Affiliate marketing is one of the world’s most lucrative ways to make a passive income. But the landscape has been changing significantly, especially since Google’s crackdown on “thin content” (salesy content versus valuable content). It has become more difficult for companies to generate income than it was before.
So how do you stay ahead of your competition? How can we become successful? Let me list you some affiliate marketing strategies for success, as we move beyond 2018.
This is where I learned all my strategies.
So What Exactly Is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a great way for merchants to promote their products and services for a very low-cost. In its most basic form, it’s a commission based referral system. You promote their product, refer them customers, and you get a commission on any sales. It’s like being rewarded for sending them new customers.
For a more complete explanation of what affiliate marketing is, please read “What is online affiliate marketing?”
Heres a quick video explaining it as well…
Some of you may you worry about getting involved with affiliate marketing because you think you’ll be looked upon as sleazy or salesy. I know a lot of people have made a bad name for affiliate marketing due to their unethical practices, but I’m here to show you the proper way to do it, where people will thank you for your recommendations.
Affiliate marketers can reach monthly incomes of over five figures. These affiliates are known as super affiliates. Though these types of successes are only reached by a few, there is no reason why you can’t become a super affiliate yourself. It may take a little blood, sweat, and tears, ha-ha, but it’s achievable if you embrace these strategy tips.
This affiliate marketing strategy is great for both beginners, and the more experienced marketers, to keep in mind.
12 Incredible Affiliate Marketing Strategies
Put Your Blinders On
Anytime you’re browsing online, you are tempted by all the shiny new objects out there. Or someone you know is making big money with a new Clickbank product. Your focus is pulled in every direction. The price of losing focus though is having too many websites and making very few sales.
First-time affiliates will often make the mistake of dipping their toes into many niches. They try to offer too many things in hopes of increasing their income, only to end up making very little.
A successful marketer will begin with one unique, niche website. You want to learn how to promote your product or service well, before moving into another niche. The best thing you can do for yourself is to get the proper training and tools you need to build a successful business online.
If you want to know the best place online to become a successful marketer, this is my best recommendation.
Stand Head And Shoulders Above Your Competition
The most important thing a marketer needs to provide is value. And it’s probably the most challenging task you’ll have. But this is required to keep Google happy and to get ahead of your competition.
This is where affiliate marketers have an advantage over well-known brands. Where these big brands might spend months developing a strategy, you can quickly come up with awesome content that’s valuable to your readers.
With this type of high-quality content, you will be able to stay ahead of your competition, even if they are big. One thing Google can’t do is argue about the value of an article. So you have every opportunity to beat your competition this way.
For a more detailed explanation of content, please read my article “what is content creation?”
To Be (A Keyword), Or Not To Be
Unlike years ago, keywords don’t play the role they used to. Though they are still important to your SEO, Google is learning to understand what the entire article is about. This is why LSI keywords (latent semantic indexing) are now so important.
Google will rank your page according to the central theme. So if your article is about losing upper body fat, you need to use phrases like:
- lose upper body fat
- burn upper body fat
- upper body fat burning
- get rid of fat on your upper body
In this new age of evolving machine learning, artificial intelligence, and voice search, we need to evolve with it.
For more information on LSI keywords, please read “what is an LSI keyword?”
With the advent of voice search, most queries are asked in full phrases, like you were asking a person. For example, if someone were looking for a red Nike runner, they would probably say “where can I buy red Nike running shoes” vs the older way of typing in “Nike runner red”.
This longer, more complete phrase is considered a long tail keyword. The number of searches is considerably less but the upside is your visitors are highly motivated to buy. They know what they want and have narrowed their search down accordingly.
For more information on long-tail keywords, please read “What about long-tail keywords”
So we know our big competitors are branded, what about your own? Google is putting a lot more emphasis on brands these days, so this is something you should take into consideration.
To develop the brand of your website, you need to add value to your readers. Always be prepared to provide what they’re looking for. Offer free information instead of always trying to sell it. And always provide integrity with your content.
If you want repeat customers, you need to develop trust with them. Remember an old saying that goes:
“Trust takes years to build, seconds to break, and forever to repair”
So continue to build trust, and never do anything to break that trust.
Take a good look at your competition for new ideas:
- What type of strategies are they using?
- What is their brand voice?
- How are they advertising their product?
- Are they using specific phrasing, pictures, or videos?
There is nothing wrong with adopting your competitions techniques. Just don’t copy them.
For more information on branding, please read “What is product branding?”
Who’s Looking For You?
There are a lot of free tools online that help you with market research. Google analytics, for instance, provides you with more metrics than you know what to do it, ha-ha. You can search all the different demographics to find out who your visitors are. Where they live, how old they are, everything.
A great way to discover who your visitors are is by looking at your comment section. Their comments will soon tell you what they’re like, and what their needs are. By paying attention to how they respond, you will truly learn who your audience is.
If you still can’t figure it out, try using surveys or asking direct questions. This is easy to include with your email marketing or add to your social media accounts. You may have to offer something to get participation, but the insights you get from the responses are valuable to know your audience.
Be The Guru
Are you an expert in your niche? Do you know your product inside and out?
To achieve authority and credibility you need to become the guru of your niche, LOL. You don’t need to start out knowing everything. Marketers often start with their passion but still have a lot to learn about it. That’s okay. It takes time to go from an unknown to a well-well known in this industry. So you have time to learn.
If you’re passionate about your niche, learning about it will come easier and faster. Whereas a lack of passion could cause you to get bored and lose momentum.
So the moral is, pick something you love and go all in. Find everything you can about it and learn from it.
Once you know everything (wink, wink) you can start leaving quality comments on the top blogs in your niche. This way you have the opportunity of connecting with influencers which is one of the quickest ways to have your name recognized.
Another great way to become that go-to person is to use a platform like Quora. This is one of the most popular sites to find quality questions and answers about everything and anything. Leaving quality answers here can really position you as an expert in your niche.
Don’t Put All Your Eggs In One Basket
With the rate technology is changing, you don’t want to rely on only one income stream.
Back in February 2011, many successful affiliates woke up and realized they were going out of business, fast, due to Google’s initial Panda update. It again happened in April 2012, with the Penguin update.
It happened again recently with the new Facebook algorithms. Businesses who relied solely on Facebook views where hit hard overnight.
This is why it is so important to diversify. You want to create multiple income streams. There’s nothing wrong with using different affiliates within the same niche. Make sure you promote on different platforms so that when the inevitable changes happen, you won’t lose your only source of income.
Another way to protect yourself is to have a foundation of recurring affiliate income. It’s wonderful being able to successfully promote products with a one-time payout, but if that product is suddenly taken off the market, or your affiliate program is shutting down, you are left with nothing. Having some recurring income, such as monthly membership fees etc., can provide you with a safety net, and peace of mind.
Are You Responsive?
Do you know that 95% of Americans now own a cell phone? And 77% of those own a smartphone.
And another recent poll showed that although teens prefer to shop in a store, the majority still shop online. So if you put these two facts together, you can imagine how much of that shopping is done on their smartphones. I, myself, do it frequently, ha-ha.
Because the Internet is so accessible on mobile devices, you need to make sure that your website is responsive to all these different screen sizes. You could lose a lot of potential commissions if you drive traffic to sites that are not mobile friendly.
Luckily, most themes are now fully responsive, but not all. So make it a point to check. Did you know that Google now has a mobile-friendly checker? A great way to check if your website is mobile friendly.
Stay Ahead Of The Pack
The wonderful thing about affiliate marketing is being able to take advantage of new trends. The trick is being able to find out what these new trends are before they emerge. If you can figure this out, and prepare for it with your marketing, you could get rich!
These breakout trends are hard to predict. But if you follow the experts in your niche, you’ll find that they often write articles regarding the next year’s trends. Now whether they’re right remains to be seen, but their advice is usually better than most.
If you’re promoting digital products or the newest technology, stay up to date on all the news. There is always talk of the new up and coming gadget that’s being developed.
Now, let’s say you run a travel site. You could do a Google search for the best travel destinations for the year you are in, or for the following year. This will show you what the top sites are advertising. Chances are many people we’ll take them up on their advice. So if you start preparing for these destinations, you could help a lot of people travelling to those areas.
Another thing to consider is the seasonal trends. And Google has a nifty tool called Google Trends. This could be your new best friend when trying to figure out what product sells the most in what season.
So if you have a fashion website, you can see which months to actively promote bathing suits. You can change the metrics to be global, or narrow it down to location. You can change the time frame, the category, and even how it is searched.
Give Yourself A Raise!
As you become more of an authority in your niche and getting lots of traffic, then I say “give yourself a raise!” You can increase your income by researching higher commission products and services.
If you’re making $10 commissions, why not find products that make you $100 commissions. As long as they still provide value to your customers! You must remain relevant, lol.
With authority, comes the ability to build out your website. If your niche was very focused, you can now branch out to other related areas, which provide you with more affiliate opportunities. Which of course, increases your income. Yay!
For more information on authority websites, please read “what is an authority website?”
Knowledge Is Power, Change Is Inevitable
If you have spent any time in online marketing, you’ll know that what worked last year, or even 6 months ago, may not work now. Things change so quickly, online, that if you don’t stay in the “Know”, you’ll be left behind. Keep reading, keep listening, keep learning. This is what will keep you relevant for years to come.
So don’t assume you’ve learned all there is to learn. There is always something new around the corner to give you the edge you need to stay ahead of your competitors.
Learn to embrace change instead of getting frustrated. Change can be a good thing. Remember when banners were the cat’s meow? They drove sales like crazy. But now, people usually ignore them. They’ve been around too long. Do you know there’s even a term for it now?….“banner blindness”, LOL.
And Last But Not Least… Don’t. Give. Up.
Affiliate marketers need patience, persistence, and perspiration! It’s easy to quit when you don’t see results right away. But this isn’t a get-rich-quick industry. And if anyone tells you it can be, they’re lying to you.
To build a successful marketing business online, you need patience. Lots of patience! Google won’t recognize you right away. Your website needs to age a little.
You need to be persistent in the work you do.
- Continually add fresh, valuable content on a timely basis.
- Consistently add your posts to social media.
- Constantly answer your emails and comments as quickly as possible.
- Write more content 🙂
And perspiration! The more hours you put in, in the beginning, the quicker you’ll see results. This is hard work. There’s a learning curve to tackle, and with every stumbling block, there’s more perspiration.
But don’t give up. It’s all worth it when you start seeing your first commissions. Then soon enough, you’ve created a full-time passive income. With it comes security, flexibility, and freedom. As I said, it’s all worth it!
If you’ve never done this before, or you’ve tried and failed, I would love to recommend an awesome training platform to ease your learning curve. The affiliate marketing course teaches you everything from the ground up. From “idea” to “profit”. You can accomplish everything under one roof, and have the support of over 1 million members.
This is where I started, and I’ve never looked back. Click the button below to read a full review.
Are you ready to get started? Do you have an idea of what you’d like to promote? If you’ve already started, what’s your marketing strategy? Let me know below, and if you have any questions, let me know. I’d love to help.