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When you love a product or service, sometimes it’s hard to keep it to yourself. You want to tell others about it, have them buy it, and revel in its awesomeness with you.
Now imagine you could do this and earn commissions and earnings as a result.
When you join an affiliate marketing program, you can earn commissions when you refer someone who buys that company’s product or service – perfect if you want to monetize visitor traffic to your blog, social channels, email, and more. Before you start Googling affiliate marketing programs, you want to make sure you understand exactly what you’re signing up for. Often, many people join an affiliate program without knowing what they are doing. And more often than not, they have the mentality that anyone can do it and that success requires little effort.
The truth is, it’s something anyone can do and see results. But getting to that place takes time and strategy. To help you identify the best ways to find affiliate marketing success, I’ve outlined some specific do’s and don’ts to guide you in becoming an affiliate pro.
The Affiliate Marketing Do’s
Don’t pierce Your Niche
A common mistake affiliate marketers make, regardless of whether they’ve used it before, is trying to promote too many products or services in an effort to make more money. This may work for more established affiliates, but if you’re just starting out, it’s best to focus on a few products that are relevant to your site and brand.
Focusing on relevant products makes it easier to generate quality referrals because there’s a nice overlap between your audience and the product you’re promoting. If you’re a fitness blogger, for example, if you start promoting video games and electronics that don’t apply to your niche, it won’t fit well with the rest of your content. Instead, you can find a company whose products focus on protein powders, vitamins, workout equipment, etc.
Create Engaging Content
A common trait among the majority of successful affiliates? They usually have a steady traffic who continue to return to their website. And the main reason they get a lot of traffic back to their site is because they create compelling content their visitors can’t get enough of.
As a general best practice, you should always aim to create valuable and engaging content for your audience – whether it’s a blog post, video or email. This helps them trust you and shows that you are a reliable source for information. When you do this regularly, it becomes much easier to start promoting a product or service as part of an affiliate marketing program.
When you create content that links to a company you’re an affiliate with, be sure to use real examples and tips on how to be successful using what you’re promoting.
Place links in relevant locations
At first glance, this may seem like an obvious tip. To get credit for a customer referral, you must have the link for them to click. But you’d be surprised how many times I’ve visited a blog post or received an email that glowingly endorses a product or service, but doesn’t include enough links to the company’s website. Of course, the brand name is mentioned throughout the content. However, that brand name is not hyperlinked to an affiliate link; Instead, I have to scroll to the bottom of the page or email to find a clickable link.
Affiliates should do their best to make it easy for their readers to navigate to a brand’s site through an affiliate link. The more people who click on that link, the better the cause for everyone….
- The more people you refer to a company, the more commissions you can potentially earn.
- The people you refer to will be able to improve their lives in some way thanks to the product you recommend.
The Affiliate Marketing Don’ts
Don’t be Spammy
If you want to maintain a steady flow of traffic to your site, avert posting spammy content. Now I know you’re probably thinking, “I wouldn’t do that!” However, what is labeled as spam goes beyond the typical “make a quick buck” type of copywriting. So what else falls under this umbrella? Content that is irrelevant to your audience, or that your audience is not expecting.
This ties in with what I wrote earlier about sharing relevant content. If you’re a fitness coach, you’ll want to promote content relevant to your industry, such as protein powders, equipment, and healthy foods. The moment you deviate from that and talk about the latest cool video game, that’s the moment your audience starts seeing you as spam.
Often, being spammy results in a lot of traffic and poor conversion rates. This can cause companies to be hesitant to work with you, or even remove you from their program.
Don’t be marketable
No one wants to visit a site that constantly tries to sell them a product or service. To promote a product without coming across as salesy or spammy, focus on being educational. Telling your readers your success story with a product or service is more likely to sell than telling them it’s the best and everyone should use it.
The more you can show the value of something, the more likely you are to convince them to see it for themselves.
Do not violate Affiliate Terms of Service
Before signing up for an affiliate program, you may need to agree to an affiliate service document. This agreement will set the ground rules for what you can and cannot do when promoting a company. Typically, this includes guidelines for promoting in conjunction with their competitors’ brands or referencing your own sales. Be sure to follow these agreements and refer to them any time you are unsure of whether or not to do something.
If you violate these Terms, you will receive an email from the Company or the Affiliate Program Manager telling you to stop what you are doing. If you fail to comply, your commissions may be reversed, or worse, you may be removed from their affiliate program entirely.