How to be a Successful Affiliate Marketer?
Affiliate marketing is probably the fastest growing Internet marketing businesses. After all, billions of people use Internet everyday throughout the world, and affiliate marketing offers an opportunity to target potential customers regardless of which part of the world they live in.
Hence, it isn’t surprising that a large number of people make a considerable amount of money through affiliate marketing. Many experienced affiliate marketers seem to be making way more than their job would pay them, and hence some of them even quit their job and start working on their affiliate marketing projects full-time.
An overview on affiliate marketing
Now that we have a little idea about the potential of affiliate marketing, let’s understand what it actually involves.
Well, to put simply, affiliate marketing is simply helping sellers sell their products online, and get paid a commission for each sale you refer to them.
As per Kartikeya Sharma, if you are promoting a product priced at $100, and the commission it offers is 10 percent of the sale price, you will make $10 for each sale you refer to the seller.
But how do you refer sales? Well, you can simply start promoting your merchant’s products on your website, which gets targeted traffic in the niche. When any of your site’s visitors goes to your merchant’s site through the affiliate link you have been provided and placed on your website, and buy the product, you will be paid a commission.
So in our example, if your site gets 100 targeted visitors every day, that may be interested in the product you are promoting, and if 20 of them visit your merchant’s site and even 5 of them end up purchasing the product, you would be making $50 a day. It’s obviously not that easy, though, but we hope you get the idea.
Choosing affiliate networks wisely
One of the biggest mistakes new affiliate marketers make is joining up with almost every affiliate network they come across. This is actually considered to be a very wrong approach. This is due to quite a few reasons.
Firstly, a successful affiliate marketing project usually requires you to focus a lot. So, if you try to work with many affiliate networks at the same time, chances are that none of your projects would go as planned and hence, none of them may end up being very successful.
Secondly, focusing on just one or a few products actually allow you to learn a lot about the products you are promoting. This further helps you in refining your strategies, making the required changes, and making your overall approach much more effective. An effective approach would usually yield much better results, and help you get more out of your efforts and time.
Last but not the least is the fact that many affiliate networks may not be genuine enough. Some of them may last or pay only for a very short period of time, while some others may not pay anything at all. After all, most affiliate networks pay on a monthly basis, so they can obviously make you work for a long time and then not pay properly on time, or pay less than you are due.
It’s especially true when it comes to affiliate networks that resort to “shaving”, a practice in affiliate marketing where the networks show a reduced number of sales than what you actually referred, hence paying you considerably less in commissions.
Hence, these points make it clear that your best bet may be to do some research and start out with an affiliate network that’s actually genuine and makes you feel comfortable. After all, you can make the most out of your time and efforts only if you are comfortable with your affiliate network or the products you are promoting.
How to start out with affiliate marketing?
Getting straight to the point, some affiliate marketers use social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and more, for doing affiliate marketing, most others simply build out their own site. The latter is actually considered to be the best approach to affiliate marketing, as it gives complete control over everything.
So we will be focusing on doing affiliate marketing using own website. First things first, as mentioned earlier, you will need to find an affiliate network you are comfortable with. This also includes being good at promoting the products they offer, so that you don’t end up promoting things you know nothing about.
Amazon’s affiliate program
That being said, many people consider the Amazon’s affiliate program as the best one out there. It’s probably the most genuine affiliate marketing network, and has a tremendously large number of products in store for its affiliate to promote.
This gives you an opportunity to promote almost anything you think you will be comfortable with, or pick a niche that you know isn’t very competitive and you will be able to start making money in a very short time period.
This is considered to be one of the hardest parts of affiliate marketing. You can’t just go picking any product and keywords and expect to make a bank soon. Arguably one of the biggest reasons why many affiliate marketers fail is because of wrong keyword research.
If you are new to the game, you would obviously need keywords that are very low competitive. You can do with keywords having a low search volume, meaning less money, but definitely not with the ones that have huge competition.
You can take a look at the top 10 and 20 results and do some research to find out if you can outrank them. Similarly, you can go through them and check if they are targeting the same keywords you are looking to target. If they are, and they are strong authoritative niches, it would probably be better to avoid that niche, and go for a new, less competitive one instead.
This is very important. If you think you can make a good amount of money writing stuff that doesn’t help the readers a bit, you are wrong. Although your intention will be to make money by referring people to the affiliate network, you will need to offer something of value. Simply including a ton of affiliate links and stupid sales pitches like “this is a great product, buy this through my link for discounts”, and so on, you are probably only going to create a mess.
While doing working with Amazon’s affiliate program, you can have a very lengthy homepage article, targeting your main keyword and a few other secondary keywords. You can have a buying guide, followed with short reviews of some of the best products in your niche. However, do note that the higher the price of the products you promote, the bigger the amount you receive as commission.
You can then also have multiple individual reviews, especially of the same products you mentioned in your homepage article, if possible.
We know it’s probably the trickiest of them all, unless you are an “SEO guy”. Nowadays, reaching out to authoritative sites for guest posting seems to be a very popular way of getting high quality links. Such high quality links, coupled with blog commenting on relevant blogs in your niche should be able to rank your site on the first page if you have really targeted a very low competitive niche.
However, even if your site doesn’t hit page one, if you do the blog commenting thing well, you will probably still get quite a bit of organic and targeted traffic from those blogs. So it seems to be a good strategy anyway.
Common mistakes to avoid
Now that you know the process to go about starting your own successful affiliate marketing website, we think it would also be worth it to keep in mind some of the most common mistakes new and inexperienced affiliate marketers make.
Not providing value
Although we have covered it, it’s probably worth repeating that if you try to be aggressive with your words to make the readers visit your merchant’s website through your affiliate link, it’s probably going to be considered as spam by many.
Instead, it’s recommended to help them choose the right product based on their needs. This makes them feel a lot more comfortable and they are more likely to check out the products they feel may be the right choices for them based on the information you provide.
Researching the products
Many affiliate marketers wouldn’t care to look beyond the commission they are being offered. If they find the commission rate appealing, they will simply start promoting the product regardless of whether it’s genuinely good. This is a mistake, and may eventually lead to your readers no longer trusting what you tell them.
If you start promoting Amazon or any other merchant’s products on multiple sites, it may be useful to track the links. It will help you find out whether which site the visitors are coming from, so that you can find the most successful site and implement the things that are working for the site to your other sites as well.
A final word
As a final word, we would like to mention that although affiliate marketing may be quite rewarding, it has a steep learning curve to it. You may encounter failure quite a few times before actually making it.
That being said, affiliate marketing seems to be fit only for those who are willing to face multiple failures but come back with a will to succeed and learn over and over again.