Affiliate marketing is one of the best and most convenient ways to capitalize on the popularity of your blog or website. This is exactly why affiliate marketing keeps growing year after year, attracting both the publishers and merchants from all over the world.
According to the report, annual affiliate marketing spending is projected to hit the $6.8 billion mark by 2020. If you could grab just a small portion of the market share, it would earn you more than enough money to call it a decent income.
But this is much easier said than done. The affiliate battlefield is extremely competitive, so you do have to make an outstanding plan in order to outdo your direct rivals. Our job is to help you out in the process, so keep reading to learn 14 actionable affiliate marketing tips and strategies.
The Basics of Affiliate Marketing
If you want to improve affiliate marketing activities, you need to revise the whole plan and look back at the basics once again. We will quickly guide you through the essentials in this chapter.
By definition, affiliate marketing is an advertising model where a company pays compensation to third-party publishers to generate traffic or leads to the company’s products and services. Therefore, affiliate sales revolve around three stakeholders: merchants who sell specific goods, publishers who promote those offers, and consumers who want to buy products.
To get a notion of how important it is to craft a solid strategy in this area, just take a look at the two stats:
- 81% of brands use affiliate marketing programs.
- Almost 80% of publishers claim that affiliate marketing makes monetizing their website easy.
If you are still wondering about the practical advantages of the business, let’s go through the major benefits:
- A great source of side income: As we explained already, affiliate marketing is an amazing source of side income for clever publishers.
- You already have enough leads: Organizations or individuals who create quality content regularly already have a lot of traffic and generate verified leads.
- Make use of the loyal audience: This benefit goes hand in hand with the previous one. If people keep coming back to your social accounts or web pages, then you have a loyal follower base that guarantees conversions long-term.
- The tactic is non-intrusive: Unlike paid advertising, affiliate marketing is non-intrusive because it really helps readers to solve a problem or learn something new.
Choose from a wide range of products: Almost every brand is using affiliate campaigns these days, thus giving you a wide range of products to choose from.
14 Ways to Boost Your Affiliate Marketing Plan
We can mention dozens of more or less useful affiliate marketing hacks, but it is better to focus on tactics that can really drive conversions and boost revenue in the long run. This is exactly why we selected 14 proven methods, so let’s check them out here.
1. Analyze the market
Publishers who want to improve their business need to stop for a while and reconsider the entire market. First of all, try to identify trendy programs and products that have the highest conversion potential.
After that, you should analyze the biggest competitors in order to see what and how they are doing so well. Are they better because of the content quality? Do they select products more wisely?
Whatever the reason, your job is to find it out and try to incorporate the same solution into your strategy. We don’t recommend you to just copy/paste the same ideas, but you certainly don’t want to run away from proven affiliate methods.
2. Stick to your niche
We’ve seen hundreds of publishers who started strongly but failed to maintain the same level of consistency. The main reason for their failures is very simple – they tried to make more money by going outside of their primary niche.
You should never make the same mistake because it will quickly ruin your professional authority. Although you might boost the profit short-term, it will have disastrous consequences in the long run. Therefore, be patient and do what your core audience expects you to do.
3. Choose products with all due attention
This tip goes hand in hand with the previous one. Namely, you also don’t want to advertise too many products at the same time or promote goods or services that have nothing to do with your field of expertise.
The golden rule of affiliate marketing is to treat each client with all due attention and to do your best to really increase sales. Going too wide stops you from focusing on a specific campaign, so you can never reach the targeted results that way.
Another valuable advice is to avoid the big brands and try to find less popular but credible partners to work with. How come? The answer is easy – the competition is much tougher when you are trying to sell the most popular products.
4. Mind the content quality
This goes without saying, but you can hardly become a successful affiliate marketer if you don’t publish quality content on a regular basis. This goes for non-affiliate posts as well, but we want to stress the importance of affiliate content here.
Jake Gardner, a content creator at Edugeeksclub, claims that honesty is the number one rule of affiliate marketing: “You cannot and don’t want to fool your audience as they are going to recognize it sooner or later. Instead, you must be completely honest, test the product, and discuss all of its pros and cons openly.”
5. Nurture the 80/20 content ratio
We mentioned this before, but it’s impossible to underestimate the significance of content quality on your affiliate hopes. For this reason, you should avoid being greedy or pushy. Don’t publish too many affiliate posts and end up neglecting the basic types of content on your website, blog, or social media.
The best idea is to use the 80/20 ration and stick to it long-term. What does it mean? It means you should publish 80% of regular posts – entertaining or informative – and leave only about 20% for promotional content.
6. Use the best content creation tools
Clever marketers know that they don’t have to do everything single-handedly. Instead, they rely on content creation tools to make the most of their affiliate posts. You can conduct online research to find platforms that suit your professional requirements, but we can recommend you a few interesting solutions here:
- Evernote: If you have a great idea for one of your future posts, make sure to write it down immediately using Evernote.
- Xpert essay writers: It’s a team of expert authors who can suggest excellent topics or even write the entire post on your behalf.
- Headline Analyzer: Online content demands attractive titles and CoSchedule Headline Analyzer will help you to come up with the best solutions.
- Canva: Quality posts almost always include visual content. With Canva, you can create beautiful images, infographics, and other types of visuals quickly and effortlessly.
7. Optimize your content
Website content can hardly be discovered if you don’t optimize it properly. Users don’t look beyond the first page of search results, so you need to apply state of the art SEO tactics.
Keywords represent a quintessential SEO element, so we strongly encourage you to utilize Google Keyword Planner to identify critical terms and search phrases. You should also ride the wave of popularity and write about frequently searched topics. The tool that can help you with that is Google Trends.
8. Shoot video content
People enjoy reading posts, but they love watching videos. This content format is taking over the Internet and affiliate marketing is not an exception. It’s your chance to win over new customers with three different types of videos:
- Product reviews: It’s like a video version of a written product review.
- FAQs: Create a video to answer all questions that often confuse your audience.
- Live Q&A videos: Invite your followers to write questions in comments while you answer in live video sessions.
9. Send personalized emails
Email newsletters are yet another way to approach target consumers and encourage them to purchase affiliate products. What you need to do is personalize a message so as to fulfill the expectations of each recipient individually.
Start by addressing them by their names because it’s an excellent icebreaker. After that, use the existing customer data to customize email copies. This is critical since you do need to establish a meaningful connection between users’ interests and affiliate offers. Such a tactic is likely to keep the audience engaged and willing to follow your affiliate recommendations.
10. Grow reach with guest blogging
Who says you need to stick to your own channels of distribution exclusively? You can always try to grow reach by writing guest posts for other sites. This is a powerful marketing mechanism because it introduces you to the brand new audience group, but it’s not the only benefit you get. On the contrary, guest blogging also enables you to strengthen digital reputation and drive conversions outside of your standard fan base.
11. Test social advertising
Although your objective must be to grow reach organically, sometimes it is necessary to use social advertising to promote your affiliate campaigns. It’s a valuable technique because it allows you to target highly specific users.
For instance, Facebook Ads give you the chance to target three types of audience groups:
- Core audiences: Target customers based on demographic features like location or gender.
- Custom audiences: This group consists of users who already established some kind of interaction with your content.
- Lookalike audiences: The third option is to target individuals who are similar to your existing consumers.
With social advertising tools at your disposal, you can launch ultra-precise affiliate marketing campaigns and drastically increase conversion rates.
12. Take a step further
In the sea of more or less similar affiliate programs, you could make an extra step to outperform direct competitors. For instance, you can offer some sort of a perk that doesn’t cost you anything but looks extravagant or exclusive in the eyes of an average user. There are many options to consider here, including features such as premium memberships, free webinars, and so on.
13. Join a reliable affiliate program
Affiliate marketing programs are another way to improve sales results and grow revenue in the long-term perspective. Such platforms give you a wide range of tools and mechanisms to run successful campaigns, and your only task is to find a reliable affiliate marketplace.
As the affiliate industry is flourishing, you can find dozens of authoritative networks with lucrative business arrangements. Some of the most popular programs include Affiliate Window, ShareASale, Amazon Affiliates, Mobidea, CrakRevenue, AdWork Media, CJ Affiliate, Flex Offers, Rakuten, and many more.
14. Measure results
The last advice on our list is to measure the results of your affiliate campaigns and gain feedback that can help you to improve future activities. It’s a critical process because you need to understand how your content performs and eliminate pain points along the way.
Tracking performance, you should be able to identify top performing products, content types, communication channels, timing, and other features. All those insights will help you to strengthen affiliate marketing plans, focus on the most profitable products, and maximize the profit of your campaigns.
Affiliate marketing is an excellent opportunity to capitalize on your website’s popularity and turn it into a valuable source of passive income. However, it takes a good strategy to earn your place in the affiliate sun and keep driving conversions day in, day out.
In this article, we discussed 14 actionable affiliate marketing tips and strategies that you should take advantage of in 2019. These tactics will make your activities better and more effective, but don’t hesitate to leave a comment if you know other interesting solutions – we will be glad to see it!