Simply put, affiliate marketing is the process of recommending one or more online products to customers. When customers purchase the product(s) because of this recommendation, the person advising its sale receives a commission from the company selling the product(s). The commission ranges from $1 to $10,000, depending on the company the person advertises for and on the product(s) sold. No affiliate marketer requires any qualifications, though good marketing and copywriting skills will always help. Affiliate marketers do not even have to have a blog, despite that being the best promotional tool. Still, there are plenty of other methods to advertising.
How to Join Up
Many companies, selling any range of products and services, often offer an affiliate program. All you have to do is sign up for it and get a unique tracking link — all for free. Then, whenever you write about that product, you use that link to recommend the company’s site, where the customer can buy the item.
Of course, not all businesses have affiliate programs. To find out if a company does have one, check the website — maybe the FAQ page in particular. Another way to find out is to search Google, typing in “(product name) + affiliate program.” That will take you to a landing page, which is a page designed to increase sales. Most programs you promote will have multiple landing pages, and running A/B testing should tell you which pages will serve you best.
It is best to start your research on affiliate marketing at affiliate marketplaces. Browse your niche to discover the top-performing affiliate programs. Or, you could observe the blogs in your niche to see what they promote and how.
So far, I have told you what affiliate marketing is and how to get started. Now it is time for you to learn how to apply it successfully.
How to Strategize
1. Choose the Right Product
The first tip is to promote only a handful of good products that align with the topic of your site. Many inexperienced affiliate marketers sign up to promote numerous products and consequently fail to promote anything well. Just a small number of products suitable for your site will do.
2. Find Additional Traffic Sources
Most people only advertise on their sites. While that is an effective approach, it is an opportunity loss; so many other, additional traffic sources exist for you to tap into and promote your products on. One such traffic source is Google Adwords. Use your AdWords account to form an ad, then paste in your affiliate link from the target page URL of the ad. Naturally, you will have to keep checking that you have a profit margin, but you should get the idea. Anyway, the more traffic you can direct to your sales page, the more chances you have to make money.
Of course, you do not want just traffic. You want buying traffic, customers. You cannot afford to let them click on your site and move on without paying any further attention to your ads. There are ways to attract positive attention, subscribers, customers. For one thing, your headlines need to be interesting and informative, to draw in readers. Do not waste time attempting to make them too clever.
For help in this area, try the following. Another thing to do is to make your content worthwhile and interesting and encourage comments. You might end your article with a question, or ask a friend to comment on every post. The more comments there are, the more people will join in, and the more people who join, the more readers and potential customers you have. Then, when you’re selling anything, it always helps to have testimonials and reviews available. Get the media involved, if you can!
3. Try Several Strategies
What else should you do? Using different product promotion strategies should help you. Do split testing, measure the performance of each campaign, and then decide what works and what does not. Just changing a few things may enlarge your profit dramatically. Also, place your ads on different areas on the pages of your site. Some positions, you will find, make the advertisements stand out more.
Most affiliate programs grant you the basic statistics you might need, but you can certainly use your own conversion tracking software to track your campaign, too. Any number of them are available.
4. Do Your Research
A fourth tip to remember is that you cannot sell much of a product in low demand. So research. Find what your audience wants. If your site brings in decent traffic, try surveying your visitors.
5. Keep Your Approach Updated
Affiliate marketing is extremely competitive. If you do not stay on top of the new advertising techniques and market trends, you will fall behind the rest of your competitors.
Yet another piece of advice to follow is that, when you promote a product, you are also vouching for its quality and for the good customer service of the company selling it. If anything about your product turns out badly for the customer, he or she will not return to your site and will spread the word about your poor marketing. After that, your sales will decrease. So, make sure that whatever product you advertise is backed by a company that will cooperate with customers.
Finally, know that affiliate marketing is a business and, for best results, should be treated like one. If you are serious about it — and, let me tell you, it can be worth being serious about –, find tools to make you more efficient about it. There are so many sources of help available. One, for people using WordPress powered sites, is the Affiliate Link Manager.
What It’s All About
It takes a lot of work to make people part with their money, so set everything up carefully, and make your advertisement irresistible. Dozens of links are not what affiliate marketing is about. You need a structured plan. If any of you have experience in this field, please comment below.