Dropshipping and affiliate marketing are two major e-commerce fulfillment models in 2021.
Affiliate marketing is a controversial business model on the internet. While some earn a good amount of passive income, others believe it to be a scam. However, the truth lies somewhere in between. It is neither a scam nor can it make you a millionaire.
Signing up for an affiliate program can help you earn a commission fee for every sale you make. On the other hand, the company or the perspective SaaS product gets a new customer.
Saas affiliate marketing programs are thriving in 2021. They offer the best commission rates. Moreover, it is easier to acquire new customers for digital products than physical products.
In affiliate marketing, marketers promote other brands’ products on their website for a recurring commission. All you have to have is a good social presence, your blog, and an audience that trusts you.
However, stepping into this business fulfillment requires proper training. If you are not aware of the basic dos and don’ts of affiliate marketing, things could go south. Ultimately, you will end up running your reputation in the market. A dynamic approach and workable strategy with all the do’s and don’ts are all you need to start.
So, let’s figure out what to do religiously as a novice affiliate marketer:
Content is the most-performing element on your website. Therefore, curating generic and spammy content will get you nowhere. You can set the website in a matter of minutes. Yet, it does not mean you should jump on the bandwagon without research. You can’t endeavor the art of affiliate marketing without conducting proper research and planning your way in.
Although it is easier to start an affiliate business, you still need to devise a plan while following all protocols. Determine all the niches, market trends, affiliate programs, and the target audience. What niche interests more people? How can you focus on the content to make sales? What is the best way to increase your reach? How do current marketing trends affect your affiliate business?
Think about all the efforts you have to put in – like learning different ways to promote affiliate links.
Affiliate marketing has little to no start-up cost. However, it can be a little difficult to start off. If you are unsure about the type of affiliate program you need, here are steps to conduct niche research:
Promoting affiliate products is not about showing-off and raving. A common trait among all affiliate marketers is that they have steady traffic on their websites. People re-visit again and again and this happens because the content is engaging and honest. Be it video content, a review, a blog post, or an email, steady traffic shows that you are providing useful information.
Whenever you create content diligently and regularly, it becomes a lot easier for you to promote affiliate links.
Another point to remember is that you have to give relevant examples and advice when promoting products. Talk to your customers about how you can stay on top of the game by using that product.
Talk about what you liked and disliked in the product/service. After that, explain how it could be beneficial for people like you. Every product has room for improvement. Therefore, talk about all the things that could be improved and what customers have to compromise.
Also, if you are not balancing the positives and negatives, people will start assuming you a scam. Be genuine as focusing on sales is not a good long-term plan for a marketer.
Here is how you can be honest in your content:
No affiliate marketer wants to end up committing to an affiliate program with a dodgy and dreadful reputation. The key to dodging this scenario is to conduct background research. Check the company’s website for its credibility. If possible, you can also go through other affiliates’ reviews.
Another element to consider when choosing an affiliate program is your niche. An affiliate marketer has the freedom to promote anything, however, relevance is the key. For instance, if your blog talks about cloud hosting, it will make more sense to talk about cloud-based tools rather than cars, right?
Steps to choose the right affiliate program:
This is an obvious tip for a novice marketer. To get some good returns, make sure to use your unique referral link wisely on your website.
There is a huge community of affiliate marketers who send glowing product endorsements but do not add enough links.
Yes, all marketers mention the brand but only a few marketers hyperlink the brand name with the product link. To find a clickable link, customers often have to go to the end of the email.
Try your best to make the process as easy as possible for your audience. Insert links in the right locations so your customers can navigate to the product’s website easily. The more clicks on the links, the better your chance to earn a commission fee. You are improving people’s lives to earn a potential income.
Therefore, hyperlink all the relevant keywords throughout the email or a blog post. Furthermore, try to add the link at the start as most readers do not make it to the end.
The best practice is to reveal the affiliate agreements and arrangements to your audience. The easiest way is to put a banner or disclaimer on your website. It should say something like, ‘the product that we recommend is part of an affiliate arrangement’. Or something short like, ‘Products that we recommend are a type of company’s compensation’.
If your blog has a friendly tone, you could mention something like, ‘all blog posts contain affiliate links’.
Generally, affiliate marketers provide PayPal information to affiliate companies, so they can pay you. They can either pay per click or a fixed commission fee for every item you sell.
Ensure that you track results effectively and more often as it is not enough to do it just once. Just like any other business, you need to analyze and adjust the strategy for more sales.
Here are some things in affiliate marketing you should avoid:
Customers hate it when pop-ups and ads keep interrupting while they are reading your content. They inter with the customer’s ability to scroll through your blog. Hence, annoying the customer. It is best to leave them for the end, just when the visitor is leaving. Otherwise, the audience will be fed up and you will end up losing potential customers.
Maintain a steady flow of traffic by not posting spammy content. Most affiliates do not consider their blogs to be spam. However, it is the opposite. Spam goes beyond copywriting to make money.
Spammy content is irrelevant or not useful to your customers. For instance, if you are a fitness coach with a large audience following, promote protein powders, supplements, etc. The moment you post a blog about video games is where you close your credibility. After, that, you are considered a spam
Spammy content results in poor conversion rate and loss of traffic. Consequently, companies and affiliate networks avoid to work with you or even consider you.
Nobody wants to listen to someone who is aiming just to get the profit cut. Would you ever consider the suggestion of such a marketer? Of course, not.
Focus on educating your audience rather than making sales or posting spammy content. Convince your readers into buying the product by telling stories/personal experience.
While the affiliate companies like you to be salesy, the customers hate it and consider you a scam.
You have to agree or sign a term of service document before you proceed to work with the affiliate company. This agreement usually lays all the ground rules of what you can and cannot do. when promoting a product, it is best to be mutual in rules as contradictions create controversies.
Generally, a term of service document includes guidelines and rules to promote the product around competitors. Be sure to follow the document every step of the way. If you do not understand the document, you can always consult and inquire.
For instance, affiliates usually bid on the advertiser’s most-used keywords on Google. If you wish to participate in an activity like this, ensure if it is okay for the brand. An activity like this often lowers traffic on their website and increase their marketing costs. Therefore, most companies prohibit it.
If you violate the terms in the documents, the company will first send you an email telling you to stop. If you fail to comply with the rules, the company can terminate the contract or worse, can reverse your commissions.
Affiliates who are not tech-savvy avoid affiliate networks because they have to add specific lines of the HTML code. We add specific code lines to add a specific link, build a back-end editor, or even to add a plug-in.
If you are a person who does not like to code, no worries as it is not that difficult. Most affiliate networks have exceptional customer service and support. One of their friendly customer representatives will help you go through the whole process.
Many bloggers on Instagram make thousands of dollars through affiliate marketing. Not all of them have the tech skills this business model requires.
It is quite challenging to make a passive income out of a niche that does not interest you.
Most affiliate experts begin their tutorials and thematic articles by talking about their niche. However, you have a choice to choose the niche you like. It is not necessary to take action on their advice or follow all the educational materials they talk about.
Firstly, you can’t understand the interests and nuances of the target audience. Secondly, you will lack interest in the field. This will demotivate you to continue or curate new content. Hence, it is important to choose the area that you find comfortable.
Even with good results and a large fan following, you can’t be successful in affiliate marketing. Put your partner’s earnings on stream and you will regret it for the whole career. This strategy is like failing in the long-term because you are not improving in any way.
An affiliate marketer must look for new ways to introduce the product and test out its features and specs. Do not be afraid to move in different directions. However, it is bad to test and experiment with every product out there. Experiment with the same product differently and examine results. If the results are negative, you get to learn and if they are positive, you get new opportunities to go ahead.
Search engine traffic is good and consists of quality leads and prospects. Yet, it is quite low, just like the word-of-mouth traffic. If you plan to drive traffic to your website to make sales, relying on search engines is not wise.
Other tactics include increasing social media presence. Moreover, you can take advantage of online forums and chatrooms to promote your product and discuss your initiative as an affiliate marketer.
Try sending some social signals to your websites by sharing your review articles on Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Pinterest, and other social media channels.
Moreover, if you have any email lists, outreach your customers on daily basis and it will have a positive impact on your conversion rates.
Affiliate marketing is not an overnight game-changer. You might see people making a fortune out of promoting someone else’s product. If so, they probably spend weeks and months to master their marketing tactics.
You can’t avoid errors in affiliate marketing, especially if you have just started. A marketer who has not made any mistakes has not achieved anything. Give yourself room to grow and imply all the tips that we discuss to grow your business. It is important to identify the problem, conclude, identify reasons, move forward, and learn.
Some other things to consider are the marketing expenses, customer acquisition cost, and most of all patience.
In a nutshell, finding the right affiliate partners, optimizing your sales funnel, and offering your audience the right solution to their problems can earn you a fair sum regularly.
In case of further questions or suggestions, feel free to leave a reply or contact us.