Affiliate Marketing Tips: Best Ways to Promote Affiliate Links
Monetizing a blog for bloggers and influencers has been made more effective by affiliate marketing. The internet ecosystem has made it possible for bloggers and advertisers to have a mutually beneficial relationship.
Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. If you decide to make a purchase using one of these links, I’ll make a small commission without impacting the price that you will pay. I recommend just services or products I find useful and that I have tested or currently use
Affiliate marketing has empowered bloggers to earn money from promoting advertisers’ products. Advertisers also increase their sales from affiliate links as they are getting wider scale promotion of their products. Like any other business, success is determined by the affiliate marketing strategy you put in place.
Affiliate marketing can be used to complement your blog regardless of your niche. The overheads and startup costs are minimal, and it is a form of passive income in the long run, as you can earn money even when you sleep. Your location doesn’t matter as long as you have an internet connection.
With affiliate links, you earn from:
- commissions when someone who clicks on your referral link makes a purchase,
- pay per action whenever a customer finishes carrying out a specific task, bounties which are paid for every client sent to the advertiser’s site.
Most often you are paid via PayPal, direct deposit, cheque, redeemable rewards, or company credit.
As general idea you don’t have to be worried of searching for new clients or creating your own products, you can simply use affiliate links. But like in any strategy there are pros and cons for this one too.
As blogger, your key content should help you identify your pillar products to promote as affiliate products. Mastering affiliate marketing will definitely take time, but you will learn and see the results as you continue to practice and grow your traffic numbers. Your blog isn’t the only way to reach your audience, you can use affiliate marketing on all your other social media channels.
Two main factors determine your affiliate marketing success rate:
Quality traffic is when you have the right target audience following you, and this is how you can score your sales.
All you need is just enough traffic to earn a few hundred or thousands in affiliate earnings. Your blog should be targeted to a specific audience and have a traffic of about 100-200 visitors per day to earn a couple of hundred dollars as income. If your blog is not specifically targeted or is all over, you will need a lot more traffic to see conversions.
When you are a new blogger, traffic might not be working so well for you, so your alternative option is to promote and keep promoting. You should keep in mind that this has to be done the right way or you risk losing the little traffic you have.
Inserting a referral link into relevant content is the best way to promote. Spamming and fishing are things you don’t want your name to be associated with.
Webinars, email series, social media contests, tutorials videos, are some ways that increase your reach and authority. A customized coupon can also be requested so that you can add it to your newsletter. The current audience doesn’t like feeling like they are being sold to, what they want is to get additional value, not a sales pitch.
Finding affiliate programs or affiliate networks to apply to
There are thousands of networks and programs to apply to. You can find the signup pages for affiliate programs from:
a) Company’s site
Once you have made a decision on the product or service you want to promote, go to the website of the respective company and look for a link that states ‘affiliate/referral link/affiliate program/partner program’ then follow the link and sign up.
b) Google: A search for the company’s affiliate program will have some results pop up.
c) Ask a friend who is an affiliate for guidance: friends can give you recommendations of what worked for them and what didn’t. They can also give you the company contacts to sign up.
How to be successful in affiliate marketing?
That’s the one-million-dollar question, right?!
Content marketing is one of the best ways to make you successful as an affiliate marketer. It allows you to create trust, consistency and deliver expertise as well as usefulness to your readers.
These affiliate marketing tips 2019 will help you:
1. Promote products and services you believe in or you have used and loved.
When picking an affiliate program, you have to choose one that offers a lot of value to your audience. This is why choosing an affiliate program for products you have used, or you really love is important. Whenever you make a purchase and you hate it, you tend to inform everyone about it. The same happens when you love a product, you tell everyone about it.
Affiliate marketing now pays you to spread information on the product you love. Your audience will be grateful for recommendations that delivered great value to them. Giving too many options to your readers makes them go elsewhere for additional information. Blasting your followers with affiliate links might also make you unwelcome and have you unfollowed.
Focus on the value added in your readers’ life, not on product features.
2. Build trust with your readers
Being honest and fair when giving a review will build trust. Creating a connection with your audience takes time but using your own experiences and personal words build trust. Tell them what you liked about a product and what you didn’t like. Once they follow your recommendation and they love the product, they will come back to you creating a repeated engagement. This leads to shares, more clicks and conversions.
3. Promote according to the person’s position in the buying cycle
Focus your affiliate marketing strategy on sites that people are ready to make a purchase. For example, people go to Pinterest to look at the different products and services. Hence your affiliate marketing success rate will not be high if you focus on Pinterest instead of review posts. Review posts that rank in Google are more likely to bring you qualified leads that are in the decision phase of the buying cycle.
4. Effective call to action buttons and excellent copywriting skills
Catchy titles always draw people in. Excellent content and affiliate links always perform better than an affiliate link with no content. Call to action paragraphs and buttons push readers to perform the actions they are called up to hence bringing them in the sales funnel.
5. If freebies are available with your affiliate program, take advantage of them.
Affiliate programs have free lead magnets materials that are targeted to get potential customers in their sales funnel. Using your affiliate link, you can share the guides, webinars and other materials available to equip them with the information they need to make a purchase. People prefer to grab a freebie before they make a purchase and skilled advertisers can easily turn people in the sales funnel into actual clients. This is one of the most valuable affiliate marketing tips for beginners: you don’t have to create your own lead magnets, work with the ones provided by the affiliate program.
6. Have a bonus giveaway to the affiliate deal
People always go for a deal that offers more value for their money. A bonus giveaway sweetens the deal and adds more value to what your reader is purchasing. Make sure the bonus you offer is a complementary product to the affiliate product.
Also, check if the affiliate program allows bonus giveaways.
If you have the opportunity, ask for a special coupon to be shared with your subscribers only.
7. Keep track of the affiliate links
A simple spreadsheet can be used to do this. Some people use Airtable or PrettyLink plugin to have vanity links (pretty links). However, you have to check if the affiliate program you are using prohibits the use of a particular plugin to track affiliates.
8. Affiliate links should be created as no follow links
Google always follows the links in your page as it believes the links you have are to a page that you like. This way the linked pages are ranked high in SERPs. This has led to Google’s disapproval of compensated relationships which include ads and affiliates as a way to impact on search results.
All affiliate links in your images or text should have a no-follow tag to inform Google not to follow the page.
9. Be cautious of posting negative reviews
As a blogger or influencer, you should be careful of the bridges you burn. It is encouraged to be honest when posting reviews and sharing both the positive and negative of a product.
Regardless, before posting a negative review it would be fair to contact the company first and let them know of the negative feedback and complaint on their product. They might make the corrections you have suggested, and you will have positively influenced the final product and developed a good working relationship with them.
10. Create an out of the box tutorial post or “how to” guide
This is the most used method to promote affiliate links – blog posts, but try to deliver more value and to dig deeper into details, or be creative, come up with an original idea. A ‘how to’ post explains step by step details of doing something. It gives you the opportunity to inform your readers of the tools, services and products you believe in or have used to achieve a certain goal.
A ‘where to’ post can also be used for the same purpose.
You can walk your readers step by step through a process, use images to explain how you proceed, like in this tutorial example.
11. Most important ways to promote your affiliate links
There is a plethora of options when it comes to promoting your affiliate links, some of the most reliable are:
Write well balanced, honest reviews
Create side-by-side comparisons
Interview the creator of a certain product or Q&A the affiliate company’s stuff
Video content: speak about your affiliates in your videos, include them in the video’s descriptions, in your webinars
Audio content: promote your affiliates while speaking in podcasts, in the ones that you host or when you are invited
“Thank you” pages can host also some affiliate links
Compose an interesting case study
If you have important discounts for several affiliates you can create a “current deals” page
In your already published blog posts
Link relevant images in blogposts to affiliate links
Make use of extra space available on your site: sidebar, footer, space between the end of a blog and comments, sometimes maybe the header
Insert affiliate links lists in DIY posts and provide a helpful reference for the reader
Use affiliate links in email campaigns and newsletters
Profit on Social media channels to promote your affiliates, if this is permitted
Add affiliate banners on your site to promote prominent affiliates
“Tools I Use” or “Resources” page – Sometimes readers enjoy having a glimpse of behind the scenes and are interested in checking out your list of favorite tools, and this is simultaneously an opportunity to highlight some affiliates too.
In your freebies books or ebooks, if the case and if it is allowed
Come up with a social media contest on Pinterest, Instagram or Facebook
Share on social media photos of yourself while using your favorite tools or products
Leverage the power of micro influencers to promote your affiliate links, if you consider this a winning tactic
Create small digital products starring the affiliate product - email series, mini course, mini video sequence
Combine creatively two or three tactics to see improved affiliate commissions
12. Include affiliate links in emails and signature
Only include affiliate links that are relevant to the content in discussion. Avoid fishing or spamming your followers as this always creates poor results.
A professional email signature with an affiliate link accompanied by a quote that tells how the product has changed your life is one of the best affiliate marketing tips in 2019.
13. Diversify and experiment
The old dictum “do not put all the eggs in the same basket” goes for affiliate marketing strategies also, use several affiliates and multiple strategies.
Do not forget you have to experiment and test what works best for you. It’s your task to identify the mix that will bring you more affiliate revenue. Change tactics, switch networks, content types, affiliate link places on page, ads types. Sometimes small tweaks make important difference in terms of revenue. What works for others might not work for you and vice versa. So, always test and improve.
Affiliate marketing has made it possible for bloggers to make up to six-figure income from their affiliate links. It is a very competitive domain and sharing secrets might bring your sales down a notch. The bloggers who have made it big in affiliate marketing used it first to supplement their income. They usually have their own digital services and products and the affiliate links promote their products or are complementary to their products.
You also learn a valuable lesson with affiliate programs and networks: how to sell digital services and products. This helps you make sales when you create your own digital product. It is so practical how sitting in someone else’s shadow teaches patience, dedication, taking risks and finally helps you build valuable networks.
Tips to 6- figure affiliate marketing
Focus on high priced products and services
Making six figures on low priced products is next to impossible as you will need a very large vlume of goods sold. This means millions in email subscriptions and in readers.
Expensive courses and equipment, high priced services should be your focus for affiliate programs.
This is not to say the low $5-$20 sales are a waste of time. When starting out in affiliate marketing, these sales help put your blog on the map.
Your niche determines the price range of products you should target. In some niches, people are used to paying low prices for the products and services e.g. the wellness niche. Getting people to move to $500 worth of products and services is very hard.
As a new blogger, getting started in affiliate marketing is essential as you learn your audience, the process of driving traffic, email marketing, etc. Jumping ahead into having your own digital product can take you back to starting over as all the stages of growth are important.
The knowledge required to add affiliate banners to your site, to create social media posts, linking products to your content, creating e-mail campaigns, linking products to your e-books, creating deals page, and offering discounts. Affiliate marketing terms and details can be intimidating and overwhelming, so it is important to learn the basics and terminologies.
There are many people who have gone before you and made a success from affiliate marketing and they can offer a roadmap and guide for you. You don’t have to make the same mistakes they made. Michelle’s e-course Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing and Carly’s e-course Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers: Everything You Are Missing. will ensure you have all affiliate marketing tips and you get to see your profits sooner. They teach affiliate marketing strategies for beginners and experts.
If you can sell an affiliate product then you can definitely sell your own product. Knowing how to achieve success in affiliate marketing is most often a prerequisite of your own product’s success.