The success of an affiliate marketing strategy depends on how many referrals you’re able to send to merchant sites and how well these referrals convert (hence the bolding of these factors above). The more relevant and appealing the offers you highlight on your site, the higher both your click and conversion rates will likely be. If you’re running a travel blog, you probably don’t want to be featuring affiliate offers for baby products; replacing them with affiliate links to cruise packages would probably result in a higher referral rate.
While an affiliate marketer will easily be able to join a specific affiliate network without paying, merchants typically have to pay some small fee to join the network. Most affiliate networks normally charge a setup fee for every merchant and this is subsequently followed by a recurring membership fee. It is also common for affiliate networks to charge the merchants a certain percentage of the commissions paid out to the affiliates. This percentage is referred to as over-ride and is usually paid on top of affiliate commissions. Even if you are looking for a giant bean bag chair, there is an affiliate network that can offer you anything, even a giant beanbag chair.
There is no shortage of products you’ll be able to promote. You’ll have the ability to pick and choose products that you personally believe in, so make sure that your campaigns center around truly valuable products that consumers will enjoy. You’ll achieve an impressive conversion rate while simultaneously establishing the reliability of your personal brand.
You can also establish commission tiers based on specific product categories. For example, you could pay 2 percent revenue share on electronics, and 10 percent on home decor, since the former carries a lower profit margin than the latter. A challenge of working with this dual structure is the technical integration. You will need to create a product feed for the affiliate network, and for each affiliate transaction that occurs you will have to submit item-level data to distinguish, say, electronics from home decor. Neither task is particularly challenging, but it does require some work.
Yes, there are certain things you can do to help give yourself more exposure in the search engines. You might be familiar with the term search engine optimization (or SEO for short). While SEO is important, search engines are much smarter than they used to be and they are getting smarter FAST. Google (the #1 search engine by far) has consistently stated you should focus less on “SEO” and more on providing a great user experience. If you provide great content, they will come… and so will the search engines.
As you can see, I’m a huge stickler about having things planned out ahead of time. Running a business like affiliate marketing is similar to a game of chess. You always need to be thinking one step ahead. Of course, you can always change your plan and honestly, you likely will as the game board changes. The fact of the matter is, most successful affiliate marketers had everything planned out before they ever saw their first dime.
Hello Miles, thank you for the valuable information. I want to get started as an affiliate marketer but I am afraid to use my real name. I have a PhD in Public Health from a reputable university and this stops me from marketing products because I am afraid I may be judged for marketing products that may not be based on scientific evidence. I want to have the freedom to sell all products. How do I get over this block? Can I still build a list without using myself as the brand? How do I succeed if I am working behind the scenes? What name do I use? A fake name or use a company name? Thank you!
Just like any other industry, new affiliate marketers tend to make a lot of mistakes. That’s what rookies do! Fortunately, mistakes can be limited by doing some research and learning from others who are a bit further ahead in the learning curve. Trust me, as a full-time affiliate marketer, the learning NEVER stops! I do promise that it gets easier with time, though.
It can mean sharing it on your social media profiles. It can mean including a few articles or video in your weekly newsletter that relate to your products. It can mean going on internet forums and replying to individuals whose questions you know how to answer. It can mean writing a guest post that gets your name and website name onto another person’s site, expanding your reach to their network as well.
At the beginning, Murphy created her own affiliate program in house. She found that this process was a major time sink — she had to take the time to constantly monitor her program and remember to pay affiliates regularly. She made the jump on an affiliate network, where she could immediately access tracking, reporting, and payment systems (as well as instant access to affiliates who were more-than-ready to help sell her products).
When beginning your affiliate marketing career, you’ll want to cultivate an audience that has very specific interests. This allows you to tailor your affiliate campaigns to that niche, increasing the likelihood that you’ll convert. By establishing yourself as an expert in one area instead of promoting a large array of products, you’ll be able to market to the people most likely to buy the product.
When I was a child, my school would have fundraisers that involved us going door-to-door to sell magazine subscriptions (magazines were glossy, soft-cover publications that would be mailed to a subscriber’s house on a weekly or monthly basis). I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was right in the middle of an affiliate marketing scheme. The magazine companies had products they wanted to sell. Schools had the ability to sell these products. And for every subscription sold, the magazine companies gave a slice of the proceeds to the school. (In this example, there’s actually a secondary later of affiliate marketing; the schools effectively outsource the actual selling to the students, in exchange for prizes that come with meeting certain sales figures.)
After going through Module 5 you’ll know the secret to finding & sharing content your subscribers can’t get enough of! They’ll print it out. They’ll put it on their fridge & send it to their friends! And best of all - you won’t have to create any of it! You’ll learn the advantages of shared content over created content and even how to use contests & give-aways to make sure your subscribers stay in your funnel forever!
A good example is the YouTube channel Suspicious0bservers. That guy posts a video about space weather every single morning. When he first started, nobody was following him. But over time, people started to subscribe. Then they started to tell their friends, who told their friends, and it became a total avalanche. He now has a paid subscription so people can receive his evening news videos and is making a full-time living doing it.
Affiliates can also help your company tap into new audiences and reposition inventory so that it is relevant to them. For example, perhaps your site is entirely in English, with no exposure to the Hispanic market. One of your affiliates may translate your copy into Spanish and target that market, thus bringing new customers to you. Such a tactic — translating text — would be expensive and time consuming. So increased commissions for those new customers would help offset the affiliate’s initial investment.
DISCLOSURE: Some products and services promoted on this website are affiliate links. This means if you decide to buy one of these products, I will earn a small commission. By using these links, there's no additional cost to you. You get the same great resource at the same great price. I only promote resources, products and services I truly believe will provide you with incredible value. By earning a commission, it helps me produce more quality content. Plus it even helps feed my children! 🙂