Essential Affiliate Marketing Tips
Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to make money through your website, blog, or even social media page. There are a myriad of online merchants that are attached to affiliate programs or even have their own. Examples include huge names such as Amazon, eBay, Walmart, Toys R Us, Target, and tons of others.
No matter what niche your particular website or blog may fall under, rest assured there is a major online store somewhere out there that you can partner up with. When you link to one of their products and someone purchases it after clicking, a percentage of that sale will go directly to you!
This is a completely commission based way to make your money, and if you happen to include links to products you personally believe in, you’ll actually be able to enjoy the process. Not all, but many of the ads or product links you see on various websites are being included there based on the webmaster’s participation in an affiliate referral program.
Plenty of people are making a fantastic living this way. If you play your cards right, you might even be able to set up a website and have it earn serious money for you in a completely passive fashion.
To successfully participate and benefit from affiliate marketing business, you are going to have put in a lot of work in the beginning however. So, this isn’t some sort of “get rich quick” procedure. It isn’t exactly “easy,” but you can bet it is very much doable, and it is very possible that you can have a lot of fun along the way.
If all of the above sounds good to you and you’re willing to do whatever work it takes to get everything up and running, the following paragraphs will go through several of the most essential affiliate marketing tips so that you can started the right way.
1 – Pick Products You Care About
As mentioned above, setting up a website or blog that earns anything significant through an affiliate program is going to take some effort up front, as well as some maintenance along the way. The “set it and forget it” approach is possible, though somewhat waning with time thanks to the increasingly changing landscape of what works for search engine optimization.
Since you’re going to be spending a lot of time writing and talking about whatever products you happen to be affiliated with, it’s going to feel much more worth your time if it’s something you’re actually interested in.
Let’s say that your main hobby is something like collecting Star Wars prop replicas. In that case, that interest will make a fantastic theme for your site, and that should be the exact type of product that you happen to regularly link to. If it’s something you care about and personally believe in, it’s a lot more fun to invest your time in, and you can make a more believable case for why your linked product is worth someone’s time. That leads right into the next tip:
2 – Trust
You want to make sure that you are a trustworthy source for anyone that might come by your links. Think of it the same ways as you would when you make a recommendation to someone you care about, like a friend or family member.
There needs to be a sense of sincerity, and you really have to know your stuff. People can smell it from a mile away when your sole purpose is to make money off of them. Even though that’s one big goal in the end, it should really be a bonus that you’re getting by offering people a means to share in the same hobby that you’re already personally invested in.
3 – Original, Worthwhile Content
You can make sure you earn the trust of your visitors by providing original, worthwhile content to them. That should be the focus. Your affiliated posts should never be purely in the vein of “here’s a product, you can get it now at this link.” It’s just too transparent that all you want to do is make a sale that way. People can always just shop on their own time. To really provide something of value, you have to make content related to why your products are actually worth someone’s time.
For instance, list posts are always a popular form of content. If your site is based around pop culture mashup t-shirts from sites like Teefury or Redbubble, you can compile posts along the lines of “10 Mashup Shirt Designs That Should Be Made Into Real Video Games!”
You can fill out the details with your own reasoning as to why you wish each particular shirt design you’re linking to would actually make for a wonderful property if it were really made. Your link to the product can then be presented in a manner such as “by the way, you can find this design at (this particular site) if you’re interested.”
Product reviews are also a tried and true means of providing adequate content. People look up reviews on whatever they want to purchase all the time, both in specific and general terms. They might be looking for information on a particular item they want to buy, or they could also be looking up how good of an experience they’ll get when buying from a website as a whole. You can easily cover both in any number of products you happen to buy.
The Amazon Associates affiliate program is fantastic for review based websites, because you can likely find a listing for literally anything you’re going to be buying anyway. All you have to do is provide pictures or video and your honest thoughts on it alongside the link to purchase it, and you’ll be sure to lead visitors towards some sales before long.
Best of all, even if they happen to buy something else besides your specific linked product, your referral alone will still grant you a percentage of whatever they happen to spend at the site. The same goes for pretty much any program from any affiliate provider.
4 – Be Confident Enough To Promote
Promotion is important for success in any business. You have to enough confidence to scream from the highest mountain that whatever your brand may be is worth people’s time. A lot of people are too shy to put themselves out there in that manner at the start, but you can’t let that hold you back.
Otherwise, how are people expected to find your content and then click on your affiliated links? You’ll essentially be lost in the sea of other people also trying to make it in this crazy world of internet marketing. There are a lot of voices all vying for position, so do what you have to in order to make yourself heard.
5 – Use Every Resource To Reach Your Audience
The internet offers us a lot of tools to reach people right now. If you’re trying to benefit from affiliate marketing, it’s in your best interest to keep up with every single one of them. Keep active profiles on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Any time you post new content, you can point to it on all of your social media accounts. Many of them, particular Twitter, can be automated to do this for you.
It may seem like overkill since it’s assumed that there will be people that are following you on every single platform, but you have to consider that at least some parts of your audience will have a preference for only one form of social media. Don’t be afraid to ask for shares and retweets as well. A lot of people don’t think to share something unless they’re reminded!
Finally, you can also establish a Youtube channel if you’re comfortable with being on camera. You can post videos that either link back to and support your blog or website, or create an entirely separate presence there. Many people have found success with their affiliate marketing by supporting it with video reviews of products and even simple unboxing videos. It’s a very powerful platform if you stick to it, so you may as well utilize it!
6 – Find The Right Balance
You need to find a good balance between offering valued content, being trustworthy, and promoting yourself far and wide. Always remember what was said about people smelling it from a mile away when your only intent is to make a buck off of them. Your social media profiles should include more than only links to your content.
Engage with people that follow you, and share content from others as well. Relate to people on a personal level. Don’t be afraid to include content with no affiliated posts at all. You can even make your monetized content a smaller percentage of your overall output and still remain successful. There’s a fine line between being resourceful and shameless.
7 – Spend Money To Make Money
The old saying that you have to spend money to make money is often true, and it certainly plays a part in internet marketing. Continuing on from using every available resource, it may be best to hire a web designer and SEO expert to help you build your website or blog if that’s the way you intend to drive people towards your links.
You can study up on how to build a great looking site that easily reaches the top of the search engine results yourself of course, but that’s adding on even more to your workload.
It can become incredibly overbearing to be a one-person army when it comes to your online presence. There are a lot of moving parts to having a successful site, and looking good, loading fast, working well on mobile devices, and being set up so that search engines actually favor you over other results are all incredibly important pieces of the puzzle that aren’t easy to accomplish without some serious experience under your belt.
You can just wing it with a basic free template and hope for the best as far as people finding your posts, but calling on someone to help you set all that up to be as effective as possible may be in your best interest.
8 – Consider Cloaking Or Shortening Your Links
Once you’ve spent the money to have your own webspace, you can actually cloak your affiliate links so that their URLs appear as if they’re coming from your site. This is very helpful in the case of links that are particularly junky looking, full of all kinds of characters and numbers. If someone hovers over a link and it looks suspicious, they’ll be less likely to click. You can also merely use URL shortening services, but those will also be a little harder for people to trust than something that comes from your own domain name.