Affiliate programs can make you hundreds and thousands of dollars. The potential is unlimited. What counts though is to avoid spending time and effort on products and programs that are not worth promoting. This is where you step in. You’ll have to find a few lucrative opportunities and focus on them and nothing else.
A major mistake most affiliate marketers make is to jump from one product to another, thinking that the more programs they promote the more money they’re going to make. That’s only true when you have found a system which constantly makes you money and gives you more time off. This system should allow you to focus on leveraging more products and programs.
Anyway, this post will give you multiple proven ideas on how to select the right affiliate program, network and product. I’ve got my partner Codrut Turcanu to search for the best affiliate marketers and interview them over e-mail.
We asked them about what is their selection criteria for affiliate programs and products worth promoting, how they get sales, plus other relevant tips they can share.
Enjoy the read – implement the information which you find the most applicable in your case – and more importantly, spread the love. Your contacts and friends would surely love to hear what these top affiliates know that they can benefit from.
I usually look for the following:
A truly great product that I can get behind – It’s not about recommending garbage just to make a quick buck. That will only hurt you in the long run.
Well optimized sales page/sales funnel – You can usually tell how well a product will perform by just looking at the sales page.
The product must solve a problem – When your audience is facing a problem and you can find an affiliate product to promote that solves that problem effectively, you’re on to a winner.
It must be relevant – In a way this ties into the above point but it’s worth mentioning on its own. If a product isn’t relevant to your audience, don’t promote it.
A commission percentage that is worthwhile – In some niches there are products selling for over $400 and pay around 3% commission. In other niches you’ll find affiliate programs offering around 30-50% commission on lower priced products. Lower price points with higher commissions are the way to go.
The technique that has worked super well for me is simple.
It comes down to this – helping.
Help your audience by creating incredibly detailed and actionable content that they can benefit from whether they buy an affiliate product or not.
That will ensure that you get the most traction and visibility from your content – more social shares, earned links etc.
People appreciate it when you go out of your way to help them (well, generally speaking). So when you really make a difference and give them the answers they need, they are far more likely to buy a product.
Then if you keep your content on point and include relevant products that can help people get better results, quicker results or both – you are far more likely to make a sale.
Couple this with promoting a product that is well put together that you genuinely believe in and you will blow away your expectations.
I used to publish a lot of product reviews and they generally work well. They get good search engine traffic but aside from that, they don’t get much initial visibility because people aren’t specifically looking for that product.
What they are looking for is the answer to a problem so a while back I started publishing more tutorials that are benefit driven. E.g. “how to [insert problem] in [insert time frame]”.
By solving a problem, you are showing them that the product can genuinely be useful for them. The old adage “features tell, benefits sell” is an important one – this is a very powerful way of demonstrating those benefits.
The tutorials require using a paid product that I’m an affiliate for. It does work best if there is a free version because the guide will have more general appeal.
And in turn you will get more social traction, earn more links, get more traffic and make more sales.
I still publish reviews because some people do look for them but I create these tutorials alongside and they work very well.
They have to be products I use & love!
This makes it so much easier to promote. I know of so many reasons & ways the product helps me so I can easily recommend it to others.
The 1 – 2 punch to promoting products is creating amazing guides & case studies. The guide shows them how to use the product while the case study is proof that it actually works. Between these two content pieces you answer most of the buyers questions and gives them the trust to try out the product.
Collecting emails addresses and then drip them your content of guides, case studies, and ultimately the pitch to buy the product is the key. This works well because email is the most effective way to directly communicate with someone. You can automate the process of sending content that helps them through the purchase funnel and hopefully have them purchasing the product at the end.
I only ever promote products which I have used and found to be of good quality – the highest commissions or bloated claims from an affiliate manager never affect my selection process.
My main strategy for affiliate offers is to use SEO to rank a piece of content; it’s an area I have spent a large amount of the last few years learning to understand and if you do a great job you can create content that potential buyers are looking for. I have tried social media, paid search and paid social but often find myself getting back to SEO.
I create tutorials and reviews showing the benefits and all the different ways in which you can use a product or service to get your desired results. Not only will these types of content rank well for a variety of keywords they are often quite easy to build links to as they are useful pieces of content.
I promote affiliate products that I use, like Aweber. So if I use the product, and I like it, and if has an affiliate program, then I will promote it. I am not such an active affiliate marketer that I look for product to promote.
I put all my affiliate products in my resources page and write about why I like them. I include a thumbnail and of course a link to the product.
I think a great strategy is to compare and contrast two ways of going about something. One way manually, and one way with the tool. If the difference is big, then people will understand the value of the tool, and this will lead to affiliate sales. The resources page works well too since it is a heavily trafficked page.
Quality over quantity. Providing value to my audience is always the motive behind what I am sharing, not just looking for a quick buck. I’ll always test out what I am sharing with others to ensure it’s of the highest quality.
My own email list has proved the most successful in terms of marketing, simply because the users are there to hear from you and trust what you have to offer. Without that trust then you will be marketing to a brick wall.
Although affiliate marketing has its direct benefits, for me the main benefit is marketing the service side of my business. People become aware of the design & branding services I offer and this brings in a considerable amount of extra income.
My main selection criteria is that it has to be a valuable product that I find useful and love using myself. This means that I know everything about benefits the product offers, know how to get the most out of the product and can explain to other people why and how they should be using the product too. This helps me create great content that other people find useful.
Create great content that naturally features the product you are trying to promote. Don’t just publish sales pitches about the product that everyone else does. You need to differentiate yourself by creating content that helps people. Create how to guides on how to use the product, do comparisons between the different products, and show people how this product can help them achieve their goals.
This strategy works so well because you actually answer questions people have, you help them achieve their goals and make their lives easier. Not only that, you also do this while including links to the product you are promoting that naturally fit within the content of the post and people are highly likely to click and check out the product you are recommending.
Generally it’s something I’ve used personally and that I think will help solve a pain for my audience.
I started out doing comparison shopping, which isn’t exactly groundbreaking. But one thing I did that other comparison engines weren’t doing was investing in really tight product algorithms to deliver the best results, AND integrating available coupons and discounts at the product level. The last thing you need as an affiliate is to lose a sale at checkout because someone bounces off and clicks on a RetailMeNot link and overwrites your cookie.
Lately, personal in-depth product reviews have done well — going above and beyond what else is out there. Maybe that means video, maybe that means interviewing other customers or the product’s creator, but generally creating the definitive review resource for whatever the product is.
Answer questions for your potential customers and address objections upfront. If you can share a personal story about how the product helped you, it will help build trust. Of course, the biggest key in any business, not just affiliate marketing, is to give value first so your readers know you actually care about them as more than just names on a list or walking dollar signs.
It’s pretty straightforward for me: it has to be something I personally would want to use. I usually ask for a free use of the affiliate product if it’s an SEO tool – and those are the products I promote in my website.
What I do is I record my use of the product – I take screenshots, notes, videos, etc. And I publish a case study or two about how the product has really helped me out. That really gets users excited about the product.
Most of my income comes from clients who find our SEO services website online through Google search.
I believe an affiliate product can be powerfully sold if the audience is directly relevant to using the product. What better way to qualify the audience than increasing them through search visibility?
Qualifying the traffic I receive is perhaps the most valuable affiliate strategy I have for making money online.
It must solve a problem my audience has. That’s the main reason for promoting something.
A lot of marketers, particularly new affiliates, don’t take this approach and it’s why they struggle to sell anything.
You can’t just pick any product with a good looking sales page or high EPCs / conversion and assume it will sell well, not necessarily (it usually makes it easier obviously).
What sells well for 1 audience doesn’t necessarily for others if it’s not targeted to them.
So look for something that solves an urgent problem your audience have. Make sure the product is a good fit. Look for high conversion rates and EPCs if this information is available. Check the refund rate and look at the history of the vendor and his other products to make sure he’s legit and offers good support.
Provide value through offering solutions to problems. This is really all there is to affiliate or any other type of marketing.
People have problems they want solved. You offer them the solutions. That’s WHY people buy. People don’t buy things for the sake of buying.
I saw this on Twitter recently which I think sums it up nicely…
My blog and my email list is the #1 strategy I employ.
Build an audience through your blog. Funnel people onto your email list.
Follow up with value packed emails and links back to your content.
Mix in with email recommendations for affiliate products which solve their key problems.
People who try and do affiliate marketing without building a relationship and collecting emails have a hard time of it.
People like to buy from someone they trust and know well not through a random affiliate link or dodgy “review” they found online that clearly is just designed to get clicks and make money.
Affiliate marketing is really relationship marketing.
For more info on HOW to build your email list check these guides….
When selecting a great affiliate product or program, always make sure it is relevant to your readers. And I always recommend that you already use the product yourself or have a good working knowledge of the product. You can ruin your reputation if you don’t promote top-notch products and programs. My readers know I only promote products I personally use and/or believe in. Because I have built up that trust with my audience, they read my posts and also look at my resource page to see what I recommend.
Promotion can be done in various ways but I like to feature a product on a “Resources” or “Tools I use” page. I also recommend to my readers to write an “Ultimate Guide”, which is a longer blog post talking about how to solve the readers’ problems in your niche. Make sure you include all your affiliate links within the post. Here’s an example of one on Successful Blogging and one Ramsay Turpin did on Blog Tyrant.
My #1 strategy for selling affiliate products is to presell the product in your blog post. You build up anticipation with your readers before they see the link for the affiliate product. The post itself will help solve one specific problem your readers have and then the affiliate product you recommend will be a tool that helps them achieve the result you have discussed in the post.
We tend to work on a small number of sites (as few as 1-2) at a time, build a lot of content around a specific topic tailored to a specific audience, and then work in comparisons and reviews of a lot of products related to the niche. Because of that approach, we try to be very liberal with which products we’ll become an affiliate for, since we’re listing pros and cons for that product (and in some cases may even explicitly recommend something else more strongly).
With the sites we work on we’re trying to create several really comprehensive resources on a variety of topics our audience will find useful, so we don’t have to go all-in hammering on one product (or a few products) repeatedly. Having this kind of “portfolio” approach also means we can be a little less sensitive about only promoting things with great payouts, and when we find something that readers love and that make us money we can find other ways to go deeper in promoting that product.
So to be more specific: if we’re running a publishing site aimed at home owners, we might start with a big list of “the best home automation options” and have affiliate links to each of the products (Amazon’s affiliate program can be a great option to get started with this approach, as you can often get all of the products listed with a single site). Then if one particularly is resonating with readers and is driving traffic, we might dive deeper there and become a direct affiliate (if that’s an option) and start to create different content around that product (an in-depth review, some ideas for how to use that system to solve specific problems – eg save money on your heating bill, etc.)
What tends to work well for us is creating really in-depth, lengthy comparison lists of different products. This tends to work well because often times multiple products you list will help you with distribution by sharing your content, it enhances the credibility of the post because you’re not shoving the single product with the best payout down the readers’ throat, and the content is something the reader really wants so it tends to get shared, linked to, and has really good engagement.
The thing that’s worked the best for us is to try to create really useful content on a specific topic for a specific audience, and then show that audience multiple products related to that topic that they might find interesting and useful. This tends to work better than the reverse (ie finding a product with a great payout and think of different ways to promote it and work it into posts) for us because we do a lot of content marketing to promote products, and by having a lot of different products we’re highlighting, reviewing, and recommending (or in some cases not recommending that aggressively) the content we’re creating becomes more useful for the reader.
Promoting multiple products we think an audience will find useful also makes the site less “fragile” in the sense that we’re not dependent on a single product for revenue and aren’t susceptible to the entire site being submarined if a product changes their pay structure or stops selling something that was generating a lot of revenue for us.
The affiliate programs I promote are all products and services that I personally use and like. I have worked to build trust with my audience that when I say I like something, they believe me.
I create content, so my affiliate links are within reviews or mentions of a product or service that I like. The effectiveness is due to the responsiveness of my lists.
My focus is on creating content around a subject that interests me, because that way it makes it way more likely that I will stick with it. I churn out posts pretty fast when they are on a product or service that I have benefitted from and enjoy using.
My first criteria is to go for products that have a good standing in the market. If it is some new person or a company, I will pause for a while to do my research before immediately starting to promote it to my readers.
Second, I make sure that the product delivers what it promises in the sales page. Usually I don’t believe 100% of what is said in the sales page of the product. The main reason is that I’ve had quite some bad experiences believing those hypey sales copies. Another reason is this: Product owners usually think that their product is great – they are not going to write that their product has a flaw or a it lags in performance! And this is why people usually seek reviews or opinion from other persons who have used the product. I want to make sure that I give my readers my best honest opinion.
Third, the commission style and structure. What is the percentage? How much will I get per sale (this depends on the price of the product)? Are there tiered commissions? What about recurring commissions? And so on…
I’ve discussed these points (and some more) in detail in this post here > 7 Affiliate marketing tips for beginners.
For me, writing helpful reviews and sharing tips on how to use a particular product works very well. More than just summarizing the features of the product in the name of a review, if I show my readers how I was able to solve problem “X” with this particular product, they find it useful.
And when they finally decide to buy the product, they remember me, coz I showed them something useful.
I’ve had people reading 20 or so reviews on a product and email me back for my affiliate link coz they missed it – but they still remembered that my review was useful – so they made sure I get the commission
Merely displaying banner ads on the sidebar has NEVER worked for me (I got to also say what didn’t work, right?).
To me, affiliate marketing is a nice stream of income. But it is NOT my only income stream – I always make sure I don’t put all my eggs in one basket.
Having said that, I also make sure that my affiliate marketing strategy blends well and aligns with my content strategy and my business strategy.
It does not sound appropriate to me as a blogger to go out of focus just for the sake of affiliate commissions. If the focus of my blog is to help other bloggers and entrepreneurs build their blog, the affiliate products I promote on my site should also fulfil the same purpose. If I promote photography products or exercise equipments on my site, it won’t do good both to me and to my readers. That’s a failure strategy, in my opinion.
The main selection criteria that I use for affiliate programs is do the affiliate companies pay on time and do they actually pay commissions.
Other factors that I use to determine the right program is how long the company has been in business and also I search for reviews of those companies to see how other affiliates rate that company.
The number one marketing technique that we use for promoting affiliate products is through reviews. I think this is the best and highest converting method for selling affiliate products. It is natural human behaviour to ask friends about products or services that they recommend and if someone can’t find a recommendation in their immediate circle people will search online for other reviews.
The number one way of promoting affiliate products is through SEO traffic. There is still no better way of generating qualified leads than through SEO. It works so well for us.
When looking for affiliate products to promote I try to look for uniqueness, something a little different than everybody else is promoting, but of course this is dependent on the niche. I also look at the sales copy to see how well it is likely to convert. I don’t want to send my users to a crappy looking site! It’s also important to look at the commission rate. No point promoting a product that is only going to make me a couple of dollars. I also have found that the best affiliate products to promote are those that use a follow up so that they continue to promote to your leads for a long time after you have sent them to their site!
My number 1 marketing technique when it comes to promoting affiliate products is to promote them to my subscriber list and provide a solid set of results. If you are recommending somebody else’s product to your list, they will expect you too have at least used it yourself. Make sure you use the product yourself and tell your readers exactly what you thought of it and back that up with some evidence.
If you are promoting a keyword search tool. Show them actual screenshots of you using it with the results it achieved. There’s no better marketing technique than saying ‘Hey, here’s a grey new product that I have been using, I tried it on xxx and here are the results it produced xxxx, you too can do the same!!!
My number 1 affiliate strategy to make money online is to provide a great free service or product, build an email list and then build trust with them. You now have the ammunition to promote affiliate products to them because they know that you are genuine and trustworthy. Check out this post: http://doseoyourself.com/money-in-the-list/ If you just create a page and say ‘Hey, buy this product’ you stand no chance!
I rely on numbers combined with common sense when it comes to choosing products worth promoting.
Is the product converting? Can I test this immediately? Will I be promoting it with organic traffic or paid traffic? How competitive is the landscape?
If everyone is offering the same thing, I’ll have to see if it’s worth my time to pursue it. Obviously, if it converts well (by looking at the stats given by your affiliate network) then I’ll have to consider it more than others.
I’ll start by looking at Google Trends. See if people are really looking for the brand and their products. Using Google Trends is a good way to NOT promote bad products because some can inflate their numbers within affiliate networks.
I then do the tried and tested keyword research. Find long tail keywords (at the start) that people looking to buy will type in. If there are enough keyword searches daily, I’ll look at the estimated value per click and check the competition. After getting enough data, I’ll then decide if it’s worth doing.
It takes me more time on research than it takes to put up the site.
Paid traffic is my #1 technique for getting a LOT of data, conversions and opt-ins quickly. A lot of affiliates do not like this because of the investment involved at the start so organic is the next common technique to go with.
With paid traffic, you get to know quickly if your offer, landing page and ascension funnel converts. If you can convert cold traffic (those coming from networks like Adwords, etc) then you have a clear winner right there! You can branch out to other paid sources and make the most out of it by doing SEO on the side to get more long term.
I would never recommend media buying to people with a tight budget and with no experience yet or you’ll end up with a really nasty experience.
As a promotion strategy, I definitely have to go with SEO + Long Tail Keyword Research + Blogging + Email Marketing and eventually turning it to an authority site. It’s a funnel that will keep on working long term as long as you do your SEO right. I started with this back then and it still works really, really well today. I do this more nowadays as I can’t monitor my paid traffic campaigns like before due to my startup.
You can’t go wrong with organic traffic. It converts well, people are more engaged and responsive to emails and offers. Even basic ads convert better using this strategy so that’s extra income for you. Plus you can outsource it or apply a system so you can churn affiliate sites like this regularly.
Leigh Louey-Gung – VisionSyste.ms
The most important criteria is return on investment – which is made up of two parts.
Product performance – including conversion rates, average basket value, lifetime customer value, and commission percentage and structure (recurring vs. one-off).
Traffic – including how much customer education is required, total potential traffic, and difficulty of obtaining that traffic.
If I can find a product that performs well and I can spot an easy and simple way to get a solid amount of traffic for that product, then it’s an opportunity worth pursuing in my mind.
The #1 technique I use in every affiliate product I promote is: recommendations.
Every product I promote, I test against other products that perform the same function and then recommend the best performing product.
It works so well because it takes the hard work out of the buying process for the customer. Instead of having to landing on your site, reading your one recommendation, then going to another 20 sites to read their one recommendations, and hoping they come back to your site to click through and buy, they can just stay on your site, read through all your reviews, be told exactly what’s the best product on the market and buy that one.
I’ve seen increases of over 120% click through rate by reviewing multiple products and recommending the best one.
Find an affiliate product you can make a lot of money out of and then create a version of that product to sell for yourself. You know you can get traffic for it, you know it will convert, and you know that the product’s at least making some money for the vendor otherwise they wouldn’t be selling it – so why let it go into their pocket?
When you own every step of the process, you’re able to extract every cent of profit out of it.
The most important thing about affiliate marketing is to know what is profitable and what is not. Picking the right offer can make or break your campaign however I prefer to find an audience who need a product and then promote the best product with a good payout.
I usually start out by using a tool such as SEMRush to find keyword phrases for questions people are having trouble with, for example if I was carrying out a project in the Prepper/Survival niche then a search for “how to make a paracord bracelet” gets 12000+ searches per month. So now we know what people are looking for we can put together a tutorial article filled with affiliate links to different types of paracords, paracord knives, books etc.
Best promotion strategy:
EMAIL, EMAIL, EMAIL – I’ll say that again to make sure you read it – EMAIL! I build up massive lists and then promote my products to them if you have a 10,000 email list you want to be making a minimum of $10k per month, I get people to my lists by any means possible whether that is SEO, social media or paid methods. Once you know the value of your customer you can run cost effective campaigns to get people on to your list.
For one of my projects I know that a blog subscriber is worth around $45 over the first year on a particular list, this means that I can easily afford to pay $36 to get them on to my mailing list and make a 20% profit. If I can then upsell them products or keep them on my list for over 12 months I can afford to increase the amount I can afford to pay to get them.
I keep it easy and currently only use Amazon Affiliate. I find the conversion rate on Amazon.com high because Internet users trust it, so it’s converting higher for me compared to other affiliate products I have tested in the past. My main selection criterion is ease of use.
My favorite technique is to provide value and share my own experience using a product. Here is an example of a blog post, 8 Internet Marketing Books You Should Read in 2014, which ranks top five on Google on keywords such as ‘internet marketing books’ and ‘online marketing books’ and brings hundreds of dollars in Amazon Affiliate revenue. In another example, How to Build an Inspiring Office on a Shoestring, I shared my experience building my old home office and included Amazon Affiliate links to the products I myself researched and purchased. That’s credible affiliate marketing.
The first thing I’d consider is how reputable the affiliate program and the product is. If it’s something I’ve never heard of – I double check them on Google and see if anyone have had any complaints about it. It’s quite common that affiliate programs are trying to scrub people in order to make more money.
The second criteria is the affiliate payout amount. If it’s anything less than $50 – I’m not interested in it. Perhaps I’m too biased, but I prefer to promote products that pay more than $100 their affiliates, such as: web hosting, high-end courses and recurring subscriptions.
I’ve found email marketing the best in terms of ROI. Second is PPC (Adwords) and then comes SEO. Obviously if you are just starting out, I suggest you to start with SEO since it’s the most cheapest and you can actually get links for free (you just need to publish awesome content – “ha!” and get it in front of influencers and larger blogs).
I’m concentrating on so called “mini niche sites” that have 30-50 pages of useful & juicy content. I’m usually targeting 1-2 affiliate products (no adsense, no ads, no promoted posts etc). The more comprehensive and useful/helpful your site is, the more easier is to get links to it and get ranked it on Google. I don’t use any blackhat techniques and thus I’m not afraid of getting penalized by Google. 90% of my SEO techniques involve content and outreach.
It would have to be in line with my brand. It doesn’t matter if the product is a top seller. My brand is built around helping others online so anything outside of that will not do as well.
My blog would be my #1 marketing technique. As I mentioned above, the products I promote would have to be in line with what I am offering. So after I made my choice of product, my targeted visitors will also see a product that could benefit them.
The content from my blog will draw them to my site. From there it is all about strategic placement of the product. This will help you convert your visitors into sales more effectively.
Use a brand that your visitors will know without a doubt. Quality is important and should not be compromised if you want the best results.
This is even more important if you are in the beginning stages of growing your brand. You don’t have much time to develop trust with your readers. Trust is most important when trying to convert visitors into sales. A known brand will help build trust immediately and move them to the next step.
Most of the times I promote the products personally used/tested by me. Then I look for company’s reputation – it helps me to judge that whether this product will stand in the market after one year or will they discontinue it?
Also I consider the commission per sale, payout amount and payout method (i.e. check payment or PayPal etc.). I usually promote digital products, because if someone is not satisfied with the product they can easily get the refund (30 or 45 days money back guarantee).
I create niche sites solely for that product. I try to cover all possible information related to those products in my posts. Then I choose the profitable keywords having high number of searches related to that product. Then I rank those keywords and drive traffic to my niche site. As I’m targeting the right audience, visitors are converting into the customers. I’m using this technique for more than 2 years and it’s working perfectly for me.
I use free methods to drive the traffic to my affiliate sites. Using search engine optimization techniques I drive targeted traffic to my niche sites. Then, I create a landing page to show them the products related to their interest. After reading the genuine review about the product, if they feel that this is the right product for them, they buy it.
Choosing the profitable keyword is the most important thing in affiliate marketing. Also while creating the backlinks, you need to care about the anchor texts variation. If you manage to rank profitable keywords related to your product at first 3 spots in Google SERP then it’s easy to earn money.
I only promote products I’ve tried and loved, or that have been created by people whose other products I’ve used and who I can trust to maintain high standards. Essentially, I’m interested in promoting stuff my readers want and appreciate. That means it has to be relevant, useful, and deliver value greater than the price.
I email my subscribers and tell them why I like the product and why I think they’ll like it too. That works well for me because my email subscribers are awesome! They’re ambitious and determined freelancers who genuinely appreciate a heads-up from me about something that will help them build a better blogging career. So when I email them, it feels more like telling a friend than selling a product.
My overall strategy is to promote only things my readers will be excited to hear about. I honestly don’t think you can do affiliate marketing any other way, at least not if you want to succeed at it! It works because it’s natural – my subscribers already want these solutions, and all I do is point them in the right direction. I know when I’m getting it right because I get a ton of replies from my email subscribers, thanking me for telling them about it.
We generally target “sweet spot” affiliate products that meet the following criteria:
Have a higher price point
Aren’t in a hypercompetitive niche
Are associated with keywords that have demonstrated search demand
Are associated with keywords with rising interest (check Google Trends)
Can be tied to a range of related topics, so we can create a bunch of companion content pieces with varying degrees of intent (from purely informational to transactional)
Are part of a broader category (for instance, we won’t create a site devoted to plasma TVs; instead we’d rather create a broader electronics consumer reviews site with a plasma TV section. This allows us to build out the site, layer in more product categories and leverage the inherent/mounting domain authority)
Whenever we produce an asset–be it a consumer guide or massive resource lists–we don’t include any affiliate links when we first publish. Instead, we take the following approach:
Link to the manufacturer’s sites first or their product pages
Do a few rounds of outreach and promotion (including emailing the manufacturer’s to let them know about inclusion in our asset)
Then, once we’ve completed promotional efforts, we work in the affiliate links, generally a few weeks after initially publishing the piece
The reason we hold off on monetizing content from the outset is it tends to perform better and generate more shares/links when a piece is seen as strictly informational vs a means to earn affiliate revenue.
Super meaty, informational, expert-level buying guides work really well for us, particularly consumer buying guides for products in a specific category or a broader niche. They do well because our writers and researchers do really in-depth dives for these product buying guides, so consumers are armed with all the information they need to compare and contrast products and make a well-informed purchasing decision. Also, we take steps to make sure they’re far superior and even more useful than any of the assets we’re competing against/trying to outrank in the SERPs.
There are tens of thousands of affiliate products currently present in the market. So, picking up the best one out of those isn’t an easy task.
I generally like to go with popular products within my niche. I also use Amazon Top Sellers, Clickbank Gravity Based Sorting to pick popular products worth promoting.
Before selecting any product, these are the three questions I personally like to ask myself:
Do the product meet the need of my readers and provides them some value? This is a big MUST!
I put myself in buyer’s shoes and ask whether I would personally buy that product or not?
Lastly, I decide about whether the merchant or actual seller is trustworthy or not?
To be able to move ahead, the result should be 3 yeses for above mentioned questions.
Search Engines and Email Marketing (blog subscribers) is where almost all my sales come from.
Regarding the second part of the question, when people land on your blog via search engines then they are already half-buyers. All you just need to do it approach them in a right way through your writing style & content and make them pull wallet out of their pocket.
And if you’re really into affiliate marketing, then I don’t think email marketing or how to make money from your blog subscribers needs any kind of further explanation.
Generally, I like to promote the products that I use myself personally.
And before promoting any product, I try out each and every feature of that product and after analyzing it’s pros and cons, I decide whether this product will provide value to others or not?
If the answer is yes, then there are two types of posts that I mainly use to promote that product. That are-
1. Review Posts – This is a post containing a detailed review highlighting how the product actually works. It is very important to be honest and not too salesy while writing the review post. Also, don’t forget to add few cons to your review as well, if any.
Try to make your review interesting by adding images, videos and slideshows showing readers the product or service live in-action. You can check this article to see an example of a review that I wrote recently on one of my blogs.
2. Problem Solving Posts – Well, this is another good way to earn affiliate commissions easily. People are in problems every time and if you pitch those people the right product, driving sales won’t be a tough issue for you.
Since, I’m not simply throwing my affiliate links amongst few hundred suger-coated words, I do actually get sales via both of these post types.
The most important criteria is that it has to be a product or service that I feel confident recommending to others. In most cases that means it is a product that I use myself. In other cases it may be a product that I tested but don’t use on a regular basis because I don’t have a need for it.
It’s also important that the product is highly relevant and of interest to my target audience. I don’t want to force the promotion of a particular product.
Things like a high commission percentage are nice, but that is less important than the quality of the product.
As far as blogging is concerned I’ve always had the best results with including affiliate links in the blog content itself. I have had some success with reviews, but I don’t publish a lot of reviews. There are a lot of ways to naturally work affiliate links into your blog content without being overly pushy on the sales aspect. Things like tutorials, showing readers how to use a product, and just mentioning products as they relate to the content of your blog posts tend to work well for me.
Promoting affiliate products to your email list is, of course, also extremely effective.
My main focus right now is on building a large and responsive email list. At my main site I use the list to drive traffic back to the site, to promote my own products, and to promote related but non-competing affiliate products. As my list continues to grow I get better results in each area.
I also include affiliate links in blog post content when it seems natural. There are a lot of situations where you can mention an affiliate product in a blog post when it will actually be really helpful for readers because it will show them a product, service, or app that can help them with whatever you are covering in that post.
I think you need to understand your own audience and what will be of most interest to them. If you really don’t know your audience well, you can use free tools like surveymonkey.com to get a better understanding of your audience.
I would also never push a product that you don’t personally believe in. With some audiences you can make more audiences selling useless overpriced weight loss pills but you’ll lose your audiences credibility over time. I love to sleep well at night and wouldn’t push anything that I wouldn’t use personally.
I think email and social are still the best marketing techniques to use. They allow you to reach your existing audience or new inexpensively and have a great ROI.
Develop your email list, email might seem old school to some people but its still the best channel to use for affiliate marketing. It might not be the old school days when people had lists with millions of records and could send out multiple times a day.
The first thing I evaluate is the quality of the product. If it’s low quality, I don’t promote it. Period. Sticking with high quality products not only helps me sleep at night, it also helps build a sustainable, long term audience.
Build an engaged audience that trusts you. Then give your audience what they want. I do this by creating niche specific sites and producing high quality content. This creates the trust. Then I survey my audience to learn what they want. Everybody wins.
I build niche specific sites with high quality content that can be grown over time. This allows me to build an engaged audience and a sustainable platform. It also opens up the ability to promote multiple related products to the same audience. There are so many short term tactics in the affiliate world. Since all strategies take skill and hard work, choose to focus on something that has real potential to still be earning in 5 to 10 years.
I want to thank everybody who made this post possible. Please spread the love and don’t forget to go with the affiliate networks and products that tie in with your niche and your visitors/readers interest.