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.
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.
When you do, you’ll see they run their affiliate program via ShareASale (a popular affiliate network). So, in order to be able to recommend Genesis to your audience, you’ll sign up with ShareASale first. Then you can apply for the StudioPress affiliate program within your ShareASale dashboard.
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%.
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.
Keep track of affiliate links. Use a simple spreadsheet. I use Airtable. Some people use the PrettyLink plugin to keep track of their affiliate links. (I don’t use the PrettyLink plugin because I use as few plugins as possible and some affiliate programs prohibit it since it cloaks your affiliate links.)
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.
Very well written! Thanks for sharing these tips. Something as simple as adding your affiliate link to images is one I’ve overlooked sometimes lol. What has worked the best for me is adding bonuses to the affiliate offer.
It takes time to build trust. Even though it’s easy to become an affiliate marketer, you won’t make money without an audience that trusts you first. Building trust takes time. In that way, it takes a lot of patience up front.
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.
A publisher is an individual or company that promotes an advertiser’s product or service in exchange for earning a commission. Advertisers contractually agree to work with a publisher, then provide the publisher with creative – in the form of links, banner or text ads or even unique phone numbers – that the publisher incorporates into their website.
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.
A company’s website. Think of a product or service you want to promote. Go to the website of said product. Look for a link (often in the footer) that says “Affiliates,” “Affiliate Program,” “Referral Program” or something similar. Follow the links to sign up.
When promoting affiliate offers, just make sure you are fully aware of all the terms and conditions attached to your affiliate program. Some programs can be strict about how they allow you to promote their products. For example, some may limit you to banner ads and links only, while others will allow you to use paid advertising, but won’t allow email marketing.
One last note. I’ve been asked what I think of other affiliate marketing resources, both free and paid. I’m familiar with some of them, not all. I’ve read ebooks, watch videos, bought courses and more. So far, the only paid-for course that has impressed me enough to recommend is Kayla Aimee’s Affiliate Acceleration: Impactful Strategies To Increase Your Passive Income.
Your audience’s trust. This cannot be overstated. Affiliate marketing is all about trust. When someone you trust recommends a product, you listen. Not so much when a stranger does. (In fact, if you’re like me, it often makes you skeptical.)
MY biggest struggle is knowing how to put the promotion together and having everything in place when you promote it. I would kill for a Step-by-Step hold your hand and let me show you once how to do it correctly Mapped Blueprint. I have seen lots of sales pages but when you get them from the vendor they look a lot of the times nothing like the Org sales page, have never written a sales page before and it becomes overwhelming and confusing and then totally frustrating
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.
For example, my audience is made up of people who want to start a blog and make money online but have limited time, budget and technical know-how. I can speak to this audience because that was me when I started 14 years ago!
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.
So, I have an iPhone 8. I do not have my own computer, however I do have access to libraries of course so I could use a library computer if that’s is the best option. Can affiliate marketing be accomplished on a phone? Until a personal computer is acquired?
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.
An automated marketing program where a Web advertiser or merchant recruits webmasters to place the merchant’s banner ads or buttons on their own Web site. Webmasters will receive a referral fee or commission from sales when the customer has clicked the affiliate link to get to the merchant’s Web site Web site to perform the desired action, usually make a purchase or fill out a contact form. The most common types of affiliate programs include pay-per-click, pay-per-lead, and pay-per-sale.
A way to communicate with people (like a blog, not social media). Sometimes this is called a platform. It might be a blog, a website, an email list or some other online presence where people listen to what you have to say.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Hi, Nice article. I am not sure about the process though. I can understand, finding a niche. But, when it comes to affiliate programs I get a little lost. Would I be promoting someone else’s products? If so, no problem. I know I need to research high end products with gravity, are these products ones in certain stores, or companies, etc.?? If so, do I need to get permissions to be on an affiliate program with that company? Also, if it is products with a company, then how do I offer promotions on their products since they are not mine? Thank you, Nanette Vlahusich
Great tips, some of them I am already following. It’s little hard to start initially and have some budget in mind for paid advertisement. What do you think how much budget should be sufficient for new bloggers?
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.
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.
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.
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.
With the emergence of search engines in the mid-1990’s, the internet ballooned into a massive e-commerce and information machine. Website owners were creating valuable content and providing tremendous benefits to their visitors, and these website owners wanted to be compensated for their hard work. Early forms of online advertising like CPM or fixed placement started seeing competition from emerging, more accountable forms of online advertising, like affiliate marketing. So, what is affiliate marketing?
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.
The best part of all this is that the way that I teach you how to do affiliate marketing makes it a win for everyone. A lot of people worry about getting involved with affiliate marketing because it might make them look slimy or too salesy.
Keep your company’s business goal should also be top of mind. If your goal is attracting new customers, then maybe affiliates driving that type of traffic might be offered a better rate. And you may want to look at having different commission rates for different types of affiliate s- such as coupon affiliates, PPC affiliates, and super affiliates. Each of these groups has different strengths and will need to be addressed separately. You can also offer split commissions, whereby the commission is divided among multiple affiliates that participated in the process.
My question is that my traffic comes from USA, UK and NZ. What affiliates are good for international blogs. Most affiliates are for the USA market. Most NZ’ers don’t buy from Amazon as the freight is too high.
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”?
Remember: Purchasing generic content is NOT an effective method to build your site. While it may be tempting to populate your site this way, in the long run it won’t help you to position yourself as an expert in your niche (and ultimately means less traffic and fewer sales).
Attach your affiliate link to images. In the age of sites like Instagram and Pinterest, users are accustomed to clicking images. Make sure any post images highlighting the product have your affiliate link attached. Here’s how to make an image clickable.
Are you a food blogger? What’s your favorite cookware? Create content about it. Craft blogger? What’s your favorite crafting tool? Create content about it. Photography blogger? What camera and lenses do you use? Create content about them.
Experiment. Experiment with different promotional tactics, networks, types of content, ad sizes, text links vs. images, placement on your page, etc. Sometimes there are vast differences in revenue when small tweaks are made. Try different things constantly. Just because something works for someone you know doesn’t mean it will work for you.
Perhaps you’ve seen this before. You’re in a “learn online marketing” type forum. A person publishes a post complaining that they can’t make a dime online. But in their signature line they have something along the lines of “I Made 50 Million Dollars with This” followed by their affiliate link.
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.
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