How to succeed in affiliate marketing is something that most people wonder when they’re trying to make some quick and easy bucks online.
After all, affiliate marketing is one of the most promising developments that the marketing sphere has seen in recent times.
If this thought has occurred to you too, then you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’re talking all about the tips and tricks to make it big as an affiliate marketer.
Affiliate marketing is an important revenue-generating tool in today’s world. By the year 2020, the affiliate marketing spend is expected to reach $6.8 billion in the US. In 2016, 84% of publishers and 81% of brands made use of affiliate marketing to grow their revenue.
This means that almost everyone is leveraging the power of affiliate marketing. So, if you’ve also jumped on the bandwagon and want to know how to succeed in affiliate marketing, here’s everything you’ll ever need to know.
What Does It Mean to Be an Affiliate Marketer?
As an affiliate marketer, you basically have to create content, most commonly through a blog or website. The purpose of the content is to generate awareness among your audience about the products and other offerings of a certain brand with whom you’ve collaborated.
Your content must be helpful, informative, and, ideally, should speak about your personal experience using the product for which you’re writing. The idea is to generate more sales through the recommendations you make. As a result, the brand gives you a share of their profits for the help you provide in advertising and selling their products.
But to really have an impact on the audience, you will first have to establish yourself as an authority in a particular niche and have a following of your own.
The 4 Components of Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing comprises of four distinct elements: the seller, the affiliate, the consumer, and the network.
1. The Seller or Retailer
Also known as the merchant, the seller or retailer is an individual or business selling products or providing services. The seller and the affiliate marketer collaborate with each other to promote and endorse products and services.
2. The Affiliate
This is the individual who gets into a partnership with the seller to promote the seller’s products and earn a commission on each sale. They create campaigns, design content, and use ads and links to enhance the seller’s reach and add more customers to their customer base.
As an affiliate marketer, your goal is to help consumers make the best buying decision and remove all obstacles that stand in the way of their decision to purchase a product from the seller whom you’ve partnered with.
3. The Consumer
The term “consumer” includes everyone who buys and uses products and services to meet their specific needs.
4. The Network
This is the intermediary medium or the digital platform between the seller and the affiliate. It requires involvement at varying degrees from both the seller and the affiliate marketer.
9 Actionable Tips on How to Succeed in Affiliate Marketing
The key to maximizing your earnings as an affiliate marketer is to engage your readers and provide the most value to them. It’s a process that has a slow start and you won’t be making much money when you start out but once you get the hang of things, you can actually make money while you sleep.
Here are the top 9 tips on how to succeed in affiliate marketing.
1. Know Your Audience
Before you plan out your strategy for affiliate marketing, you should know exactly who your target audience is. The products or services that you promote should match the needs of your target audience.
Consider things like why people are visiting your blog, website, or following you on social media. You have to ensure that the products you’re promoting provide the best solution to their problems and needs.
So, if you’re writing about beauty, you should not be putting up ads for mobile phones just because those affiliate programs pay you better. The more relevant content and ads your readers will find, the more likely they will engage with you and use those products.
2. Focus on Your Niche
Target a specific, well-defined audience and market only those particular products that serve your target audience well. Never try to create multiple websites serving many different niches in the hope of generating quick and substantial income.
This almost never works and is going to take up a lot of your efforts. If you’re not passionate about your niche and don’t relate to it in some way, you will run out of ideas and will not be able to demonstrate any authority. Becoming an expert in your niche is the most effective way to convert visitors to your blog or website and increase sales.
3. Know What You’re Selling
If you’re promoting products you have no idea about or don’t really believe in, you’re doomed to fail. Don’t make the mistake of selling anything and everything that comes your way because you can earn a high commission.
Always do thorough research when you’ve selected a product. See the product’s features, advantages, and disadvantages. No product stands alone in this market. Therefore, you must know why the product you’re marketing is better than all others that are available to the consumer. All of this information will make you more confident when writing or talking about the product.
It’s also good practice to use the product yourself. This way, when you review and market the product, you’re giving your readers your honest feedback on the product. As an additional bonus, you can also guide your audience as to how they can use it and answer any queries they may have. If you can’t use it yourself, at least make sure there are positive reviews about the product so that you can support your claims with evidence.
4. Choose the Right Affiliate Products
Choose products that are valuable and helpful to your target audience. You should establish yourself as the go-to source for giving recommendations of the best products that serve your niche. This serves to strengthen your reputation, and people will rely on your reviews and recommendations.
For this, you will have to take time to go through various options available for affiliate marketing programs. Keep the following things in mind when searching for products to market:
- What your readers are in need of
- Products that are within your audience’s budget
- Products that can solve the problems that your readers face
If you keep these points in mind and do the right amount of research, you’ll always choose the right products and the right companies to partner with.
5. Be Trustworthy
As a beginner in affiliate marketing, you might be tempted to write exaggerated positive reviews and details for products or services. In doing so, you will present incorrect information just to get quick sales and a higher commission. However, you will also lose your following and audience engagement as quickly as you built it.
In fact, in this day and age, it’s highly likely that the majority of your readers won’t fall for any false marketing traps. In the end, you will only lose their trust, which will eventually lead to declining sales or no sales at all!
Therefore, being honest with your content is the key to success. If the readers feel that you’re only promoting products with the intent of making money from the company, they will not be interested in reading any of your content, nor will they go with your recommendations. You will eventually lose your traffic, including repeat visitors.
6. Be Transparent
Your readers are savvy. No matter how much you try to hide an affiliate link, they will eventually find out. So it’s highly recommended that you do everything in a transparent manner, openly disclosing your affiliate relationships. This will be much more helpful in building your credibility than any false pretense.
Have a look at the FTC requirements related to digital advertising. Make sure to include an affiliate marketing declaration on every content page that you create.
You just have to play fair and put in your best marketing efforts. The rest will follow.
7. Keep Researching to Stay Relevant
If you want to be an expert in your field, you need to stay up to date on the latest trends and happenings. Research is a big part of an affiliate marketer’s job.
It doesn’t have to be a burdensome task. Just spend 35-40 minutes every day or at least every other day reading up on the latest news and trends related to your niche. You’ve got to make this commitment to keep yourself on top of your game.
It will also keep you updated on the latest offerings of different affiliate programs. New tools, ad units, and advertisers are continuously being added to improve the readability and visual appeal of promotional content.
So don’t be lazy or complacent when it comes to monitoring trends and exploring better opportunities. For example, if a certain diet or fashion trend is no longer popular, you may want to remove past content from your website or add new content that acknowledges this shift in popularity.
If your content is relevant and you’re able to keep up with the ever-changing trends in your particular niche, you will continue to enjoy a high level of audience engagement.
8. Create Content That Engages
No matter what affiliate marketing channel you use, it’s always going to be about the content. Your audience must find value in what you share. Be it a website, a blog, a Facebook post, or a YouTube video, the quality of your content will be the single biggest factor in generating better sales.
Make sure you create exciting headlines, encourage audience engagement, and hone your persuasive skills. You end goal is to have an audience of engaged people who want to share your content, would like to add to it, trust you, and go with your recommendations.
One very successful strategy in content marketing is storytelling. Share your personal stories or stories of real people who have used the products and services you’re writing about. Story-powered marketing is a great way to win over your customers.
Similarly, always prime your content for SEO before you publish or share it so as to maximize its online visibility and to build more traffic.
9. Motivate Your Customers by Giving Incentives and Rewarding Referrals
Choose affiliate programs that allow you to incentivize your subscribers. So, if you’re promoting a product or service, you can share a special discount code that only your subscribers can utilize. This strategy works both ways. It promotes more sales, and at the same time, more people would like to be added to your list of subscribers.
Similarly, word-of-mouth is really important to growing your customer base. You can create easy customer referral programs by using software such as ReferralCandy. This way, you can come up with customized rewards and giveaways for your readers who refer their friends to your website or blog.
4 Affiliate Marketing Mistakes You Must Avoid
1. Recommending Something You Don’t Trust
If you start recommending products that you haven’t used or don’t really believe in, you are surely going to fail. If you’re able to show a real, hands-on experience through your content, you will have a far better impact on conversion rates and sales. In the long run, it will result in higher retention rates and improve your overall status in the market.
2. Not Tracking Your Metrics
As an affiliate marketer, you’re constantly working online. Therefore, you need software support. Analytical tools like Google Analytics, SproutSocial, SemRush, Optimzely, etc. are like oxygen to you. You absolutely need them to stay on top of your performance and measure your results.
All the data and statistics that are generated should influence how you employ different strategies and what business decisions you make. Your impressions, click-through rates, conversions, and web traffic are of great importance to you and to the retailers or merchants you’re working for.
3. Promoting Too Many Products
Not only should you select the most well-suited products according to your niche, but you must also avoid selling too many products at the same time. It will take away the value from both the products and your content.
A wiser approach is to select a limited number of premium products from well-trusted brands. This way, you’ll be able to take your time and do in-depth research on the product and deliver more honest reviews and recommendations.
4. Doing What Everyone Else Is Doing
An affiliate marketer has to establish himself as the ultimate authority or expert in a particular niche. It’s you who has to set the trend, rather than following what others are doing.
If you want to make increasing sales, you will have to distinguish yourself from other affiliates by delivering the most authentic and fresh content. Always add your personal touch and reveal an angle that nobody else is looking at.
In order to achieve this, you have to level up your research skills as well and stay up to date with the latest trends so that you can bring them out to your audience before anyone else does.
To sum up, affiliate marketing is one of the most effective and profitable selling techniques that benefits all the stakeholders involved in the process.
We hope that this article provided you with valuable information on how to succeed in affiliate marketing. It’s important, however, to remember that it’s not a quick-rich scheme. You will have to test different programs, products, and strategies before you actually start making profits. So be persistent and patient!