Ahh, affiliate sales, the “goldmine” of the big blogs. You hear about these websites making MILLIONS off affiliate sales and “How EASY” it all was and suddenly you find yourself scrambling for an amazon account and hearing the ching-ching of passive income.
But when that first deposit of .02C comes in, the party stops.
Affiliating is HARD.
Or perhaps you are just doing it wrong?
Here are a few tips to affiliate the RIGHT way and actually make the revenue you were hoping for!
1. Quality OVER Quantity
There are affiliate programs, and then there are AFFILIATE programs. After that first amazon account you will suddenly realize that there are a bundle of BETTER options out there. Much like google ad words compared to a premium ad network, there are also premium opportunities for affiliate sales.
Start by looking at what you ALREADY love and use and see if there is an opportunity for affiliate sales within these companies. For example, my accounting software Freshbooks has an affiliate program. I have been a client with them for 3 years, and am committed BEYOND my affiliate status.
BUT, the fact that I have an affiliate opportunity and it pays well, only heightens my interests in their business.
I like them, and they reward me. Win-win. Their affiliate program is also set up so I get a % of the sales billed by my connections… so BIG win, and even MORE incentive to help my connections MAKE MONEY!
Ditto with this program from Grokker. It is an opportunity that works well in with my lifestyle and story line, a product I use, and one that has high value back, and my proving myself I am able to build a relationship with the Affiliate company and create an even more rewarding affiliate opportunity for myself (and yes, they are looking for more affiliates, so if you think it fits your style, I recommend you applying!)
Sign up for the Grokker Affiliate Program by clicking here.
And if you already have a Shareasale , it is easy to add the Grokker Program! If you don’t, its time to get one. By signing up for an account with them you can opt into programs, (including ones like Zullily that have a HUGE range of products) and track your affiliate earnings within the platform. Grab a Shareasale Affiliate account on this link!
2. Find your BEST performers
We all have one or two posts that do REALLY well on our sites. Perhaps it is because google SEO actually worked for us this time, or maybe we had a super pin situation that continues to drive traffic! Whatever the reason, go back and assess your TOP 10 posts and see if there is an opportunity to include an affiliate link (or two) in the content. This is where even an amazon link can deliver!
3. Know your VALUE
I’ll be honest, I don’t have a big website, and I most definitely can’t drive the hundreds of thousands of people to an affiliate link to make it pay, but I STILL make money off of affiliates because I know where my value is!
My value is in reaching influencers, not necessarily in reaching consumers, and by recognizing that I am able to find affiliate partners that offer that win-win-win that I am always looking for. My value is in sharing programs like this one from Tap Influence– if you sign up to their platform, complete your profile, I get an affiliate fee, and YOU get sponsored posts! (Win-win Right!)
We all have a specific niche market we reach, figure out yours, and then how you can build it and add value. You don’t have to jump in the big pool with the big fish, but can, in fact, make great revenue off of a small pond of unique fishies that you understand better than anyone else. Assess your demographic, including location! You would be surprised how many opportunities there are to reach a specific COUNTRY!
4. Understand Your VALUES
Value and ValueS are both important, and will be the make it or break it opportunity for your affiliate sales. I like to seek things that a) work, that b) people need and c) are useful!
I find programs that reward based on engagement VS sales fit best into my value system. Email sign ups, and platforms that help businesses allow me to promote things that I feel are necessary and work! Books that educate, or blogger networks that value new and innovative influencers feel to me like programs that deliver results to all parties, and are ones that I can most definitely stand behind.
5. Keep Your Affiliate Links Together
If your site gets the traffic to make Amazon work for you, then I highly recommend using this plugin: Amazon Product In a Post Plugin, to keep your links neat and tidy! Create a shop page, and install the plugin. You can organize your affiliate products into page categories and have them nicely displayed and EVEN allow geo-locating to switch between Amazon.com and Amazon.ca depending on your readers location!
From here, you have a page to direct your readers to, OR a page to easily grab links to insert into content (because you MUST also be writing supporting content to promo these products!!)
6. Eventually you must SELL
When it comes down to it, organic posts with links are great. Banners might get you the odd click, and “facebook” shares can drive a bit of traffic… eventually though, you have to SELL.
Find the common theme in your affiliate links and create seasonal content posts that drive these TOP 10 products in a unique and useful way!
“Ten products to get your husband cooking in the kitchen”
“Ten gifts for the foodie in your family”
“Best garden products of the year”
Find your favourites, and create your wrap ups! Hey, maybe your post is even “Best Affiliate Programs To Bring You Revenue” (see what I did there?) (ahem, and I suggest this one if you are looking!)
In the end, it really is about PROMOTING something you believe in, not SELLING a product or service just because you are compensated. Pick a few programs that you can fully support to get your feet wet and figure out what YOUR return to your partners will be. Experiment with content and promotions to see what works. Build your e-newsletter and define YOUR brand in the market so your affiliate programs MAKE SENSE when you share them
Most of all, no matter WHAT size of influencer you are, walking away and not even trying affiliate programs is a terrible idea. It is a source of revenue, and a viable stream of income that you will better understand if you try.
So go forth, and Affiliate!