Affiliate marketing is still one of the most profitable ways to earn money from blogging, or from your website. And the great thing about it all is that pretty much anyone can do it.
I won’t deny it, one of the very things that attracted me to blogging in the first place was the idea that I could earn an income doing affiliate marketing.
I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, I was a complete newbie to it all back in 2010.
But, having seen the likes of Darren Rowse, John Chow, and Pat Flynn earn most of their income from their affiliate marketing and blogging, I wanted to give it a try to see if I could make money too.
When I first started, I made one of the many affiliate marketing mistakes that I could make – I plastered my blog with all kinds of affiliate ads, links, banners from top to bottom.
So much so, that it looked ridiculous.
I saw everyone else doing it, so I just assumed that this strategy would work.
Did I make any money from doing that?
Yes, I did, actually, I made $3o, but, it took me months of waiting.
Admittedly, my traffic at the time wasn’t that great. I was averaging between 75 and 100 visits per day.
But, that first affiliate sale really lit a fire in me. It inspired me to want to learn more about how to do affiliate marketing the right way.
So, that’s exactly what I did. I read books, case studies, reports.
I tried countless affiliate marketing tactics and made countless mistakes along the way.
Fast forward to 2018, and today, affiliate marketing accounts for 60% of my online business income. Even with a low traffic blog. (40% income from the services I provide).
The mistakes bloggers make today
When it comes to doing affiliate marketing, bloggers are making all kinds of mistakes.
Here are some of those mistakes that I’ve been observing –
- Going overboard with affiliate ads, links, banners, pop-ups, etc.
- Promoting everything and anything they can find.
- Not using the awesome power of content marketing to promote products and services.
- Not paying special attention to building an active audience/community first.
- Trying to make every affiliate marketing technique or strategy work.
- Not willing to learn how to do marketing properly.
Knowing of some of these mistakes can definitely help YOU as a blogger to make better decisions on how to do affiliate marketing.
So, what’s been working for me?
Many affiliate marketers love to boast about their passive income, but rarely does anyone want to share their strategies or the techniques that have been working for them.
Over the years, I’ve tried many different tactics to help me increase my affiliate sales.
Out of them all, only one tactic has ever worked, and still works today.
Welcome to the awesome power of content marketing.
I’ve found that creating useful, compelling, actionable, problem-solving content around the products or services I’m using, has definitely helped me to succeed in affiliate marketing over the years.
So what do I recommend you do?
I recommend you start thinking of ways that you can use content to help you increase your affiliate marketing sales.
Before you run off to make a start though, here’s a couple of things to keep in mind.
#1. Build trust first
When I started doing affiliate marketing with my blog, I failed to recognize the significant importance of three critical ingredients.
Trust, Credibility, and Reliability.
Getting a ton of search engine traffic is all well and good, however, if your blog content lacks material that is anything other than trustworthy, credible and reliable, then all that traffic is just going go to waste.
My advice to you if you want to increase your affiliate marketing sales in the near future is to build up your online reputation and credibility first.
Here are some things you can do to help you with achieving this:
- Make it crystal clear to your visitors what your blog, content, or website is about. Your marketing message needs to have clarity.
- Put yourself in front of your audience. If you’re trying to build a personal brand with your blog or website, make sure your face is on the cover of literally everything. Let people see that there is a real human being behind your blog and not just an automated, content-churning machine.
- Create awesome, compelling, and reliable content! I’ll show you how to do that later in the post.
#2. Build your email list
List building is another critical ingredient required for doing effective affiliate marketing.
Well, for the simple reason that you can promote any relevant product or service to your email list subscribers as and when you need to.
But before you head off to start capturing emails, not just any old email list will do.
You need a targeted email list.
One of the reasons why people subscribe to your blog is so that they can learn from you. They value your opinion. They want to know what’s working for you, and what tools you’re using to grow your blog or online business to be successful, right?
And also, with a targeted email list, you’re less likely to come across as an affiliate spammer, since people know exactly what to expect from your emails.
One piece of advice I want to give you with regards to building your email list for promoting your affiliate products and offers is this –
Be careful with the email marketing service provider you use.
Some providers are against the use of affiliate links in marketing emails. MailChimp isn’t one of them, thank goodness as I use them myself. Just as long as you play by their rules. See image below
Here are two hot tips to help you build a great email list specifically for promoting affiliate products, services, and offers.
- Build a targeted email newsletter list. Target people that will actually be interested in learning more about your affiliate offers, products, and services.
- Segment your email list by topic of interest, i.e. WordPress themes, web hosting, productivity tools, books, etc.
I recommend using a tool like Thrive Leads to help you build your email list.
#3. Create honest, reliable and useful ‘online reviews’
By far the best way to increase your affiliate marketing sales is to create high-quality online reviews.
Reviews, regardless whether in written, video, or audio form, should focus on a product’s usefulness and benefits.
Your online reviews shouldn’t just talk about the features alone, but actually, address the kinds of problems using a product or service can help your customers overcome.
I’ve pretty much reviewed every single product I’ve used in my business here on Magnet4Blogging. But before I create my online reviews, I always ask myself the following questions –
- How would my readers benefit from using this product or service as well?
- How can I prove to my audiences that this product or service I’ve been using has helped me overcome a problem or reach my online goals?
The problem with a lot of online reviews, these days, they focus too much on features, specifications, and statistics.
Check out this post I wrote on how to write product reviews that convert into real sales.
#4. Create ‘tutorial articles’ that includes videos
I love creating tutorials as much as I enjoy watching or reading about them.
The great thing about creating tutorial articles is that you can use them to promote your affiliate products and services as well.
Well, let’s say you found a great online tool that has helped you reach a goal. Wouldn’t it be great to create a tutorial showing people how you did it?
This is a great way to provide incredible value, and at the same time, reap the benefits of people buying into the affiliate products.
You can make your tutorial articles even more valuable by including a tutorial video too.
I know what you’re thinking – You just don’t have the time to create videos, or you can’t be bothered.
Well, if you really want to increase your affiliate sales, then you’ll find no excuse.
The statistic below speaks for itself.
#5. Create your own product comparison blog posts
Buyers love to compare products and services online before making a decision on which one to purchase.
This is your perfect opportunity to take some of the hottest products in your niche right now and face them off against each other.
There’s an awesome post over on Rob Cobbon’s blog about comparison posts. It has some great tips to take on board, so please do check it out here when you can.
I’ve created just a few comparison posts here on Magnet4Blogging, however, I can honestly tell you that I’ve been able to boost my sales conversions for a few products.
With a comparison post or article, or video even, you can compare important things like usability, benefits, prices, features, support and documentation, and much more.
Check out some of the comparison posts below for inspiration on how to create your own –
- Thrive Leads VS OptinMonster
- SiteGround VS BlueHost VS HostGator
- Five Of The Best Web Hosting Services For Businesses In 2018
#6. Create some compelling case-study articles
Case study articles can be very powerful indeed, especially if they’re done correctly and provide accurate data and information.
In affiliate marketing, a case study can be used to document and show people, how you were able to overcome a problem or obstacle using a specific method, strategy, along with a product or service you want to promote.
For instance, you could create a case study showing how you were able to increase email opt-in conversion rates using some powerful list building plugin you purchased!
Matt Woodward is great at creating compelling case studies over on his blog to boost his affiliate sales conversions, check out this one for some additional inspiration.
Your case studies should include –
- Screen captures.
- Graphs and charts.
- Before and after images.
- Links to resources, tools you used, articles you’ve read, research, and more.
#7. Write an eBook or provide a free PDF report
Writing and publishing eBooks is another great way to share useful content that will help you promote your affiliate products and services, thus increasing your affiliate sales.
Again, if you’re thinking that you don’t have the time to write eBooks, stop making excuses.
Besides, you don’t have to write a complete eBook. How about taking one or two of your most popular blog posts and turning them into a downloadable PDF guide or eBook?
Something a lot of smart bloggers are doing these days is creating a list of all the tools and resources they use to grow their blogging business, and putting them into a downloadable PDF guide. Then they use that PDF guide as an incentive for getting people on their email list.
#8. Drive traffic to your tools and resources page
Chances are you already have a tools and resources page live on your blog right now.
If you don’t have one, here’s how to create one.
If you do have one, here are some proven ways to drive traffic to it and boost your affiliate sales.
- Add native links from your blog articles to your resources page from time to time.
- Link to your tools page from your main navigation menu.
- Link to your resources page from your guest post author box.
- Add a link to your tools and resources page at the bottom of your email newsletters.
- Insert a link to your recommended tools page in your correspondent emails.
- Every time you create a tutorial post or video, add a link to your tools and resources page at the bottom of it.
- Create a video version of your tools and resources page.
It’s a wrap!
You don’t need to waste money on eBooks, money making systems, paid ads, or any other gimmicky programs that promise to teach you how to make money from blogging or do affiliate marketing.
You also don’t need to focus all of your attention on SEO or try to drive organic traffic just from the search engines.
All you need is some common sense, proper guidance, and learn how to use proven marketing techniques and tactics that work.
Another thing – Learn from the bloggers that are already making a living from doing affiliate marketing, and not from the gurus and newbies who are still waiting for their first $100 paycheck to come from Amazon.
And another tip – Don’t worry about making a few mistakes when testing out new strategies either, we all make them, and as long as you learn from your affiliate marketing mistakes.
The last tip I want to give you is this one –
- Focus on one strategy at a time.
Pick a tactic or strategy and really make it work.
When you start reaping the rewards from one technique, move on to the next one.
The very best of luck to you.