Making money while you sleep is the dream, excuse the pun. But affiliate marketing makes those possibilities real as one of the most popular streams of earning a passive income. In fact, between 2015 and 2020 online searches for “affiliate marketing” grew by over 200%. So, it’s really no surprise industry is as big as it is, now worth $12 billion. That being said, success in this industry varies. Some earn $300 a day, some $3,000 a day, some over $10,000 and many earn nothing at all, losing money from the get-go.
But this industry isn’t a gamble or a lottery, it will work for you if you work for it. The income you eventually earn might be passive but for that to be anything significant you need to be committed.
So, if you’ve just started as an affiliate marketer, looking for advice or if you’re considering jumping in, here are some tips and things to keep in mind that will give you the best shot at becoming a successful affiliate marketer.
How to Be a Successful Affiliate Marketer
1. Find Your Niche
It might seem like a good idea to promote as many things as you can in as many areas as you can; shouldn’t that give you the best chances in the industry? Often, it’s that very assumption that leads to immediate failure. Spreading yourself too thin leads to disorganized content and a lack of focus, in other words, you’re not going to be earning much.
In this market, it’s best to concentrate on that one area that you know you’re good at. If you have expertise in fitness for example and you’re particularly knowledgeable in the area of fitness diets, choose that as your niche and dedicate all of your content to be relevant to that. The more specific you are in your niche the greater your chances are of becoming a successful affiliate marketer.
2. Become an Expert at Your Products
Your path to becoming a successful affiliate marketer also depends on your faith in the products you promote. Choosing products, you trust is vital, if you’re not convinced of the products, you’re promoting with your content you cannot expect your visitors to be convinced.
Moreover, you must know your products. That will involve some research but unless you know every detail of what you promote, you’re not going to be able to produce helpful; quality content that will lead to sales. Whether it’s a selfie stick or an email newsletter service, a successful affiliate marketer is an expert at the products they promote.
3. Create High-Quality Content
The quality of your content is going to make all the difference. And that’s true regardless of what form that content is in. Whether you’re writing articles, reviews, tutorials, producing videos, or creating posts for Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, as an affiliate marketer one of your primary objectives is to earn the trust of your audience. Your content must be meaningful and should add value to the topic of your niche in some way.
If your articles are packed with affiliate links and the content is lazily written to fill up space on a page, your visitors if any aren’t going to stick around, and none of those links are going to translate to an income. Focus on creating unique and well-researched content that your visitors are going to want to read, watch or share. This way search engines rank your content higher, and your efforts pay off.
It’s equally important for a successful affiliate marketer to be consistent with your content. Post regularly and on a fixed schedule. Don’t bombard your subscribers or visitors with an unceasing flow of content yet at the same time do not leave huge periods of time between your posts either. Find a schedule that allows you to maintain the quality of your content without it becoming an annoyance to your audience.
4. Know Your Audience
Depending on your niche, you likely have a target audience. For example, if your focus is gardening, your target audience is probably not millennial tech enthusiasts. It’s important that you’re aware of who you are creating content for and with that knowledge in mind target those groups of people.
Promote your content and your products toward your targeted demographic. Using the example above, if your niche is gardening you might choose to post relevant content on a gardening-based Subreddit or Facebook group. Knowing your audience and creating content for them specifically establishes your credibility as a successful affiliate marketer.
5. Engage With Your Audience
A successful affiliate marketer finds every opportunity to interact with their audience. Use comments on your blog or on videos to engage with your audience. Reply to as many comments as you can and start a conversation. Nothing builds trust better than direct interaction.
Use socials channels as well to engage with your audience. Post content on online forums related to your niche and find communities within your niche to interact with. Use these avenues to build a relationship with your audience, not to force a sale.
Hosting competitions, giveaways, and conducting Q & A sessions is also a good way to engage with your audience. The more active and friendly you come across to your audience the more likely they are to return to your content and help you earn.
6. Quality Over Quantity
The number of clicks you get on your article or blog could often be a meaningless metric. As an affiliate, your program is unlikely to pay you any commission unless those clicks are converted to sales. So, purchasing an automatic bot service to ramp up clicks is never a good idea but a common mistake among beginner affiliate marketers.
Overcrowding your content with affiliate links or cluttering a page with banners will only make your content appear unattractive for your audience. Your affiliate links must seamlessly blend with your content. If your audience feels like they’re being forced to click on links, there’s a good chance they will never return to your site and content.
10 clicks from paying and interested visitors are far more valuable than 1000 clicks from a bot. And the only way you’re going to get those valuable clicks is by creating high-quality content and engaging with your audience.
7. Optimize Your Content for Mobile Users
With most of the world on the move, it’s important that your content is available on any device. If your website or blog looks clean and organized with a desktop layout but becomes a cluttered mess on a mobile, you’re losing out on huge potential. In fact, mobiles make up more than 50% of affiliate traffic.
If you’re using WordPress for your site, there are simple settings available to make your content mobile-friendly. If you’ve built your site yourself, make sure it looks just as good on every device. It’s always a good idea to step into the shoes of your visitor and check out your site across multiple devices for a different perspective.
8. Always Look for Ways to Improve
A successful affiliate marketer is constantly looking for ways to improve. What you try at first may not ways bring you the results you want so the key to success is your willingness to change. Experiment and try out new things.
Try different layouts and styles on your site, experiment with colors, images, or banner placement. You may not strike gold with your first post but even the small hiccups are a great way to learn. Ask your visitors for feedback and welcome constructive criticism.
If a blog post isn’t getting the clicks you want, find out why. Have you been promoting it on the wrong channels? Is your article too long or too short? Is the writing style of the article unappealing? Ask the right questions and take the efforts to find and execute the solutions. There is always room to improve but in order to do so, you can’t be afraid of changing things up now and then.
9. Keep Track of Your Performance
As you make changes, experiment, and try new things it’s just as important to keep a track of your success. That way you know if your tactics and adjustments are working. Your site’s analytics are the best way to keep track of what works and what doesn’t. Your affiliate program also likely provides you with tools to keep track of your performance.
Observe what your visitors engage with. Which posts are the most popular and which don’t seem to be doing as well? What pages do your visitors spend the most time with? Which products do your visitors click on the most?
It’s also a good idea to keep a track of your social media analytics, your social presence could be the major driving force of traffic to your content, and keeping track of your social presence is equally important.
Keeping track of time also gives you valuable insights on your performance in the past and the periods of time your site did particularly well. As your business as an affiliate marketer grows and the channels you use to promote products become more intricate, keeping logs and analytics of your performance in the past can be extremely useful.
10. Stick With the Trends
Stay updated with the news and trends in your niche. A successful affiliate marketer is always in the know, producing relevant content in their niche or area of interest. If for example, there are booming trends in the fitness world and that happens to be your focus and area of interest, exploit the fact, and create content tailored to fit that.
But there’s another aspect to this point. Stick with the trends in your niche but also follow and stay updated on the trends in the affiliate marketing industry in general. Try to learn something new about affiliate marketing at every opportunity you find.
For example, learning the best SEO practices can rapidly boost your revenue potential. SEO is the leading global traffic source at over 69%. Expanding your knowledge involves looking for resources, learning from others, and maybe even enrolling in courses to boost your performance as an affiliate marketer.
The industry is constantly evolving. What works today, may not work tomorrow so it’s vital you’re also paying attention to the broader aspects of the affiliate marketing world beyond your niche.
11. Play By the Rules
Fraud plagues the affiliate marketing business costing it $1.4 billion in 2020. It’s a huge problem in an industry that makes up 16% of all online spending, so it’s important you don’t engage in activities that make you a part of it.
This means being honest in your promotions. Overselling products by making claims that aren’t true or posting affiliate links on platforms that do not permit it such as on Reddit or Quora will only land you in trouble. Furthermore, it damages your chances of ever becoming a successful affiliate marketer. Respect the brands you’re working with and keep your reputation intact.
12. You’re in for the Long Game
Becoming a successful affiliate marketer is rarely an overnight kind of success. It’s an industry built on the trust you establish with your audience and trust takes time. Several affiliate marketers who give up, quit because they don’t find immediate success. You’re more than likely to hit a few bumps along the way and you might not be earning a whole lot in the first few months, but you have to be willing to play the long game.
Adjust aspects of your approach, change what needs to be changed and keep track of what you’re doing. Your audience is a priority so make sure you’re creating content for them and as long as you’re playing fair, the success you expect will eventually become a reality. Of course, the expectations you set should be reasonable and realistic.
On a Final Note…
And with these points in mind, you’re ready to start your journey to become a successful affiliate marketer. Remember, it takes time, and it requires effort but if you’re willing to put in both, you’re already on the path to success.
Recommended Video: 7 Things to Know BEFORE You Start Affiliate Marketing (2021)