This post will be sharing six affiliate marketing strategy tips for your blog.
A few months ago, just before the first lockdown, I finally decided to take my lifestyle blog seriously. My goal was to grow my traffic and monetize as fast as possible. So, I mastered Pinterest and got my first 100,000 page views. Along the line, Pinterest started to tamper with their algorithm which was super frustrating. So, I switched strategies to focus on SEO.
Then I got stuck on how to monetize. Yes, I got the occasional sponsored posts here and there. I also have ads which wasn’t really bringing in much yet. So, I narrowed my choices down to affiliate marketing and decided to master it. So far, I’ve gone from making a few sales every month to every other day. Sometimes, daily (Yes, I still check daily!) While I’m not yet making my dream income from affiliate marketing, I’ll like to share some of the things that I learnt when I struggled at the beginning.
Here are 6 Affiliate Marketing Strategy Tips To Help You Make Your First Sale
The first thing I did before diving into Affiliate Marketing properly was to purchase Mastering Sales with Ell.
I used to be one of those people that absolutely hated buying courses because I thought it was a waste of time given my seven years of digital marketing experience. But then this industry changes so much that it’s so easy to work with outdated strategies. So, I had to update myself with the best practices to drive affiliate sales in 2020. Buying that course is one of the best decisions I made because it saved me so much time going back and forth.
While you will find the following tips very useful, the course will give you actionable steps to master affiliate marketing in a shorter time.
Focus on a few affiliate programs that are related to your niche.
Every brand and their sister has an affiliate program and want you to join them. These days, I have to turn down some invitations to these programs because I just don’t have the time to create content and promote them. I already have my core programs which I focus on: Amazon, Awin and Shareasale.
When choosing affiliate programs, you need to consider your niche and think like a buyer. Put yourself in their shoes and think about their journeys. When buying certain things like a home workout equipment for instance. Where do you think they would go? Amazon or the actual brand’s website? So, consider your niche and think about where people buy products related to your niche. Then join those affiliate programs.
Amazon is definitely not the best-paying program with their incredibly low commissions but I use it because everyone still uses it for now.
Where possible, choose affiliate programs with high commission
Affiliate Marketing can be incredibly profitable particularly when you’re dealing with high ticket products. These are products that have really high commission that one payout might be what another blogger with low commission products will get in one year.
That been said, look out for products with commissions between 10 – 15%. This way you work smart and make more money. Yeah, Amazon is nice for the convenience and that extra cash. But if you see better programs with higher-paying commissions, do go for it! just make sure your affiliate marketing strategy is well balanced with a focus on the higher commissions.
Create strategic content around affiliate products
Joining an affiliate program is the easiest thing. Creating the content that will drive affiliate sales is where the actual work is. This is one area I struggled a lot in the beginning. But then, the more content I wrote, the more I began to understand the types of content that convert the most.
Obviously, I studied my analytics to see what links people purchased from. Then I created more content like that to replicate the effect. Then the Mastering Sales with Ell course had some amazing content ideas which I implemented as well. One of which is the compilation posts/listicles. Putting together a list of related products is a sure way to drive sales.
If Affiliate Marketing is gonna be your core income stream, it needs to reflect in your content strategy. Make sure at least 70 – 75% of your content is indirectly driving sales. This doesn’t mean you should be salesy. Write valuable and convincing content that will convert your audience.
Track your sales and take note of the best performing posts
It’s probably not the most healthy thing to track your sales daily but you need to know what is working. You need to be on top of the posts that are bringing in sales. If you’re having issues tracking the sales from the posts, manually insert a tracking code in your links.
If a particular post is bringing in sales, do a keyword research for alternative keywords and create new posts around those keywords. Better still, replicate the structure of that post with another topic. Make sure you’re always testing, testing and testing!
Also, improve your highly converting posts. Insert YouTube or TikTok videos where necessary. Add more content. Edit and update with more information that will help the post perform even better.
Make your affiliate links as noticeable as possible.
When I started, I used to complain a lot about not getting affiliate sales. Meanwhile, my links were barely visible. They were there but were no different from the rest of my post. So, even if people wanted to buy, they struggled to find the links.
Make your links as distinct from the rest of your post as possible. The easiest thing I do is to change the font, size and colour of my affiliate links. There is absolutely no way you can miss them. With the links right in their face, your audience will have no choice then to click them even if they forget to. It’s simply unmissable.
So, if you are struggling with sales, go back to your old posts and make them more noticeable.
Start with Pinterest but work towards SEO for long term traffic and sales.
When I started out, I got my first few sales through my Pinterest traffic. This was because I had a solid Pinterest strategy that brings me daily traffic. It still does even if I don’t pin daily. Even though Pinterest is quite unstable at the moment, it is still the best place to get traffic and affiliate sales for a relatively new blog. So, use Pinterest to get your blog off the ground then work on your SEO.
Pinterest is a very niche specific platform.
This means that some niches might not be able to generate traffic or even sales. This is why you shouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket. Also, Pinterest can be high maintenance which means you need to constantly attend to it to get you results. SEO, on the other hand, works on auto-pilot. While you need to have a solid strategy in place, once it takes off, it takes ALL the way off. You also have the opportunity to make even more money with the right content through SEO.
Affiliate Marketing is easily one of my favourite ways to monetize a blog. Once you have mastered it, you can go ahead and create other smaller niche blogs and make even more money.
I hope you found these tips useful.