One of my goals this year is to really get serious about affiliate marketing. I’ve always been a bit of a dabbler, and when I focus I get results. But, there’s been no consistency in promotion, so therefore no consistent results either.
As an affiliate marketer, you’re always looking for new offers to promote and new ways to grow your business. Because, when you focus on growth you really do get to earn more and work less. Passive income takes work, but the results are so worth it.
Here are 5 tips for growing your affiliate marketing business.
Tip # 1 –
Sometimes, people will buy things just because they really need it. Other times, people will be on the fence, and it's up to you to push them to the other side. You also have to consider that there are many other affiliates out there, chasing the same commissions you're chasing.
You need to stand out from the crowd by offering something no one else is. You want to add your own twist to things so people can't help but buy through your link because it's such a fantastic deal.
Let's say you're promoting a dog training product. So are marketers B and C. B doesn't pay attention to the community and his reviews are really impersonal, so he's not a worry. But C does a great job at being part of the community and her reviews are really outstanding.
How can you stand apart from marketer C and get the commission if someone happens across both of your communities or pages?
The best way I know of is to offer some kind of killer, related bonus. For example, you could interview a top dog training expert and offer the download to anyone who buys through your link. You could offer personal email help for anyone struggling. Make it a really great offer that adds so much value they'll never give marketer C more than a passing glance. You'll earn the commission and a new follower. People love getting bonuses so it's definitely a win-win.
PLR affiliates are really good at doing this. With personal stories and unique bonuses, they develop a loyal following who will always look to them first when a new offer becomes available.
Tip #2 –
Your Branding Matters
Building a website to showcase your affiliate offers is pretty easy these days. But, you don’t want your site to look like something that was put together by the 12-year-old next door. Sites like that tend to turn people off more than they will elicit the trust needed to make the sale.
You want your review site to match your business branding and present a feeling that you’re professional and know what you’re talking about. You can create review pages that look professional, are well organized, and still give off a personal and friendly vibe.
How does your review site come across? It might be time to test a few elements or to go for a design change. If you're still using a free blog, now might be the time to get your own domain.
If you're in a really competitive niche, you want to be as professional as possible and yet still unique. The cool thing is that you're never locked into a style or strategy. Don't be afraid to grow and change your affiliate site over time.
Implement one new thing here and another new thing there and test the results. You might be surprised about what does work and what doesn't work.
Your branding matters because it’s one more element that lets people get to know you and recognize you, and that builds trust in you and what you’re promoting.
Tip #3 –
Don’t forget about creating your own products
When you can send an email and get paid, it’s tempting to get lazy with your business.
Don’t do it!
Always remember that this is a business. It's easy to revel in the passive income and just let things go. More than one marketer has told me they built up a nice affiliate income but got distracted and complacent and now they no longer have that business.
You can't stop creating. If you want to grow, try outsourcing parts of the business that you're too busy for or don't really enjoy. Continuously post and stay on top of the trends. Pay attention to what's going on and stay a thought leader on your topic.
If it’s feasible, consider creating your own products for a bigger piece of the pie. As great as hands-off affiliate income is, you're promoting for the other guy. You can get to a position where other affiliates are promoting for you, and that's a really nice place to be.
Tip #4 –
Build a Presence
If you really want to build a full time income as an affiliate marketer, you need to build a presence where people can get to know, like, and trust you.
Here's what you need:
A good size list -- Your list is where you should focus a lot of your energy. Build your list and learn how to work that list (by giving more than you're receiving) and you can easily reach a full time income, even if you don't have the biggest list in your niche.
A relationship with your readers and subscribers -- People buy from those they like and trust. Once you get to a certain level, you'll have people actually coming to you and asking for your affiliate link or recommendation because you're the only one they want to go through.
A presence in social media and online communities -- People should start to associate your name or your brand with your niche. Be active in social media and share your expertise and recommendations. Be helpful and really stand out from the crowd.
Remember Tip #2 – your branding really does matter.
Tip #5 –
Become a List Marketing Expert
For successful affiliate marketers, the money really is in the list. Take the time to really learn the ins and outs of email marketing. Here are some ways you can get started on becoming a list marketing expert.
- Drive traffic to your list every day -- Your list is your biggest asset, so focus a lot of energy on building it. Just as much as you focus on your affiliate site.
- Have a great follow-up sequence -- Don't leave people hanging after they sign up for your list. You want them to really get to know you. You also want to earn some money. Depending on your niche, you can send the intro email with their freebie, one or two helpful, informative emails, a soft promotion, then lead up to a hard promotion. Let this run for whoever signs up for your list-- that's money on autopilot!
- Learn to tell stories -- As a list marketing affiliate, you need to get good at sending emails. Study how to write copy and how to weave stories into your promotions. [Grab these free story telling templates]
- Share more than you receive -- Always give back to your list. You're here to help people, not just make a buck.
- At the same time, you can't be afraid to sell. If they don't buy it through your link they'll just buy it through someone else's. You're a marketer; embrace it.
- Mail frequently -- Don't be afraid to mail. You may not want to mail every day (or maybe you do). It's fine to mail every other day or whatever works best in your tests. As long as you're helpful, friendly, and not over-the-top, your readers will look forward to your emails and actually ask where you've been if you don't mail as frequently.
Passive income from affiliate commissions is a great way to add to your business’s bottom line. There’s nothing quite like waking up in the morning to find out you’ve earned commissions while you were sleeping. I’ve been at this for 20 years and I still get a little thrill every morning when I check my email.
Use these tips to help you get started at building your affiliate presence, your list, and your income. Just remember that the same principles apply here as in any other business model. Give your customers and clients a way to know, like, and trust you so that in the end, they look to you for product and service recommendations.