By Lynn Truong
Affiliate marketing can be a big source of revenue. The key to maximizing your affiliate earnings is engaging your readers. Unlike traditional ads where you are paid for impressions or clicks, affiliates are only paid if or when a specific action is performed. The action might be something as simple as signing up for a newsletter to submitting their zip code information up to having a sale completed. Regardless, you are not paid until you’ve compelled your readers to take some type of action.
With that in mind, here are the Top 10 Commandments for affiliate marketing success.
The most successful way to use affiliate programs is to only promote products, services, and offers that match the needs and wants of your audience. Consider why they are coming to your site, joining your email marketing list, or following you on social media.
What are you providing that they are looking for? Make sure the affiliate products you are promoting provide a solution to your audience’s problems.
If you are writing about sports, don’t put up affiliate ads for printer toner just because everyone has a printer and those programs have a high payout. The people who are coming to read commentary or get stats for their favorite teams aren’t thinking about those things when they’re on your site.
The more relevant the ads are to your readers, the more likely they will use them. An interesting way of looking at affiliate marketing is this: educating your audience about relevant products and services they may be interested in can be considered a value added form of content.
If you haven’t yet started and are still trying to decide what market you want to serve then see this article on how to pick a profitable niche for your online business.
The bottom line here is to promote products that are directly relevant to the audience you are serving. The more relevant the offers; the more sales you’ll generate.
Readers are savvy. They know an affiliate link when they see one. If you break their trust by promoting a product you don’t believe in or take advantage of their visit with too many ads, they will leave and never come back.
It is your repeat visitors that will drive traffic. They are the ones who will give you linkbacks, spread the word, and recommend your site as the go-to place for valuable content. You need to build a relationship based on genuine content.
If your visitors don’t think you’re being honest or think that you are only recommended products and services due to a profit motive, they won’t read anything else you have to say.
If you promote products and services that aren’t high value, they’ll lose trust in your recommendations and stop acting on them; costing you sales and profits.
With this in mind, you’ll want to make sure that your #1 priority is adding value to your website visitors and email list. Only share products that you know are relevant, useful, and can truly help them.
If you do that, you’ll make much more money in the long run with repeat sales.
Think of affiliate ads as additional resources that complement your content. Give value to your content by making it helpful, useful, and informative.
Don’t put up a list of your favorite books, hoping people will click on the affiliate link, purchase the books (just because you listed them), so you can cash in on a sale.
Take some time to write a detailed review, and use affiliate ads to point them in the right direction if they decide to act on your information.
Even better, if you have a personal testimonial or case study to share; write a detailed post about it then include your recommendation with your affiliate link in your review.
That’s what affiliate ads are for. If you write a great review recommending a book and readers buy the book because of it, you should get affiliate sales sales credit for that.
But just throwing out links to products with no rhyme or reason will result in a quick exit by visitors who don’t take any action at all.
Remember the main idea: always provide valuable content that adds value to the visitor experience. The sales will follow.
Always disclose your affiliations. Your readers will appreciate your honesty and will feel better about contributing to your earnings. If they sense that you are being less than honest about your affiliations, they are savvy enough to bypass your link and go directly to the vendor just to avoid giving you referral credit (even though the price is the same it’s just something people do; strange but true!).
Honesty and full disclosure is a necessary part to building a loyal reader base (and it’s also the law!). They know they are supporting you by using your referral links. Make them happy and eager to do so.
In some cases, not only do you want to be transparent about your affiliate relationship, you may even want to offer a bonus or some type of incentive if they take action and use your affiliate link.
This is an extremely powerful tactic that can significantly increase the amount of affiliate sales you generate and a great way to stand out from other competing affiliates.
Take the time to go through all the different options for products or services available through different affiliate marketing programs. Put some thought into which products or services your readers may need or like. Also, change the ads around often, try different ones, and use different graphics and text to see which are the most effective.
It may take some time before you figure out the best formula, and you may also find that you need to continually rotate ads to attract more attention.
In many cases the product creators will provide you with a handful of ads to use on your site, on social media, and via email. Test different ad creative to see which ones work best for you.
One thing you should strongly consider is promoting digital information products. These products are attractive for two reasons. First, they have higher conversion rates because the customers can get instant access and instant gratification when they purchase. Second, they typically offer much higher commission rates than physical products — which means more profits for you.
Also consider promoting higher priced products as well as products that renew monthly to get higher commissions and ongoing monthly commissions.
If one particular program doesn’t seem to be working for you, try another one.
Affiliate programs aren’t all the same. They offer different products, services, and payment structures. Some vendors will have better marketing and sales materials than others.
Some programs will have a lifetime payout on sales while others will limit it to 30-90 days. Some programs allow much more flexibility in the types of ad units available, as well as colors and design so it fits better on your site’s layout.
Also, check your favorite vendors to see if they run their own affiliate program. Sometimes you can go directly to the source. You’re not limited to big affiliate networks.
Integrate systematic ad testing into your strategy to maximize your profits.
By continually testing different programs you’ll see which ones convert the best and which ones your audience responds to the most – increasing your overall conversions and sales.
Also, constantly be on the lookout for new products and services that you can test and add to your affiliate marketing portfolio.
Your old content can still be valuable even though it’s no longer on your front page. Take advantage of the long-term opportunities by making sure you provide timeless content.
If visitors come across your older content first and find that it offers dated information, they will leave right away. Of course, information moves forward, so relevant content changes quickly. You can make your content timeless simply by adding links to your updated articles on your old ones.
Many platforms allow you to show “most recent” or “most popular” or “related articles” on every page, so no matter how old the article is, it will always show access to your new ones. Your old content can make money for you indefinitely.
Although writing about new and up to date information can be beneficial, another strategy is to focus on writing about “evergreen” content – that is content that is timeless.
This will give you more mileage out of your content and drive traffic for years to come, and you can always change up the products you are promoting related to the content.
The name of the game here is to have content that is relevant, useful, and up-to-date.
You’ll want to use both strategies in your content; for every two pieces of new and updated content consider writing an evergreen content piece.
Affiliate revenue grows and builds up with time. Remember that some programs offer lifetime payouts. If you refer a visitor, you may continue to make money from that one visitor even if he doesn’t come back to your site. Also, as long as you have referral links still active in your old posts, they may still payout for you.
If you focus on promoting recurring billing / continuity type products (as mentioned above) you can continually earn commissions every month on the same products which can add up over time.
As an example, if you promoted a product or service that pays a $5 commission every month and referred 100 sales; you’d make $500 in that month. At the same rate and assuming all the sales stick; after just one year that would translate into a monthly recurring revenue of $6,000.
Also, as discussed above, sometimes you may have to test different offers, products, and services until you find the best ones that are a match for your audience.
Affiliate programs aren’t a get rich quick plan, but it provides an opportunity to make passive income from your blog.
As you continue to add more content to your website, promote more products, drive more traffic to your website, and build your email marketing list, you’ll continue to grow the affiliate marketing side of your business and make more money.
Keep up to date on the latest offerings of your affiliate programs. New ad units, advertisers, and tools are constantly being added to improve usability and be more visually appealing. Small changes go a long way in motivating action by readers. You may be left out in the dust by being complacent with your strategy.
Don’t get lazy about monitoring trends and exploring new opportunities. For instance, if a certain diet or clothing trend is no longer popular you may want to remove that content and recommendation from your site; or update your post to acknowledge and reflect that.
Constantly be on the lookout for new products that are useful and relevant to your audience — the more products your promote and the higher the relevance to your audience, the more money you’ll make.
Above all else, your content marketing strategy must be your highest priority.
Your content is your foundation, the life blood on which the site exists. Without valuable and helpful content, readers won’t come. Focus on providing excellent content and the monetizing strategies will work out.
Once you start compromising your content to cater to the affiliate programs or any of the other ways to make money online, you will lose your readers. Once that happens, you will lose the opportunity to receive any earnings from any of your ads, be they CPM, CPC, or referral based.
It can’t be stressed enough that the quality of your content will be the single biggest factor in the credibility of your website, blog, or business.
Edited by Online Business/Hosting Expert Brian T. Edmondson
This article mainly covers the following topics:
So, can you really make money from affiliate programs? Well yes and no; there is money in affiliate marketing but if YOU can make money from it or not depends on a lot of other factors such as your commitment, experience, site traffic etc.
According to Wikipedia
Basically, you as a publisher will be rewarded when you help a business by promoting their products or services. So for example, if you sign up for Tips and Ticks HQ’s affiliate program and promote it’s products then you will get a commission when the visitor you send from your site makes a purchase.
Affiliate marketing is probably one of the quickest and cheapest (not the easiest) ways to start making money online as you don’t have to create any products yourself. You simply link up a buyer and a seller, and you take a commission on the sale that has been referred by you.
When you join an Affiliate program and choose the products that you want to sell, sellers provide you with a unique affiliate code that you can use to refer traffic to the target site. Most affiliate programs will offer ready made text links, banners and other forms of creative copies whereby you only have to copy the code and place it on your website to start referring traffic. When interested visitors click on these links from your site they get redirected to the product site and if they purchase a product or subscribe to a service you as the referrer make a commission.
The sellers can track your performance through your affiliate ID and the affiliate software. You also have complete, real time access to all sales and commissions stats.
You don’t need to sell products all the time to make a commission. Different affiliate programs can use different payment terms such as:
Affiliate marketing is considered to be one of the world’s fastest growing and best internet marketing techniques to earn money online and I will explain why:
After reading all the benefits of affiliate marketing if you think you will be rich over night by selling affiliate products online then you are wrong. Affiliate marketing is definitely an excellent way to make money online but it’s highly competitive too. In order to be successful in Affiliate marketing you need to know the market needs, learn how to promote products, what works and what doesn’t. The following are a few tricks on becoming successful in affiliate marketing that I have learnt over time.
The first mistake a lot of affiliate marketers make is that they register with too many different affiliate programs and try to promote everything. Pursuing affiliate marketing down this path can become very overwhelming and you won’t be able to promote any product properly. All you need in order to be successful is a handful of good products to promote. Try to understand the market needs and look for products that align correctly with the topic of your site.
Most affiliate marketers put up the ads only on their sites. There is nothing wrong with this approach but know that there are many other traffic sources that you can tap into and promote the products simultaneously. The more targeted traffic you can send to the sales page the more your chances are of making money.
Google Adwords can be used to drive targeted traffic to a sales page. You simply make an ad in your adwords account then use your affiliate link in the target page URL of the ad. Obviously, you will have to continuously measure the conversions and see if the campaign cost is less than the campaign profit in order to keep the campaign running but I am sure you get the idea.
It is a very good idea to use different product promotion strategies so you can figure out what is working and what is not. Try to do split testing and measure the performance of each campaign then take actions accordingly. Changing a few things here and there can increase your profit dramatically. Make sure to place the banner ads on different areas of your site’s pages. Some positions will make the ads more noticeable than others.
Most affiliate programs will give you basic stats that you may need but there is nothing stopping you from using your own conversion tracking software too. There are many conversions tracking sofware out there that you can use to track your affiliate campaign.
If you try to sell a product that is in low demand then chances are that you are not going to get many sales no matter how hard you try. So it is a good idea to spend a bit of time researching and finding out if a product that you are thinking of promoting is a product that your audience needs. If your site gets decent traffic then you can conduct an online survey and easily get input from your visitors.
Affiliate marketing is a very competitive field and people are always coming up with new techniques. Try to stay current with these new techniques and market trends otherwise you will fall behind.
When you promote a product you also promote the person or the company who is behind the product so try to choose wisely. You don’t want your visitors to go and buy a product following your advice then come back unhappy. Do you think that this visitor will come back to your site and take your advice again? Most likely no; this can hurt your credibility in the long run. Usually, websites/company that offer good customer service will have better customer satisfaction so try to stick with promoting their products.
If you are serious about affiliate marketing then try to find tools that will help you be more efficient. There are many helpful tools out there. If you are using a WordPress powered site then consider getting a plugin similar to the Affiliate Link Manager.
Don’t just hope and pray that visitors will buy; setup everything correctly and make it happen! If you think that visitors will click on your affiliate links and buy just because you placed dozens of affiliate links on your website then you are wrong! You need to have a structured plan in place. Affiliate marketing is a business so you will have a much better chance of succeeding if you treat it like one.
I am sure I haven’t covered everything so please feel free to share your tips in the comment area below.
Read original article at TipsAndTricks-HQ.com