I’ve been in affiliate marketing for more than 4 years now and there has been plenty of obstacles I had to gone through! It’s never easy, especially at the beginning. Therefore, I’ve decided to share some of my best tips for beginners and advanced affiliate marketers as well.
My most successful affiliate project is the blog / magazine where I write about best wordpress themes! I try to collect truly best wordpress products and write shorts reviews, which could be helpful for web designers to choose the most suitable theme for their online projects in wordpress. I cooperate with 2 other people on webcreate.me project because it requires plenty of content marketing, SEO and social media work. I currently get 1500 visits daily and around 1200 out of it is organic traffic (95% google). Therefore, I spend most of the time on improving SEO and the content itself!
Choosing Your Blog Topic!
If you’re starting from the scratch, you’ll definitely have to come up with topic for your blog / website which will be suitable first of all, for you!
How to choose the right niche blog topic?
If you’re planning to write by yourself, make sure you choose something you are comfortable with and you won’t have difficulties to write about. You’ll have to produce a lot of content!
These are the most common areas you might consider blogging about:
- Industry-Oriented - focus on specific industry, research and blog about industry news, upcoming trends, breakthroughs or create discussions about it.
- Personal - you can focus on more topics but in an entertaining manner. If you’re good in analysing information, criticizing or humor, you can become well-known blogger. For example: “Haters” are very popular nowadays.
- Hobby or Special Interest - this is the most natural way and I personally think the best way! Blogging about something you’re passionate about. Share your thoughts, unique knowledge or perspectives.
- Political Topics - if you’re able to produce informed and insightful opinions, you can try political blog. The interest in that is endless. Very good on local level!
- General Interest - don’t get stucked with the areas above! There are thousands of other unknown topics around the internet which are not explored yet. You never know what will work, it might be just crazy idea now but in few months it can be famous blog.
Here are few things you should definitely keep in mind:
- Profit - make sure your niche is profitable! Make a list of pages / products / services you would like to promote and compare their prices and commissions.
- Competition - check out competition in your niche and consider your options. Research blogs, magazines, newspapers, TV shows, youtube channels, FB pages etc.
- Audience - find out how large is your target audience. Make sure that your niche is not “too niche”. You definitely need something popular what can bring at least 100 visitors to your website per day.
- Engage - how you’re going to engage and attract your audience? Consider your skills and you options in marketing and play your best card!
- Be unique - think of your strategy, how you can make things differently from competition, how you can make you content more appealing, interactive or entertaining.
Few rules when it comes to content producing:
- Form - choose the right form of content, such as, articles, videos, newsletters, podcasts, etc.
- Type - try different types of content, such as, general opinions, analysing, reviews, comparisons, predictions, how-to tutorials, … find out which one works the best!
- Combination - once you find best combination of form and type of content, start focusing on that and create more.
- Create - produce content often (at least once a week). Don’t let your followers to wait long!
- Plan - create content plan and share it with your audience (so they know what to expect)
- Story - make it personal, let people know who’s behind it and create story around your content.
Let’s Do Some Affiliate Magic
The question is, how are you going to make money? Basically, you are going to promote some sort online products or services on your website, blog posts, videos, newsletter etc.
Where is the magic? The most essential part is your affiliate unique link! It has to be placed everywhere where you’re planning to promote product / services of website you’re affiliating with. Once you bring visitor (through your affiliate link) to product / service page and he becomes customer eventually, you’ll earn your affiliate commision. Commission depends on marketplace, they are usually between 20%-40%. For example, Templatemonster.com offers amazing progressive plan where you can earn up to 50% commission.
There are different forms of affiliate marketing tools which you can use on your website, depending on marketplace as well. Templatemonster.com offers:
Text Links - you can place your text link with your unique URL code anywhere in content (articles).
TIP: make it smart, link it with relevant content!
Banners - you can place banner in your sidebar / header / content. They are premade already, you just need to copy and paste simple code (script). You can choose from bunch of different sizes / designs.
TIP: try to use different ones / test their performance (clicks / conversions)
Widgets - these can save you plenty of time! They are premade for wordpress platform and it takes only few minutes to install them. Widgets automatically generate products relevant to your content.
Web Api - advanced tool for web developers which can retrieve information from marketplace database and store it to your website database in order to create your own custom shop!
RMS (Ready-Made-Shop) - you can start your own shop and start working for yourself. You can sell directly on your website, without showing who made the product.
Showcases - you can easily showcase already used themes which can definitely attract attention of your visitors.
Find out more about templatemonster.com affiliate tools. I definitely recommend templatemonster.com as an affiliate partner! I earn currently $250 per month with them.
TIP: Make sure you don’t put too many affiliate (advertising) elements into your content, you don’t want to become very commercial and discourage your visitors.
On my blogs, I prefer to use text links, banners or widgets. I usually link CTA (Call To Action) buttons or text in the content of articles. Banners / widgets I use in the beginning of articles or in the sidebar, because they stand out there and catch a lot of attention. Pair banners / links with your content as much as it’s possible and make sure you always link to the most relevant content, don’t confuse your visitors.
See the example from my website below:
Kick off Some Marketing Strategy
This is very complex step and you should definitely have a strategy! Define your goals and the way how you’re going to achieve them. You should think of your potential visitors and the way how and where you can catch them / bring them to your website.
TIP: Define your target group and find out where you can reach them!
Target group are people who can become followers of you and readers of your content. On the other side it should be also group of people interested in products / services related to your content in order for you to be profitable. Focus on gender, age, location, interests when it comes to writing your content or promoting it on social media channels.
Brand - you will definitely have to create a brand around your name! Have online presence on social media channels and focus on content marketing.
TIP: Try to be unique and stand out from the crowd.
Find the way how to bring people to your website. These are the biggest sources of online traffic:
- organic traffic (search engines)
- social media (facebook, linkedin, pinterest, twitter, instagram etc.) - check the article on how to choose social media for your business.
- videos (youtube / facebook / vimeo)
- adwords (paid advertising)
On my blogs, I definitely profit from organic traffic, pinterest and facebook. For example: there are plenty of designers on pinterest and my pinterest profile about web design has more than 20K followers and brings 200 visits to my website per day.
TIP: track conversions of your website, it will help you define best traffic source.
TIP: don’t rely just on one source!
SEO - The Most Important
Some marketers say SEO is dead, just because it’s more complex and sophisticated now! For me it’s the most important source of online traffic and income. The truth is that I had to make way too many mistakes to become successful in SEO but it was definitely worth it.
“SEO is not dead, just more complex”
SEO is skill which takes long time to learn and you have to keep yourself updated with the newest changes (google algorithm updates).
TIP: read blogs of some popular affiliate marketers or SEO masters to stay updated! I recommend www.matthewwoodward.co.uk but they are plenty of others. Sign up for their newsletter, like their FB pages… it will keep you connected to SEO news!
I’m not going to talk more about SEO itself because it would be endless. Instead, I’m going to share few “sniper shot” tips for you to watch out in 2016:
- Backlink Network - build a network of backlinks to your website from relevant pages with high authority (guest blogging etc.). After all recent google changes, this is the most helpful but on the other side the hardest tactic. Try to earn your backlinks not to buy them!
- Followers Base - build your followers base on multiply social media platforms & always share your content there. It helps your rankings when google robots see interest in your content on social media. Visits, likes, shares… everything counts!
- Brand - keep the same unique online presence (brand) everywhere! Build up your brand name, make it remarkable. When google sees people googling your name (e.g. “webcreate.me”) it pushes your rankings immidiately for relevant keywords you are trying to optimizre for.
- Hide affiliate links on your website (very important in terms of SEO). If more than 60% of links on your website are affiliate links, you get google penalty! There are plugins or simple scripts for hiding affiliate links.
- Long articles - write long articles with great content which your readers will like / share etc. Long articles with high social media interest rank very well in google! Write at least 1000 words long copies.
- Do not over optimize - on-page & off-page. Don’t put too many keywords into your content, don’t repeat same word combinations, do not modify text just to get your keyword in… make it organic and natural! Over optimising is penalized badly!
- Unique content / photos / videos - google appreciate new unique content, photos and videos. Don’t just download them from internet, try to take your own photos and make your own videos.
- Be mobile friendly - make sure you have your website optimized, responsive and mobile friendly because google requires that! Check your responsivity of your website in google mobile-friendly test!
Don’t Work Hard - Work Smart!
Once you get to the point when your blog is making profit for you, don’t just keep doing same things (repeating same strategies) in order to stay successful!
Always keep improving the whole project, because if you won’t, your competition will! Every single point above needs to be watched and constantly improved!
TIP: At least once a month! Take your time and go through your content, strategies, website, work-flow and find improvements! Be smart!
- Build up more topic ideas, categories or start completely new project (blog) in order to not rely on just one income!
- Be always into trying new strategies and extending your blog with more affiliate features. You can always improve and start making more money. Track / test your website’s performance. Proceed website A/B testing and improve your conversion.
- Keep studying your target group and their needs! Build a relationship with them and keep them engaged. Use popup windows, ask for likes / shares / email address, link social medias via icons, add newsletter forms etc. in order to stay in touch with them.
- Stay updated! Study SEO and keep always adjust to upcoming changes. In most of the cases you know about the change beforehand and you have enough time to take advantage of it.
I hope this article has given you good ideas for your upcoming or existing affiliate project. Online businesses are becoming more complex and sophisticated what requires definitely more education and time! If you play your cards right and you follow changes in affiliate marketing industry & online marketing, you can become very successful.
Feel free to ask questions or share your feedback and suggestions in the comment section below.