While the debate on the effectiveness of affiliate marketing is still going; the recent stats indicate that almost $5 billion is spent yearly on Affiliate Marketing only within the US. This amount is more than the nominal GDP of Sierra Leone. Now one might think that in spite of such the expenditure, what is making Affiliate Marketing a controversial business? This is primarily because some e-marketers believe that they can earn their bread getting passive income from signing up to an affiliate program, while others harp on that it’s never possible.
Whatever the truth is, Affiliate Marketing is now one of the fastest growing segments of online commerce. As an entrepreneur or a beginner in online marketing, affiliate marketing may sound insanely easy as campaigns can be initiated in a couple of minutes. However, you shouldn’t just jump into this adventure blindly without any planning and roadmaps. Affiliate Marketing for beginners is a science and for optimum results, there is a set of rules and best practices derived by the veteran marketers who have been in this business for a decent period of time. You need to put all your efforts in right directions; otherwise, you may end up wasting your time and resources.
So, what are these successful practices? This is where we step in, if you are on the crossroads, we are here to help you as we have compiled a set of Do’s and Don’ts inspired by the practices of these experienced marketers. Whether you are using Magento affiliate extension or WooCommerce affiliate pro as your choice of platform, these simple tips are, to success and will save you from a number of troubles along the way.
The Affiliate Marketing Do’s- Successful Practices
Understand the Basics of Affiliate Marketing
Before you google affiliate marketing programs that pay and try to join them it would be an intelligent thing to first understand the basics of affiliate marketing. To give a brief understanding, consider affiliate marketing as commissioned-based sales system. A company sells its products by incentivizing third-parties in return for a commission, which can be paid for leads or for completed transactions. This means that the third party will be paid commission only when the visitor is converted into a consumer by making any online purchase. In this way, Affiliate works as a real estate agent who doesn’t own a house but gets the commission on its sale.
Join an Affiliate Network
As a leading affiliate, it’s pretty difficult to manage thousands of direct relationships. The affiliates often worry about fair remuneration and on time payments. Affiliate networks bridge the communication gap as they act and streamline the process providing consolidated reporting and payments to affiliates for multiple programs. In addition, they also take care of tax forms and complacence testing to ensure that orders are being properly credited. The networks initially charge a subscription fee and then take a certain percentage that a merchant pays to the affiliates and is usually not more than 20-30%. As a merchant, you can certainly set up a direct affiliate program, but the administrative tasks may cost enough time and effort when you need a handful of affiliates. Joining affiliate network is beneficial for both parties. The most popular affiliate networks are Shareasale.com, LinkShare, Commission Junction and Google Affiliate.
Stick to Your Niche
In hustle of making more money some affiliate marketers try to promote too many products or services. Experienced complacency can possibly work it out, but as a beginner, it’s better to focus on a few products that are relevant to your site and brand.
Focusing on few and relevant products makes it easy to establish quality referrals because there’s a nice overlap between your audience and the product you are promoting. For example you are a pet blogger promoting fitness products or video games something miles away from your niche will definitely irritate your customers. Find products that make sense to your niche and try to choose the products with good reviews.
Produce Engaging Content
Generate more and more compelling content. Put at least 1500 quality words out of the latest trends and news relating your niche. Content is like the blood and it has to be running. Don’t let it stuck somewhere, keep it going with more quality and freshness. This is the main reason why successful affiliates have tons of traffic returning to their website. Whether it’s a blog post, video, or email; always aim to create valuable and engaging content and cite reliable sources of information. This helps visitors trust you and it becomes a lot easier to start promoting a product or service as part of an affiliate marketing program. For premier content optimization, you need to stay updated on SEO dos and don’ts and do keep a track record of your campaigns.
Yes, you can make significant amounts of money as an affiliate but the sales aren’t going to come pouring as you kick off. No one can become Neil Patel and Darren Rowse overnight. By the time you will make huge sum, it may take months of continual testing and promotion, so keep realistic expectations in the beginning. Affiliates don’t realize that they will be able to make enough money provided if they learn, invest and improve without a sigh.
To get more control on the nerves, plant a funnel in your mind. Let’s say that some 2000 people visit your website and 100 clicks the affiliate link and only 2 buy them. So if you are selling a 1000$ refrigerator for a 4% commission, you earn $40. If you sell two per day you earn $2,400 per month, which is quite good for starters.
Attend an Affiliate Summit
Affiliate summit is a great way to meet leading affiliates and merchants. Networking, interaction with professionals and building of personal relationships are important for success in affiliate marketing. This is a great way of learning as this is the platform where some great deals get done.
Check out AffiliateSummit.com for more information on attending.
Affiliate Marketing Don’ts
Don’t Be Spammy
I can’t stress it enough. In a rush of making money, affiliate starts posting spammy content either by sending out a promotional email to a large number of people without their permission or by you continually sending out the unrequested email to the same people over and over. In the hustle of making money, they end up in sabotaging company’s reputation. Posting content irrelevant to your audience is also considered to be a spammy tactic. The unwanted content is pollution for visitors and no one wants to visit a polluted area. For example, you are a Harley Davidson blogger and start promoting protein powders, your audience begins to see you as a spam.
Also, you may find yourself banned from a number of popular places where you can promote products because spam reports are taken very seriously. A number of websites, social networks, forums and blogs quickly blacklist such affiliates if they get a hint of spam.
Don’t Focus only on Sales
No one wants to see a display of products all the time. No one enjoys visiting a site that continuously tries to sell a product or service. It’s always a bad idea to directly promote a product as it sounds a little odd. In this way, you might lose a handful of visitors who could be turned into future customers. The modern strategy of online sales is to pitch indirectly. Visitors never come to your site just to scan through the newsletters, or look at your social media pages for a sales pitch; instead, they look for useful information. Focus on being educational rather than promoting a product without coming across as salesy or spammy. Convince them to see for themselves by indirect showcasing the value of product or service.
Don’t Violate the Affiliate Terms of Service
The ground rules for what you can or can’t do for promoting a company is provided to you on an affiliate term of service document. This document is an agreement that typically includes all the guidelines around promoting their competitors in conjunction with their brand or referring your own sales. Before signing up for an affiliate program, you are required to agree with all terms and conditions. Don’t violate the agreement because if you do, you’ll receive an email from the company or affiliate marketing program manager who may ask you to stop what you’re doing. In any case, if you fail to comply, your commissions could be reversed, or in the worst case, you could be removed from their affiliate program entirely.
Becoming a Successful Affiliate
This is definitely not the complete list of all Do’s and Don’ts. As mentioned earlier, affiliate marketing needs some time to expert and there are lots of other ways which you can follow to step up the game as an affiliate marketer. However, these tips will definitely help beginners to move forward with their efforts and will increase the chances of success.