1. Choose Your Area Of Expertise
It’s easy to race off thinking you want to make big commissions by selling all of the high price items you’re able to find on your chosen affiliate network. And this in itself isn’t such an issue if it happens to be an area of expertise.
A couple of things you have to consider though:
1) People take a lot of time to consider high value purchases, and will visit a lot of places. Many people simply still don’t always trust those purchases to just seeing them online and will head into a store to check out the physical product. Having a niche which focuses on smaller low price items that you can sell a lot of more easily can yield very similar returns.
2) You have to know what you’re talking about, people aren’t stupid, and affiliate marketing is the same as any other kind of sales, you have to be able to appeal to a need in people and speak their language. If you’re choosing items you have no real knowledge of, or passion for, you’re going to struggle.
2. Post Great Content
This is tied into the point above, if you don’t know about the products you’re selling, or you’re just rehashing content from elsewhere, you’ll struggle to make it engaging. Also, making sales doesn’t happen overnight, so you will have to work at getting an audience, and in that time you’re likely to lose your passion and give up. We all perform better when it’s doing something we love.
Don’t create posts with the sole aim of reviewing and selling a product, these become very transparent and don’t engage an audience long-term. You want your blog to have people coming back because they learn something, or they get to smile. Along the way you can then introduce products as part of the wider narrative. If you make content that people are likely to want to share, then you’re creating a direct method of increasing your reach and gaining new followers.
3. Don’t Just Get Content Out Through One Channel
Just as in marketing days of old where brands would push products on TV, in print, on billboards etc; In these days of the social media you have to adopt the same approach. Develop strategies for how you will deliver content on Facebook, through Instagram, direct emailing newsletters, paid search, etc. All of these channels will get readers seeing your content in lots of places, and build an awareness and trust. It’s important though to make sure the content is presented in a channel appropriate way, as what works on Facebook for instance, will not work for Instagram. (We will cover this in greater detail in a future article)
4. Disguise Your Affiliate Links
No one likes to feel as though they’re being sold to, it’s the reason we run away from assistants in shops. It’s no different online, if someone can tell that the link you are directing them to has your affiliate account code in it, they’ll instantly be turned off. Many affiliate links are too long for Google short links, so instead add a hyperlink to a line that says something like FIND OUT MORE.
5. Be Patient
This is a long game. People often go into affiliate marketing thinking they’ll be self employed and working out of a coffee shop within weeks. It doesn’t work like that, you have to build an audience over time, find your niche, establish what works and refine your content. In time you’ll then develop a following and a place in the market. As part of this process, don’t be afraid to evolve your tone and presentation.