If you’re an online solopreneur in need of a product to promote in order to monetize your site’s traffic, affiliate programs are an excellent option. Top-notch merchants supply you with everything you need to earn income such as inventorying excellent products and handling the ordering and delivery process. Your job as their affiliate is to market the products well.
All you need to do is to insert yourself into the pathway between customers and quality merchants and earn a commission for your efforts. But, like any “real” business, effort and planning are essential ingredients for long-term success. “Get-rich-fast” attempts with marketing affiliate products just don’t work.
What’s needed for successful affiliate marketing? Here are 2 important tips…
1) Upfront Thinking and Planning
Start a solid foundation for your monetization plan by researching and selecting the best affiliate programs and products to match your site’s theme and content. If you run multiple sites with non-related themes, you’ll need to repeat this exercise for each site.
Thousands of affiliate programs related to a myriad of niches can be found in Affiliate Networks. A few popular Networks include Rakuten, CJ, Clickbank and ShareASale. There are dozens of other Affiliate Networks each with their own way of operating. This “Top 20 Affiliate Networks 2014” list from MThink should give you plenty to check out…
You can also find in-house affiliate programs (like SiteSell’s) by doing a simple Google search for “keyword + affiliate program” or “name of company + affiliate program”.
Once you’ve identified some potential programs and products to market, think about the best places for you to recommend them to your site’s visitors. This leads us to #2…
2) Put Yourself Into Your Visitors’ “Click Path”
A click path is the sequence of links your visitor clicks on from the first one until purchase. S/he may for example, first click on your affiliate link for a product from your website. Then s/he might do her/his own due diligence on the product by clicking on some non-affiliate links, and ultimately end up returning to your site, click on a different link for the same product and then go on to purchase. In this case, the visitor clicked on several links before buying, but because your site answered an additional question they had which brought them to the (different) affiliate link they clicked right before the purchase, you successfully kept them engaged throughout the buying cycle.
There are many ways to stay in your visitors click path after their initial visit. You’ll want to keep building their trust, which is important for converting them to a customer. Repeat exposure reinforces your expertise and credibility and increases your chances they’ll purchase through your affiliate link and even perhaps, become a repeat customer. Some strategies include publishing a regular newsletter, covering a product recommendation from a few different angles, offering options for asking questions and/or interacting on your site or related social channels.
Depending on the products you choose, your visitors might tend to be more left brained and prefer a more logical presentation and description of the product. Other products may tend to be more creatively or emotionally charged (have right brain decision-making tendencies). An example of the former might be for a mobile device where your visitor would likely want to know brand, features and comparisons with other devices. An example of a more creative or emotionally-driven product might be those that have to do with personal hobbies or interests which tend to be more closely affected by emotion or brand loyalty. Of course some products may have a mix of left brain/right brain interest as well.
Taking the time to think, plan and layout a strategy that reaches your visitors at various points in the buying cycle as well as appealing to reason and/or emotion should serve your affiliate product conversion rate well.
Looking for a high paying affiliate program that fits well with a wide range of niches and provides quality marketing resources and tools? Join SiteSell’s Affiliate Program!