Multiply Your Profits: 10 Advanced Affiliate Marketing Strategies
Once you have a basic understanding of affiliate marketing and how it works, hopefully, you will put that knowledge to work. Like anything else, learning and doing are two separate things. Heres 10 advanced affiliate marketing strategies. Learn all you can about affiliate marketing, and then roll up your sleeves and get busy marketing.
Once you have made progress with the basics, you can ease your way into more advanced affiliate marketing strategies. If you are like most individuals, the thought of marketing anything – much less someone else’s product or service – might make you uncomfortable.
However, there is no need to feel unease. Affiliate marketing – even advanced affiliate marketing – is nothing to be fearful of, especially in this day and age. Here are ten advanced affiliate marketing strategies to increase your confidence and to increase your bottom line.
- Mix it up with Merchants – When it comes to affiliate marketing, you don’t want to keep your options too narrow. Keep your options open in your affiliate marketing endeavours by mixing it up with various merchants. This may be a trial and error process, but it does not have to be particularly complicated. Consumers like a choice. Consumers love to compare and, more importantly, consumers love to contrast. A consumer loves to compare the price of one item over another. A consumer gets excited about finding the best price, topped off with the best review. Give your visitors their cake and let them eat it too. This will make for a happy consumer, who may be more likely to turn into a repeat buyer. When you offer your visitors variety, there is more of a likelihood that they will stay on your site rather than veer off to search elsewhere. If done correctly, you can use multiple banners throughout your site. When done properly, affiliate marketing with a few merchants will not give the appearance that you are trying to “sell, sell, and sell.” There is nothing that will turn off a potential visitor more than too many choices or trying to be sold at every turn. However, a good balance of affiliate merchants is more appealing to the eye and the mindset of a visitor.
- Tracking, Tracking, Tracking – In the same way and manner you would follow stocks and bonds – if you own those types of things – you want to track your affiliate marketing efforts. It cannot be emphasized enough how important tracking your results are. With hundreds of thousands of affiliates that you can associate with, you want to be sure that your choices are lined up with your results. You certainly would not purchase a stock and then never check its investment performance. You would pay attention to your 401(k), as well. You should adopt the same mindset when it comes to tracking your affiliate efforts on your website.
- Affiliates offer you a way to check on your sales and clicks through your dashboard. Be certain to check in frequently to assess the performance of your affiliate choices. There is much you can do on your dashboard, such as checking on referral statistics, payments made, and payments pending. This is a great way of tracking your affiliate marketing efforts.
- Just as you would keep reliable records of your taxes for tax return purposes, it is important to keep a record of your sales through affiliate marketing, as well. Sometimes venues such as PayPal may not offer you the opportunity to look back further than three months’ worth of activity. This may make recordkeeping difficult. If you want, you may also wish to use accounting software or a simple spreadsheet to keep a reliable accounting record.
- Choose a time frame that works for you and stick with it. For example, you may want to check your results once per month or every two weeks. Whatever you choose, make certain that you do so consistently. Check to see which campaigns are working and which ones are struggling. This small effort will pay off in the end.
- Measure Performance Using Split Testing – Keep an eye out for performance. Utilize split testing to analyze results. Split testing, also known as A/B testing, is a powerful way to measure what your visitor likes as compared to trying to brainstorm and figure it out entirely on your own. Split testing allows you to get to know your customer similar in way to creating a persona for him or her. Is your customer a single mom seeking to save time and money? Is ease of use more important than saving money? No matter what business you are in – whether you are selling goods or services – if you don’t have the consumer’s best interest at heart, you will fall short with your bottom line. Testing one element against another is a good way to highlight what works best. By testing the performance of one campaign against another, you have the opportunity to see what is working and what is not. By performing a split test, you can enhance what is working and you can eliminate what is not. Don’t forget to utilize the various plug-ins that are offered, for example, through WordPress.
- Use Tracking Software – Tracking conversion software provides you the opportunity to track the results of your affiliate campaign. Tracking software enables you to find quite a bit of information regarding your campaign. For example, you may be able to track where your clicks are coming from, which pages are more successful than others, and how many click-throughs to purchase you receive. Sometimes your business is only as good as the tools you use. Take some time to check into the various software programs for tracking your affiliate marketing results and you may find a way to increase those results dramatically.
- Pay Attention to Reviews – Keep an eye out for comments and reviews. If you are not getting good reviews – or worse yet, you are getting complaints and bad reviews – you may want to rethink your choice of affiliates. Associate yourself with reliable merchants who put their customers first. By doing so you align yourself with integrity. Don’t forget; your business is at stake, and so is your bottom line. You want to be in alignment with high performance merchants that value their customers. Another angle on reviews is to write good reviews. We have all probably had the experience – or been the recipient of this experience – of going to a fabulous restaurant and recommending it to everyone we know. The excitement and genuine interest to share this great find with those we love and sometimes even complete strangers is what you need to show in your affiliate marketing reviews. Try a product. Thoroughly research a product. Recommend the product by being truly enthusiastic about it. Don’t let the selling or not selling of the product ruin your genuine belief in it.
- Don’t forget to include details in your review. Don’t just sit there and state that the product is good. Why was it good? What did it do to make your life better, easier, faster? The most important thing when it comes to details, however, is in revealing the problem you had and the solution this product provided for you. There is so much power behind solving a problem for another visitor, it cannot be stated enough.
- Buy the product if feasible. Use the product. Test out the product. If possible, take photos of you using the product in the beginning stages, the middle stages and then the end result. Photos have a powerful impact on viewers. Sometimes people need to see in order to truly believe. Visuals have a strong impact on making a final purchasing decision.
- Don’t be salesy. Trust in your own authenticity and genuine belief in the product and keep it simple. The more you rant and rave, the less authentic you will appear. Promote the product’s features, but never forget the products benefits. What is the difference? Well, a feature may be that it is fast, but a benefit could be getting you somewhere on time. This makes you reliable and dependable.
- Make Changes to Increase Your Bottom Line – Change things up. If your creative campaigns are less than stellar, change your ads up once in a while and see if your results change as well. Depending on placement, you may get better results elsewhere with your ads. If a particular campaign is not yielding the results you desire, change it up a bit. Place banner ads elsewhere on your website on different pages. Don’t forget to change up the content and keep it fresh and current also. Not only do search engines want to see new and fresh content, so do your visitors. This is important to keep in mind. You can have great ads with content that is subpar, and this will only result in your visitors leaving too quickly. If your site visitors leave too quickly, they may not even get to see your fabulous ads, your next page, your landing page or anything else on your site that is wonderful for that matter. Keep your content up to date and keep it fresh.
- Check on Your Cost vs. Gain Values – Affiliate marketing is not simply an add-on tool. It is a core part of your business. Moreover, you need to treat it as a business. You need to have a plan when it comes to affiliate marketing. Simply slapping up some ads – whether well-placed or not – will not yield the return on your investment that you desire. Explore the channels that lead to a higher return on investment, and watch out for those that do not. Internet marketing is cost-effective when you are using affiliate marketing because you do not actually have to produce, sell, and store a product, good or service. However, there are some expenses involved, such as subscribing to a potential software tracking tool, an investment of time in which you are not getting paid to research and set up your affiliate marketing endeavours. Don’t forget the fact that you also have to track and follow your campaigns, as well as set them up. All this time and effort adds up, so you and only you can decide if the gain outweighs the cost. If you are patient and willing to invest some time, you may be more than pleased to see that the gain far outweighs the cost and that the investment in time was well worth it. Google AdWords is another example of weighing cost and gain. If you choose to create an ad in your AdWords, use the affiliate link to drive traffic to your sales page. Keep an eye out to see if the ad converts visitors into consumers and see if the gain outweighs the cost.
- Do a Compare and Contrast of Affiliates – When comparing affiliates there are several keys to keep in mind.
- Seek affiliates in your niche – One of the most important things to remember is to seek affiliates in your niche. It just makes simple business sense. You have a better chance of selling products on your website if those products (or goods or services_ closely match that of your site.
- Using the big brands – If you are considering utilizing the big brand affiliate networks, it is important to be aware of the ups and downs. For one thing, know that you are just starting out and you will be treated like a newbie. The big brand affiliate networks will not be extremely inclined to give you much one-on-one attention. On the upswing, you can depend on getting paid in a timelier manner utilizing a big brand affiliate network since they have been around longer and are more reliable.
- Make certain to look for the percentage of commission offered, as well. Bigger networks may take more money from their merchants, leaving a smaller slice of the pie for you.
- The smaller networks may not be as trustworthy and you may have to do quite a bit more research looking through these smaller networks to find a product that you would buy yourself or that you trust enough to place on your website. Again, this goes back to the first tip in this list – you don’t want to promote anything that you would not be proud of and that does not support or align with your own website. This will impact your bottom line.
- Avoid Getting Declined – There are a couple of reasons why you may get your application for an affiliate program denied.
- Your site screams get rich quick – Whether you intend to or not, your site may appear to have one agenda and one agenda only – to sell as much as you can to as many as you can. Most merchants are reputable. They want their products, goods, or services associated with valuable sites. If your site does not seem to be trustworthy, there is a good chance your application will get denied.
- Your site is too new – Your site may be so new that it does not have a clear direction or it may not give a good indication of where it is heading. There may be no apparent value or indication that it will be a successful site.
- There is little or no content on your site – Without content, there is little chance that your application for affiliate marketing will get approved. Any network or merchant will need to see your authenticity, whether or not you are reliable and if you have the potential to engage an audience.
- Your site may be under construction – Most merchants want to see a site live, up and running. This gives a merchant or a network a clear idea of what value you offer, your future potential, and what you can bring to the table. While you may believe that your site has the most potential and is a brilliant idea, merchants and network affiliates need to see it for themselves.
- Poorly-designed site – If your site lacks curb appeal – in other words, it is poorly designed – this may cause your application to be declined. Make certain that you have a valuable site, cleanly designed with good and original content.
- Using SID Codes – System Identification Number, also known as a sub-campaign affiliate link, will help you dig deeper into the hows and whys of the success or failure of your affiliate market promotions. While it is important to know how much commission you are making and whether or not you are having success, it is just as – if not more – important to know why. System Identification Number codes offer you the opportunity to see what links are thriving and which links are sinking. You get to see whether it was an ad in content, or a review, that brought in more commissions than the other. This is a method to dig deeper into what is creating more income for you on your site. It stands to reason that knowing what not to do will yield results in seeking other avenues, and knowing exactly what to do will yield results in earning more revenue. System Identification Number codes can tell you which pages are moneymakers and can also tell you where to direct more traffic. Knowing specifically which pages are your “star students” allows you to direct more traffic in that direction.
Tips and Tidbits for Your Affiliate Marketing
- Beware of the Get Rich Quick Scheme
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.
- Stay on Top of Your Game
Just like any other endeavour, 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.
- 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
- Valuable plug-ins, ranging anywhere from an SEO plug in to a broken link checker
- Keep your affiliate marketing books and guides handy
- A keyword research tool such as keyword planner, wordtracker or SEMrush
- A tracking system that tracks user behavior on your site
- A multitude of affiliate networks to compare and contrast such as ShareASale, Commission Junction or Clickbank
- Consider a software program that will help you keep track of revenues earned from commission for easy recordkeeping
- Affiliate tracking software
Of course, these are only a sampling of tools of the trade that are available. Take time to explore all that is available to make your online business or web site increasingly profitable.
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. 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.
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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
So there you have it; ten advanced affiliate marketing tips to help you gain a profit. Additionally, there are a few good tips and tidbits, from having the right tools to having the right mindset for running your affiliate marketing endeavours. These tips, along with devoting the proper amount of time and effort, and having the right mindset, will have your affiliate marketing efforts paying off, and you will probably be wondering why you didn’t take this on sooner.