It can also be a beautiful thing when it works—a win–win–win for all parties!
But! (There’s always a but.) Affiliate marketing is not a “push-button” solution. It takes focus and commitment, and a certain choreography to make it happen the way you want it to.
Thankfully, there are things you can do to increase the number of people clicking on your affiliate links and buying the affiliate products you’re promoting.
In this chapter, I’m going to go over 32 tips to help you succeed with affiliate marketing. Some of these are things we’ve covered in Chapters 1 and 2, but they’re definitely worth repeating! Others will be new to you. But all of them are potentially important keys as you build your affiliate marketing business.
These top 32 tips for succeeding with affiliate marketing are spread across 5 categories we’ll cover in this chapter:
Laying the Groundwork
A great affiliate marketing strategy starts with a solid foundation. Here are the fundamentals you need to keep in mind as you’re getting started.
1. BUILD TRUST FIRST.
Surprise, surprise! My number one tip is to build trust! Trust takes time to build, and energy to maintain. This is why I wanted to give you this tip first because I want you to expect things to take a while, and to focus on building your community and the trust within that community first. The recommendations for products and the affiliate love you’ll get from your community comes almost naturally after you EARN that trust from them.
Trust is earned through 2 things:
- Giving—and giving away as much as possible. Content, information, freebies, high-value stuff, and sometimes even your own time. Online karma does exist, and the more you give away, the more you get back in return—and maybe not from the very same people you gave to, which is why the second piece of earning trust is . . .
- Recommendations from others. Get on other people’s radar and have them do the marketing for you. Not for the affiliate products that you’re promoting, but you, or your brand. YOU. Trust is earned faster through the friends and relationships people already have with each other. That’s why it’s important to give to everyone, no matter how big or how small they may seem to your brand. Because you never know—they may know somebody who knows somebody who will become your biggest client, or a multi-product customer, or maybe the window to an opportunity that would have never happened otherwise.
Relationships with other people are extremely important to your success, and you won’t have sustainable success with your affiliate marketing until you earn your audience’s trust.
2. KNOW THE PRODUCT.
One of the biggest mistakes I see people make when attempting to sell a product as an affiliate is not knowing much about the product. This usually stems from a desire to push a product for the primary purpose of earning money from it, which is a no-no.
Don’t get me wrong—it’s smart as a marketer to take into account what the commission is and how much money you might make per sale, but the commission shouldn’t drive the decision to promote a product. It should be just one part of the entire decision to promote a product. So, know the product. Why? Because if you really know the product, it will shape how you promote it, what you say to promote it, and the overall feeling people will get when you offer or recommend it.
So what’s the best way to get to know a product? Use it. Get to know it.
If you’re not extremely familiar with a product, don’t promote it. It may not be a rule most affiliate marketers follow, but it’s one I’ve followed for years with great success, because it helps with tip #1, building that trust factor with my audience.
All of the products I promote on my Resources page, such as ConvertKit for email marketing, Leadpages for landing pages, and Bluehost for web hosting, are ones I’ve used myself extensively. I know all about them, and I’m very comfortable with how they work, so I’m happy to recommend them to my audience.
This goes along with tip #3, which is . . .
3. ASK YOURSELF: CAN I TRUST THE PRODUCT WILL BE GOOD FOR MY AUDIENCE?
This is crucial. It’s the idea that you should be sharing or recommending something that will actually help your audience. Do you trust that after you send people through your link that the sales page for that product, the product itself, and the customer service for that product, if any, will be good to them?
This is important, because the dictionary definition of affiliate is:
Officially attach or connect to an organization.
The moment you decide to promote something as an affiliate, you attach yourself, your brand, and your business to that company and that product, and if that product isn’t going to be good for your audience, then it’s going to reflect ultimately on YOU.
If it’s an awesome product that totally helps them out? Awesome! You’re going to look that much better and be thanked for it, and it’ll be a win–win–win for everyone.
If it’s bad? It’s a lose–lose–lose for everybody.
I was once approached to promote a product I knew would sell well and make me a lot of money. But I didn’t end up promoting it, because I didn’t like the way the company managed the upsell process—it was very aggressive, and even ended with an automatic 30-day trial. That didn’t sit right with me, so I didn’t promote it. I may have lost some money up front because of that decision, but in the long run, it was the right thing to do.
4. SHOW YOUR OWN RESULTS (PROOF).
One of the biggest ways I’ve been able to take my affiliate income to the next level is by showing people what I’ve gained as a result of using those products.
For example, I use a tool called ConvertKit to help me run my email campaigns to build an even bigger following. I then use these results as proof when I’m promoting ConvertKit as an affiliate product to my audience.
By showing that I’ve actually used and succeeded with a product like ConvertKit, it helps to build that trust and lessen the “I don’t know exactly what this product is about so I’m not going to buy it” mentality among my audience. You want to show them as much as possible, which leads us to our next tip . . .
5. HELP YOUR AUDIENCE LEARN AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE ABOUT THE PRODUCT (EVIDENCE).
So a person sees an affiliate link for a product you recommend on one of your sites. Big whoop!
Instead of just a paragraph or two explaining the product and what it can do for them, show them how it works. Tell them what it’s like to sign up for the product, share some tips to make the experience of using that product even better, give answers to the most frequently asked questions about that product . . . show them everything.
The more you can show, the more comfortable people are going to be actually making a purchase.
Giving your audience thorough information about a product like this will help you to . . .
6. BECOME A SOURCE OF INFORMATION AND SUPPORT FOR A PRODUCT.
The next level is to make yourself available to your audience as a source of information and support for that product. To treat the product as your own.
This can help in the pre-purchase phase. If someone has any questions about a product before making a purchase, tell them to go through you (or maybe someone on your staff or a VA).
If a person is on the fence, it may just take an answer to a simple question to get that person to click through your link and make a purchase. Plus, they’ll feel more secure with their purchase, again, since they know if they have any questions they can come to you.
The next thing you can do is provide support for it too. You don’t necessarily have to be available 24/7 for customer service questions. But when you promote these products, you want to say, “Hey, if you have any questions about this, let me know. Because I know this product, and I want to show you how it can help you achieve your goals or address your pains and problems.” And when you do that, your audience will automatically think, “This guy knows what he’s talking about, and if in case I ever have any questions, he’ll be there.”
Now, if you’re worried this means you’ll be deluged with support emails, don’t fear! You’re not going to be buried with questions. In all my years of offering support for my affiliate products, I’ve never had an issue with receiving too many questions. But the value of offering this support is huge, and will help your audience trust your recommendations.
A lot of people think, “Oh, I don’t want emails from people about my affiliate products.” You should! Because the people who email you are the ones who are most interested in being successful with a product.
These next 7 tips are things many affiliate marketers don’t realize when they get started—to their detriment.
7. USE YOUR WEBSITE (OR BUILD ONE!).
There are many ways to build an audience today: on social media like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, or via your own website.
But when it comes to affiliate marketing, one of those is a must-have: a website. I know a lot of people who are generating an income via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube, without even having a website. Power to them—but if you want to set yourself up for success with affiliate marketing, you absolutely need a website. What if Facebook or Twitter were to shut down tomorrow? That probably won’t happen, but these sites can still make changes that can greatly affect your business. We’ve seen this time and time again, especially with Facebook. Facebook loves to make changes, especially since they went public and are trying to make money for their investors.
Affiliate marketing is your business, and so you need to take control of it, and if you put your business in the hands of something like Facebook, Twitter, or even Google, you’re risking everything.
The smart approach is to create a website where you have full control over the experience of your audience and customers. Platforms like Facebook are limited when it comes to delivering a custom experience to your audience. Twitter is extremely limited. LinkedIn and YouTube are limited in customer experience, and you want those places to be the start of a conversation and always drive people back to your website. The website is where all the action happens. It’s where people buy stuff. It’s where people click and share things mostly, and it’s where you can get the most leverage. It’s where you can most easily build an email list.
Yes, there are tools available that allow you to do everything without a website, but if you’re in it for the long haul and want to do affiliate marketing right, you need to have a website. Why would you ever put your business in the hands of somebody else?
8. GIVE PEOPLE MULTIPLE OPPORTUNITIES TO CLICK ON YOUR AFFILIATE LINKS.
This next one is a pretty obvious tip that, sadly, many people fail to implement.
I say “sadly” because a lot of people are missing out on potential income as a result. When you only give your audience one opportunity to click on your affiliate link—by adding a single link near the top of a blog post, for example—you’re losing out on potential income that could come with not much more work.
Of course, you should avoid the other extreme too. You can definitely go overboard with stuffing affiliate links into your posts. The best thing to do is just naturally place links where it seems like they work. For a blog post, this could be the first time you mention the product, somewhere in the middle of the post, and then again at the end.
You can catch the “low-hanging fruit” with that first link (since lots of people will click it just because it’s there). But the people who continue to read the post are likely to be more engaged and take action. That’s where adding links in the middle and at the end can come in handy, so these engaged readers don’t have to scroll all the way back up the page.
Another quick and easy tip is to link product images with your affiliate link. Also consider adding affiliate links to other content (which I covered in Chapter 2), including YouTube videos, podcast show notes, and your Resources page.
Bottom line: make it as easy as possible for all of your visitors to use your affiliate links, without overdoing it.
9. DISCLOSE THAT YOUR LINKS ARE AFFILIATE LINKS.
Most of you know I’m all about transparency and authenticity—and it’s no different with affiliate links. So, I do my best to always reveal when links are affiliate links.
Well, for one, at least in the US, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulations require that if you’re receiving any compensation for promoting any other product or company, you have to disclose that relationship. There’s a lot more to it than that, but the best thing you can do is just be honest and upfront with your links.
But more than that, people appreciate honesty. Along with that, if you give away enough information and really help people out, some of those people will likely want to pay you back for your generosity. If you disclose that you have an affiliate link they can click on, that right there is a good call to action for people to give back to you.
When you mention that you’re using affiliate links, you should also say you’re getting a commission, but at no extra cost to them, so if they are going to buy the product anyway they might as well buy it from you and help you make some cash too.
10. KEEP TRACK OF YOUR CLICK-THROUGHS.
One thing you should always do with your affiliate links is keep track of them—where they’re located in your content, how many clicks are going through each one, and what your conversion rates are.
This takes time to set up, but you have to know what’s happening to each of your links in order to understand what works and what doesn’t.
If you have just one affiliate link for every location—your videos, podcasts, blog posts, webinars, etc.—then how do you know where you’re getting most of your sales from? How do you know what campaigns aren’t working and which ones aren’t?
You don’t, unless you track.
You can use a tool like Pretty Links, a WordPress plugin, to shorten your affiliate links into custom links that are trackable. There will be more on this in Chapter 6, where I’ll cover Pretty Links and other tools I recommend to augment your affiliate marketing efforts.
11. USE YOUR OWN LANGUAGE TO PROMOTE YOUR AFFILIATE LINKS.
When you sign up as an affiliate with a company, they’ll often send you marketing language to use in your emails, blog posts, and social media messages to help sell the product. While this language can be helpful, I absolutely recommend not using it 100 percent verbatim. Instead, use it as inspiration to craft personalized language to sell the products. Why? Because of trust. Your audience wants to hear from you in your voice. It’ll be obvious to them if you’re just copying and pasting from somewhere else.
12. THANK PEOPLE IN ADVANCE FOR GOING THROUGH YOUR AFFILIATE LINKS.
When I disclose affiliate links on my blog posts or videos, I will sometimes thank people in advance for going through them. Is this a small thing that probably doesn’t make a drastic difference in sales? Yes. Is it something that’s easy to do and people will appreciate it. Definitely.
With that in mind, here’s the next tip, which is . . .
13. THANK PEOPLE AFTERWARD FOR GOING THROUGH YOUR AFFILIATE LINKS.
If possible, if the tracking system from the company you’re an affiliate with should reveal the name and/or email of people who purchase through your link. If so, you should definitely follow up with those people and thank them. Maybe give them a surprise bonus if you want to, something you didn’t mention they’d get in the first place. This will help make them want to make a purchase through one of your affiliate links again in the future.
Stuck for ways to promote your affiliate products? Here are 10 promo strategies you may not have considered.
14. CREATE AN EPIC POST.
One thing I like to do when promoting a product is create an Epic Post about it. What’s an epic post? Think of it as a potential one-stop shop resource for this particular product—not just a review of it, but a full-fledged introduction, how-to, FAQ, best practices, and troubleshooting resource for anyone who purchases the product. If you can show this much information to people before they make a purchase, they’ll be more likely to actually make a purchase. At the same time, the epic post becomes an extremely shareable article, one with the potential to rank high for the particular product keyword in Google.
In this epic post, I’d go all out and . . .
15. CREATE MULTIPLE YOUTUBE VIDEOS ABOUT THE PRODUCT.
These videos should be embedded in the epic post. This is an important strategy because YouTube is the #2 search engine in the world. You can get a lot of traffic coming in through your affiliate link on YouTube, and the videos themselves can rank in Google too. Plus, by shooting multiples videos about a particular product, you create even more SEO opportunities. Make sure to include your affiliate link in the video description, ideally in the first part of the description, so people don’t have to click on “show more” or “read more” to see it.
What should you cover in these videos?
I recommend recording yourself from start to finish with it, then break it up into chunks. People like to watch shorter videos, so this works in your favor, and you get multiple opportunities to rank for various keywords related to that product. If it’s a digital product, start at the moment of purchase and walk people through the entire process. And if you’re doing a physical product, consider an unboxing video.
16. HOST A WEBINAR.
One way to take your affiliate product promotion to the next level is to host a webinar for it.
Webinars are an extremely powerful way to share a message with your audience. They’re personable, they’re live, and you can treat them like an actual event. That way, your promotion becomes a much bigger deal than just a regular affiliate link you dropped into a post.
Combine this with tip #25, and have the owner of the product share high-value information, and even answer people’s questions directly on the webinar, and you’ve got yourself a winner.
17. PUBLISH A WEBINAR REPLAY.
Be sure to record your live webinar so that you can embed it on your website as a replay for those who didn’t watch it live, as well as those who did watch it live but want to review the information.
To be honest, more people will probably watch it as a replay than live, and that’s a good thing—you just have to give them the opportunity to do so.
I recommend recording using screen capture software like Camtasia Studio or Screenflow.
Here’s an example of a blog post on my site containing a webinar replay—one I recorded with Clay Collins of Leadpages, a company for which I’m an affiliate:
Finally, make sure that in the webinar and on the post where you embed the replay, you give people multiple opportunities to click on your affiliate link.
Affiliate Marketing Masterclass
Generate Additional Income Using Authentic Strategies
Affiliate marketing is an integral part of Pat's business and allows him to serve his audience by connecting them to the tools and services they need to succeed. With this webinar, he wants to help you do the same.
Pat Knows Affiliate Marketing
What's preventing you from making affiliate marketing a part of your income stream?
- Seven common anxieties about affiliate marketing
- Three mistakes people make with affiliate marketing
- How to stay on Amazon (and the FTC's) good side
18. GIVE AWAY A BONUS.
This is probably one of the more underutilized tips I have to share today—but probably one of the most powerful too.
In addition to promoting the affiliate product, give away a bonus to all of those who purchase the product through your link as a thank you.
Chances are, you’re not the only one promoting that product, so to get people to buy from you instead of the other guy, throw in a bonus that can only come with a purchase through your link.
Just have your audience members send you their receipt via email and then you can reply with the bonus, or information about how to access it.
So what could that bonus be?
Maybe it’s a special webinar that shows people how to use the product with a Q&A session at the end of it. Imagine being able to purchase a product, getting familiar with it, and then a couple of days later having access to a webinar that shows you exactly how to use the product, with an opportunity to ask questions about it. How awesome would that be?
Maybe the bonus is another product or piece of software that you have that complements the affiliate product. Maybe it’s a discount you work out with the owner of the product, one that provides incentive to purchase from you. Maybe it’s a coupon code or discount to another product you own or have ties to. Maybe it’s a PDF quick-start guide with instructions and best practices for that product, or access to a website with videos with the same guidance.
You’re adding value to the purchase, making your buyers feel comfortable, and helping get those on the fence from “I’m not sure if this is right for me” to “This is exactly what I need, and more.”
19. PROMOTE YOUR PRODUCTS INDIRECTLY ON SOCIAL MEDIA.
Although your website is the centerpiece of your affiliate marketing strategy, social media—Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc.—can play an important role in your affiliate marketing strategy too.
The thing about social media—at least in my experience and in the experience of many other people I know—is that if you directly promote on your social media platforms, you’re not going to get a good response. People on social media are typically there to be social, not to be sold to.
But all is not lost in the affiliate marketing world, because you can do an indirect social media push, which means instead of directly linking to your affiliate links on Facebook or Twitter or any other platform, you’re instead linking to something of value that includes the affiliate link, such as a video, an epic post on your blog, or a link to sign up for a webinar.
You’re not linking directly through your affiliate link, but a resource that will engage people beforehand, earn their trust, and show them what the product is about before clicking on your affiliate link.
Yes, one of the cardinal rules of online marketing has long been that the fewer gateways or clicks people have to go through before they get to the “buy” button, the better. But I think that’s been changing, and now it’s closer to the less information you give away, the less you’re likely to make a sale. The more trust you can earn beforehand, the greater the likelihood people will buy from you. You don’t want someone to have to click 100 times before they get to where you want them to go, but a few clicks is okay, as long as you give them enough information beforehand to help them make their decision.
20. RUN A GIVEAWAY TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF “SOCIAL PROOF.”
Social proof is the idea that people will naturally gravitate toward what the masses are doing. As an example, say you’re at the mall, and you see a huge crowd gathering around one store. You can’t help but want to know what’s going on—everyone else is there for some reason, and you want to know what that reason is.
Online, this translates to having other people do the marketing for you, except in this case it’s through metrics like numbers of subscribers, likes, comments, and things like that.
Here’s how this strategy can play out in the real world.
If you plan to promote a product as an affiliate, and if possible, work with the owner to get a few copies to give away to your audience for free. Also, if possible, get a discounted price for a limited time only, for your audience as well. This may not always be possible, but you can always ask and see what happens.
In a blog post, review this product—maybe it’s your epic post, or maybe you just mention it at the end of one of your regular posts. Share that you have two or three copies of the product to give away for free, and that in order to be entered to win one of the copies, your audience members have to leave one comment about how they would use the product and why it would help them. Have them go through an affiliate link of yours to see what the product is all about first, and then come back to your blog to leave their entry as a comment.
What happens here is that you get tons of people leaving comments that become social proof for the greatness of the product. There’s nothing more powerful than someone else’s recommendation, and in this case, it’s other people’s recommendation for a product you’re promoting as an affiliate.
Plus, you can follow up with the people who leave a comment on the post but don’t win, to share a limited-time deal or an email saying thanks for the entry and giving them your affiliate link one more time.
I’ve used this strategy to great success promoting several products in the past, so I suggest you give it a shot.
21. PROMOTE PRODUCTS INDIRECTLY VIA YOUR EMAIL LIST.
Your email list is an integral part of any affiliate marketing campaign—and if you don’t have one, you need to get started building one yesterday! Email is extremely powerful for marketing, which is why so many people say, “The money’s in the list.”
As with social media, I recommend indirectly promoting on your email list. I don’t directly promote anything on my email list. If there are any links in my emails they point back to other content, usually on my blog, such as epic posts, videos, webinars, and the like.
Email should be all about giving people as much high-value content as possible, not direct selling. In fact, certain affiliate programs such as Amazon’s don’t even allow you to include affiliate links in emails. For more on Amazon, jump to Chapter 7.
You need to take great care of your email list and not to be too aggressive with it. Indirect promotion is a much better way to go about things, especially if you’re focused on building trust with your audience (and you should be!).
22. PROMOTE PRODUCTS INDIRECTLY ON OTHER PEOPLE’S SITES.
This is another instance in which indirect linking is your friend. If you’re interviewed for another person’s blog, or asked to write a guest post, you can link back to a piece of content on your site that contains your affiliate link. As with social media and email, you don’t want to hit people over the head with your links—and most of the time, if you try to link directly to an affiliate product through someone else’s site, they won’t allow it anyway.
23. REVIEW AND COMPARE DIFFERENT PRODUCTS OF THE SAME TYPE.
Another strategy is to compare different products of the same type. Compare and contrast, and if you give them your recommendation, make sure that link is an affiliate link.
The reason this works is because people like to shop around, but they also like convenience. So instead of making them carry out their search all over the web, keep them on your site by reviewing each of the different products in one spot. If you’ve done a good job building up audience trust, then a well-written comparison review of different products of the same type can be a great way to drive affiliate purchases. This could potentially become an epic post as well, complete with videos and special deals just for your audience.
Here are 3 tips to consider once you’re up and running with affiliate marketing, to take your promotions to the next level.
24. ESTABLISH A RELATIONSHIP WITH THE OWNER OF THE PRODUCT.
Imagine this: you’re promoting a product and you get the owner of the product to answer some questions about the product, which you post in a blog post, or a podcast episode, or maybe a video interview. Or maybe you have that person on as a guest and he or she offers some really high-value content, with a small promo for the product at the end.
This does a couple of things. One, it starts to foster the necessary relationship and trust between your audience and the owner of the product, if your audience is ever going to purchase that product. Second, it helps the audience trust you even more, by showing them that you’ve established a relationship with the owner of the product— you’re not just messing around when it comes to recommending this product. You’re familiar with the product and the people behind it, which will help your audience feel even more comfortable with their purchase.
I’ve done this a few times here on SPI, and it’s worked really well.
I have a great relationship with the team at Bluehost, even having gone to their offices to meet the team. Not just to get to know them, but to ensure they’re A) on top of things and helping out my audience, B) learn about new product plans that might be coming up that I can help promote that could be a win for all, and C) see if there’s anything else they can do to help make my life easier, such as creating customized landing pages (as in tip #27 below).
I have a great relationship with the team at ConvertKit as well. Because I’ve cultivated this relationship, I’ve had the chance to speak at their event, and they’ve let me offer a longer free trial period that my audience seems to really appreciate.
One other advantage of developing a relationship with the product owners is you might even be able to negotiate higher commission rates. It’s always worth making a connection!
25. OFFER SPECIAL DEALS JUST FOR YOUR AUDIENCE.
This is the next step in building a relationship with the owner of a product you’re promoting. If you can negotiate a special deal from the product owner just for your audience, that will give your audience an even better value and more of a reason to purchase from you. Try to work out a deal with the owner before you have them as a guest on your podcast. What’s the worst that could happen? They’ll say no, and that’s it.
I’ve done special deals on several products here on SPI.com, and each time it has driven the affiliate sales through the roof. You can do a limited-time deal, or one that is evergreen.
26. ASK FOR A LANDING PAGE ON THE OWNER’S SITE.
Most of the time, the actual sale of an affiliate item takes place on the website of the company that owns the product. Unfortunately, it’s complicated to keep the entire sales process on your own site, so you’ll need to be willing to send people to the company’s site to complete their purchase.
By vetting the product and the company beforehand, you can help ensure that your audience will have a positive purchase experience. But you’re still sending your audience into another company’s “territory” where you usually don’t have any control over their experience.
In some cases, you may be able to handle the purchase process on your own site, but that requires the company to agree to it, along with a lot of technical know-how.
But there’s another, easier option that can help increase your audience’s trust and comfort in purchasing: having your own branded landing page on the company’s site.
When people click on your affiliate link, they’re taken to a custom landing page on the company’s site that has some elements from your brand on it. For an example of such a personalized landing page, see askpat.com/bluehost. [Full Disclosure: I’m a compensated advisor and affiliate for Bluehost.]
The huge benefit of this landing page is that it continues the conversation, and makes the customer feel like you’re still there with them as they go through the purchase process.
The big caveat here is this will not always be possible, which is why it’s an advanced tip. Some companies may not be open to creating a custom landing page for you, and even if they are, you may need to already be a successful affiliate with them before they’ll agree to it.
When the Going Gets Tough
As with anything in online business, affiliate marketing will throw up roadblocks along the way. Here are 6 ideas to help you keep your head up when things get rough.
27. FOCUS ON HOW IT WILL HELP YOUR AUDIENCE (NOT FEATURES, BUT BENEFITS).
When talking about the product to your audience, no matter what platform you’re using or methods you choose to deliver your content, always focus more on the benefits for your audience. In other words, what’s in it for them?
In each section of your blog posts, in your videos, in podcast episodes, don’t forget to remind your audience exactly how the product will help them.
Features are good, but benefits are what people want.
“Sure, it’s cool that this link building tool helps you get links from high Page Ranked sites, but the benefit is that your site will have more authority, so you’ll rank higher in Google and get more traffic.”
“Sure, it’s cool that this in-ear headphone comes with a flat, tangle-free wire, but the benefit is so that you don’t get frustrated trying to untangle the darn thing every time you take it out of your backpack or pocket.”
If you’re having trouble with the whole feature vs. benefit thing, it’s okay—a lot of people get confused, but the simplest way to understand it is to think of a feature, then add the words “so that.”
“We have this feature, so that you can blah blah blah.”
It works every time.
28. BELIEVE IN YOUR RECOMMENDATION.
If you really believe in the product, in your recommendation, then so will your audience. If you have motives other than trying to help people out or give them something they need—if it’s for the commission, or you’re just doing a favor for a friend who owns a product—then you’re not going to perform as well with your sales.
Believe in it, and your audience will believe in you.
29. IF IT DOESN’T WORK OUT, TRY ANOTHER OFFER.
Let’s say you have an affiliate product you’d like to promote. You’ve used the product, it’s great, and you know it will help your audience. You set up a promotion with links in your posts, create an epic post with videos, the whole 9 yards . . . and it doesn’t work out.
It’s not the end of the world. Sometimes you think your audience will respond one way, but they surprise you and go the opposite way. The campaign you thought was going to be a home run turns out to be a bust.
Why? Figure out why and evaluate the circumstances, and try again knowing what you now know from what you learned. Then use what you learned and try another offer!
It’s all a learning process, one that happens through taking action, and trial and error. That’s what affiliate marketing is all about. In fact, the more things don’t work out, the better, because the more likely you’ll be to eventually get to something that does work. And the more you’ll learn along the way.
Related to that . . .
30. TEST, TEST, TEST.
As in the previous tip, test your offers, yes, but more than that—test everything. Test how you promote, to see what your audience responds best to. Test the placements of your links, the number of links within posts, whether they’re bolded or italicized, whether images work better, whether interviewing the owner helps, whether Thursdays convert better than Tuesdays for webinars . . . test everything you can possibly think of.
Test, test, test.
31. MAKE YOUR OWN PRODUCT INSTEAD.
If all else fails, but you know there’s a market out there for a particular product that’s perfect for your audience, and it doesn’t exist—create it yourself.
Yes, this isn’t affiliate marketing. And when you create your own product, you waive the benefits of affiliate marketing, such as not having to create the product, dealing with customer service, and other aspects of being a product owner.
But affiliate marketing doesn’t always work out, and there are advantages to creating your own product. You get to keep people in your own brand. You get to keep all the profits. You can even set up your own affiliate program for other people to sign up and promote your product.
And lastly . . .
32. BE PATIENT.
No matter how quickly people say you can make money online, realize that it’s going to take time. Relatively speaking, yes, things can happen pretty fast—that’s the beauty of online business. You can have a site up today and start sharing content with the world, but in order to make an impact and really make money online, you’re going to need to get your message out there, and build relationships with people. In time, this will drive traffic to your site, and eventually clicks, sales, and affiliate commissions.
Learn, but take action and keep learning as you go. Things take time, but by following these tips, and everything else you learn in this series, you’ll give yourself the best chance to make things happen as fast as possible for you with affiliate marketing.
Make Affiliate Marketing Part of Your Success
My Top 10 Tips for Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing has been an integral part of my overall success and a cornerstone of my business. If I can help make it a part of your success too, that's why I am here offering you this free guide.
Your Affiliate Marketing Questions Answered
The sky's the limit with affiliate marketing, but only if you attract the right kind of attention and earn trust.
- Tips for finding products to promote
- Advice for standing out from the crowd
- Tools to help with set up and execution