Affiliate marketing is the process of making money by promoting someone else’s product or service. You build an engaged audience and find a product that resonates with your online image. Then, you promote the product to your audience and earn a commission every time you make a sale. This is the key mantra to become successful in affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing typically involves three parties:
the merchant, the affiliate, and the customer.
Affiliates utilize various strategies to promote a merchant’s products. You can publish an authentic review of the product on your blog or YouTube channel. Alternatively, you can subtly plug the product in your weekly newsletters or social media posts. The key is to find the communication channel that your audience will most likely use. Do check out the powerful tools essential for affiliate marketing.
As an affiliate, it is also essential to maintain transparency with your audience. It is recommended that you disclose the fact that the promotion is financially incentivized. This also ensures that you comply with the FTC guidelines and help you avoid legal complications.
It is vital to understand that affiliate marketing can be used to sell tangible as well as intangible products. Tangible products include anything that has to be physically created and shipped to the buyer. Intangible products are mostly digital products such as online courses, webinars, podcasts, etc.
How to Become Successful in Affiliate Marketing
- Take time of days or weeks to pick a blogging niche. Whatever you do, don’t rush your decision.
- Write an eye-catchy headline and copy for the landing page and ads.
- If you choose a blogging niche that doesn’t align with your expertise and passions, you’ll only waste time and money. Your blogging tasks will also get harder and harder to stick to while being less rewarding at the same time.
- In marketing, you can never get to know your target audience too much. Understanding their pain points is a step in the right direction. From there, drill down to the fine details like preferred content types, social media channels, and search engine keywords.
- Leverage the information about your audience to formulate the perfect content development and distribution strategies.
- Remember, it’s all about building bridges between willing readers and the information they need and want.
- You need to believe in the affiliate products you’re promoting.
- An affiliate product worth selling is something you’re excited about. It must be an item that you genuinely want to talk about and recommend to your readers.
- If you’re ready to hunt for your first affiliate product, your next stop should be a trustworthy affiliate network. And throughout the years, the following names consistently make it to the top list:
- Amazon Associates
- Commission Junction
- Search for the brand you’re interested in on Google and add the phrase “affiliate program” or something similar. The resource page you want should pop right up in the top results.
- You need to get your hands dirty in several areas of online marketing.
- SEO, email marketing, social media marketing, influencer marketing grab every opportunity you can get to garner readers.
- Feel free to scan other websites for guidance that can help you hone these skills. Starting with on-page SEO strategies that you can use on your website without any outside help.
- Even if you perfectly execute your marketing strategies, it’ll take some time before your blog starts to generate recurring traffic.
- Blogging, just as any traditional business, can take a long time before it becomes profitable
- You may think that you have everything figured out upon launching your blog, but you really don’t.
What comes next is the fun part: actual, repeatable tactics that can increase your affiliate marketing sales.
- Unless you’re living under a rock, you’ve probably come across a number of product reviews on the web. The majority of those reviews include an affiliate link to the product in question.
- Writing comprehensive product reviews is the go-to content strategy for most affiliate marketers. However, only a small percentage of those marketers know how to write a stellar review that compels readers to buy.
- Heavily emphasize the problem that your target audience is trying to solve. You need to explain how the product solves it.
- A great product review is an honest one. Don’t make stuff up about a product you haven’t even tested yourself.
- Don’t forget to mention the advantages an affiliate product has over its competitors.
- Focus on three angles for this: usability, price, and features.
- If you have firsthand experience with the product, it should be easy to identify and write about its strengths.
- Star ratings more than make your affiliate product reviews look cooler. It’s also easier to stand out in SERPs or Search Engine Results Pages.
- You don’t need to do intensive coding to have a star ratings system on your blog.
- If you use WordPress, just slap on a plug in like Star Ratings and you’re done with most of the work.
- Sending an email blast may send a spike of traffic to your affiliate marketing content in a snap. Email marketing platforms, however, have so much more to offer under the hood than content distribution tools.
- With email marketing automation, you can optimize the timing of your campaigns. This will allow you to send the right kind of content to subscribers, when they need it.
- Top-tier email marketing platforms like ActiveCampaign can help you configure a welcome email automation workflow within minutes. You can also utilize its site and event tracking features to re-engage visitors who lost interest in your content.
- With ActiveCampaign, you can automate a follow-up email to viewers who left your site after watching half way or full.
- Here are other email automation workflows you can use for affiliate marketing:
- Birthday emails
- Automated emails to users who tried to claim a coupon code
- Upselling and cross-selling emails to recent customers
- Follow-up emails to users who completed an online course module
- If you want to maximize the ROI of your content, try promoting multiple affiliate products in one post. You can always apply in your content development efforts. But when you can, it will not only reward you with more sales, but also more engaged and dedicated readers.
- You just need to structure your content logically and figure out the right way to introduce each affiliate product.
- Writing comparison posts is a great way to highlight the pros of any product. Additionally, it gives you the opportunity to win customers who are considering a different brand.
- If you can, use a transparent scoring system to make the comparison post as unbiased as possible. I did this in my post about the best keyword research tools, where I recapped the comparison with an infographic.
- A lot of negative things may have been said about pop-ups in the past. But with the right implementation, they are effective tools that can supercharge your lead generation and affiliate marketing campaigns.
- You don’t need to be a marketing expert to know that pop-ups increase the visibility of any CTA or ad.
- Use “Scroll” pop-ups. These appear after users scroll to a certain point in your content, and also help increase affiliate sales. These pop-ups are less intrusive while making sure that readers are engaged enough to receive whatever offer you have.
- Once you get users to subscribe, leverage your mailing list by broadcasting promotions and drip-feeding content. Of course, you shouldn’t forget about the email marketing automation tactics I discussed earlier.
- To generate more conversions, provide an “opt-in bribe” like:
- Free eBook
- Exclusive discounts
- Free month for subscription-based products
- Access to an email-based course
- Discounts work with two principles: urgency and exclusivity. The sense of urgency can be instilled by offering time-limited discounts. You can offer special coupon codes tied to your brand.
- Sharing coupon codes directly on your page also prevents customers from looking for codes elsewhere.
- Make sure you target the right keywords, this will get you the right kind of traffic for your goals. And if your goal is to make sales, you need to target keywords with purchase intent.
- Adding words like “buy” and “for sale” isn’t the only thing to do when looking for profitable keywords. Use a keyword research tool that can dissect metrics, like SEO difficulty, average search volume, and CPC.
- Be action-oriented — If you want the user to make a purchase, be upfront and insert the word “buy.” The same applies if you want them to download something, subscribe to your mailing list, and so on.
- Capitalize on their fear of missing out — Just like when offering discounts, try to give potential customers a sense of urgency with your CTA. Start with phrases like “start your free trial today” as well as “reserve your spot now” and improvise along the way.
- Understand colors — When creating CTA buttons, it’s imperative that you pick a color that contrasts well with the background. For example, if blue is the dominant color on your page, try an orange or yellow CTA button.
- Write persuasive supporting content— A CTA without any supporting text is nothing more than visual clutter. If you want to compel your audience to take the next step, concisely describe the benefits to them.
- When you have to make the split analysis, the most important conversion elements for testing are –
- Unique selling point or points
- CTA buttons
- Opt-in form
- Hero shot
- Color combinations
- When running split tests, pay close attention to the performance of individual elements as well as pages as a whole.
- Try creating more page versions and pairing it up with other elements to see if conversions improve.
- Use heatmaps to skip the number crunching and dive into the actionable insights.