Implementing affiliate marketing on your website can be very beneficial in your monetization strategy, if it is done correctly. You cannot just expect to sign up with an affiliate network and just expect the money to come rolling in. While this might happen in the rare, lucky, case, it will likely not happen for you. If you follow these secrets to become a successful affiliate marketer, only then you can watch the money come rolling in.
Secrets To Becoming A Successful Affiliate Marketer
Have A Killer, Content Rich Site
To be successful as an Successful Affiliate Marketer, you need to be credible. To gain credibility you have to have a great website with even better content that brings people back time and time again.
Anyone can set up a blog and start writing about whatever they like, the Internet is full of personal blogs that do not go anywhere. They key to getting a great blog or website start is to have a great design layout that makes sense and is user friendly. Your site needs to grab the reader’s attention right away with striking images and rich content.
If you don’t know how to start out designing a website, simply sign up with a web host, create your domain and set up an account on WordPress. Once your account has been made and you’ve linked your WordPress account to the web host, you can start looking through all the different website themes WordPress offers. There are thousands of different free themes to choose from or if you can’t find something you like, you can search and purchase a theme through sites such as Themeforest or elsewhere and upload it to WordPress through your web host.
Give your website’s theme some good thought, this is what can make or break your site. If visitors land on your homepage and immediately leave due to an unpleasant theme, you’ll have a high bounce rate and you will never generate any traffic. Without traffic you cannot become a successful affiliate marketer, you’ll be a want-to-be affiliate marketer.
It’s not just about the awesome design of your website either. Now that you’ve grabbed the reader’s attention with your amazing layout, you need to prove to them that they should continue coming back to your website because of its content. Only when you have great content will users start to trust your site and as the trust builds, they will be more inclined to listen to your product recommendations and therefore more likely to click and convert into a sale. Even though Google uses a lot of SEO for rankings, content is king.
Getting traffic to your site can be slow and difficult at first. A key tip is to make sure Google is not blocking your site from showing up in the search engine results page (SERP). Some web hosting providers, such as Arvixe, include SEO tools to get into Google that should be used and updated weekly, such as submitting your sitemap and ensuring Google is not blocking you.
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It’s also important to have good content so you can put in the affiliate marketing links without seeming like you are forcing them in there. The links should seem like genuine casual recommendations, like how you would tell a friend about a great new product. If you don’t have great content, then users will not trust your site and will not click on the links and you will not get the commission.
Once you’ve spent about 3 – 4 months building up traffic and followers on your site, you can start looking at different monetizing strategies. Typically, after 3 or 4 months you’ll have built up enough great content to be able to place multiple affiliate links. You can put the affiliate links in right away, but some advertisers might see you have low traffic and they might not want to partner with you right away.
Finding The Right Advertising Partners
Before you jump right into an advertisers program, it’s important to outline who you are looking to partner with and how you foresee promoting them on your website. You should not just blindly sign up for affiliate marketing programs in hopes of making money instantly. You need to have a plan to know which direction you want to take it and how it will benefit your site and how it will benefit the advertisers.
Questions to ask yourself before signing up: What is my niche? What types of products can I promote on my site, apparel, electronics, travel, etc.? Or are there multiple categories? It is very important to know what you are looking for.
Once you’ve signed up for to an affiliate marketing network like JVZoo, ClickBank or CJ Affiliate, you can filter the advertisers by the categories, keywords, content and the area that an advertiser will ship to. Each advertiser will have slightly different programs terms and commission rates that you have to comply with.
You’ll find some advertising partners are going to work much better with your site and you’ll enjoy working with them more. Find the relationships that work for you and that you can see will turn into a long lasting relationship. The more reliable the advertiser is, the more likely you will be successful with them for the long haul.
Only Promote Products That Make Sense
If you already have a following on your website with good traffic, chances are you have enough returning users who trust what you have to say and promote. Try to stick to products that have a natural flow in your website. If you put in a product that seems out of place and completely like it is something you are force promoting, your loyal readers will start to question your judgment and be turned off by the misplaced product rather quickly.
Promoting products that do not fit with your site will likely not get any clicks and this will lower your overall conversion rate. The conversion rate is the percentage of visitor’s to your website who are converted to a sale, or lead, by not only clicking on the product you have linked but also purchasing it. Misplaced products will not have any conversions.
Don’t just sell, sell, sell. You should figure out the number of products that feels natural for an article or your whole site in general. If you are doing an article called the “best X number of Y products”, with Y being the type of product, then only put in X number of the products in the article. Don’t place additional products that do not belong in the article that will confuse the reader in hopes of getting more clicks.
Be helpful to your audience and promote quality products that add value to your readers. Why do people come to your site? They want to see and hear what you have to say. They enjoy your site and will come back to it. They had a need or a question that needed to be answered, so they came to your site to seek help. They are interested in the different products you have to recommend. You only want to put in products that make sense on your site and the readers will find valuable. Do not try to trick your readers.
If you write about a topic you are passionate about, it will shine through to your readers. Try to keep to products that you have personally tried out and found useful. However, do not feel obligated to purchase a product just so you can do a product review. Be smart about what you are promoting on your site.
You also only want to promote products that you know are good. The worst thing that can happen is that you promote a product you do not believe in or have not thoroughly researched and you have a customer come back to you after buying it based on your recommendation and tell you it was a horrible mistake and they want their money back. This can ruin your credibility as Successful Affiliate Marketer.
Set Up Your Affiliate Profile Accurately
An important step in the whole affiliate marketing process is to ensure that your profile on the affiliate marketing network is accurate. This might seem like a no-brainer, but if you profile has any incorrect information, then you will not receive payment from the site.
Some networks, such as Amazon and CJ Affiliate, require you to put in your tax information before you can gain any earning from the site.
Use Multiple Affiliate Networks
Signing up with several affiliate marketing networks will help maximize the revenue potential for your site. It’s always smart to diversify. Every niche is different and will require different strategies. By using multiple networks you can constantly test and improve on which affiliate network is the best for your site.
Signing up with multiple affiliate networks will allow you to get to know how each one works and which one you like the best. Each has different features and advantages and disadvantages; so test them out and find your favorite. It can take 1 – 2 months to really find the affiliate network that is best suited for your site. Not every network will work for your niche and you’ll find out which one works as you go along.
Use Analytics And Tracking
Don’t just expect to put affiliate marketing links into your site and expect to make money. You should always keep track of what you are doing and how the links are performing. Each affiliate network should have a reporting or tracking section to tell you how each of your links are performing.
You should be monitoring these reports often to see if there are any trends emerging. For example, perhaps you’ll notice that all of the links you put in the top of your articles always perform better than the ones at the bottom. If you notice this as a trend, then put the products that will earn the most money at the top of the article so they are more likely to have a higher conversion rate.
If you see that some links are not performing at all consistently, then take them out as it will lower your conversion rating and advertisers will take notice. If you are noticing that many links are not performing well, then try to switch it around and trying new links. It will take some time to learn what is working and what doesn’t, but when you get there, you’ll start to have a couple articles that consistently perform well and become your moneymakers.
Not only should you be looking at the analytics that the affiliate networking companies provide on tracking your links, but you should also set up Google Analytics for your entire website. This will give you demographics and analytics on your audience so you can pick better products that are better suited to your specific audience. If you find your audience is primarily in Europe and you are only promoting products that ship to the United States and not Europe, then your conversion rate will be low.
Connect To Your Readers Before You Sell
Collect emails, build relationships on social media, engage with your readers so they feel like you’re helping them and there is a true relationship, so when they are ready to buy something, they will come to you.
You want to engage with your readers by replying to the comments and questions in a promptly manner. This can be a little time consuming but it adds great value to the relationship between you and the reader. It makes them feel more connected to you, gives them proof that you care able them and value their opinion. Everything that builds up trust will have your readers being loyal to you and coming back to purchase your products when they feel ready.
Social media. Social media. Social media. If you aren’t already on it, get on it. As painful and delightful as all the different social media platforms can be, they’re your new best friends for growing your followers. Plus, they are a great way to connect with your readers.
Everyone has their own preference for social media platforms, but if your website doesn’t have at least Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, you’re hurting your websites potential. Obviously some different niches won’t use all of the platforms regularly, so find out which ones work best for you and use them often.
Connect with your readers by finding out what other sites and social media platforms they use. Find out where your audience hangs out so that you can follow them there and promote your website and the products you are featuring.
Pinterest can be a surprisingly helpful tool to drive traffic to your site, sometimes more so than Facebook and Twitter. It can be especially helpful when you are using affiliate marketing. You can create a vertical pin (735 px by 1102 px) featuring one of the products you are featuring.
Your pin can have the image of the product or something creative about the post, with the pin linking to your site’s page that has the product on it. Or you can link directly to the affiliate link and it can take them directly to the advertiser.
You can use social media management websites like Hootsuite, where you can plan out what to post, when to post and on which social media platform to post it on. You can also see who is engaging with you on social media, who’s talking about you and all kinds of analytics that will be very helpful to learn about your audience. The more you know your audience, the more you can successfully use affiliate marketing. This will help you organize everything so you don’t go crazy with all the social media.
Don’t forget about your early and loyal followers who helped build the foundation of your traffic. It’s likely some of the people who first signed up for your mailing list or to follow you will be some of your best customers later on down the road. Be sure to keep building a relationship with the early followers as you grow your traffic.
Deep linking And Higher Google Rankings
Deep linking is another SEO term that refers to linking to an inner page of a website rather than homepage.
Advertisements are recognized as Google as advertisements. When affiliate links are deep links, Google sees them as part of the content of the page. Deep linking allows the links to be bypassed as advertising and appear to be part of the content that is linking to another page.
They are called deep links because they take you deeper into a website than just linking to the home page. The benefit of deep linking is that Google will index these links as part of your page, giving you better link juice. It is also possible that Google will pull up your page when someone searches for the product. Articles with affiliate marketing links in them tend to have deep links in them and therefore Google will award these links and rank them higher.
Deep linking can reduce your bounce rate and increase your page views and subscribers. Deep links are better for readers because it means they get to the page they want quickly. Deep linking can increase your page’s entire authority, something you want. Deep linking help pages that might be hidden and not be indexed by Google get indexed. Since most affiliate marketing links are deep linking, adding affiliate marketing to your website is highly beneficial, not only to monetize, but to increase your visibility and traffic.
Write With SEO In Mind
Placing the affiliate links into an article is great. But if Google doesn’t find your articles and your traffic is not growing organically, then people will not see it. Once you write an article, it’s up and out there on the web. You don’t have to do anything else to it.
So if you write with SEO optimization in mind then you don’t have to go back and tweak the article later for Google to find it. When you write good high quality content, in time, Google will take notice.
Do SEO keywords research to determine the content of your articles. The same keywords can be used when you are searching for advertisers and products through the affiliate network. This will also match products better, giving your site more credibility.