A Masterclass In Affiliate Marketing – The Only Guide You Need

A Masterclass In Affiliate Marketing – The Only Guide You Need

A Masterclass In Affiliate Marketing – The Only Guide You Need

 [This is the second post in a three-part series on affiliate marketing. You can find my first post – the beginners guide – here, and my second post on getting started here]

In the first two posts in this three-part series, we established what Affiliate Marketing is in a beginners crash course, and how to get started the right-way. In the final post in this series, I’ll be giving a masterclass in the business.

If you have yet to get set-up as an Affiliate Marketer, save this post and come back to it later when you’ve got everything up and running. Or if you’d like, take a peak through it now to see how you can take everything to the next level.

We’re going to talk about what to avoid, and what to do to be the best. Are you ready to be the best?

  1. Don’t put the cart before the horse

Before we get started, I want to reemphasize a point from my last post. Far too many Affiliate Marketers, even those who have been doing this for a long time, slip up and do this. Don’t put the cart before the horse.

What do I mean by this? Don’t just sprinkle in some content FOR your affiliate links. The content needs to be the beast here. Then sprinkle in the affiliate links after. Value and quality over quantity is what you need to be giving your audience. Or else you won’t have an audience.

Value and quality will lead to trust, and trust is the way you’ll get the sales and commission you want. Don’t forget this. This brings me on to my next point.

  1. Always disclose affiliate links

Now, there’s a lot of conflicting information online about this one. I would recommend that you always disclose affiliate links though. Why? That word I’m trying to ram home – TRUST.

Have you ever been on a website where they are blatantly using affiliate links, but they’re tricking you into clicking – without disclosing their connection to the retailer? It’s pretty annoying. Don’t be one of those people.

Don’t worry about messing up any chance of success by doing this either; if you’re honest, and provide useful content, they will come back for more.

  1. Think before posting a negative review

My final point on the topic of honesty is to think before posting a negative review. Yes, you are more likely to find success in Affiliate Marketing if you provide unbiased reviews. However, it’s a good idea to contact the company before you post a negative review – in case they can fix it. If not, you’ve let them know anyway.

  1. Product demand

Researching product demand is important to ensure that every product you’re promoting has the potential to grab commission.

Once you’re getting more traffic, you’ll be able to conduct online surveys to do this. This is a great way to research product demand and to make sure you’re not chasing Usain Bolt.

What will you need to have to conduct an online survey? A decent subscriber list! If you haven’t yet, set up an email capture page, pop-ups, whatever it takes to grab those emails. This is assuming you’re using a website, but if you’re using something like YouTube instead, clearly you won’t need an email capture page to get subscribers.

  1. If you’re not having much luck, choose popular products

Although choosing popular products to promote takes more time in market research, there are benefits to a popular sales niche.

If you take this route, there will be more buyers. Not only that, but if something already has plenty of online sales, people are more comfortable buying that over something less popular.

So if you’re struggling with a less-popular niche, try switching over for a bigger pool of potential customers.

  1. Don’t use a single Affiliate Program – or too many!

If you’ve decided to utilise one Affiliate Network, your income stream won’t be very diverse. This is how businesses are ruined, and you need to treat your Affiliate Marketing as a business. So, utilise several different programs to create a range of income streams.

On the other hand, don’t take on too much. You’ll eventually work out the optimal amount that you can handle; the optimal amount being the highest number of products you can promote properly.

  1. Use headlines they can’t ignore

Write headlines that are either very exclusive or very inclusive. My headline is quite exclusive – it’s only aimed at those interested in Affiliate Marketing, and who are in the “masterclass” subgroup. A very inclusive headline could include the words “For men who…”. It’s as simple as that, but it can make all the difference.

To really grab people’s attention, look for the right people too. If your post or niche is about solving people’s problems or pain points, try and identify the MOST motivated people in that audience. Use emotive words to find these people that are most likely to buy a product – those who are the most effected by the problem.

Headlines aren’t the only thing you need to be focusing on though, make sure to write decent subheads too – people love skimming pages.

  1. Promote products everywhere

Don’t stick with a single platform – whether that be a blog or something else. Promote products everywhere! On your newsletter, on social media. Everywhere!

  1. Compare products

This is one of the most effective conversion tactics out there. When you’re looking for a new product online, have you ever been stuck making a decision between two or three products?

Use this tactic to your advantage. People will be in that situation and they will need help.

Create a comparison page for three products, then help them to make a choice. But the best bit? Include affiliate links for ALL THREE PRODUCTS. Genius!

Want some more genius? Track the page – I’ll tell you how to do that soon – to find out which is the most interesting to those visitors. Once you know the answer, move that product to the top of the page.

A Masterclass In Affiliate Marketing – The Only Guide You Need

  1. Always research how a company credits sales

You could be losing commission right now. Are email and phone orders being linked back to your affiliate ID? Always check how a company credits sales.

  1. Test follow-up sequences

Imagine you’re one of your visitors. Imagine you try to take a promotion or voucher offer, only to find that you get an onslaught of email spam. You’d never go back to that website again, right? Create an email account for this to test any vendor follow-up sequences.

  1. Build a community

Building a community is the way to finding real success as an Affiliate Marketer. Here’s how you do it:

  • Social media: If you haven’t already, start a fan page. You’ll find wealthy affiliates on social media, because it’s one of the most effective ways to build a community. It’s also another platform to promote products.
  • Encourage conversation. Ask people to comment, respond to comments, show your voice.
  • Comment on other blogs. Don’t just leave a link to your website. Leave useful or insightful comments and this will encourage their readers to follow you over to your blog. Generate traffic the easy way!
  • Use backlinks to other websites and let them know you’ve done so.
  • Help your visitors out however you can.
  • Encourage subscriber sign-ups by offering something for free – perhaps an eBook or a guide to something.
  1. Monitor and experiment

This is absolutely key for success! Minor tweaks in the position of an ad here or there can increase your commission exponentially. See what’s working, what isn’t, and what you need to change.

Ask yourself questions – why is or isn’t something performing well? Is that content a good fit for your audience? Is that in the wrong place?

To do this, you’ll need to measure performance consistently. Here’s how:

Hint: Pop any numbers into a spreadsheet and it will make the process pretty easy.

  • Set up Google Analytics to track your website. You can see your Unique Visitors, Visits, Page Views, and Bounce Rate. Easy!
  • See the changes in your number of subscribers by going to the ‘View details’ link in Google Reader.
  • Get your websites page rank here. You can also check the quality of backlinks here.
  • Social Media Stats: For Twitter, use twitter counter. For Facebook, find your page “insights” in the right sidebar when you’re viewing your page.
  • Make a note of any YouTube subscribers and video views if you’re on there.
  • If you’re guest blogging, make a note of both the posts on your website and any guest posts, and look for a correlation. You’ll get some welcome motivation if you see it go up!
  • There’s plenty of testing software out there. Alternatively, one of the best ways to track your campaigns try split-testing. Kissmetrics has a great guide to that which you can find here.
  1. Avoid having too many tracking codes

As I’ve just emphasised, having tracking codes is vital. However, if you have too many, you’re going to slow down the speed of your website. Get rid of those you don’t need.

For those you do need, put them at the bottom of the page so that visitors can view the page before the whole thing loads.

Keep an eye on share buttons and video embeds too – these can really slow down your site performance. This is because they use something called iFrame which basically involves loading a whole other page!

Hint: Another way to boost your speed it is by using caching or adding an index. You’ll easily be able to find add-ons for these purposes. You can also analyse your page load speed and get tips on improving performance on Google Webmaster tools – click here.

  1. What to do when your traffic plateaus

You’ll also need to know what to do when it all goes wrong. When your traffic plateaus and you can’t figure out why. As this has been covered in great detail over at Quicksprout, here’s a link to their guide on identifying possible causes and how to fix them.

A Masterclass In Affiliate Marketing – The Only Guide You Need

So there it is! I hope you’ve enjoyed this three-part series. Most of all, I hope you’re ready for Affiliate Marketing Superstardom! Don’t forget to let me know in the comments if you’ve enjoyed these posts.



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