Archive for the ‘Affiliate Marketing’ Category
Tuesday, January 15th, 2013
Monday, December 31st, 2012
As an affiliate marketer, you probably hear all about affiliate marketing best practices. But, there are also some things you should avoid to prevent failed campaigns and wasted resources. Like many other forms of digital marketing, finding an affiliate marketing structure that works for your site and your audience will take time. If you can avoid these common mistakes from the very beginning, you’ll be able to avoid some of the growing pains many affiliate marketers face.
Avoid Becoming a Pushy Sales Person
Your readers will see right through any pushy sales tactics you try. Instead of trying to sell them using these, try softer, more personable approaches. Things like reviews, product videos and success stories tend to do well. In fact, studies show that people who watch a video of a product are much more likely to purchase it. Avoid scaring your readers off with pushy sales strategies that, in the end, won’t help you or your audience.
Avoid Looking Spammy
If your site looks like it is full of spam, your readers won’t trust you. They likely won’t visit your site, let alone purchase the product you are selling. Make your site look professional and use affiliate links sparingly. Building trust is one of the key steps in making a sale, and if people suspect you are a spammer, you won’t be able to build a foundation of trust.
Avoid the Urge to Sell Everything
There are so many affiliate marketing opportunities out there. So many, that it can become tempting to try every opportunity to see what interests your readers. Yes, you’ll likely have to try a few different products and systems before you begin making money, but don’t push everything on your readers at once. Choose one or two products to work with, and then focus on that until you can gauge your success.
Avoid Non-Niche Products
Along with the temptation to sell everything often comes the temptation to sell products that don’t fit your niche perfectly. Rather than waste your time on products that “sort of” fit your audience, save your energy for the perfect product opportunity. When that comes along, use your resources and your interested audience wisely and you’ll be surprised at how much more open they will be to your affiliate marketing.
Avoid Over Doing Affiliate Content
Of course you need to use content that promotes your product, but avoid becoming a sales machine. Continue writing the content and providing the services you normally do that draws your audience in. Keep being the blogger you are, with a few added affiliate posts. Try to create a blog where readers come for your great content, and your product recommendations as a bonus.
Affiliate marketing takes time and practice. When you start out, you’ll need to make a few changes to your original plan as you learn what works for your audience, but avoiding these pitfalls will help you start the process the right way.
Friday, November 30th, 2012
Affiliate marketing, the promotion of another company’s products through your blog or website, can be a very lucrative business plan. Affiliate marketing is usually done by referring a site’s traffic to a business through ads or links. In most cases, the affiliate marketer earns money based on how much traffic they drive to the business’ website or how many products are sold. To be successful at affiliate marketing, site owners need to understand how to leverage their website and audience. Here are five tips to help you find success in affiliate marketing.
Gain Trust from Your Audience
If you are familiar with sales, you know that people are more likely to do business with their friends than with someone they hardly know. This concept is also true in affiliate marketing. If you really want to drive traffic to a third-party site, you’ll need an audience that trusts you and your recommendations. Become friends with your readers and establish yourself as an expert in your field. It takes time to do this, but you can do it by responding to comments, being approachable, providing useful content and updating your blog or website regularly.
Only Promote Products That Fit Your Niche
One way you can build trust, and increase your affiliate marketing income, is to only promote products that fit your niche. Your readers are smart, and they won’t respond well to spammy product promotions. Sticking to products in your niche lends credibility to your site and will also make it more likely that you’ll earn money through your affiliate program. Think about it: if you run a culinary website, how likely will your readers be to purchase auto parts? Do your readers, and yourself a favor, by promoting only those products that make sense for your audience and your site.
Test Products and Services Before Promoting Them
If at all possible, test the product you are promoting. This will help you decide if it is worth promoting, and it will also help convince your readers they should purchase it. If you have built trust with your audience and established yourself as an expert, your readers will want to use the same products you do. If you can write an honest review of a product, then recommend it to your readers, you’ll be much more likely earn money through an affiliate program.
Use Your Content
Even if your affiliate marketing program uses banners or other ads, don’t forget to use your content. Too many ads will make your site look less credible, and probably won’t encourage people to try the product you are selling. Instead, focus on writing quality content that sells. Include reviews and talk about how you use the product or service. If your content can show off the benefits of a product, and the success you’ve seen with it, you readers will become naturally curious about it. A site that tries to hard to make a sale can deter readers, so be personable and try to naturally promote the product.
Think outside the box and creatively promote your products. For example, take advantage of holidays, current events and market trends. You can include creative content like videos and photos that show off what you are selling, piquing your readers’ interest. According to Internet Retailer, people who watch product videos are 85 percent more likely to buy the product than those who don’t watch a video. The more creative and compelling your content is, the more user engagement you’ll generate, which could translate into more sales.
Successful affiliate marketing takes time, and often involves some trial and error. As you establish trust with your audience and find products they are interested in, you’ll learn what kinds of creative content encourages them to click on your links and advertisements, increasing your income as an affiliate.
Tuesday, June 5th, 2012
Becoming an affiliate marketer is an excellent way to make some extra money from your website or blog. In a nutshell, affiliate marketing involves adding links to your content that refer your readers to a business. Depending on the type of program you are involved with, you’ll earn money based on the number of sales that come through your site, the number of visitors you send to a merchant’s site, or the number of leads you bring in for a company. For more information on how affiliate marketing works, check out our previous post: A Beginner’s Guide To: Affiliate Marketing (For the Affiliate).
If you are considering joining an affiliate marketing program, here are a few questions you should ask yourself to assess whether or not affiliate marketing will be beneficial for you.
Do I get enough traffic to my site?
The more traffic you get to your site, the higher your chances will be of being successful at affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is all about making sales or driving traffic to a merchant’s site. If you have a good amount of traffic coming to your site you’ll have a bigger audience to work with as you promote a product or service.
Are my readers engaged and do they trust me?
As you become a resource in your industry, your readers will become more engaged with your blog and will trust your opinions and advice. Friends can be extremely influential, so if you are a likable blogger and have a lot of online friends, chances are you are ready to start affiliate marketing. If your readers are active and if you have a foundation of trust, you’ll be a more successful marketer.
Is there a product I can naturally promote?
Your readers are smart. They know when you are pushing advertisements on them and they know when you are trying to sell them something. However, most people aren’t bothered when a friend or someone they trust recommends a product they have had personal experience with. If you want to do marketing on your blog or website, stick with products that make sense for your niche and try to test the products or services before you promote them.
Am I persuasive?
If you aren’t able to sell people on ideas or inspire them to try something new, affiliate marketing may not be for you. The trick to making money this way is knowing how and when to push which products. If your writing is strong and you feel that you are able to make a sale, then go for it! However, don’t overwhelm your readers with too many ads or affiliate links; you will lose your reputation as a reliable resource, which will only harm your affiliate marketing efforts.
Do I currently have a stable income?
It is definitely possible to make a substantial amount of money through affiliate marketing. However, as a beginner, it probably isn’t wise to rely solely on this type of income. You’ll need some time to work out the kinks and discover what works well for your site. Also, income generated from affiliate marketing can fluctuate, which means you’ll most likely need another source of income.
Can I spend some time and resources on my blog?
Once you have added some affiliate marketing links or ads to your site, you’ll want to be able to put some time and resources into it to ensure you are successful. This means updating your blog often, writing product-specific posts, attracting readers, driving traffic, managing comments, advertising your site and maintaining your blog’s design. Just like any other project, affiliate marketing takes work. If you are serious about earning money this way, you’ll need to invest some time and maybe some money in your blog.
For many site owners, affiliate marketing is a good way to make a passive income. If you have considered this type of marketing as a way to make some extra money, ask yourself these questions to find out if you are ready, or to prepare yourself, for affiliate marketing.
Tuesday, January 17th, 2012
When I describe affiliate marketing to people, I’m very aware that it often sounds like a ‘get-rich-quick’ scam that will allow people to work from home and earn thousands over-night. It isn’t. So here is a no nonsense guide that will cover everything you need to know about Affiliate Marketing and how you can make it work for your small business or blog.
Online affiliate marketing is pretty much just getting paid to refer people to a particular store. Once you have your website established and are generating a healthy amount of traffic you can start to look at monetising your website and driving traffic to other sites who will pay for your referrals. Let’s be clear, this is not an easy way to make a lot of money, to get the results requires hard work and dedication, but it’s hard work that pays off.
One of the biggest pitfalls small businesses will hit when it comes to setting up an affiliate marketing scheme is succumbing to the belief that everything has been done before and the Internet has reached saturation point. The best advice I can give is to stop focussing on inventing, and innovate instead. Even if it’s been done before, there’s always a way to improve.
When getting to grips with Affiliate Marketing, there are three (sometimes four) different payment models you will have to understand.
1. Pay Per Click – the merchant will pay every time a user follows a link from your website to theirs. Like Google AdSense.
2. Pay Per Lead – the merchant will pay for every lead generated through a link from your website.
3. Pay Per Sale – the merchant will pay for every sale made following a link, or recommendation, on your site. Like the Amazon Associates programme. (Some also add Pay Per Action to the list, but this generally falls in to one of the other categories.)
It’s important to make it clear to your website users if you’re engaging in affiliate marketing program as tracing cookies will be required to track their clicks. It’s also a general courtesy, particularly if you’re a blogger with loyal readers, and you’re simply trying something new.
Next Week: Affiliate Marketing from the other side. How to use affiliates to grow your business.