Mistake #1: Not being aware of the terms and conditions for each campaign. They vary and you are responsible for knowing and following them. For example, your Amazon affiliate links cannot be in emails, closed Facebook Groups or anywhere not publicly online. Ever. Also, you can’t use the Pretty Links plugin with Amazon affiliate links.
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.
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.
“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.
Ultimate Bundles. Every year a huge bundle of products are released at a significantly reduced rate. These sales can be quite lucrative for affiliates. Click the link to see if any of the upcoming bundles are in your niche.
I only recommend products as an affiliate that I’m extremely very familiar with—preferably products that I’ve used before and have helped me achieve something. If I’m not confident in the product and I don’t feel it will positively help people, I will not promote it.
For example, when I began teaching others how to start their own blogs in 2010, it was a no-brainer to recommend the hosting company I was already using. I became an affiliate and have made thousands of dollars since.
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!
When I first started in affiliate marketing, all I wanted was to just make money. Off I ran in every direction, trying everything, with no real idea of the mistakes I was making that could very well affect my chances at long term success.
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.
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.
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:
Don’t be afraid to offer suggestions to affiliate program managers. Be proactive in offering advice or expertise to companies you work with if you know of ways to improve their sales page etc. After all, it’s a win for you and them.
Once you are cleared to promote a particular product and you understand the terms for that campaign, look through the list of available graphic and text links for that product. Copy the HTML code provided. This code has your unique ID in it. Use this link whenever you link to the product.
People want to hear from other people when making a decision to buy a product or not — that’s why the reviews on Amazon products are so powerful. Those reviews are genuine feedback from people who (usually) have absolutely nothing to gain if someone buys that product or not.
Don’t be afraid to appeal or apply again. If you apply to a program but you don’t get accepted, see if there is an indication of when you can reapply. If you don’t see anything, email the affiliate manager and ask if you can apply again and if so, when would be the right time. Be respectful and kind in your email, not defensive.
What are the terms of the program? Is there anything I need to be aware of that would make a program not worth it for me. For example, Amazon Associates does not allow you to put your affiliate links in emails. If your main method of communication with your audience is via email, Amazon might not be a good fit for you. Wayfair, for example, does not allow their affiliates to post affiliate links on Pinterest or any other social media site. If that’s a strategy you rely on, Wayfair might not be a good fit for you.
Until 2017, Amazon offered a stepped commission structure so that affiliates who sold a lot of products were paid a higher commission than those who sold little. However, Amazon eliminated this structure and began using flat commission rates for different types of products. While this is likely to continue evolving, examples of the commission structure in 2018 are as follow:
Will my target audience realistically buy this now, or at a different time? Be sensitive to sales cycles and seasons. Maybe you should avoid holidays (when people are away from their computers, like July 4 in the U.S.) or maybe you should target holidays (like the day after Thanksgiving), but know the difference. Again, know your audience. Plan your content accordingly.
Some people remember the 1990’s as a tremendous period of growth for grunge music and Jim Carrey films. While this is true, most people will probably tell you the 90’s were responsible for this big, beautiful, technology called the World Wide Web (aka the internet, the web, the vast digital ocean of information at our finger tips). And with any new technology or media, companies quickly realized they had a new opportunity to market their products and services to consumers via the millions of websites they visit every day.
However, you can still make money as an affiliate even if you don’t have tons of traffic. I have a fraction of the traffic many fellow affiliate marketers have and yet my income rivals and in some cases exceeds theirs.
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.
Avoid resource heavy widgets and plugins. There are a lot of tools you can use to share affiliate links on your site, such as carousel widgets or dynamic images. I don’t recommend using these as they slow your site down. Stick to your basic HTML and use your own images when you can. Speaking of images…
Also, make sure you have a disclaimer on your website that advises your audience that you may have links that promote affiliate offers. This is necessary for several affiliate programs and also a basic courtesy to your website visitors. In the U.S., the FTC mandates disclosure for affiliate marketers (and anyone issuing endorsements), as well.
Be sure to check what kind of customer support you can expect from your affiliate program once you have signed up. Do your research online and if possible, speak to other sellers using the program to get their thoughts. Can you speak to someone via phone or Skype or do you have to wait 72 hours for email responses? Be clear on this because trust me, you will need support at one point or another.
You don’t control the product or service. Just like you don’t control your audience’s experience with an advertiser, you don’t ultimately control the product or service itself. If they don’t like the product, it can reflect poorly on you as well.
This is obviously a crucial factor to consider. You might come up with an idea for a niche you know a lot about, but are there affiliate programs for the niche? No affiliate program = no sales. Time to look for a different niche.
If your site is about children’s books and you promote car insurance, at best you’ll look like you don’t know what you’re doing. At worst, you’ll be branded a spammer. Once you develop a bad reputation as a spammer or an “out to make a quick buck” type of affiliate marketer, it’s incredibly difficult to go back.
If you want an even faster way to get your affiliate marketing set up, I recommend looking at one of our paid products, either AffiloBlueprint or AffiloJetpack. You can learn more about them here: http://www.affilorama.com/products
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.
Take advantage of marketing tools whenever possible. Many affiliate programs offer useful resources to their affiliates aimed at helping affiliates make more sales. These range from monthly newsletters highlighting upcoming sales, tips or affiliate case studies, Facebook Groups just for affiliates, private webinars explaining marketing strategies in depth and more. Ultimate Bundles does this exceptionally well.
When I first started, my overwhelming (and totally naive) impulse was to fill my pages with words and links that screamed “BUY THIS NOW!”. I didn’t help the reader learn why they should have this product. I only wanted them to click a link which would hopefully lead to a commission for me.
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.
Great tips! Since I just started blogging in January I am still really just getting my toes wet in affiliates. However, I did notice that pictures and real life demonstrations of the product really help. For instance, I have several food posts where I talk about my favorite cook books and show what I have cooked out of them, and then included amazon links, sure enough I sold a few cook books.
What is the cookie length? A cookie is triggered when an audience member clicks through one of your affiliate links. It tracks their browsing activity and gives you credit for actions they take, like making a purchase or taking an action. The longer the cookie length the better.
Hi Warren. The best thing to do in your situation is to simply break the process down into steps—like the steps laid out here. Make it your goal to take on one thing at a time, then tackle it as quickly as possible.
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.
Welcome! Chances are, you’ve landed here because you aren’t quite sure how this whole affiliate marketing thing works. Maybe you’ve discovered CJ Affiliate by Conversant (formerly Commission Junction) while searching the web for online marketing solutions, or maybe you’ve heard of affiliate marketing but still don’t know: what is affiliate marketing? Thankfully, some good folks at CJ want to help you master the art of affiliate marketing and how to make more money online.
In the world of affiliate marketing, an advertiser can be a company selling a product like electronics, airline tickets, clothing or car parts, or an advertiser could also be an insurance company selling policies. The most important thing to remember is that you are an advertiser if you are ready to pay other people to help you sell and promote your business.
Do they have a good reputation among other affiliates? This is one reason why being involved with other affiliate marketers is valuable. If you haven’t heard of an affiliate program before, ask around.
The easiest way is to go through our training modules and lessons. We cover everything you need to know, from how to do the keyword research to marketing techniques to increase traffic and grow your audience. You can find those lessons here: http://www.affilorama.com/lessons
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.
Building an engagement or following is mostly done through social media. The first step is having a Facebook page or a Twitter account of your website so you can share new posts and other relevant info to others.
If you have built up an email list, you could also promote your affiliate offers via email promotions. Just make sure you build up a relationship with your audience first instead of going for the hard sell straightaway. The emails you send out must contain your affiliate links to products so when your audience click through. the sale is attributed to you.
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?
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