Mistake #2: Using the “They must not be my people” excuse to be spammy. I’m not a fan of this common tactic. Here’s how it works: people send a huge number of sales/promotional emails to their list with no warning and with no easy way to opt out. When people complain or unsubscribe, they put it on them (“Oh well, they aren’t my type of subscriber anyway…”), instead of taking responsibility for the spam (let’s call it what it is). What ever happened to “treat others the way you want to be treated”?
For example, if you routinely talk about grilling meat, recommending your favorite butcher knife is probably a natural fit. If, however, you talk about landscape design, your favorite butcher knife is probably not a natural fit.
Will my target audience realistically buy this product? Put yourself in your audience’s shoes. What are they most likely to buy? If your blog is mainly about frugal living, your readers probably aren’t going to buy luxury products, so promoting high-end clothing might not work so well.
Many affiliate programs will often run promotions with good discounts or giveaways that might be attractive to your audience. For example, if you’re an Amazon Associate and the site have a big Holiday Sale, it would be the perfect opportunity for you to promote discounts to your website visitors. This is a great way to promote your offers while also providing good value to your audience.
Mark, WordPress isn’t just for blogging. You can build a static site using WordPress and have your blog integrated so users just need to click on a tab to see your latest posts. That works better than setting up a redirect or sending them to another site or having to cobble something together yourself. There are tons of additional plug-ins for WordPress to enhance its features and capabilities.
2nd tier. If you are an affiliate for a particular program and you refer others to sign up for that affiliate program, a 2nd tier program will pay you when the affiliates you referred make sales. For example, I am an affiliate for Ultimate Bundles. If you join their affiliate program via my 2nd tier affiliate link here. I will get a small percentage of any sales you make going forward.
Do they have a lot of products I could promote? Note that you can become an affiliate for large companies once, and then promote any of their products. For example, you can become an affiliate with Amazon (“Amazon Associate”) once and promote any of their products.
Reach out to the affiliate manager. Most programs have at least one person tasked with managing affiliates. Don’t spam, don’t whine and don’t badger them, but make a personal connection with them if you can.
Thanks for the great tips. Sometimes, I have a big image of a product at the top of a post and a smaller image elsewhere. These products perhaps are offered at more than one merchant that I have affiliate status with, so I may link one image to one merchant and the other to another merchant.
These are great because they are an easy stepping stone into a sales funnel without jumping immediately to a sale. A lot of people are willing to grab a freebie. If the advertiser is skilled a nurturing them in the sales funnel, they are more likely to purchase in the end.
The more affiliate programs you join, the longer the list of things to track. Affiliates handle this differently. Some keep very close tabs on everything they earn in every affiliate program. Others simply trust the payouts to arrive as they should.
Amazon will not pay you unless your affiliate sales reach a threshold of $10 if you choose to be paid by direct bank deposit or Amazon gift card, or $100 if you want to be paid by check. If you fail to reach the threshold, your affiliate balance is carried over to the next month and added to the sales you make then. Amazon pays affiliate sales at net 60 days, so, for example, sales that reach the threshold at the end of January will be paid in late March.
Would I recommend this product to my mother or best friend? It’s tempting to recommend something when there’s a commission attached. But would you encourage your mom or best friend to spend their time and money on this thing? Be honest.
Start with a blog, where your content is always available. By itself, an email list can be hard to start if there’s not a place (like your blog or website) where potential subscribers can get to know you first.
Pick a niche you are passionate about, and confirm other people are passionate about it. the best way to do this is to type the main keyword of your niche into Amazon’s search box. If you see dozens and hundreds of products related to your niche (with lots of product reviews) it’s typically a good niche to get into.
Affiliate marketing is a business that requires self-motivation and focus. For many of us, these are learned skills. Once you are aware of the the mistakes that can cause a lack of profits and productivity, you will be better able to grow your business and be profitable long-term.
Do I have legitimate experience with this product? If you don’t, pass. Being unfamiliar with a product you promote is risky for two reasons. First, if it turns out to be a dud, the trust you’ve built with your audience is damaged. Second, if your audience has questions about it, you won’t know how to answer.
“Tools I Use” or “Things I Love” page – Many readers enjoy seeing a handy list of your favorites, plus it’s an easy and excellent way to highlight some affiliate links. Here’s mine. Refer to any posts you have written about that tool / resource or include a description of how it has helped you.
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The easiest and most common way to start building an audience for a website is via social media. Depending on your niche and industry, you can choose from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and several other niche and location-specific networks. Building up an engaged and interested following on social media is a great opportunity to build relationships and once you have their trust, promote your products and services to them.
Once your hosting is set up, you need to install a content management system (CMS) for your site. We recommend WordPress because it is easy to use and a beginner (like you!) can quite quickly figure out how it works. Most good hosting providers will have a one-click install option for WordPress, which means it will only take you a couple of minutes and you will have WordPress installed on your site.
For example, The Wire Cutter is focused on writing reviews of several different kinds of products and helping their readers make the best decision about the product they want to buy. After reading a review on their site, if the user clicks through to the product/service using the affiliate link, The Wire Cutter will earn a commission from.
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Write honest, real reviews about products. Build up trust with your audience, and remember that they rely on your opinion. Don’t just point out all the positives of a product and gloss over the negatives. An honest opinion will be valued. Add compelling images and make mention of useful features, specifications and other details.
For more details on how to choose a reliable host, make sure to read our free lesson on What to Look for in a Hosting Provider. Some affordable and reliable hosting providers we recommend are GoDaddy, HostGator and BlueHost.
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