Affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by promoting another person’s (or company’s) product. Products exist in your target market right now (that people are probably already buying) and if you can become the resource that recommends those products, you can generate a commission as a result.
Always disclose. You must let your readers know when you are using affiliate links. Read my post, Are You Disclosing Properly? for more. An image disclosure or general disclosure at the bottom of your site is not sufficient.
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.
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.
Mistake #4: Promoting products that are irrelevant, low quality or unhelpful. If you lose trust by promoting bad products, you lose readers. If you lose readers, income across all income streams decreases. Only promote things that truly benefit your audience.
Keep a promotional calendar. You probably have an editorial (or content) calendar to help keep track of the content you will create. Likewise, use a promotional calendar to keep track of affiliate offers you will promote. I prefer to use my promotional calendar first and then align my editorial calendar to it.
Some of the digital products I promote cost the makers a lot of time & money to produce the content, house it, keep it updated, provide ongoing customer service, manage active Facebook Groups, deal with unhappy customers, etc. Meanwhile, I don’t have to deal with any of that, and yet I still get nearly 50% of all the sales that come through me.
Myth #2: You can’t use affiliate links in Mad Mimi or MailChimp. This is not true. I’ve used Mad Mimi since 2013 and have included affiliate links in my emails almost every single week since. Note how MailChimp explains it here. You can’t be spammy, but if you’re just using affiliate links, you should be fine.
This is another big mistake I made when starting out — joining any and every affiliate program I came across. While I absolutely do believe in cultivating multiple streams of income when working online, there is a point where you have too much to deal with and it becomes unmanageable.
However, if you are selling a niche product (with a smaller market potential – for example: commemorative and collectable plates) you may need to offer a higher commission rate to entice affiliates to join the program. You’ll have fewer affiliates but they will be highly motivated. This can result in more sales for your and ultimately more revenue.
Nothing breaks a reader’s trust more than being led to a promotion that will blow up their inbox. Put yourself in the shoes of a potential customer and see what will happen if they follow your advice.
Let no one tell you that email marketing is dead. An email list is crucial for every affiliate marketer. You can start building up your email list with a lead magnet (like the information products mentioned previously) or even just by encouraging your audience to sign up for your updates. You can then push your content to this audience via email and also direct them to your affiliate offers. Don’t be sleazy about the sales, but if you build up enough trust with your email audience; when the time comes, they will not mind purchasing a product from you.
First, don’t let this question worry you. It’s really of little consequence in the big scheme of things. In fact, it’s a minor issue in the process below. Still, I realize it can be a bit confusing, so I’ll address it here.
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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.
Always make affiliate links nofollow. Google’s goal is to provide its users with the best possible search results to their search queries. One of the main ways they figure out which webpages are the best is through links. The Google bots crawl the web, reading text. When they come to a link, it’s like an open door. They follow the link (walk through the door) and explore the site you linked to.
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.
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.
To sum it all up, making your first affiliate commission requires a bit of work but if you break it all down and follow it step by step, it won’t seem so overwhelming at all. Here’s a quick recap of what you need to do:
Along with that, Amazon is a complete SELLING MACHINE! What I mean by that, is they have drilled their conversion rates down to the last detail. Typically I can convert traffic I send to Amazon from my affiliate sites around 12%. The reason why it works so well is that the moment people land on Amazon, they are automatically switched into “buyer mode”. Meaning, they know the only thing left for them to do is BUY. What that means, is all you have to do is get people to Amazon’s site, and they literally do the selling for you.
Now that your site is set up and you’ve joined an affiliate program, you’re ready to begin perhaps the most time-consuming (but potentially rewarding) part of the affiliate business: Producing content.
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.
Be intentional about finding new products to promote. Keep a list of affiliate products to review, much like you would keep a running list of content ideas. Block out regular time in your calendar a way to hunt for new products to promote.
While following your passion is definitely the recommended option, sometimes the possibility of making money in a profitable niche trumps passion. So, you might not necessarily know much about your niche, but if it’s likely to make you money, you can always learn more about it, right?
Don’t exhaust all the information about the product with your link. Offer enough information to your readers so they know what the link is, but I don’t recommend giving too much detail on your own site for a two reasons. First, product information, like price, often changes. If you mention the price on your site and someone clicks over and finds a different price, it’s confusing. Second, many times, the product details and features are better explained by the makers of the product. It’s best to stick to your own experience on your site.
Audience fatigue. If multiple affiliates share the same audience, and all those affiliates are promoting the same thing at the same time, that audience can be deluged with promotions. This can be annoying for your audience. Hopefully you are not the affiliate that “breaks the camel’s back” and makes a customer check out altogether.
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.
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.
Hi Abdul! As you say, it’s really hard to figure out what to budget at first. It really depends on your niche and choice of keywords, and can range from five dollars per day to virtually any number you can imagine. It’s best to start researching your keywords or ad packages with the ad networks you’re interested in and see firsthand.
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