An ever growing market with potentially limited potential for expansion, the world of affiliate marketing has grown considerably in the last few years, as internet savvy individuals are beginning to see it as a legitimate source of extra income.
Indeed, many have even taken it a step further and have devoted their entire professional lives to internet marketing. But what turn a good affiliate into a great affiliate?
In truth there is no easy answer, as the range of potential products and services that can be promoted through affiliate marketing means that there has been an equally diverse range of practices and methods used to exploit it.
If you’re completely in the dark about this whole affiliate marketing though let me fill you in. Essentially all affiliate marketing boils down to is uploading links that direct your viewers to your affiliate partners site.
It’s a relatively modern form of marketing that has its roots in the early nineties, when companies would hire members of the general public to direct people into their stores.
The reasoning is that people are more likely to trust ‘one of their own’ than a company drone.
The affiliate marketing of today is essentially the same practice, only online. As you can imagine, there are thousands of affiliate marketers currently operating globally and to appear ahead of the pack, you’re going to need all the help you can get.
Below you’ll find 3 key steps that all potential affiliates will want to consider before embarking on a career in online marketing.
Choose the right partners
Obviously if your blog adheres to a specific niche, you’ll want to use partners whose products reflect that niche.
For example if you’re running a blog that deals with health and fitness you should be looking for affiliates that deal with products such as health supplements and gym equipment and services such as personal training. If your blog is less focused of course you’ll have potential options, but it’s always best to have a clear, defined focus.
Also, try not to focus on affiliates that only sell small ticket (inexpensive) items and services.
The majority of affiliate marketing works on a commission basis and that commission will generally be a percentage of whatever your affiliate partner is selling. 5% of £1000 is significantly more desirable than 5% of £10 and whilst less expensive items might gain you more clicks, the clicks will ultimately mean less.
Find a balance
As a blogger, affiliate marketing can potentially create an enormous amount of revenue for you and whomever it is you’re partnering with, but if you’re too heavy handed with it, your blog could lose its credibility.
As your blog loses credibility it will lose viewers and that will sending it spiralling down the search engine results rankings, leading your partners feeling like they’ve backed a lame horse.
Be sure to keep your blog stocked with content that isn’t affiliate marketing based or people will soon see through you and you’ll not only lose your blog but also any potential revenue you could earn through it.
If your content is not worth reading then nobody will read it, it really is that simple.
Research affiliate companies
Unfortunately as an affiliate, there’s very little chance you’ll be going it alone.
If you really want to make a decent amount of revenue you’ll need to use an affiliate program.
The company who run the program will be the ones paying you so make sure that you do as much research as possible into the companies rates in comparison to their competitors and ask around to see if the company you’re considering have a good track record with their users.
Most affiliate programs will operate on a ‘pay per click’ or ‘pay per sale’ basis. With PPC, you’ll get a commission for every person who visits your site and is referred to your affiliate partners site through your links and with PPS you’ll only get your commission if the visiter eventually ends up purchasing an item or service from your partner’s site.
Obviously you’ll generally gain more commission from a PPS system, but the commission will be far more infrequent.
Whether you decide you prefer PPC or PPS depends very much on your own personal preferences but make sure that the company you choose to work for uses the payment arrangement that you’re most comfortable with.