Top 15 Tips Every Affiliate Marketer Should Know

By Strahinja | Tips

Apr 06
top 15 tips every affiliate marketer should know

Wouldn’t it be amazing if we can all get a great source of income from the Internet? The Internet has made many types of online business extremely possible when the opportunities didn’t exist before, and because the Internet is worldwide and touches nearly every single country it's become increasingly easy to find customers in places it was virtually impossible to do so quickly.

Examples of online businesses are freelancing where people can sell their skills off, or they can open up a virtual store on either Amazon or on eBay, and sell products. But in this article we shall look into affiliate marketing, and what every affiliate marketer should know.

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Affiliate marketing is truly one of the easiest methods of making money online, especially since it is a more efficient way than the pay per click programs.

There are so many great things and advantages to affiliate marketing which makes it extremely attractive to potential entrepreneurs, but how does it work?

Top 15 Tips Every Affiliate Marketer Should Know

1. Knowing What it is

There are many different ways the Internet has helped people earn money online and become entrepreneurs, but one of the most common methods out there for people who want to make money online and earn a living is affiliate marketing.

The premise behind affiliate marketing is easy, you recommend company services or products to customers, and if they buy something it generates a sale, and the marketer gets paid on commission.

how do you become an affiliate marketer

The structure behind the way it works is simple; there is the affiliate’s website/blog which contains reviews on the products and services in question. When the visitor looks on your website, they might become interested in the products, and then click on the links set up on the website, which will lead them to the service/product on the advertiser’s website.

There is the affiliate network - it supplies the affiliate marketer with the link and it tracks anyone clicking on it through either a cookie or a pixel. The buyer is the customer who makes the purchase on the website, and the sale is tracked as long as the cookie still exists. For some networks, it only exists for 30 days, but for others it's there for a lifetime. 

Lastly, the commission where the marketers receive a commission for the sale, and the marketer is paid.

2. Small Details

With most businesses, you need to have the product already made, or you must have the facilities to make the product and service. Not the case with affiliate marketing. In this business, your job is to promote the product for the audience, and you just get paid when the sale is made.

top 15 tips every affiliate marketer should know

If you are worried about having to stock the items at home and selling them afterwards, don’t worry - it is one of the many advantages of being an affiliate marketer. 

You don’t have to do any of those things - your job is just to write posts about the items on a website, and hope people read them and are interested enough to click onto a link to buy them so you can earn your commission.

3. It’s Easy to Set up And Do

Affiliate marketing requires very few resources when compared with other business models online. There are programs out there which are designed exclusively for affiliate marketing.

The trick here is to do extensive research to make sure they are not scams, and there are quite a few around. It takes a lot of skill, not to mention hard work to establish a truly successful and profitable business with this model.

When you are setting up the platform that you need for the marketing, use a blog rather than social media, or just set up your own website.

top 15 tips every affiliate marketer should know

Once you’ve done that, look out for any tools you will need and definitely get social media connected to the website so you can advertise the products on the social media platforms.

Also, link Google Analytics to your website or blog to track down the flow of traffic going to your website - this information will be useful for you to see how many people are visiting your website. 

Some affiliate marketing websites such as Wealthy Affiliate have a series of videos and huge community which help budding marketers set up the websites needed for their businesses. Joining in is free and you will find a lot of helpful content there.

4. Good Idea to Experiment With Other Networks 

As stated above, there are dozens of different affiliate marketing programs out there. Just be careful. There are scammers out there who will make promises about rich returns, and even the legitimate affiliate networks suffer from the occasional problem.

affiliate program diagram

So, with this in mind, do not just limit yourself to a single network like Wealthy Affiliate or a single merchant. Sign up for more than one legitimate network like Solo Build It while you promote a number of products and services after researching if they are legitimate for your needs.

This will ensure that your business stays up and running and you won’t lose your stream of revenue if one of the networks simply closes their program, or if they have issues with their server, or they decide to change their commission offerings. Just bear in mind the affiliate networks are the middlemen - they will want to have some of the profit that you earn.

To find a good affiliate marketing business: 

  1. Always refer to a product which offers recurring commissions.
  2. When choosing the program, make sure it provides the necessary resources to the product, so it’s easier for you to build up the value.
  3. Choose the product which is relevant to your niche while making sure you’re an expert in the niche to make an impact. Just don’t get into the temptation to sign up to too many at once - while it is tempting to create multiple streams of revenue, there is only so much you can cope with before it becomes too much for you to handle.

5. Honesty is a Must in This Business

Have you ever had ads shoved into your face when you’re surfing the net? It happens all the time, and many people hate it.

fair business

Web users visiting the website you’re using to sell affiliate links, or trying to pass off the marketing posts you’re putting on your website or blog will make assumptions about what it is you’re trying to do. 

They will then either just leave as soon as they do notice and they won’t come back, or they will decide to stay and check your content. Instead of being clever and listening to people telling you to hide the links, you should be upfront about your links.

DO NOT try to sell the services or products in your posts on the website, instead offer useful information, and add the occasional link into the posts.

This way customers can choose to buy the products if they’re really interested in them instead of just telling them to buy them, which will probably just make them lose interest quickly. You can also tell the customers who visit your website that you only promote the products that you yourself use.

6. Be Patient!  

It takes a lot of time for an affiliate marketer to build trust with the customers even though its easy to become an affiliate, and you won’t make the money you want to make without an audience.

These are the people who surf the Internet and look for the products you’re selling with the right keywords. Just keep in mind it takes some time to build up trust in everyone. It also takes time for affiliates to gain their traffic and their subscribers.

money over time

This type of online business is far more profitable if there is plenty of traffic and there are many subscribers to your website, but building these up can take a lot of time.

Also be aware that every affiliate network has dozens of marketers signed up already, so it will be extremely difficult to sell yourself so people will just buy from others rather than you.

One of the biggest pitfalls of affiliate marketing that marketers make is continually emailing or posting about the product, and eventually going over the top by telling their followers to try the products and buy them. Another thing to bear in mind is not to overcrowd your page with unnecessary content since it will just turn people away.

7. Choosing Your Niche 

This is critical to your success as an affiliate marketer. Just make sure you concentrate on one niche rather than concentrating on several, otherwise, you will become exhausted writing posts for different products, some of which you don’t have any interest in.

customer

Concentrate on choosing a niche that targets a specific audience and focuses on related products. For example, if you have a vested interest in gardening, then focus on gardening products and, such as lawn mowers, pond fountains, tools, etc.

Do not waste your time and energy writing about something you don’t have any real interest in. It is incredibly easy to choose a niche which you’re certain it will give you money quickly, but it's also good to realize this can be a big mistake. 

It might also be a good idea to have a limited number of items listed on your website so you can market them effectively. Also keep the content as relevant as possible.

If you choose books, then keep the content focused on books. If you have posted about something like CDs with links included, your earnings will be inconsistent comparing it with earnings you would gain from promoting something relevant to your niche.

8. Quality Traffic  

In the early days of the Internet, there were boasts about the number of hits to the websites, and advertisers were struck dumb with awe when they saw the figures of how many people actually saw the websites.

direction

This attitude still exists and it is likely it will never disappear. The only downside to the figures is it's a hit or miss statistic which in the long-term is very meaningless since the visitor could just have glanced at the website and left as quickly.

When it comes to your business, don’t worry too much about attracting a lot of traffic, you should be more interested in bringing in people who are interested in your posts and will be clicking on the links to the products.

When you’ve linked analytics to your website, you can track how many people are interested in your website, but remember to do your research with the keywords, and write original and helpful content to promote what the products are.

9. Passive Income

Another great thing about affiliate marketing. Many new affiliate marketers are interested in selling products that can generate recurring revenue, because this means money you can count on every month.

While it’s true that you can leave your affiliate marketing business alone for a few days, it's important to regularly update it with new posts in order to ensure your website is quite high on the search engines (more on that in a bit).

affiliate marketing

It’s also well known that many marketers who are still new and have a great deal to learn still make the mistake of just walking away from the website as soon as they make a profit.

These novice marketers have just made the cardinal mistake of believing that after they’ve just made their first profit, their website will continue to just generate fresh revenue by attracting traffic - while they think it's alright for them to move onto their next big project.

The website will continue to generate interest, but then the traffic the old website had brought in will drop just like the website position on Google.

To stop this from happening it is important to update the website with new posts about your chosen niche.  At the minimum, this can be done twice or three times a week, and even this small figure should be enough to ensure your website still garners some interest and will keep on generating traffic.

10. Content  

Make sure everything you write on your blog or website is top quality. If you don’t know the product, if you don’t love it or indeed have no real experience with it, then you are making a sin.

The visitors to your website are visiting to read what you’ve written, and they expect the truth. Make everything you say easy to read so they can understand it.

content

Try to write content that you know will last for a long time and still garner interest even if you wrote it a long time ago. Some people when they visit your website and find it, they might lose interest because it offers information they will know to be dated.

Keep in mind that information tends to move forward as time passes, so the content will change as well. Make the timeless content just by adding links between the old pages and the updated ones so you are always up to date.

This is a good way of maintaining or even improving your rank in the search engines.

The good news is many platforms where you can add affiliate links will allow you to show pages which are “most popular” or “related” or “updated”, so it doesn’t really matter that much if the original content is old and outdated - there will still be access to the new content on your website, and that is what’s more important. with this approach, the old content can help generate revenue for you on an indefinite period.

content marketing

One more way of getting traffic to the website is to simply remove the dates the posts were written on - many people will simply dismiss the posts because of its age, but the information can still be relevant especially if it's linked to newer editions, so removing the dates can solve this problem.

Digital marketers use ‘content marketing’ where original content is produced on their website, and good content means visitors will come back, and you can also use this content to include affiliate links.

high quality

So, the more content that’s produced by you, the more affiliate links there will be. While there are free articles out there covering every topic, and there are sites where you can get free content for you to use on the website or the blog, Google and other search engines look for duplicate content, and if they see articles on your websites or blogs that are identical, you will be penalised.

Be helpful with your content and as informative as you can be. One of the reasons many budding affiliates leave is because their content is either not good quality, or they’re writing about something they don’t know about.

11. Not a Good Place to Make a Quick Buck

One of the biggest problems many people have when they learn about affiliate marketing is thinking it will be a place to make money quickly without any actual work. Not true. As stated above, it's the lure of the potential goldmine this type of online business can deliver to newbies which is one of the reasons so many try it.

But it's an illusion - affiliate marketing is hard work, and there is going to be a lot of competition out there for budding business people. It takes time for budding affiliates to write the content on their website and research the right keywords.

online business

One sad truth is there are business owners who have made the mistake of thinking you only need to set up the website or the blog and join an affiliate program, like the one offered up on Amazon, and  just leave it afterwards.

Big mistake. Affiliate marketers will need time to get their website up, getting things like social media and analytics set up and ready to go so then they can send posts to a much wider audience while keeping track of how many people visit their websites in the first place.

They’re not going to write content and want to instantly get paid for their efforts. Many people do not realise that affiliate marketing is like any other business - it takes time to build up relationships with the customers before the profits come in.

hard work

The best way to succeed as an affiliate marketer is to regularly update the website with fresh content while referring new products, joining more than one affiliate program in case something happens to the one you’re using, and just keep patient. Be prepared for the long haul.

12. Selecting the Merchants

Many affiliates when choosing their merchants, will probably go for those who offer high commissions. 

Instead, it is a better idea to select merchants who have a good reputation and offer quality products. Another thing to look out for would be which merchants sell better.

Amazon has a great and well-regarded affiliate program, so choosing that would be a good move, especially since you can use the product reviews to help you write the blog posts about the products you’re selling as a guide.

If you’re lucky and use that method then you could probably get more commission.

13. The Importance of Keyword Research  

When people go online either to buy something or find the answers they need, they will type in information into the search engine - Bing, Google, DuckDuckAndGo, for instance - and the words entered into the search engines are called keywords. The keywords are important because they are how the search engines know what it is you want.

keyword research

When affiliate marketers set up their blog/website, and they’ve found their niche, they can use tools like Google keyword planner tool though there are others online available for you to do your research, to find the keywords relevant to their niche, based on how many times people online look for them.

Once you’ve got this information, you can write content on your website and it will appear in the search engines and make your website visible to potential traffic.

Keywords can either be long or they can be short, but care should be taken when choosing the keywords because some of them will only get one or two clicks per day while another gets hundreds per day, and these keywords can actually be about the same thing! 

The trick is to know common search people use, and that is where the research comes into it. When you have the relevant keywords, you can then include them in the blog posts, but don’t do it quite so often. This is called keyword spamming and you shouldn't do that. 

No-one will be impressed and will click on the affiliate links, and the search engines will not like it either. The best things for you to do would be to do the research, find the right keywords and note them down, and then use them sparingly in the blog posts.

14. Remember - you are Recommending the Product, not Selling it

Some new affiliates often have the temptation of filling the posts with “BUY THIS NOW!” messages. Not a good idea. Don’t put on prices of the products when you write about them. As an affiliate marketer, your job is to promote them.

"BUY THIS NOW!” messages doesn’t help tell the readers about why they should be interested in the product. It has the opposite effect - they’re more likely to just ignore what you’re trying to sell and leave your website for good.

speical offer

Have you ever seen the reviews people leave on Amazon about their products? They are really powerful, and they’re a major factor in what drives customers to buy the same item because people wish to hear other’s opinions before they make up their minds about buying a product.

The people who leave those reviews are unbiased reviewers, they’re not marketers. They tell blunt, truthful facts about the products they’ve purchased.

These reviews can be good and they can be bad - some people may find the product to be great, others may find a unit which comes with a flaw - it happens all the time, it is an occupational hazard that is unavoidable. 

That shouldn’t matter to you - you are promoter. You don’t actually store the items in stock, you don’t package them up - you’re just seen as the middleman.

15. High or Low-Value Products

Selling low demand products goes slowly. You’re going to make few sales no matter how much work you put into the blog posts. Don’t ever promote products when you lack information about them. You’d be amazed by how great research into a product can be.

value lapotop

Find out if your audience and subscribers want to buy the product you’re offering to them by researching how well that product is selling on websites like Amazon or eBay, or on others before you try to market it on your own website.

For high-value products, the same thing applies - study how many people actually wish to have your product, and study from different sources to be helpful. As stated above, you can use product reviews which already exist to help you write about the products.

So there you have it, 15 tips on affiliate marketing. I hope this article has been informative to you, and it has inspired you to begin making plans to set up your own affiliate marketing business.

Reading that, some of you are probably tempted to start an affiliate business, making plans to quit your day job. Don’t do that, really don’t. Above I mentioned that affiliate marketing was hard work, and it is. 

affiliate program

It could also take a lot of time before traffic boom hits the website due to the hard work you’ve put into the posts where you’ve written about the products relevant to your niche. 

Quitting your day job would be rather foolish, especially if you decide the work you’ve put into the marketing business doesn’t bring in the high returns.

Affiliate marketing, like so many other businesses, has also been seen as a get-rich-quick scheme, an image supported by the scammers. All affiliate marketers started their businesses as a secondary source of income, so it's a good idea if you see the marketing business that way.

As we mentioned, affiliate marketing is not get-rich-quick scheme, and it is going to take time before you start producing cash.

money

If you decide affiliate marketing is for you, do your research. Find out what the best affiliate programs are, double check them to see if they are scammers and if they are scammer you should then avoid them.

Remember - the real reason affiliate marketers succeed with their own businesses is because of several factors.

Firstly, they are hard workers who are passionate about their brand, passionate about their website, and the visitors it attracts. They are always concerned about whether or not their websites are helpful or not to their subscribers and to their visitors, and they always put in the work to research their products, and to keep an eye out for the relevant keywords for the posts.

make money with your blog

Really successful affiliate marketers also succeed because they actually make their business work out, and if that means they have to sacrifice their time from their job, so be it.

Still - affiliate marketing can be a challenge that you would love to get involved with, and it can be rewarding down the line if you work hard it long enough.

Good luck!

Let me know in the comments your experience and how you started in affiliate marketing.

Strahinja.

About the Author

Hi there. I'm just a regular guy that worked many different jobs before finding out about affiliate marketing. Decided to give it a try, followed the instructions, worked hard and started making money online. Here to help you achieve same thing. Working from home is possible if you have the proper training and people.

  • Alex says:

    Hi Strahinja. Thanks to you for writing this great, informative and educative post about marketing affiliate. I’m kinda new to the whole thing although I have joined wealthy affiliate, to be honest, this is the best community do far on the internet. I’m currently still going through training but you have things more easier. Thanks for sharing. I’ll be looking forward to new posts from you. 

    • Strahinja says:

      Hello and thank you for your comment Alex.

      I appreciate kind words.  I am glad you found WA useful. Keep up with the training and hard work and the results will come. 

      Thank you.

      Strahinja

  • Vapz says:

    Hi there,

    I really gained a lot reading through your article.For nebies like us, there are so many things that we would do wrong when I taking this journey of affiliate marketing. I have taken away very vital information that would help me in my affiliate marketing business. It’s fun working online on my websites and trying out some of these tips that a marketer should know, like choosing a niche and the importance of Keyward Search. I’ll apply all these 15tips while I look forward to really make a living off affiliate marketing  and learning as much as I can while at it.

    • Strahinja says:

      Thank you for your comment Vapz.

      I am glad you found my article useful. It is indeed very interesting working on your website everyday and watching it grow. Keep up the good work.

      Strahinja

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