In case you’d like to make money on the internet, but don’t have your own information or physical products to sell, there are several ways you can make commissions by becoming an affiliate marketer.
You will need to invest your time and energy to research and create your website, but your startup costs will be much lower than if you were launching your own products. Even inexperienced marketers have been able to pull in affiliate commissions, learning the tips and tricks of the trade. The ride will not be easy, though.
Below you will find thirteen things you should consider before dipping your toes into affiliate marketing.
1. Offers Matter
It is important that you only associate yourself with brands and offers that are reliable, fair, and have good reviews. When starting up with affiliate marketing, most people only focus on the profitability of the campaign, and fail to check out the reputation of the vendor and the feedback. You need to build your website’s reputation and customer trust if you want to make money long term with affiliate marketing.
This means that you have to check every landing page, try every product, or read the ratings at least, so you can avoid reputation loss that can impact your business for a long time.
2. Your Content Is Important
Apart from the offers, it is also crucial that you develop content that your audience can relate to. Don’t write every content around the product; instead find out who your readers are and find offers that match the website content and their expectations and needs. It is important that you provide value before you could sell anything to people. This will allow you to create reciprocity, so your visitors will feel a special connection and gratitude and will be more willing to consider the recommendations on your site.
3. You Should Build Your Own Brand
While generating sales and leads to merchants in your affiliate network is important, and the livelihood of your business, you shouldn’t forget about personal branding, either. You want people to come back to your site, looking for your recommendations and reading your reviews of new products and services. If you don’t build your own brand and connect with your audience on a personal level, your success will be temporary or short-lived. As with every business, you will need continuity to secure long term profitability.
4. List Building Is Worth Thousands
Just because you are not selling your own products or services, you still have to build your own list. Add a signup page to your website and offer something for free. No matter if it is a list of money-saving tools or codes for their sites, you can get them to give you their email address and double opt in to your newsletter. This will allow you to send out updates, new promotions, and keep them in the loop about your latest articles and blog posts.
5. You Need to Match Your Offers with Customers
When selecting an affiliate network or offers, it is important that you first define your blog or website audience. This way, you can avoid adding irrelevant offers and products to your sites that will make your visitors leave immediately. Creating a customer persona is a great approach used by many successful affiliate marketers who managed to match the expectations of their target market with offers.
6. Choosing Your Affiliate Network Is Not Easy
When you start off, many people will recommend affiliate networks to join. The truth is that not all networks are created equal. Some are suitable for newbies and offer free training and support, while others have a strict approval criteria, and you will have to apply to run every campaign when you are just starting off. You have to consider the support given, the payout levels and frequency, as well as the reputation of the network.
7. You Can’t Survive without Social Media
You can’t rely on your blog and your landing page for traffic alone. Even if you find a well converting search engine marketing campaign you will have to find a way to connect with your audience through social media. If you need help designing your online sales channels and integrating social media, you can find online shopping SEO companies to complete the job. You will be able to take advantage of the benefits of multichannel marketing.
8. You Still Need a Sales Funnel
No matter if you are just a middleman as an affiliate, you will still have to develop an effective sales funnel to take your small business marketing to the next level. Setting up online promotions is a complicated process, but you can make it easier if you imagine marketing communication as a funnel that converts visitors into leads, then customers and loyal fans.
9. Building Reciprocity Is Key
No matter if you’re selling your own product or services or someone else’s, it is crucial that you offer something for your audience worth to come back for. You might give them something that the merchant doesn’t, throw in a bonus, or give them a video guide on how to use the product after they purchase it. The bottom line is that they will have to believe that you are providing more value for their money than other companies. Building reciprocity will make your visitors more inclined to buy from you.
10. You Have to Spend Time Testing
Not every affiliate marketing campaign you start will be a success. Some will flop completely, while others will need adjustments to meet the needs of your website visitors. Testing is key when it comes to running online promotions. You need to measure the success of various landing pages, track conversions, and make sure that you are getting the right type of traffic that is likely to convert.
11. Big Offers Mean Huge Competition
Before you would jump on the most popular and most profitable product or service to promote, you will have to check how many other affiliates are running the same campaign. Chances are that they have been in the business for much longer than you, and are now dominating the market. Unless you are able to give the offer a different angle, you cannot make money. Focusing on special offers and niche-specific items might turn out to be more profitable than jumping on the bandwagon.
12. All You Need to Know about EPC
When starting up with affiliate marketing, the most important figure you always need to keep an eye on is EPC. Short for earnings per click, it tells you how the offer converts. The EPC of the merchant is often displayed on your affiliate dashboard, so you can compare the different offers based on their profitability. However, the high average EPC of the offer doesn’t guarantee that you will have the same conversion rates. It all depends on your offer, the context of your advertising, and the market you are targeting. If you choose a high EPC offer that is not closely related to your niche market, you might see much lower conversions.
13. You Still Need to Know Your Target Market
Just because you are not selling your own products and services, you still have to invest time and energy in getting to know your target market. This will help you tailor your content and messages to their needs. Explore social media groups and forums where you can find out as much as you can about the people who might be interested in your online content and recommendations.
No matter if you are selling your own products or work as an affiliate online, you have to focus on designing an effective marketing communication strategy to make money.