Does Affiliate Marketing Work?
Does affiliate marketing work on today’s internet? Things have become much more competitive than when affiliate marketing first began online nearly 20 years ago. The short answer is yes. Affiliate marketing is still a great way to make money online, but the rules have changed in recent years.
In the past, affiliate marketers would refer traffic directly to the vendors, without ever trying to capture the prospective customer information. Over time, however, smart affiliate marketers realized they were missing out. They were working so hard to get traffic, only to give it away with no benefit to themselves other than an affiliate commission. And they were doing their best to promote products, but if the vendor’s sales letter wasn’t very good, there would be few sales.
Fast forward to the present, and today’s successful online entrepreneurs have learned how to make affiliate marketing work more effectively so their efforts bring the results they want.
What Do Affiliate Marketers Do?
Affiliate marketers earn money by selling products created by other companies in exchange for a commission. Top sites like Amazon and eBay offer huge variety in terms of high-demand products.
To start as an affiliate marketer, you first register as an affiliate with a company of your choice, or at an affiliate marketplace such as CJ Affiliate, Rakuten Marketing or ShareASale for physical products, or ClickBank and JVZoo for digital products. Once you have been accepted, you’ll be able to form specially coded links that track sales back to you.
FREE Checklist: Affiliate Marketing For Beginners
Why Become An Affiliate?
One of the biggest benefits of affiliate marketing is that you don’t have to create your own product. There’s no need to do the research, develop the product, write the sales letter, set up the sales funnel for customers to purchase the item, and so forth. It’s all been done for you. Join an affiliate marketplace, and you can have hundreds of products to sell in a matter of minutes. Each time someone clicks through your link and buys a product, you earn commission.
Making Affiliate Marketing Work For You
The best way to make affiliate marketing work effectively is to increase the visibility of your affiliate links. These are the links that take your prospects to a sales page or website and which track sales back to you.
One of the most important aspects of modern affiliate marketing is to have your own website or blog where you produce content related to the products you wish to sell. You can write general articles and provide links to suggested products at the end of the content.
You can also create your own content about each product. Reviews are very popular, as are product comparisons. The most important things to remember are that everything you write should be the truth. This helps position you as an expert worth paying attention to.
Choosing Your Niche
Your first step is to choose your niche if you don’t already have an existing business. Think of topics you enjoy and would like to learn more about. Choosing a topic, or niche, helps you focus your efforts and enables you to connect with people who are genuinely interested in the affiliate products you are trying to sell.
Building an Email Marketing List
Savvy affiliate marketers have realized that in the past they were sending prospects to a vendor website and then never seeing that prospect again. However, when they got customer contact information, like an email address. before they sent them to the vendor website, they would be able to send them other offers in the future.
It can be difficult to build an email marketing list these days because people have such crammed inboxes. Having said that, knowing your niche and your target audience are two of the best ways to come up with an incentive they will be so eager to get that they would be willing to give you their contact information.
Two good incentives would be an eBook or eCourse on a hot topic related to your niche. Think of the kinds of problems people have in your niche and create an information product which offers real solutions. Once your prospect has provided you their email address to get your eBook or eCourse, you can send follow-up emails with more valuable information positioning you as an authority. Each of the emails can also provide a context for a link to an affiliate product you wish to sell, giving you multiple chances to earn commission without seeming like a pushy spammer.
Being Discerning about What You Sell
You should not promote anything you would not use yourself or are not impressed by. You don’t want to get the reputation of being an affiliate who will literally sell any old rubbish just to get a commission. Rather, you want to show you’re in the know, with great deals on products that really work.
Keywording Your Content
Keywords related to your niche will help drive free traffic via the search engines. This is a marketing technique known as search engine optimization (SEO). Google and the other main search engines each have their own algorithm, or formula, for ranking sites and pages on the search engine results pages (SERPs).
All of the keywords should be related to your topic or niche. They should be words that an ordinary person interested in your niche would search for. Keyword all media files such as images and videos as well. They can also be discovered by Google, which would give you the chance to get more than one of the top slots on the SERPs.
Avoiding SEO Penalties
Some marketers try to use shady tactics in order to try to get to the top of the SERPs. But this can backfire badly. Some try “keyword stuffing,” repeating the same keywords over and over to try to boost their relevance score. Others opt for “negative marketing,” creating pages that say, “Is X product a scam?” This can drive the page up the search engine and generate a lot of clicks, but it can also backfire. This ploy casts doubt on whether the product is worth it or not, no matter what the page actually says.
The best way to get to the top of the search engines is to write high-quality content as naturally as possible. It is helpful to keyword the titles of your articles and blog posts. You can also put them in the titles of any images you might use on the page. In addition, it is a good idea to link to the affiliate product page using keywords. Instead of saying, “Click here,” you could say, “Learn more about the ultimate puppy obedience training guide.”
Free Checklist: How To Make Affiliate Marketing Work For You
Companies are happy to pay commissions to people just like you, in return for selling their products and services. As an affiliate marketer, you have the potential to generate an online income when you choose the right niche, stay committed, and understand your audience. To learn more about making affiliate marketing work for you, download my free checklist How To Start Affiliate Marketing For Beginners.