Have you ever wondered why some blogs don’t use Google Adsense or CPM ad network? Usually, bloggers use Google Adsense, CPM ads, direct ads, and link ads to monetize their blogs – even though there could be many ways to monetize a blog.
In this blog post, I’m going to dig deeper into affiliate marketing. So that everyone who isn’t paying attention to affiliate marketing in 2018 should start thinking about it. Not only will it help you comprehend the concept of affiliate marketing, but it will also add up to your blog monetization arsenal.
But first things first, if you don’t know much about affiliate marketing, then don’t miss the next part of this blog post.
What is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a monetization method in which you promote a product and get a commission when a buyer purchases the product through your referral link.
There is a lot of hype around affiliate marketing – different marketers and bloggers use different strategies to get more sales and eventually make more money.
I’ll shed some light on the important factors of referral marketing, which will help you understand and implement your blog monetization strategy.
Here are five important factors of affiliate marketing:
1. Use Before Promote
Let me tell you right off the bat that if you show up to promote a product to your blog readers that you haven’t used so far, then it’s not going to work out. People would think how you know this product is worth buying if you haven’t bought it yourself.
So one of the biggest lessons I learned in blogging is using the product before promoting it. You don’t just have to use it to promote it; if the product doesn’t seem good, you don’t have to promote it. The idea of promoting a product to the readers revolves around recommending them something useful and worth trying.
When you use the product before promoting it, it gives you a first-hand experience, which you can leverage in affiliate marketing in 2018.
Some essentials of choosing a product are:
- Always try to use the relevant products
- Keep discovering the new products
- Opt the product that solves a problem
- Test out inside out before recommending
The point I’m trying to make is that don’t ever think that readers are naïve and they won’t understand what’s going on. If you try to trick the readers, it will backfire at some point. Maybe, 3 out of 300 readers would click on the affiliate product and buy it – think about the rest of the readers instead. You might not want to lose the trust of your loyal readers.
2. Promote Less Products
You’ll come across blogs that are promoting a dozen of affiliates at the same time, which isn’t an ideal strategy to adopt in affiliate marketing. The concept behind this point is that if you want to succeed in affiliate marketing, you have to promote relevant and helpful products to the readers. What some bloggers do is that they keep adding affiliate products to their blogs to make more money, and the blog starts to look hideous at some point.
Promoting a bundle of products won’t help, anyway. For example, if you’re promoting three different web hosting companies and two theme subscriptions, readers might get confused about the offer that what to check out. On the contrary, if you recommend one hosting company and a single blog themes subscription service, it will easier for the readers to understand the recommendation.
When bloggers start promoting every product they come across, even without trying it out, it leads to failure. If you’re promoting a product for the sake of blog monetization, you’ll lose the trust of the readers over the course of time.
3. Add Personal Experience
Affiliate marketing success lies in the right product, your experience, and the trust of the readers. If something lacks in the process, you won’t get affiliate sales. Therefore, don’t ignore the importance of personal experience. You’ve read this in the factor #1 that you must use the product before promoting it.
Adding the personal experience means that infuse your product experience into the content to let everybody know how the product works. A lot of bloggers make demo videos of the products they buy for the audience to understand the process or product.
Pat Flynn, for example, made a video on the whole process of buying the web hosting account and starting a WordPress blog and it worked so well for him on YouTube.
Chris Hargreaves did something similar about a WordPress framework subscription that he bought and shared the process with the audience.
So you can leverage the product experience with the audience to gain exposure and attract the eyeballs. Not only does it make you authentic, but it also bridges the gap between you and readers. The reason for this is that you’re helping out the readers and they’ll be grateful for what you’re doing.
4. Keep Testing the New Products
I have said that you shouldn’t be promoting a dozen products at the same time. The point is that if you choose more products to promote on your blog, not only will you confuse your readership, but you will also have to manage various affiliate programs.
But it shouldn’t stop you from testing out the good products that you come across. Following credentials would make a product suitable for you:
Relevancy: If the product is relevant to your blog niche and does help you along the way, then it’s definitely a relevant product to try out, use, and promote.
Competitive edge: The product must be better than the similar products that you have used before. It must give a reason to adopt it.
Price: Affiliate marketing success isn’t possible without the price of the product that you’re promoting. Make sure that the price of the product that you’re promoting isn’t high enough that it becomes unaffordable for the audience.
Affiliate Program: One of the essential elements of testing a new product is to make sure the company offers an affiliate program. If they don’t offer it, then it might not be possible for you to promote the product – no matter how good or how affordable the product is.
So keep an eye on the new products even when everything looks perfect with your money making with affiliate marketing. One such great product to manage and automate expenses is Spendesk. It helps your company spend smarter.
5. Track the Conversion
Don’t get caught up in trying new products and promoting them along the way – make sure that you keep an eye on the performance of your affiliate products as well. It’s true that you might not see much traction in the beginning, especially if your blog is new, but once a few months in, you’ll be ready to look up the statistics.
It’s imperative to track the conversion of the affiliate products because it helps you understand that what’s going on with your blog’s income stream. This performance analysis helps you analyze not just the financial side but also guides you that how much your content is aligned with your affiliate programs.
If people aren’t clicking on your affiliate links or banners, it means you’re not getting the relevant traffic – it signals that you need to jot down an effective content strategy. In case, people are clicking on the links but not essentially buying stuff that you’re referring; then it shows that the intent of your audience is different. You need to understand the psychology of the audience through your content and affiliates conversion. Most of the affiliate programs that you join have the reporting system to analyze the page or links that the visitors are clicking-through to land on the product pages. So spend some time digging into those statistics.
I’ve shared some tips and tactics that I’ve learned over the past few years.
The purpose of this blog post was to make you aware that affiliate marketing is a process; you won’t be getting affiliate sales right off the bat. Once your blog starts to build authority and you manage to develop a loyal readers’ base, it becomes easier to get more affiliate sales, because people start trusting your recommendations, which is a huge key in affiliate marketing.
If you’re a blogger or a marketer, you might want to come forward to give your two-line tip for the beginners who want to know how to make money with affiliate marketing.
What have you learned in affiliate marketing that could help the other readers?
Share in the comments below.
Hassaan Khan is a freelance writer for SAAS companies, e-commerce stores, and niche websites. He has contributed to SEMrush, ThriveGlobal, BloggingCage, AllBloggingTips, and several other publications. He builds niche websites, publishes e-books, and helps website investors with his done-for-you niche site-building service.