Watch them. How are other content creators in your niche utilizing advertising? What types of ads do they use? What are they promoting? What do they talk about repeatedly (if you keep seeing the same affiliate product show up again and again, there’s a good chance they’re making good money from it)? If you see a product or service they talk about that jogs your memory and you can ethically promote it too, find affiliate information by the methods described above.
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You don’t necessarily have to have a huge site or lots of traffic. Consider emailing an affiliate program’s contact person (look for contact info on the site or in affiliate newsletters) if you send a lot of leads their way, rank well in the search engines for a related keyword or have a high conversion rate. Make your email compelling. Read my tips here. You just have to be a good fit and provide excellent value to the merchant. Another good resource for this is here.
Do they work hard on their sales strategies? Look for companies with strong sales pages, funnels, incentives (like free, accompanying webinars) and launches. Elite Blog Academy does these things well.
Promote products you already use. What things do you use and love? Keep a list. Find the affiliate program for them. Of course, never write about a product or service you love without becoming an affiliate for it first!
Affiliate links to share. Once you have proven yourself to be a trustworthy source of information on topics important to your audience, you can begin to recommend affiliate products or services to them. This entails applying to affiliate programs and sharing your unique affiliate links for products you promote (more below).
Building an audience for your site will, in some ways, follow naturally once you start producing excellent content. An interested audience will not only bring you consistent traffic, but also result in consistent sales for you.
In addition, some market segments use a specific payment model. For example: the financial space generally pays affiliates a flat fee, while travel is typically based on a percentage of the total order that the affiliate sends to the merchant.
Amazon Associates is an affiliate marketing program run by Amazon which allows you to sell its products on your own website in exchange for a cut of the profits. This enables you to boost your product range, test new types of products on your audience or even build a full business around this and perhaps other affiliate programs. For small businesses that currently sell products online, this could represent a great source of added revenue, if you sell additional products through Amazon, without worrying about getting the products yourself. Amazon conducts the sales and ships them directly to the client.
Create a blog and create tons of content related to your niche. You don’t (nor shouldnt) sell affiliate offers in every piece of content. Ideally, you want to aim for a content to promotion ration of 5:1. This is what Google is looking for. Always keep Google happy.
Yes, the word “marketing” is part of the phrase affiliate marketing, but for the most part, our job as an affiliate is not to sell — that is the job of the sales page our affiliate links lead the reader to.
There are many affiliate networks. Many are easy to join. Some require you to apply and wait for approval. Some are by invitation only. Different affiliate networks provide different products so you’ll want to hunt around to find the one(s) that are the best fit for you.
There are several profitable niches that are also very popular among affiliate markets (e.g., weight loss). Before jumping on board with a hugely popular niche, make sure there’s enough room for you. That is — will you be able to make money and compete with already established marketers? If not, keep looking.
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”?
Will my target audience realistically spend this amount for the product? Again, your reputation is on the line here. Is the product you are thinking of promoting priced reasonably for your audience? When I was writing my ebook, I was stuck on pricing. I asked around for opinions. A number of people suggested I price my ebook at $47! Their idea was to price according to value, not size. In my mind that was crazy. My network was composed of a lot of stay-at-home bloggers, and my collective audience was comprised mostly of people without a whole lot of disposable income. There was no way anyone was going to pay $47 for my 30-page ebook.
I personally prefer to do it that way–you can create a more convincing review that’s more likely to make sales. It’s not always possible or practical, though; for example, would you break up with your significant other just to test a product for getting your ex back? 😉 In cases like that, or if the product is expensive, it’s usually best just to use the vendor’s affiliate resources instead.
It comes with tons of research and website building done for you and extensive support, including the option to get detailed critiques from us to make sure every page of your site is optimized to sell.
It can feel overwhelming to do all the necessary work involved in setting up your site and building your reputation. But trust me, once you’ve made that first sale, all the hard work will be worth it!
Understand where people are at in the buying cycle and promote accordingly. Spend the most time sharing affiliate links where people are ready to buy. For example, you can share affiliate links on Pinterest, but most people are not on Pinterest to buy but to look. As such, focusing your affiliate marketing strategy on Pinterest might not be the best use of your time. Review posts, for example, might be better at tipping people over the line into buying.
Creating blog content is a very useful and effective way of consistently building content on a site. When creating blog posts, it’s a good idea to do some keyword research to figure out what it is that your audience is interested in and searching for online. Also, be sure to research competitors, forums and social media to narrow down on topics for your blog.
Make sure you make all your affiliate links (text or images) have the nofollow tag. Here’s how to add the nofollow tag to your links. (There are plugins that do this, but given my general aversion to plugins, I prefer to add the tag manually. It’s easy.)
Commission rates vary widely depending on the affiliate program. Amazon Associates, for example, pays a tiny percentage of sales (just a few percent). Some affiliate programs (digital products especially) often pay close to 50%.
Win-win-win. The advertiser wins because they only pay when a purchase is made (as opposed to the shotgun approach of paying to advertise to the masses and waiting for a small percentage to actually buy). The affiliate wins because they make money while providing helpful advice. The customer wins because they get a trusted recommendation for something they might not otherwise have known about.
The wording of your disclosure matters. On Facebook, for example, people avoid using the word “affiliate” because it doesn’t get things seen. However, Amazon will kick you out if you use wording that isn’t clear.
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.
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.
Some good tips. I fully agree that it’s all about trust and it is always good to recommend an affiliate product that you have actually used. Why risk your reputation on a product you don’t know if it’s any good or not? If people buy one dodgy product from your site, they will probably never make that mistake again. That it why my blog strongly advocates ethical affiliate marketing. It’s the best long term stragey for affiliate marketing success.
Before I share the strategies that I’ve used to generate over $100,000 in affiliate commissions per month at this point, there are two extremely important rules I use when promoting products that are not my own. You don’t have to use these rules in order to become an affiliate or be successful at it, but it’s what has helped me grow my affiliate income tremendously over the last couple of years:
The beauty of affiliate marketing is that you don’t have to invest the time and effort to create a product to sell. You can begin selling something as an affiliate as soon as you have a platform to sell it on.
Affiliates are paid either by the vendors or the affiliate networks. I suggest you watch our introductory lessons on affiliate marketing at http://www.affilorama.com/lessons for more information on how affiliate marketing works.
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.
You’ll also need to factor in how your product rates compared to competitors in the same market. If you have the leading product in the space, you can probably get away with lower commissions. But if you are third or fourth in market share and trying to gain some ground, you may need higher commissions to lure affiliates to your program.
You will vastly improve your chances of making a good income as an affiliate marketer if you use as many available communication vehicles as possible. Email is one of the most effective communication vehicles there is. Even more so than your blog or website.
Be an affiliate marketer for offline merchants as well. We’ve all seen brick & mortar businesses offer a discount to those who provide a referral. If you have a local blog and promote the products or services of a local business, ask them how you can be included in their referral program.
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.
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