Hello, it’s a gorgeous sunny spring day here in the UK, the kind of day that makes you excited about things to come! Today’s post is going to be part 4 of the affiliate marketing mini series. My hope for this mini series is that will help you get to grips with affiliate marketing so you have the confidence to give it go. If you’ve missed part 1, part2 or part 3, then be sure to go back and check them out!
Part 4 is all about things you need to know to make your venture into affiliate marketing as successful as possible. Affiliate marketing can be VERY lucrative, if done properly. I can not emphasis the importance of doing it properly! You cannot take the action of signing up with an affiliate network and just expect the money to then come rolling in. People who insinuate that this is case if you follow their system, are either telling you fibs, extremely lucky (like 1 in 10 billion kind of lucky) or perhaps a little unstable. Which ever way, do be prepared to put in some effort if you want good results.
On the plus side, if you’re prepared to put in the effort, there are lots of things you can do to really optimize the benefits of affiliate marketing and to start watching the money come rolling in.
Have A Killer, Content Rich Site
Anyone can set up a blog and start writing about whatever they like, the Internet is full of personal blogs, unfortunately most of them do not go anywhere. To gain credibility you have to have a great website or blog. The key to getting this is having a great design layout that makes sense and is user friendly and most importantly having excellent content that brings people back time and time again. Your site needs to grab the reader’s attention right away with striking images and rich content.
If you do not have a blog or website yet, that might be a good place to get started. Check out my page on ‘building a website’.
Content needs to be valuable and helpful to keep your readers coming back, but it also needs to be relevant for affiliate marketing to work. Your affiliate offers should reflect the subject of your blog and website. They should be an extension of it really, genuine recommendations, that your readers will benefit from, in the same kind of way you would tell a friend about a great new product. Your affiliate links must also add value and be helpful to your readers or customers in helping then attain their goals If you don’t have great content, that is not relevant then users will not trust your site and will not explore your affiliate links. For example if I was trying to promote an affiliate link about how to build a really good shed, (this does exist by the way) on this website, it wouldn’t do well as, A) I know nothing about building really good sheds, B) I expect most of you reading this don’t really care about building really good sheds? We care about making money online so we can pay someone to build a really good shed!
Finding The Right Affiliate Partners
Before you jump right into an affiliate program, it’s important to outline who you are looking to partner with and how you foresee promoting them on your website. You should not just blindly sign up for affiliate marketing programs in hopes of making money instantly. You need to do your due diligence about the products but also about the vendor. Have an idea about how you want your website to be perceived, and which direction you want to take it and link this in with how it will benefit the affiliates too.
Questions to ask yourself before signing up: What is my niche? What types of products can I promote on my site? Are you going to be selling actual products or information products? If you’re selling actual products for example via Amazon.com, make sure you are aware of the companies shipping time frame and methods because this could reflect back on you.
Once you’ve signed up for to an affiliate marketing network like JV Zoo, ClickBank or CJ Affiliate, you can filter the advertisers by the categories, keywords, content and the area that an advertiser will ship to. Each advertiser will have slightly different programs terms and commission rates that you have to comply with. Some vendors out there have really bad reps and this will usually be reflected in the return rate of their products.
Once you have found a vendor that has affiliate programmes with the kind of products you would like to supply, start building a relationship with, get to know them, online communication is easy available so there is no excuse. The better relationship you have with your vendor, the better relationship you will have with your customers, which will help your success for the long haul. These are all things you need to be looking into.
Be Picky About Which Products You Sell
I have already indicated that the products you chose to promote should be relevant to your site and to your readers. It’s important that you know about the products you are promoting. Ideally you should have purchased it and used it yourself so that you KNOW for a fact it’s a valuable and effective product. If you have followed the guidance about having the right affiliate partners, then this relationship will be another added layer to your confidence in the product.
The worst thing that can happen by promoting a product you do not believe in or have not thoroughly researched, is having a customer come back to you after buying it based on your recommendation, and telling you it was awful and they want their money back. This can ruin your credibility as an affiliate marketer. With respect to doing your due diligence and information products, there are a lot of scammy products out there. You need to be aware of this and have confidence that the products you are selling are trustworthy and legit. CBengine.com is a website where you can check certain stats on some products, such what is their refund rate, how well do they sell and how long they have been around.
I personally only have affiliate links on my website for products or services that I have used and found to be of value. If it doesn’t give value, it doesn’t get promoted. This does mean that I promote fewer things, but for me I would prefer to promote fewer, quality opportunities rather than lots of mediocre ones. It’s something you should think about too, remember there is no ‘get rich quick scheme’.
Use Analytics And Tracking
Once again, don’t just expect to put affiliate marketing links into your site and expect to make money. You should always keep track of what you are doing and how the links are performing. Each affiliate network should have a reporting or tracking section to tell you how each of your links are performing.
You should be monitoring these reports often to see if there are any trends emerging. For example, perhaps you’ll notice that all of the links you put in the top of your articles always perform better than the ones at the bottom. If you notice this as a trend, then put the products that will earn the most money at the top of the article so they are more likely to have a higher conversion rate.
If you see that some links are consistently not doing well, then take them out as this will lower your conversion rating. Advertisers take note of things like this and may cause them to be reluctant to work with you. If you are noticing that many links are not performing well, then try to switch it around and trying new links. It will take some time to learn what is working and what doesn’t, but when you get there, you’ll start to have a couple articles that consistently perform well and become your money makers.
Not only should you be looking at the analytics that the affiliate networking companies provide on tracking your links, but you should also set up Google Analytics for your entire website. This will give you demographics and analytics on your audience so you can pick products that are better suited to your specific audience. If you find your audience is primarily in Europe and you are only promoting products that ship to the United States then your conversion rate will be low. These snippets of information can show you where to make little tweaks that can have a significant effect on your income.
So, this is a little longer than my usual posts, and I could have carried on, there is lots to know! But here is some of the basics that I have learnt and put into practice, so I hope you can too. I would love to hear about your experiences of affiliate marketing and if you have any tips that you have found to be really helpful, please do share in the comments box below.