Have you ever tried affiliate marketing?
If you are a blogger, chances are quite fair that you probably have tried (or may be using it in present too) affiliate marketing.
If you have used it for making profits out of your blog, you must be aware that it isn’t easy making sales and earning commissions out of them.
There are couple of hardships and challenges you will face in the path of becoming a successful affiliate marketer. To be an efficient and profitable marketer, you’d need to tackle these problems down.
In this article I’ll reveal some of my time tested methods with which you can maximize profits in affiliate marketing.
A Quick note about affiliate marketing ~ If you aren’t familiar with the term affiliate marketing, you can refer to this article. For a quick startup, Affiliate marketing is basically when you promote other’s products and earn commissions for sales you make. For a more detailed knowledge about affiliate marketing, read this article.
How to maximize profits in affiliate marketing
Choose your products with caution ~ This is indeed the very first mistake bloggers make when stepping in affiliate marketing. The product you are about to sell and promote should be selected wisely.
Understand your niche and readers first. If you own a food blog and start promoting your web-host, you’d make no profits. This is because your readers are interested in reading about food related stuff.
Similarly, If you own a tech blog and promote shampoo or beauty products, again you won’t make any profits.
Don’t choose a product because it is paying high commissions, or because if any other blogger is earning huge from it. Select a product if it can provide value to your reader. If you promote a product that provides value to your readers, your profits will soon start increasing.
The first thing you should ask before promoting a product should be “Will this product provide value to the reader?” Because if you promote a product which isn’t valuable to your reader, you might be able to make a sale, but that reader won’t come back! On the other hand, if you promote products helpful to your readers, he will come back again and again. This will let you profit from him on re-occurring basis.
-> Money makes money ~ There is no doubt in the quote that money makes money. If you are ready to invest a few dollars on your blog, then maybe you’ll generate profits faster.
I am talking about investing in a PPC ( pay per click ) program. It will bring traffic to your blog. The traffic to which you can sell your product ( the one you are promoting ) and get commissions. Before investing in a PPC program, it is wise to estimate how much dollars you can afford and how much profit would you make out of it.
The key to hit the sweet spot is to target a keyword which has high volume of searches all through the year and has a possible low or no competition. However keywords like this are hard to find.
If you are not willing to spend any dollar on your blog, you should hold tight with SEO. By optimizing your blog for search engines, you can bring in huge amount of traffic. Although SEO takes time, quite much time compared to PPC.
But SEO can derive you long time effects and back links. A few days ago I published a Introduction article to on-page SEO, you can check it out to know more about how to rank your articles #1 on search results.
-> Publish content that converts ~ No matter how big advertisement banner you blow in your sidebar, it isn’t going to convert unless you have a blog with high traffic. If your blog has low traffic, in text post links would convert better than sidebar ads.
Readers aren’t going to buy anything you promote, because readers are not dumb ! They tend to purchase products they believe you have really used. Review and comparison articles convert quite well and make more affiliate sales compared to any other article type.
Make real reviews, write about only those products you have used and trust. Include pictures, screen shots from your personal usage to make readers believe that you really used the product.
If your blog has high volume of traffic, sidebar banner ads can convert quite well too. If your blog has low traffic, instead of displaying banner ads, you should link your content from sidebar. This won’t only increase anchor text percentage but also increase views on your posts.
Be honest with your readers, don’t publish false reviews for sake of earning money, Because you’ll loose readers by doing this. Publish un-biased and honest reviews.
-> Hide your affiliate links ~ Affiliate links are sometimes quite long and creepy to see, and to recommend to someone too. Format of an affiliate link can get different from website to website. If you’ve spent some time on the internet, all you can do after you see an affiliate link is figure out that someone has recommended you.
Affiliate links somewhat look like – http://www.somesite.com/cateogry/product-name?refferalid=123nsdoie
Here you can figure out that someone whose referral id is 123nsdoie has recommended you to purchase the product. These long and creepy links can sometimes stop a reader from making the purchase. For being an efficient affiliate marketer, it is recommended that you mask your links.
You can mask your links with URL shortners such as adf.ly and shorte.st. If you are a wordpress user, you can use plugins such as wp affiliate manager to efficiently mask and manage your affiliate links.
A clean affiliate link masked by wp affiliate manager looks like – http://www.yourblog.com/some-nice-name/
This makes referring traffic easy and clean. You can also share masked links easily over your social media profiles.
-> Offer something more ~ A big questions that hops in at this point is, Why would anyone buy from you ? Because he/she can buy that thing straight from the vendor.
To attract people to purchase from you, you have to offer something more than just the product. For example If you purchase any theme from my mts affiliate link, they will offer you an flat 30% discount on theme. Just like this I promote couple of products where I offer additional discount. You can contact vendor directly to create exclusive discount codes for your website readers.
Apart from this, an interesting way to increase affiliate sales is to offer premium products when someone purchases from your affiliate link. For example I offer my SmartpassT wordpress theme (worth $49) free of cost to everyone who purchases genesis framework or Ipage web-hosting from my affiliate link. In the same way you can attract users to buy from you.
Additionally If you purchase Web-hosting from my link, I offer a free professional wordpress self-hosted blog setup.
If you too have a premium product, you can offer it for free when a reader buys a product from your affiliate link. But you should first calculate how much profit you would be making. Offering a 100$ product for $50 profit is loss. It would be wise if you make all the necessary calculations before getting in action.
-> Build a list ~ It is a long established blogging quote that money is in the list. If you have a long list of subscribers, you can email them as you launch a new affiliate product.
You can take John Chow as an ideal example. JohnChow has a big list of subscribers. He regularly emails them about his free wordpress installation program, or about any affiliate product he is promoting. You should too concentrate on building a list of honest readers before hoping for huge profits to roll in.
Final words – These were a few time tested tricks I used over at this blog to increase my affiliate earnings. I’ve been writing on affiliate marketing from quite a while. You can read my articles such as How to create a coupon website and boost affiliate sales, how to earn money via affiliate marketing to learn affiliate marketing and start earning from it.
I would love to read if you have your own affiliate marketing tips, tricks or secrets to increase sales. If you have any opinion, suggestions or feedbacks, leave the down in the comments below.
Before going, you must have read that I mentioned to mask the links before sharing them in your posts. Do you think it would hurt your reader’s trust ? [ Leave your answers in the comments ]