Affiliate marketing as I’ve mentioned before is one of my biggest earners across all of the platforms I provide content through. The process of affiliate marketing is pretty simple, you basically advertise products or services for other companies and if a member of your audience buys you earn a commission. To many people focus on how much commission you can get, the bigger the better right? Not always, if you have a 99% commission on a product that no one wants, or you can’t market you won’t earn a lot. But if you have a 5% commission on a well known product that is easy to talk about, you stand a better chance of earning a more regular income.
There are thousands of affiliate programs across the globe, most of which don’t have any sign up requirements. One of the more well known programs is Amazon Associates. Almost half of US households have an Amazon Prime membership and every year online purchases increase. Retail spending is always growing, so if you can find a few products to review that are fitted to your niche, why not send them over to Amazon to see if its in stock.
Although competition on the web is tough, and with Google not making it any easier by destroying websites with low content, it can be hard for new marketers to get started. There are too many formats to talk about for doing affiliate marketing, to mention a few… YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Blogs. In this article I will be focusing on websites/blogs because I think every affiliate marketer should start on the web, as it’s the hardest to gain consistent traffic. With that in mind let's get into my top 12 strategies for affiliate marketing.
Before we get going you'll need a website if you want to grow your affiliate marketing business, and Business Minded has an exclusive offer for new sites that want to get started on the right foot!
WPX Hosting is offering an exclusive discount to Business Minded readers, that included 100GB bandwidth, quick cloud CDN, 1-Click WordPress install, unlimited SSL's and much more, for $24.99/month.
To get this special offer on the quickest web hosting for WordPress just click our link HERE! (And yes, its an affiliate link!)
With that said lets dive in with number 1 on our list:
#1: Focus on one niche at a time
A major mistake most newbie affiliate marketers make is to dive into making 10 websites, 5 YouTube channels, and 20 Instagram accounts, all in different niches to try and generate income quickly. This almost never works. It is pretty much a full time job to build an affiliate site that earns money, you need passion to develop content worth reading or watching, and this only comes from focusing on what your passionate about.
Try to focus on one or maybe two niches and write content that your audience will find useful. You need to stay consistent and topical, choose a niche that isn't controversial and has a modest search traffic (you can find out what sort of search traffic you can expect from Google Trends). Once you have the focused content in place, then develop your affiliates and organize your links.
#2: Create helpful content
Google’s algorithm favours helpful content, it is based on bounce rate and the time a person spends on your site. If your content is poor and people don’t engage with it, your articles and videos are not going to rank. You are not a salesperson, you are a began of knowledge that your audience looks to for help. It just so happens that your content points towards a purchase. Don’t sell the product you are marketing, use the product to solve a problem your audience has.
Remember, your aim is to get people to trust your site, not to click random links. If you don’t believe in the product or service and you don’t have an in depth knowledge of its pros and cons, people won’t consider you a reliable source.
#3: Build your traffic
Getting people to your website is the most important part of creating an affiliate site. No traffic means no link clicks. People build a site and fill it with banners, widgets and links, but don’t actually have any real traffic. The general rule for a typical niche site is for every 1000 page views, you will earn $10-$12. Even if you spend 6 months just accruing traffic it will be worth it in the end, you may not earn a penny in the first year, but at least you’ll have a base to grow a sustainable business. Traffic now, monetize later. Case studies have actually shown that Google prefers this kind of marketing strategy.
One of the best ways to build traffic quicker is to diversify your traffic sources. Don’t just rely on search traffic. Use social media where applicable, email campaigns, or in some circumstances paid advertisement for your more competitive keywords. There is some great software you can use to help organize your online marketing, just check out our Recommended Tools page.
#4: Know your audience
Before you can offer helpful advice to anyone, you must first know what their needs and desires are. Affiliate marketing is all about offering the right solution to your audience. Understanding what people are looking for when they visit your site or channel and offering the right information is the best way to make a sale.
Listen to your audience’s questions, find out what their expectations are and help them gain the necessary information or support to reach an answer. Tailor your affiliate content around major issues in your niche. Also, pick some specific questions that your community wants answers to then encourage them to look at your more general content that filters them towards your affiliates.
It is most important to build relationships first and then attempt to promote your affiliate links. Value people over profits, then people will value your content.
#5: Research your products
Only promote reputable products that you believe your audience will find value from, don’t focus on commission size. Products that solve problems, not pay the most. Don’t make the mistake of trying to sell something you haven’t tried or researched. You should always think of your reputation first, you want people to come back to your website and try other products you recommend. It takes time to build trust between you and an audience member, one bad product will destroy that trust.
Promoting products that you already use or have personal experience with is the best policy, but if you haven’t used them, make sure they are of the highest quality with positive reviews that back your promotion and evidence. Take the time to learn as much as possible about the product you are offering and create content telling people how to use them. That way you can be sure you are promoting something people will be interested in.
#6: Don’t rely on one product or one affiliate
Promote multiple affiliate products from different merchants. That way you are protecting yourself and your business in case a product is no longer available, you face problems receiving your payment from a certain merchant, or a product you are promoting deteriorates in value.
People often make the mistake of believing that they can only monetize their site with Amazon and Google Adsense. They never look beyond the two most common affiliates on the market, and eventually they get stuck promoting the same products all the time. There are thousands of affiliate programs that you can join in almost every niche. You just have to do a little research and learn more about the affiliate networks in your specialty.
#7: Disclose your affiliations
Letting people know you are using affiliate links and earning commission can help when converting clicks. It is not only your obligation as an affiliate marketer to disclose that information but it can help your brand look more transparent, which builds more trust between you and your audience.
Although most people understand that blogs and websites use affiliate links to build income it is still important from a user’s perspective, to be honest, and upfront about your links. It also shows to your visitors that you are confident about the quality of the products you are promoting. Full disclosure is vital if you want to have loyal readers that will continue to come back and buy again and again.
Your affiliate disclosure must be clear both on a mobile and desktop computer screen.
#8: Use call to action in your posts
A call to action is simply. Telling your readers/watchers what your want them to do.
Do you want them to subscribe to a mailing list? Buy a product? Or even go to another page on your site?
Clear about what you want the user to do and also explain how to do it if necessary. Guide the audience in the right direction and make sure your call to action is relevant to the particular page/post they are reading. You will soon accumulate loads of call to action buttons or links, such as “Click here to subscribe” or “Check out why this is the best option”. You must decide on an objective before you create the link so the user pathway is clear in your head.
#9: Establish a trustworthy brand
Like I have relentlessly mentioned, affiliate marketing is all about trust. Marketing is all about repetitive brand exposure, so you want people to come back to your website. So you want to concentrate on creating solid content backed-up with facts and relative experience. You are not trying to deceive your readers by selling something you don’t believe or concealing your affiliate links. This will ultimately lead to failure as people will not return to your site, the major profits come from returning customers.
It is extremely important to establish trust. Your visitors will be your best advertisers, they are the ones who will share your posts on social media and create back-links on other websites. Establishing trust is easier said than done, but it must be the cornerstone of your marketing strategy.
By creating content that isn’t just product focused, you will be showing your audience you care about their questions and not their wallets. Investing time creating high quality content that is well researched and full of useful information will increase your organic traffic over time, and will increase conversions on your product pushing posts. Try writing “how to...” posts about recent trends in your niche and boost traffic by promotion, this is the best way to increase trust with your new traffic.
#10: Have Patience
One thing you need to know about affiliate marketing is it takes time. It takes on average 8-9 months for a blog post to reach its peak traffic, then it should be consistent until the content becomes outdated. So if you have a post promoting a product, there will be initial traffic to begin with, but once Google decides where you will rank on the search engine you will be able to gage how much money you will make from the post.
The chances of you making money in your first month is very slim. You’ll probably have to analyze your results and redesign your posts to test other products to find the ones that are ideal for your audience and fit your niche. Affiliate marketing is a long-term business model to earn money online. But if you give up early you’ll never reap the benefits.
#11: Learn More
It’s okay to ask for help. You can’t know everything about affiliate marketing, online marketing is moving, something that works today can become outdated 6 months down the line.
It’s okay to outsource areas of your business that you can’t do yourself. Such as logo design, blog writing, or video editing etc. There are hundreds of online outsourcing companies that you can try, a few to consider are Fiverr, Freelancer, and Toptal. You can also try to learn how to do tasks as you go. Many people provide E-courses or seminars, you can check out my Recommended Tools section to see which ones I liked (most of which are free). You should never stop improving your knowledge, no matter where you are on the affiliate marketing mission.
On the topic of learning more I want to introduce you to the people that helped me launch my first affiliate website. Jim and Ricky from Income School.
Project 24 is one of the best online courses for creating income from blogs, YouTube channels, and social media. The cost of the course is $449, which may seem like a lot of money however, within my first 6 months of following the course I had made my money back and them some more! Jim and Ricky are both regular guys that have a passion for making online content, they have used this passion to help everyone on this course. They give real life examples, a community of peers to bounce ideas off, and a resources page that is updated every week.
You can checkout their website Here and watch the intro video where Jim outlines the course and what you can expect!
To Sum Up
Affiliate marketing requires creative thinking, careful planning, and precise execution. You need to be organised in your approach and evaluate your success to scale your business. Above all, it requires you to have a strong entrepreneurial mindset, you must first master the fundamental principles of affiliate marketing before trying to apply them. If you follow the techniques in this article you will be off to a running start that will put you forward years of learning and researching. There is nothing stopping you from becoming a successful affiliate marketer.
You don't want to be left in the dark, check out our Recommended Tools for the top money making software on the market!
Also don't forget to look over our latest posts for new tips and tricks to financial success:
- Understanding the stock market: A beginner's guide
- 10 Online marketing hacks that actually work
- Why you should start a side hustle
Don't Forget To Subscribe To Our Mailing List For The Latest Posts!
If you want to start affiliate marketing through a blog, YouTube channel, or social media Income School's Project 24 will be the best investment you ever make.
Jim and Ricky are just two regular guys that run multiple blogs and YouTube channels that generates their company 6 figure turnovers every year. I am an active member in this course and I can't recommend it enough. It comes with a cost of $449 but with the guidance of Jim and Ricky I was able to make $500 in my first 6 months of starting my own affiliate site (Which is not this one).
It's called Project 24 because you will make a full time income from your affiliate site in 24 months if you follow this course, or your money back.
If you want more information about this course you can go here: Project 24
This is an affiliate link, but you can Google Project 24 if you would prefer. I appreciate any use of my affiliate links as it is what funds this website.