A huge part of affiliate marketing is, indeed, the marketing. Yes, shocking I know! Many bloggers hate the idea of being “salesy”, but if you want to earn passive income with your blog, it is imperative that you learn how to promote affiliate products to earn commission income.
*On that note, this post does contain affiliate links, so if you click on a link and purchase something, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you.*
I feel your pain. The first time I put an affiliate link into a post, I took it right back out! I took me a few tries to build the confidence to put the link in and leave it in, never mind putting a second and third link in. Egad! What madness is this? But I did it. And I got a sale! It was 8 dollars but wow…I got a sale.
And you can too. How successful you are as an affiliate comes down to your ability to market, which is a skill that you need to build upon because of its many layers, and your confidence in your website and products. Let’s get started with some strategy.
Tips for success promoting affiliate products
1. You are Only as Good as Your Tools
Any business needs a good business plan, as well as the tools of the trade. Keep abreast of the latest updates and utilize the best tools of the trade.
• A good blogging platform such as WordPress.org (not the free WordPress.com. See this post)
• Valuable plug-ins, ranging anywhere from an SEO plug ( I use All-in-one SEO) in to a broken link checker
• Keep your affiliate marketing books and guides handy
• A keyword research tool such as Jaaxy (recommended) or SEMrush
• A tracking system that tracks user behavior on your site, like Google Analytics (read my guide here)
• A multitude of affiliate networks to compare and contrast such as Ultimate Bundles, ShareASale, CJ Affiliate, or Clickbank
• Consider a software program that will help you keep track of revenues earned from commission for easy recordkeeping. You can use the spreadsheets available in Google Drive for a free option.
*Want to become an affiliate for Ultimate Bundles? Click this link to sign up.
Of course, these are just some of tools that are available. Take time to explore all that is available to make your online business or web site increasingly profitable
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2. Stay on Top of Your Game
Just like any other endeavor, remember to always stay on top of your game. Affiliate marketing can be highly competitive and things do change. Keep on top of your game by reading about affiliate marketing, following the trends, and doing the work necessary to be successful.
A great way to do this is to join Facebook groups in your niche. There are always plenty of people reporting on new and interesting changes in the blogging world.
One of the more important factors in business is communicating with your customer. If you are new to affiliate marketing, you can get a leg up on that communication by first creating your blog and encouraging comments. Ask individuals that visit your site to please leave a social media comment. You might be surprised by how many more followers you get just by asking people to follow you and by leaving a working link for them to click. This is good practice placing links in your posts.
Even better, be a presence on blogs and forums that are similar to yours and get involved in the conversation; not necessarily to sell anything or even to promote anything, but to get in on the ground floor of what your future potential customers want.
Quora is a great place to find like-minded people to network with, and you can add your blog link to your signature. You cannot add affiliate links, but people can visit your blog so you can get traffic.
This is a great way to find out what your visitors want and need, and what moves them forward to purchasing. Understanding what a consumer wants makes it easier to fill those needs as you move forward with affiliate marketing.
As well, be sure to mention at the beginning of your blog post, that it contains affiliate links. It is part of the FTC regulations that the disclosure be above your affiliate links, so that readers know before they click one.
4. The Right Mindset
When it comes to affiliate marketing, having the right mindset is crucial. If you believe that you will only have to put in minimal effort to gain maximum results, please know that this is not the case. While it is not difficult to learn the basics and then go on to learn advanced affiliate marketing techniques, it does take time and work. (We will cover advanced techniques in my next post)
Don’t give up if you do not grasp it all from the outset. Just as you have learned many other things in life, take your time and do it right when it comes to your affiliate marketing efforts.
The more you learn and understand, the easier it will become with time. If you are taking this on as a side job or during your nights and weekends, then chances are it will take a bit of time and effort before you are up and running. Have patience and you will see the results of your time, patience, work, and effort.
Of course, affiliate marketing has the beauty of allowing you to eventually earn passive income, but also think of it in another way. Think of it as helping others to find solutions to problems or buying products that will provide them with the assistance they are seeking.
When you put it in the context of helping people find what they need or want, you take the pressure off yourself and off the idea of selling, selling, selling to make money. This mindset will allow your marketing efforts to flow from authenticity rather than appearing overeager in your efforts.
This is no different than when you find a great deal and you want to share it with friends or co-workers, like an awesome deal at the grocery store or a special price on event tickets. You want to share these deals with your friends, and your affiliate marketing can be the same way.
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5. Have Integrity
Be what you say you are, and do what you say you will, in order to exude optimum integrity. The fanciest of marketing tools and the glitziest of ads won’t convey a message quite as well as having integrity will. Having integrity show up in your content, and even in the design of your site, will allow your visitors to feel trust for you and your efforts.
Of course, most people are aware that those ads may or may not make you money, but if we trust you and know that you have integrity from the outset, we will be more inclined to click and then to buy. After all, you sent us there and we trust you.
6. Building Relationships
Marketing has many components to it. There is the knowledge and expertise of a product, good or service. There is sometimes the actual usage of that same product or service. However, when it comes to affiliate marketing, there is more.
It’s necessary to build relationships first on your website or blog before you consider diving into affiliate marketing. Remember, everyone likes to buy but no one likes to be sold anything. Such a contradiction!
Think of it in terms of actually meeting someone in person. They introduce themselves and right away try to sell you something. What’s your reaction? You want to get away from them as soon as possible right? Well, the same concept is applicable to websites. You want to offer a solution to a problem for your visitor. You want to engage them, and you want to be authentic.
It is important to create your blog or website and offer a value to the visitors that come there to check out what you have to say and how you have to say it. A visitor comes for something fresh, new and unique. Do you have a unique take on a common subject? Do you offer integrity, vulnerability, and truth?
A great way to show integrity is by using the product/service yourself and doing an honest review, ‘warts and all’ as they say. Most affiliate marketers have to start putting money into their own websites over time. Try reviewing something that helps you and your website, like quality hosting or an email service provider. And then provide an awesome review for your readers.
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For me personally, and this may also be the case for you, I found that the more ‘real’ I am then the more success I have with promotion. My sale came about as a direct result of a blog post that I wrote about something that was really bothering me. And it is still the blog post that brings me the most traffic (after Pinterest).
Once you have established your blog or website for some time, then you have gained something almost equal in value to sales – trust. Once you have the trust and respect of your visitors, they may be more inclined to trust the links or ads on your website as well.
After establishing your reputation for a bit and gaining the trust of your visitors, you can then more easily earn income from your affiliate endeavors. The more a visitor trusts you, the more likely he or she will be to become a consumer.
So, make certain to establish relationships before jumping in on the marketing bandwagon. Once you have established relationships, you will see that earning income from affiliate marketing is easier.
Moreover, another important element in any business is your mindset. If you believe that you are selling or pushing something on a potential consumer, then that mindset will resonate with them as well. Instead believe that you are offering a service to those looking for products or seeking to find the answer to a problem through purchasing a product or service. Doing so creates a win/win situation for all!
7. Beware of the Get Rich Quick Scheme When Seeking Out Products to Promote
If you run into an affiliate marketing program that asks you for an unreasonable amount of money, or any money for that matter, then buyer beware. Affiliate marketing should not cost you anything. You will earn your commission when a sale is made. It’s pretty straightforward and simple. If you run into something that sounds too good to be true, remember that it probably is.
If you run into a program that promises overnight riches, every red flag and warning siren should go off in your head, as affiliate marketing is not a get rich quick scheme. Just like any other business on the Internet, it is a business and should be run like one.
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