12 Affiliate Marketing Strategies That Really Work
With affiliate marketing, strategy is critical. Knowing where you’ve been and, more importantly, where you’re going will give you the best chance of success at making a passive income.
This article will explore twelve of the best affiliate strategy models for you to follow.
1. Believe in the product and company you’re marketing
When you choose a product for affiliate marketing, you have to believe that it’s worth someone’s money genuinely.
It’s very easy to fall into the trap of simply getting hold of as many random products as you can. However, this will lead to poor-quality stock. More importantly, your enthusiasm (or lack thereof) levels will bubble over into how you write about the item. It’s funny how easy an audience can pick this up and be – rightly – dissuaded from purchasing it.
When you promote products and services you truly believe in, you will gain a reputation for quality alongside increased sales. This affiliate strategy is a cycle that will only continue to grow.
2. Select a profitable affiliate program
Affiliate marketing is, at the bottom line, business. Of course, you should focus on your passions, but you’re there to make a profit at the end of the day.
Start by narrowing down your options. Select programs that offer products you are familiar with or have a deep interest in. If you choose items that you are knowledgeable about, you’ll build your viewers’ trust more quickly.
When you select an affiliate program, try to find one with a good reputation but isn’t saturated with previous clients. You want minimal competition for maximum profit. Also, check for programs that manually select the partners they work with – this will take longer initially, but it means they screen everyone they work with, giving you a better chance of success in the long run.
3. Design a professional website
To make passive income from affiliate marketing, you’ll need a professional website.
This is particularly important – a website that appears disjointed and crudely put together will instantly turn away most potential customers. It gives the impression that the business is illegitimate and destroys all trust in the first couple of seconds.
Keep the website relatively simple. It should load quickly (as this is pleasing to users) and never go offline.
You can make professional-looking websites using many online platforms such as WordPress, Wix and Squarespace if you don’t have experience with HTML programming.
4. Avoid fraudulent activity
One of the main attractions of affiliate marketing is anonymity and simplicity. However, this can also be a significant downfall.
Nowadays, scammers, fraudsters, and criminals, in general, have become wise to vulnerabilities in the system, so they’ll use all sorts of tricks. Many of them appear pretty legitimate, too.
One of your main points of focus in your affiliate strategy should be to keep away from this.
As an affiliate marketing business, take careful steps to ensure you avoid falling into these traps. The scams might affect you, your customers, or both. Keeping well away from these kinds of people means you’re protecting your financial assets, your brand and your reputation.
5. Produce natural and engaging content
When you write an affiliate post, you should always be honest and let your viewers know that there are affiliate links in your post. In many countries worldwide, including the US and the UK, it’s also a legal requirement to disclose your links. Failure to do so can lead to a criminal investigation.
Give your true opinion on the products based on your experience with them – it’s usually a good idea to purchase a product version to see how it really works. Many affiliate programs might even offer businesses a discounted item for this purpose. Sometimes, this involves explaining the negatives, cons and drawbacks you’ve discovered – that’s okay. People want to know that. If you write about a seemingly perfect product, then, well, your audience might get suspicious.
Rather than using the generic images supplied by the affiliate program, take your own photos and use them instead. This shows you have a vested interest in the item and have taken the time to advertise it yourself.
Keep the products relevant to your website or blog – otherwise, you’ll be marketing these items to the wrong audience.
6. Don’t just be a click-stream
Many affiliate marketing businesses are simply intermediaries. Once they’ve got a customer and redirected them to the storefront for a purchase, they aren’t interested in anything else.
To stand out from the crowd with a quality affiliate strategy, you should work on developing an audience dedicated to your website and brand. Repeat customers are usually the most important to a business.
To help build this audience, you should offer information that customers might be looking for that isn’t easy to find elsewhere. For example, this might include video reviews with the product, personal images (as mentioned above) and examples of using the item in your life on a day-to-day basis.
7. Focus on being helpful
If you’re in full sales mode, it often creates a feeling of unease and tension with the potential customer.
Think about it from your own perspective – when you buy something, such as a new car or kitchen, what kind of salesperson do you prefer? The loud one shouting in your face or the quiet, genuinely helpful person?
Even if you don’t make as many initial sales, building trust with your audience may lead to long-term stability and a good relationship with your buyers.
8. Use link localisers for your affiliate links
A link localiser sends the visitor to a country-specific website rather than the global version.
This is in the buyer’s (and, therefore, your) best interest because it’s much easier to purchase an item from your own country. It also means they won’t have to navigate through the site before reaching the product in question.
9. Learn how to write a powerful review
A review can be a powerful part of your affiliate strategy.
Online reviews from affiliate marketing websites can be hugely influential to buyers, who will often not trust the reviews they read on Amazon.
Follow these steps to produce the best reviews out there.
- Get a physical version of the product, so you have first-hand experience of how it works and the pros and cons.
- Research the product’s background and how it fits into its business’ brand – putting this section in at the start of the review helps build trust and a connection with your audience.
- Write about both the positives and the negatives and, in general, keep a neutral tone.
- Use data to back your observations up – following the PEE structure might help (point, evidence, explanation).
- Sometimes, it’s worth comparing the item to another product, perhaps a competitor. Discuss which one suits its purpose better and which is best for your prospective buyers.
- Invite other users to share their thoughts and ideas – you could do this using a comments section or by inviting them to message you personally, using email, post, social media, or an online form.
10. Regularly check your site for 404 errors
404 errors – broken links – break your site down. Just one or two 404 errors can entirely destroy the flow of links through your site.
They also make customers hesitant as to whether to continue using your affiliate marketing service. A 404 error can very quickly put someone off, never for them to return.
Sometimes 404 errors crop up through no fault of your own. That’s okay – just make sure that you regularly check your site for them and fix them as soon as possible.
11. Learn to outrank the competition
In modern terms, outranking the competition refers to Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).
You should know how to:
- Conduct and understand keyword research.
- Know what the competition does.
- Organise your website and its pages to be SEO-friendly.
- Produce content on a regular basis.
- Use analytics sites such as Google Analytics.
- Insert links and make backlinks.
If you can learn how to master these skills, your pages will rank highly in search engine results, meaning more visitors to your website.
12. Understand the legalities behind affiliate marketing
As the final point in our list of affiliate strategy ideas, ensure you understand the law regarding what you’re doing.
Affiliate marketing, as it’s done today, is a relatively new field to the world’s economy. As a result, you must be careful to comply with international trade laws and those in your own country.
As mentioned earlier, you’ll need to have a disclosure disclaimer on your website to let everyone who visits it know that you are an affiliate marketing business. If you don’t, it could lead to severe financial and criminal consequences. Most affiliates use pop-up advertisements to display their disclaimer.
Affiliate marketing can lead to a significant amount of passive income for some people.
However, you should be sure to follow the above steps carefully. With a careful affiliate strategy, you can build your business’s brand awareness and develop repeat customers for long-term success.