Affiliate marketing is a fantastic business model available to anyone. Thus if you don’t have your own product or service to sell, promoting good affiliate products or services can be just as lucrative.
The best thing about it is, if you keep at it for enough time, you will soon start to generate passive income, which is not something to neglect!
Before going into ways of promoting, you need to understand the basics of how to do the things right from the first time, so the process goes like this:
- Choose a good main niche to promote – Evergreen niches are the safest choice (health, money, romance, entertainment, marketing, hobbies, etc).
- Find one or more sub-niches to promote – Example: Main niche: Hobbies -> Niche: Learn guitar -> Sub-niche: How to teach your child to play the acoustic guitar. You get the point.
- Understanding your audiences – Figure out where your audience hangs out, what they like doing online, what sites they visit and what product can help them.
- Finding the right program – Collaborate with a trusted brand that offer quality products, and which also care about their affiliates. Do online research for other people reviews.
- Choosing the products – A product that will fit to your audience. Test it by yourself, or at least make sure there are enough online info about it so you can create in-depth reviews.
- Getting your affiliate tracking code – Login into your affiliate account and get the tracking code for the offer you want to promote.
- Creating quality content – You want to “pre-sell” your affiliate offer to your audience. Best way is to tell a story of how you had some problem and what helped you solve it.
- Start promoting – Now you’re ready to start spreading the word, continue reading for some of the best way to do it.
Social Media Marketing
Social media can be the best option to generate affiliate sales, and this pretty fast. You can easily share info about your affiliate products with your friends or followers. And, even if you’re just starting and don’t have any friends or followers in your social media accounts, you can simply start making connections and interactions right away, so you can bring the needed traffic to your offers.
This can be done as simple as sharing a social post on all your social media accounts, only this time you’ll in fact promote an offer.
Be cautious that if posting a naked link to the offer complemented by only a few words or a phrase, it just doesn’t look well and will not make it. Users are not stupid so they will sense something fishy. When posting on social media make use of good looking pictures, give more details about the offer and how it can solve the user problem, and also finish with a call to action message so users can visit your offer/blog.
Don’t forget to customize your profile so that you have a clean, professional look adjusted for the niche you’re promoting. You want to make the users feel like you’re an expert in your field, so they can act with confidence when you’re recommending them an offer or service.
A few tactics you can use on social media sites:
– Joining and posting in Facebook groups
– Following people on Instagram and Twitter
– Direct messaging (DM) people on Instagram and Twitter
– Commenting on YouTube videos
But you can’t just login into social networks and randomly follow or interact with everyone you see, the tactics above should be done by targeting the correct groups or users. When searching for those, use keywords/hashtags relevant with the product you offer.
For example if you’re promoting fitness gear, you can search for groups, users or posts of users by the following keywords/hashtags: workout, training, yoga, fit, running, jogging, healthy, gym, etc… you get the point. Only in this way you will reach to people that can be interested in what you have to offer, and then convert in sales.
Pro tip: Don’t keep your social media account empty! Consistently post quality photos and videos related with the niche you promote, on your pages. This will make your profile look authoritative and will also make for a great resource for your followers. If following this technique, your profiles will also grow in time and you may reach a point where if having thousands of followers you can easily market relevant products to your followers which will boost your sales with just a few clicks!
Pro tip for Facebook: When using Facebook, it is important to remember this is not a place designed for promoting offers. People use Facebook to socialize with friends, not to buy products. However, your marketing efforts can go well if you provide value in your posts to pre-sell the visitors at first, so design your posts to be friendly and engaging, leaving the selling part at the very end.
Also, Facebook does not like affiliate links, so it is also a great idea to hide your affiliate link using shorteners like Bitly or Goo.gl.
Pro tip for YouTube: Creating a video which barely describes the product and trying to sell it right away is not good enough. On the other hand, if you invest some time to create content that is helpful, useful and honest, people will gain trust and will then reward you by buying from your recommendation.
Video Marketing (YouTube)
I have seen many YouTubers who depend mostly on Affiliate marketing for their income (they also earn from video views but in a smaller volume, and some are promoting their own products). Creating videos reviewing the affiliate products you want to promote, and sharing genuine key points and insights about that product/service in these videos, will benefit you in the long term more than any other method of promotion.
Make sure to share a quality review, to list advantages as well as drawbacks of that product/service. This will help increase trust.
If you’re not feeling comfortable staying in front of the camera and getting recorded. You can just record your voice while displaying pictures/video footage in your video explaining about the product. If recording your voice is also not an option for you, maybe because you don’t speak a decent English, you can just add text over the video so people can read on screen.
Know that growing a YouTube channel to the point of getting lots of views and generating sales implies lots of work, and it will not come by night. You will have to work on the channel by adding quality videos consistently and make sustained efforts to increase the count of your channel subscribers by displaying a friendly, knowledgeable and honest attitude in your videos.
Pro tip: Create call to action messages in your videos, and place a short description with links to your affiliate products in the video description section. Make these stands up so people can easily go visit your blog/promoted offer.
Question and answers sites are a great way to get conversions for your offers. Thousands of questions are posted daily by people who have various needs and issues that needs solved. The tactic here is finding questions related with a problem that your product can solve, and then coming in to post an answer on how your product can help with that problem.
Be friendly and contribute with a detailed and useful answer, and you will get plenty of visitors that will convert to clients, while you will also grow an authority profile on the Q&A site.
What is great about this method is Q&A sites already got their regular subscribers who are notified when new answers are posted. More than this, among having regular traffic from its members, Q&A sites also receives lots of traffic from search engines, which can lead directly to your answer where you recommend the product!
Pro tip: use Quora and Yahoo answers as they’re the most trafficked Q&A sites out there.
You can lookup forums that relate to the product you are selling. Such as gardening forums if you want to promote a gardening tool, etc. Then join up, contribute useful content for a while so the community will start gaining trust in your profile.
After a while (one to few weeks) you can begin to rip off the rewards by mildly recommending your affiliate link to a useful product as a solution to member problems. Forum marketing is one of the best converting methods out there, because it can bring highly targeted traffic to your offers which is easier to convert (even better conversion that traffic from social media).
Pro tip: A great resource to find forum posts based on a keyword search is http://boardreader.com
Pro tip 2: To avoid getting banned or getting terrible results, do not just sign in and post ‘go check out this great product’.. Be patient and grow your profile first.
Classifieds Ads Posting
Register and post ads on classified sites, at the right category for your product. This is easy to do, though perhaps time-consuming to get your ad on all the popular classifieds sites, but it opens up a whole new avenue for you to make sales.
Make sure you create a consistent ad so it does not look like a simple, low quality product advert. This will ensure having your ads approved and will also benefit in getting more users to take action. Classified ads traffic is again a very good method to send highly-targeted visitors to your offers.
Pro tip: If the classified site does not allow placing direct affiliate links into ads, just leave your email so you can be contacted by other users, then you can take it from there on how you direct users to your promoted offers, be creative.
Creating Informational/How-To E-books
E-books are very helpful tools for people who want to learn new things. It is a very easy and helpful resource which can help us to learn anything without going anywhere. Many bloggers and Affiliate Marketers are earning passive income from selling e-books on their blog or website. At the same time, Affiliate marketers use e-books to make affiliate income.
So, why don’t you? You can create an e-book on the affiliate product you are willing to promote, the e-book can be about anything like how to use the product more efficiently, how to maintain it well or any other tips about that product. Place your related affiliate products links in prominent places inside the e-book.
As you know, E-books are the easier and helpful source to learn anything, so readers will definitely take notice of your product/service recommendation, converting them into clients. The only things you must pay attention to is that your e-book should be very helpful to people and also well-written.
Pro tip: Make sure the e-book is very helpful and also check for spelling and grammar errors. You’d be surprised at how stringent many people are about spelling and grammar in e-books. Just a few errors can be enough to put people off, so be very careful. Also, if you’re going to add affiliate products inside the e-book, like this article suggest, you want to offer the e-book for free (money will flow later).
Pro tip 2: If you write on a topic you already know and you’re good at, you will write more easily and better quality e-books.
Creating a Blog (Content Marketing)
People wants to buy genuine and quality products, and they will do so only after a proper research about the product and they will buy after they are pretty confident about it. These searches are mostly done on search engines like Google. What you can do to take advantage of this? Create a blog and start writing and posting articles on relevant subjects about the product you offer.
The most converting articles can be categorized in the following types: review, comparison, how-to, where-to, useful tools, deals. If you have enough articles on the subject showing up in the search results (this will take some time but nothing to be worry as time passes anyways), people will land on your blog and check out the products you recommend. If your articles were able to convince people to buy those products this will result in sales, and commissions for your pocket!
Writing in-depth articles will bring you only benefits, because people will see it as a honest resource. This will get you way more conversions than just simple product advertising articles.
Writing review-type articles:
1. It gives a brief introduction to the product (or) service and the merchant.
2. It explains how the product is functioning.
3. Show benefits, and drawbacks if any.
4. Write a conclusion about the product, learned from your own experience or from research you did online.
Writing deals-type articles:
These types of articles can help you bring more sales for your affiliate marketing campaigns. There are many deals such as Seasonal sales, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Mother’s Day, Fathers Day, etc. This helps your visitor’s to come up with a decision to buy the best products at the right time and also for good deals!
Writing how-to type articles:
A recent Google report showed that most searches are about finding a solution for something, and this is most of the times include the how-to keyword. These types of articles can easily get you high volume of traffic and greatly improve your sales. Create how-to articles on every possible subject about the use of your product.
Writing where-to type articles:
In this type of article, let’s take the next example, “WordPress Hosting”. There are several hosting companies in the market and some of them are Namecheap, Bluehost, A2hosting, Rackspace, etc. What you can do is write a post on the title, “Where to host my WordPress website” or “Best WordPress hosting for my website”, to let your visitor’s choose the best hosting service out there.
This will save them time and also you will get your conversions when they decide to purchase through your affiliate links.
Writing useful-tools type articles:
You can create a page on your blog that lists all the useful tools you’re using for your blog like the WordPress theme, premium plugins, SEO tools, photography equipment, video editing software, and the list can go on. This helps your blog visitors to choose the same great products you use, and since they might already be visiting your blog for some time, the sales will be easy. Also, you can list any coupon codes available for these products so the sales will get even easier.
Create a call to action button/banner:
This is a very important part in any marketing effort, so it needs to be done right: At the start and ending of your articles, add a prominent button leading to your affiliate lead page. This direct visitor’s attention to the ultimate scope your blog was created for – converting in sales. You can place a general call to action message/button on your site header or in a visible position in the sidebar.
You can also place different call to action buttons for individual specific products you recommend inside some of your articles.
The links should land the visitors on your lead capture page so you can also capture the visitors email prior to sending them the affiliate link. Another quick way to do it (not recommended unless you promote a recurring commission offer) is sending them directly to the affiliate offer, but in this way you will not grow an email list over time. See the advantages of building a list below.
Build an email list and nurture it with useful newsletters:
This is an essential step on becoming a successful affiliate marketer. Collecting your visitor’s email addresses from a lead capture page (email signup form) is a great way of keeping in touch with your audience after they are out of your site.
You can send them useful newsletters with information about the niche/product they’re interested into, and from time to time let them know about great deals or new product launches, etc. This helps you develop a relation between you and your site visitors, and when the times comes to recommend them another good offer, this trusted relation will result in more sales.
Keeping in touch with potential clients by email is one of the easiest sale generating tactics, especially if you nurtured your list with useful information over time. In the event any of your social media accounts gets disabled by some reason or Google penalizes your blog, you will always have your email list as a source of targeted traffic.
Pro tip: Don’t oversell to your email list. You do not want to make people unsubscribe from your list by trying to sell them products all the time. Keep your emails valuable and use the 80/20 split. 80% value and 20% sales.
Getting backlinks for your blog to increase search engine rankings:
This is one of the most important things you can do for your affiliate blog to generate more traffic and sales. Back-linking is simply the process of having other relevant websites link to yours. There are many ways on how to achieve this but the next are the most efficient ones:
1. Guest posting: Writing articles for authoritative websites in your niche which in exchange will link back to your blog, usually from the article you created.
2. Social shares: Create social media accounts at the most popular platforms, and share your blog articles in your profile feeds. Also link to your social profiles from your blog.
Pro tip: Either if you registered a free blog, or if having your own domain and hosting, the first thing you need to do is to make sure you have a clean and fully functioning blog, and fully customize it so it reflects the product or the general niche it presents. This will make your blog visitors navigate easily, feel like home and thus will stay in for longer – getting enough time to check out the products you recommend.
Also, choose the WordPress CMS if you have your own domain, you won’t regret it. (Install WordPress on your domain from your hosting panel)
- If you want to perfect your marketing, choose one or two traffic sources and master those. Each of the traffic methods above are highly effective, but if you try to focus on too many things at once you may lose focus and determination.
- Understanding your audience is the first intention of your affiliate marketing journey. When you are able to provide the right solution to the right category of people, you will surely bring sales home.
- When you are posting affiliate links, its essential you track everything you do. Avoid using direct affiliate links without using analytics tracking. The reason is you want to understand what traffic source converts better so then you can direct your focus on that traffic sources alone – analytics tracking helps you do this. This can ultimately help you save money. Therefore use link shorteners like Bitly or Goo.gl to shorten your affiliate links. There are also paid tracking software, geo redirects and link cloakers but these are mostly paid solutions and will be the subject of another article.
- When promoting affiliate products try and use lead capture pages to get leads, then only in step two send your leads to the affiliate products. This way you’re building your email list for promoting in the future.
- Treat affiliate marketing like a real business and you will be successful. And remember that, no one can be an expert when starting a new business. Results come only by failures and experience, so be ready to accept failures, learn the lessons from your mistakes and keep moving forward!