Affiliate marketing is and always will be a popular way to make money online. It’s where a lot of newbie’s start out when they first look into the idea of starting an internet business from home.
Although affiliate marketing comes across as being relatively easy (you don’t need to create your own product or deal with customer service, etc) there are still several pieces needed to complete the puzzle than may first meet the eye, if you really want to succeed.
The biggest problem affiliate marketers face is competition. You’ll find that in pretty much EVERY hot niches there is ample competition fighting for sales of the same or similar products in that niche… so in that regard, it can be quite hard to beat them and claim your share of the profit pie.
You can’t control what your competition does, but there are other things you CAN easily control to make your life as an affiliate easier and more profitable.
If you’re trying your hand at affiliate marketing but not seeing any success, ask yourself these questions:
- Where are you getting traffic?
- Where are you sending your traffic to first? (i.e. squeeze page? review post on a blog?)
- Is the merchant offer converting?
If you look at these, you can usually find the weak spot and improve on it. These I consider to be the most important keys to affiliate marketing success.
1. An Offer Than Converts. If I could give any one piece of advice to struggling affiliate marketers, this would be it – choose an offer that converts!
This also ties into choosing a “hair on fire” niche.. but usually, those niches are full of hot converting offers anyway… you just have to find the hottest of the hot!
Choosing an offer that doesn’t convert is perhaps the biggest killer to affiliate campaigns and is very frustrating. I know… I have experienced it many times. I send good traffic to offers I think will convert, but it just doesn’t turn into sales.
It’s hard to know if an offer will convert before you send traffic and test it, so it’s a good idea to send a little PPC traffic to test conversions before you go all out and build a complete website and campaign for it.
2. Your Own Website. All the successful affiliate marketers have their own website. If you don’t have a website and you’re sending traffic straight to your affiliate link, you’re missing out on a lot of commissions!
Having a website of your own is essential for running a successful affiliate campaign. For one, it’s pretty much impossible to get good traffic (i.e. Google search traffic) straight to your affiliate link and second, you’ll get better results by sending them to your website first if you a) presell them with extra info or spice up the offer with a bonus, or b) collect their names and emails (i.e. build a list) so you can follow up and offer other offers to them.
Getting a website is not that hard and is very affordable. For less than $20 you can get a domain and hosting.. sometimes less! WordPress is free and makes the perfect platform for affiliate sites.. either review sites or list building sites or both!
If you need help getting your website up, my Newbie Start Up Guide and WP Sites for Newbies guides are the way to go.
3. Laser Targeted Traffic. There are many ways to generate traffic. Search engine traffic being the #1 choice for many marketers because it proves to be the finest quality source of “buyers” on the web. But Google is not the “be all and end all” traffic source. There are email ads, banner ads, text link ads, video traffic, social network site traffic, etc.
Each type of traffic is made up of a different group of people. Some will be more ready to buy than others so make sure you’re appealing to the right crowd with the right type of ad and call to action.
Your promotional methods you choose i.e. keywords, ad copy, call to action, play the biggest part for determining the quality of your traffic and how well your traffic is going to convert.
So take a look at your affiliate marketing campaigns you’re running now and do a quick evaluation. You might find the weak link in it as I have pointed out above. If you’ve not yet got started in affiliate marketing, remember these points for when you do.
To your success,
Stu Sensei Stirling
p.s. Have you got any other important keys for affiliate marketing success we could add to this list? Please leave them in the comments below.