Affiliate marketing is one of the best monetization models you can use to earn an income from your blog. And the great thing about it all is that pretty much anyone can do it.
I won't deny it; one of the very reasons I started blogging in the first place was to be able to earn an income from it, eventually.
I knew it wasn't going to be easy, I was completely new to the world of blogging and affiliate marketing back in 2010.
That said, I was incredibly motivated and determined to make a good go of it. It might sound like I'm blowing my own trumpet here, but hey, I've been in this game for over ten years now.
When I started, there was plenty of inspiration for new bloggers. Bloggers like John Chow and Darren Rowse were incredibly successful and provided enough advice and motivation for a budding new blogger like myself to get started.
When I first started dabbling with affiliate marketing, I made the first of many mistakes - That mistake was to go overboard with affiliate ads, banners, and links.
My blog looked like a billboard and I failed to realize something really important. So many ads made my content almost invisible.
I literally left no space, every part of my blog was covered with some kind of ad. When I think about it now, it was pretty ridiculous.
Why did I do this?
Well, it was a mistake, I know. But I saw everyone else doing it, so I just assumed that this strategy worked.
And did it?
In fact, I made $3o in three months from this strategy.
I probably should mention that my traffic at the time wasn't all that great. I was averaging between 75 and 100 visits per day on a 6-month-old blog.
That first affiliate sale I made for $30 really lit a fire in me. It encouraged me to learn more about affiliate marketing, so that's exactly what I spent my time doing.
I read books, watched videos, read through case studies and reports. I subscribed to blogs that specialized in teaching affiliate marketing and more.
I tried out various affiliate marketing tactics, and guess what? I made even more mistakes along the way.
Blogging and affiliate marketing now accounts for 75% of my yearly revenue, even with a relatively low traffic blog. The other 25% comes from freelancing and selling eBooks.
When it comes to doing affiliate marketing, a lot of bloggers are making all kinds of mistakes.
Of course, this is not surprising. We've all been there and done it at some point. Mistakes are to be made, and as long as we continue learning from them, that's fine. That said, we don't want to keep making the same mistakes over and over.
OK, so here are some of those mistakes I'm currently observing -
And here's the biggest mistake I see so many bloggers make -
Knowing some of these mistakes can help you, as a blogger, make better decisions in affiliate marketing.
There is no magic formula, nor is there a wrong or right way of doing affiliate marketing. One thing you will have to do is 'test' to see what works best for you.
Many successful affiliate marketers love to boast about revenue and numbers, but rarely does anyone 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 own affiliate sales. Some have worked, some haven't.
Out of them all, only one tactic has been the most effective and powerful. It's not displaying ads or posting affiliate links here, there, and everywhere. It's content marketing.
Nothing is more potent than creating content. I'm not talking about any old content, either. I'm talking about useful, educational, insightful, and engaging content. What better way to put value before profits in affiliate marketing?
When it comes to using content to promote affiliate products, the content shouldn't be just confined to your blog.
You'll have a greater chance of becoming successful if you distribute your content evenly on various mediums and platforms.
Here's what I recommend, in addition to affiliate marketing writing content for your blog, you should use:
The great thing about using other content marketing platforms, for the most part, is that you'll be able to use your blog as the central hub for information. Meaning, you can embed videos and podcasts into your blog posts, add them to your product reviews, etc.
You see, you won't have to increase traffic, although using other mediums will probably earn your more traffic anyway. But you'll be providing options on how your users can consume and engage with your content better. I hope that part makes sense.
So, what do I recommend you do?
I recommend you start thinking of ways in which you can use content to help you increase your affiliate marketing sales.
For instance, create a spider-gram and place your blog at the center because that is your main hub for content. Then branch off with posts, videos, and podcasts. The for each of those platforms, write the types of affiliate marketing content you could create on each platform. See the image below.
Of course, not every tactic will work; like I said initially, you'll have to do a lot of testing to see what works and what doesn't.
Right then, now all that's out of the way. Here are 8 ways to increase affiliate marketing sales!
Let's dive straight in.
Let me highlight one critical piece of the affiliate marketing puzzle for bloggers.
Having a ton of organic search engine traffic to your blog is all well and good. However, if your content lacks material that is anything other than trustworthy, credible, and reliable, then all that traffic is just going go to waste.
If you want to increase your affiliate marketing sales in the future, my advice is to build your online reputation and trustworthiness first.
Here are some things you can do to help you achieve this:
List building is another critical ingredient required for successful affiliate marketing.
For the simple reason, you can use your email list to promote relevant products or services 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 completely against the use of affiliate links in marketing emails. MailChimp is NOT one of them, thank goodness. Just use some common sense and play by their rules. See image below
To round up, here are two hot tips to help you build a great email list specifically for promoting affiliate products, services, and offers.
By far, the best way to increase your affiliate marketing sales is to create some high-quality online reviews.
Regardless of whether they are in written, video, or audio form, reviews should focus on a product's benefits and uses.
Your online reviews shouldn't just talk about the features alone but actually address the kinds of problems the product or service could help someone overcome.
I've pretty much reviewed every single product I've used in my business here on Magnet4Blogging. But before I create an online review, I always ask myself the following questions -
The problem with many online reviews these days is that they focus too much on features, specifications, and general statistics.
While these are good metrics to add to your reviews, don't go overboard with them.
Check out this post I wrote on how to write product reviews that convert into profitable sales.
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 effectively promote your affiliate products and services.
Let's say you discovered a great online tool that has helped you reach a milestone or goal in your business. Wouldn't it be great to create a tutorial showing people exactly how you did it?
This is a great way to provide value and enjoy the rewards of people buying into the affiliate products for themselves.
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 or resources to create videos or worst, you can't be bothered.
Well, if you really want to increase your affiliate sales as a blogger, then you'll find no excuse to not create or include videos. Sorry to be blunt.
The statistic below speaks for itself.
Buyers love to compare products and services online before making a decision on which one to purchase.
This is the ideal 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 check it out here when you can.
I've only created just a few comparison posts here on Magnet4Blogging. However, I can honestly tell you that I've been able to considerably boost my affiliate sales conversions for just 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, pros and cons, and much more.
Check out some of the comparison posts below for inspiration on how to create your own -
Case study articles can be compelling 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 demonstrating how you were able to increase email opt-in conversion rates using some cool list building plugin you purchased!
Matt Woodward is great at creating compelling case studies on his blog to boost his affiliate sales conversions. Check out this one for some additional inspiration.
Your case studies should include -
List posts are great because they're easy for readers to scan over. With a list post, there are no limitations on the kinds of things you can list. For example, you could write a list post of your top favorite writing apps. Or a list of the top ten best hosting providers, etc.
Here are some examples of list posts I've written for promoting affiliate products and services -
Chances are you already have a tools and resources page published 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 amazing ways to promote and drive traffic to it to help you boost your affiliate sales.
So, there you have it. You don't need to throw away your money on eBooks or money-making systems. Or blast your entire budget on paid ads even.
You also don't always need to focus all of your attention on SEO or find ways to drive extra organic traffic to your blog.
All you need is some common sense, proper guidance, and learn how to use proven marketing techniques and tactics outlined above that work. And, of course, to test to see what really works.
One more thing:
Learn from real bloggers who are already making a living from doing affiliate marketing, not from the gurus and newbies who claim to be making money but are still waiting for their first $100 paycheck to come from Amazon.
One last tip:
Don't worry about making a few mistakes when testing out new ideas and strategies either; we all make them, and as long as you learn from your affiliate marketing mistakes, that's all that matters.
Oh, I do have one more last tip, I promise:
Focus on one strategy at a time. Pick a method and really make it work. When you start reaping the rewards from one technique or not, make a note of it and move on to the next one.
OK, that's it. I'm done with you. The very best of luck to you.