Cogent Tips For Affiliate Success

Cogent Tips For Affiliate Success

Affiliate marketing is simple in concept. It’s a relatively uncomplicated way to generate income online, and it’s easy to get started

 

It can also be a beautiful thing when it works—a win–win–win for all parties!

 

But! (There’s always a but.) Affiliate marketing is not a “push-button” solution. It takes focus and commitment, and a certain choreography to make it happen the way you want it to.

 

Thankfully, there are things you can do to increase the number of people clicking on your affiliate links and buying the affiliate products you’re promoting.

 

A great affiliate marketing strategy starts with a solid foundation. Here are the fundamentals you need to keep in mind as you’re getting started.

 

1. BUILD TRUST FIRST.
Surprise, surprise! My number one tip is to build trust! Trust takes time to build, and energy to maintain. This is why I wanted to give you this tip first because I want you to expect things to take a while, and to focus on building your community and the trust within that community first. The recommendations for products and the affiliate love you’ll get from your community comes almost naturally after you EARN that trust from them.

 

Trust is earned through 2 things:

 

1. Giving—and giving away as much as possible. Content, information, freebies, high-value stuff, and sometimes even your own time. Online karma does exist, and the more you give away, the more you get back in return—and maybe not from the very same people you gave to, which is why the second piece of earning trust is . . .

 


2. Recommendations from others. Get on other people’s radar and have them do the marketing for you. Not for the affiliate products that you’re promoting, but you, or your brand. YOU. Trust is earned faster through the friends and relationships people already have with each other. That’s why it’s important to give to everyone, no matter how big or how small they may seem to your brand. Because you never know—they may know somebody who knows somebody who will become your biggest client, or a multi-product customer, or maybe the window to an opportunity that would have never happened otherwise.
Relationships with other people are extremely important to your success, and you won’t have sustainable success with your affiliate marketing until you earn your audience’s trust.

2. KNOW THE PRODUCT.
One of the biggest mistakes I see people make when attempting to sell a product as an affiliate is not knowing much about the product. This usually stems from a desire to push a product for the primary purpose of earning money from it, which is a no-no.

 

Don’t get me wrong—it’s smart as a marketer to take into account what the commission is and how much money you might make per sale, but the commission shouldn’t drive the decision to promote a product. It should be just one part of the entire decision to promote a product. So, know the product. Why? Because if you really know the product, it will shape how you promote it, what you say to promote it, and the overall feeling people will get when you offer or recommend it.\

 

3. ASK YOURSELF: CAN I TRUST THE PRODUCT WILL BE GOOD FOR MY AUDIENCE?
This is crucial. It’s the idea that you should be sharing or recommending something that will actually help your audience. Do you trust that after you send people through your link that the sales page for that product, the product itself, and the customer service for that product, if any, will be good to them?

 

The moment you decide to promote something as an affiliate, you attach yourself, your brand, and your business to that company and that product, and if that product isn’t going to be good for your audience, then it’s going to reflect ultimately on YOU.

 

If it’s an awesome product that totally helps them out? Awesome! You’re going to look that much better and be thanked for it, and it’ll be a win–win–win for everyone.

 

If it’s bad? It’s a lose–lose–lose for everybody.

4. SHOW YOUR OWN RESULTS (PROOF).
One of the biggest ways I’ve been able to take my affiliate income to the next level is by showing people what I’ve gained as a result of using those products.

 

For example, I use a tool called ConvertKit to help me run my email campaigns to build an even bigger following. I then use these results as proof when I’m promoting ConvertKit as an affiliate product to my audience.

 

Must-Dos

 

These next 7 tips are things many affiliate marketers don’t realize when they get started—to their detriment.

 

5. HELP YOUR AUDIENCE LEARN AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE ABOUT THE PRODUCT (EVIDENCE).
So a person sees an affiliate link for a product you recommend on one of your sites. Big whoop!

 

Instead of just a paragraph or two explaining the product and what it can do for them, show them how it works. Tell them what it’s like to sign up for the product, share some tips to make the experience of using that product even better, give answers to the most frequently asked questions about that product . . . show them everything.

 

6. BECOME A SOURCE OF INFORMATION AND SUPPORT FOR A PRODUCT.
The next level is to make yourself available to your audience as a source of information and support for that product. To treat the product as your own.

 

7. USE YOUR WEBSITE (OR BUILD ONE!).
There are many ways to build an audience today: on social media like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, or via your own website.

 

But when it comes to affiliate marketing, one of those is a must-have: a website. I know a lot of people who are generating an income via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube, without even having a website. Power to them—but if you want to set yourself up for success with affiliate marketing, you absolutely need a website. What if Facebook or Twitter were to shut down tomorrow? That probably won’t happen, but these sites can still make changes that can greatly affect your business. We’ve seen this time and time again, especially with Facebook. Facebook loves to make changes, especially since they went public and are trying to make money for their investors.

 

Affiliate marketing is your business, and so you need to take control of it, and if you put your business in the hands of something like Facebook, Twitter, or even Google, you’re risking everything.

 

The smart approach is to create a website where you have full control over the experience of your audience and customers.

 

8. GIVE PEOPLE MULTIPLE OPPORTUNITIES TO CLICK ON YOUR AFFILIATE LINKS.
This next one is a pretty obvious tip that, sadly, many people fail to implement.

 

I say “sadly” because a lot of people are missing out on potential income as a result. When you only give your audience one opportunity to click on your affiliate link—by adding a single link near the top of a blog post, for example—you’re losing out on potential income that could come with not much more work.

 

9. DISCLOSE THAT YOUR LINKS ARE AFFILIATE LINKS.
Most of you know I’m all about transparency and authenticity—and it’s no different with affiliate links. So, I do my best to always reveal when links are affiliate links.

 

Why?

 

Well, for one, at least in the US, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulations require that if you’re receiving any compensation for promoting any other product or company, you have to disclose that relationship. There’s a lot more to it than that, but the best thing you can do is just be honest and upfront with your links.

 

10. KEEP TRACK OF YOUR CLICK-THROUGHS.
One thing you should always do with your affiliate links is keep track of them—where they’re located in your content, how many clicks are going through each one, and what your conversion rates are.

 

This takes time to set up, but you have to know what’s happening to each of your links in order to understand what works and what doesn’t.

 

11. USE YOUR OWN LANGUAGE TO PROMOTE YOUR AFFILIATE LINKS.
When you sign up as an affiliate with a company, they’ll often send you marketing language to use in your emails, blog posts, and social media messages to help sell the product. While this language can be helpful, I absolutely recommend not using it 100 percent verbatim. Instead, use it as inspiration to craft personalized language to sell the products. Why? Because of trust. Your audience wants to hear from you in your voice. It’ll be obvious to them if you’re just copying and pasting from somewhere else.

 

12. THANK PEOPLE IN ADVANCE FOR GOING THROUGH YOUR AFFILIATE LINKS.
When I disclose affiliate links on my blog posts or videos, I will sometimes thank people in advance for going through them. Is this a small thing that probably doesn’t make a drastic difference in sales? Yes. Is it something that’s easy to do and people will appreciate it. Definitely.

 

With that in mind, here’s the next tip, which is . . .

 

13. THANK PEOPLE AFTERWARD FOR GOING THROUGH YOUR AFFILIATE LINKS.
If possible, if the tracking system from the company you’re an affiliate with should reveal the name and/or email of people who purchase through your link. If so, you should definitely follow up with those people and thank them. Maybe give them a surprise bonus if you want to, something you didn’t mention they’d get in the first place. This will help make them want to make a purchase through one of your affiliate links again in the future.

 

14. GIVE AWAY A BONUS.
This is probably one of the more underutilized tips I have to share today—but probably one of the most powerful too.

 

In addition to promoting the affiliate product, give away a bonus to all of those who purchase the product through your link as a thank you.

 

Chances are, you’re not the only one promoting that product, so to get people to buy from you instead of the other guy, throw in a bonus that can only come with a purchase through your link.PROMOTE YOUR PRODUCTS INDIRECTLY ON SOCIAL MEDIA.
Although your website is the centerpiece of your affiliate marketing strategy, social media—Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc.—can play an important role in your affiliate marketing strategy too.

 

15. RUN A GIVEAWAY TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF “SOCIAL PROOF.”
Social proof is the idea that people will naturally gravitate toward what the masses are doing. As an example, say you’re at the mall, and you see a huge crowd gathering around one store. You can’t help but want to know what’s going on—everyone else is there for some reason, and you want to know what that reason is.

 

16. PROMOTE PRODUCTS INDIRECTLY VIA YOUR EMAIL LIST.
Your email list is an integral part of any affiliate marketing campaign—and if you don’t have one, you need to get started building one yesterday! Email is extremely powerful for marketing, which is why so many people say, “The money’s in the list.”

 

17. BELIEVE IN YOUR RECOMMENDATION.
If you really believe in the product, in your recommendation, then so will your audience. If you have motives other than trying to help people out or give them something they need—if it’s for the commission, or you’re just doing a favor for a friend who owns a product—then you’re not going to perform as well with your sales.

 

Believe in it, and your audience will believe in you.

 

18. IF IT DOESN’T WORK OUT, TRY ANOTHER OFFER.
Let’s say you have an affiliate product you’d like to promote. You’ve used the product, it’s great, and you know it will help your audience. You set up a promotion with links in your posts, create an epic post with videos, the whole 9 yards . . . and it doesn’t work out.

 

19. TEST, TEST, TEST.
As in the previous tip, test your offers, yes, but more than that—test everything. Test how you promote, to see what your audience responds best to. Test the placements of your links, the number of links within posts, whether they’re bolded or italicized, whether images work better, whether interviewing the owner helps, whether Thursdays convert better than Tuesdays for webinars . . . test everything you can possibly think of.

 

Test, test, test.

 

20. MAKE YOUR OWN PRODUCT INSTEAD.
If all else fails, but you know there’s a market out there for a particular product that’s perfect for your audience, and it doesn’t exist—create it yourself.

 

Yes, this isn’t affiliate marketing. And when you create your own product, you waive the benefits of affiliate marketing, such as not having to create the product, dealing with customer service, and other aspects of being a product owner.

 

And lastly . . .

 

21. BE PATIENT.
No matter how quickly people say you can make money online, realize that it’s going to take time. Relatively speaking, yes, things can happen pretty fast—that’s the beauty of online business. You can have a site up today and start sharing content with the world, but in order to make an impact and really make money online, you’re going to need to get your message out there, and build relationships with people. In time, this will drive traffic to your site, and eventually clicks, sales, and affiliate commissions.

 

Learn, but take action and keep learning as you go. Things take time, but by following these tips, and everything else you learn in this series, you’ll give yourself the best chance to make things happen as fast as possible for you with affiliate marketing.

 

If you need help growing your business check out my 1 on 1 Training or

 

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