable niche as well.

  21. Adamuts says:

    I absolutely love what I read in this insightful article because it is full of great information. This is fascinating and interesting to me. This article must be read by newbies, I really found the article very helpful though am yet to apply them to my affiliates marketing. I must bookmark this page and read over and over again till it get sink into my memory. I would love to Share this insightful post. Best regards 

    • Nikos says:

      Hello Adamuts,

      Thank you for your comment. I really appreciate it and i am glad you find my post helpful. The strategies mentioned above helped me and i believe they can help any newbie. 

      I wish you all the best 

      Nikos

  22. Tolu says:

    Nice one.I like your post. Thanks for sharing your strategies. You have said it all. A lot of people are using affiliate marketing to augment their income through their websites. Your post has highlighted some of the mistakes I made when I started as an affiliate marketer three years ago. I wasn’t patience; I didn’t use a call to action in my post, and I was expecting much without concentrating on building my traffic. I’m book marking this post.

  23. Seun Afotanju says:

    Thanks for this informative post indeed Many people who try affiliate marketing give up way too soon if they don’t see immediate success. Set realistic expectations at the beginning and carefully monitor your statistics to see what is working and what is not and makeep changes when necessary. I will apply these strategies to my affiliate marketing skills to improve more.

  24. Yormith96 says:

    This article is a good one I started affiliate marketing around 2010 but quit alonged the line because I was not getting the necessary traffics needed but now I see most mistakes I made was targeting more niches and not focusing on one. Also did not do more research on the products so as to get more information about it… Lastly as being impatient. Maybe if I had made more research on how affiliate marketing works, that would have helped alot. Thanks for the insights 

  25. RoDarrick says:

    Oh! This is golden to me I must say, I have heard alit concerning affiliate marketing but I never realised the basic knowledge to get started you have given some helpful tools here that I’m sure would help my development as I begin my affiliate marketing journey. Though I have a little knowledge on blogging but it seems I need to learn more than just blogging to succeed as an affiliate marketer. Thanks so much for this and I will surely bookmark for later use. Thanks

  26. I swear having patience is the hardest part. I tend to put together a great post and expect it to generate sales, but forget that it takes a while to generate enough traffic to make it happen. Thanks for the reminder!

    • Nikos says:

      Hello Jen,
      Having patienece is the key. Affiliate marketing takes time (at least in most cases) but it’s worth it.

      Thank you for comment,
      Nikos

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