10 Tips to be Great at Affiliate Marketing
In my blog ‘Affiliate Marketing Demystified,’ I figured out what affiliate marketing is. I explained how it works, how to get started and what its pitfalls are. In this blog, I am ready to take it a step further and give you tips. If you are a newbie to affiliate marketing, it is better to read that blog. If you have gained some affiliate marketing experience and want to be great at affiliate marketing, this blog helps you to improve your affiliate marketing skills.
A reminder of what affiliate marketing is
Entrepreneur.com defines affiliate marketing as “a way for a company to sell its products by signing up individuals or companies (“affiliates”) who market the company’s products for a commission.”
It says that there are two ways to approach affiliate marketing:
- Offer an affiliate program to others.
You will pay your affiliates a commission fee for every lead or sale they drive to your website. Your main goal should be to find affiliates who will reach untapped markets.
- Sign up to be another business’s affiliate.
It is all about extra revenue. Think about your customers’ needs: what other products or services would interest your site visitors? Join those affiliate programs. They can increase your sales with no upfront cost to you.
Tips to be great at affiliate marketing
Here are some tips on how to be great at affiliate marketing. They focus on the second approach to affiliate marketing mentioned above.
1. Seek to meet your audience’s needs
Your reader is most important in monetizing your blog. When you meet your audience’s needs with your recommendations, your audience will be far more likely to take action. If you want to be great at affiliate marketing, you have to get to know your audience. Discover their needs. Ask them questions about their pain points, what they enjoy, and how they use your blogs.
Yogita Aggarwal claims that if you are trying to promote the wrong products among your audience, you are sure to fail: “Market research is the first step. You cannot build a niche without knowing what people want. You have to be attentive to the language that your target audience speaks when no one is watching them.”
2. Only promote what you truly believe in
I agree with Daniel J. Lewis when he says that when you promote something, it is a form of endorsement from your reputation. Consider carefully whether you believe your audience will be helped by what you are promoting.
It is okay to use affiliate links to things you may not like. For instance, if you write a comparison or review, you may prefer one product or service over the other. However, not everyone will agree with your conclusion; your criticism may even convince them why they want the thing you do not recommend.
You do not have to limit yourself to what you have used, but you should at least research anything you recommend. In addition, you could write down the research you do for a purchase you are about to make, so others do not have to do the same. You can include links to all the products you have researched.
3. Become an ambassador
Rather than merely being a catalog of recommendations, promote the product or service as if it was your own or you had some vested interest in it.
Lewis offers some ideas:
- Make a review and explain why you like the product or service, especially why you like it more than alternatives.
- Make tutorials showing how to use the product or service.
- Create a landing page that educates your referral on one’s decision instead of merely pointing one to the product page.
- Offer to help your audience with the decision or with the thing you recommend.
- Create a bonus for high-value affiliate/joint-venture (JV) deals.
Becoming an ambassador for your recommendations will help your audience make its decision, help you build further influence and authority for yourself, and it may even open a relationship between you and the provider.
4. Give simple calls to action
If you are going to recommend a product, ensure the process for your audience is as simple as possible. If you have to give instructions beyond visiting a simple URL or promo code, then try to simplify. You can best give your audience a simple and memorable URL and include it in your content.
5. Comply with laws, terms, and commonsense ethics
It sounds simple, but complying with the law is one of the most basic things you need to keep in mind. Money makes things complicated. It is best for you to disclose when you will be compensated for a recommendation.
Lewis claims that this can feel tricky, because your audience may think you are compromising your morals for a few dollars. That is the reason why you need to invest in your authority, reputation, and influence. The way you promote the affiliate deal can also inspire suspicion or trust.
Your relationship with your audience is worth far more than money, so you need to be very careful and respectful of that relationship and your own reputation.
6. Do not sell everything
It is important to choose your affiliate products wisely and to sell a manageable number of products only. This way, you can really focus on them. If you overload yourself with many different products, you will lose focus and not make money.
7. Stop selling and start helping
Being successful at affiliate marketing has nothing to do with being pushy, bombarding your visitors with unnecessary hype or flashy banners. People want to be listened to and they want you to acknowledge their problems. Help your audience by solving their problems.
Ellen [no last name] from Internetmarketingfrenzy.com says that selling may bring customers for a day, but being helpful will bring customers for a lifetime.
8. Comparing is awesome for conversion rates
Ellen says that “a really awesome tactic I learned in affiliate marketing was to compare your main product with other similar products. When people are making a choice to buy a product, they tend to have their options narrowed down and they need help with the decision. This is where your help comes in.”
She advises you to research two other products that are most likely to compete with your main product. Get affiliate links for all the products you are comparing and create a comparison chart to see which one converts the best. This way, you will be able to see which product is most interesting to your visitors and you can move the best converting product to the top of your affiliate marketing page. That is how you make money!
9. You must avoid distractions
You need to avoid distractions. Do not start promoting one product and then all of a sudden stop doing so, because you see a new affiliate product and start promoting that instead.
Ellen says that “the key to making much money in affiliate marketing is to stay 100% focused. Stick to one thing and work hard at it. It is then that you will start to see money rolling in.”
Aggarwal agrees: “Do not diverse on selling anything and everything. Niche contributes significantly to your success. Target a specific audience and stick to particular products. Try to find products and services related to it rather than going haywire and getting into a different category altogether.”
10. Be patient; it takes time
Affiliate marketing is a slow process. Once you find the target audience, you need to market yourself to build a reputation and to generate traffic. The result will follow.
Affiliate marketing is all about trust. Do you care when a stranger recommends a product or service? Probably not. You will probably listen more closely when a friend or a trusted source says something. Aggarwal, therefore, urges you to build that trust among your audience.
Be great at affiliate marketing
Hopefully, these tips help you improve your affiliate marketing skills and results! If you want to be great at affiliate marketing, you may want to read more about affiliate marketing trends and myths.