Affiliate marketing is a channel that poses low risks and high rewards for both merchants and marketers.
When done right, affiliate marketing, also known as outsourced marketing, provides merchants a host of benefits: low-cost advertising, fixed commission-based fees, and brand visibility.
For affiliate marketers, affiliate marketing means the freedom to choose the products to advertise, when and where to work, and a passive income source.
Best practices for affiliate marketers
Affiliate marketers face a substantial amount of competition today.
There are, however, a number of things you can do to effectively use affiliate marketing and paint the products and services of the businesses you promote in the right light.
Maintain a great first impression
First impressions are as important when someone visits your site as when you meet someone in person.
When a visitor comes to your site, how is their experience?
Look at your site from the eyes of a new site user:
-How long does it take for your page to load?
-Ensure your site is easy to understand and users navigate to the different areas of the site just as easily.
-Stay away from overly complex site design. Simpler is generally much better.
This doesn’t mean that the site can’t look great. Aesthetics is good, but the usability of the site needs to be the top priority.
Different tools can be used to test and improve website usability:
Create great, descriptive content
The old saying “content is king” has never been truer. High-quality content is essential for affiliates who want to increase their, among other things, SEO page ranking.
To achieve this:
-Your content must be reader-friendly. Keywords are fine, but if you stuff too many or inject awkward phrases here and there, your content becomes a liability instead of an asset.
-The content must be engaging and informative. Create descriptive narratives of the products and services you offer so readers understand what they’re getting.
-Exude honesty in every post, or readers will lose confidence in your site.
In addition to written content, consider branching out into video. Videos have a number of benefits, but foremost of them is:
Sites with video keep visitors around longer than sites that only have text.
Create video content that:
-Introduces a product or service
-Reviews a product or service in detail
-Shows how a product works
-Compares one product or service to another
With videos, you have just as many options as with written content.
Creating video content is more time and labor-intensive than written content. You may not have time for daily videos, but having several videos can boost the effectiveness of your affiliate marketing.
For the best possible results, remember to only create quality videos. Once done, post the videos on your site, social media, video sharing sites, and other places for better visibility and a wider reach.
How are visitors engaging with your site?
Analytics tools allow you to easily track what visitors are doing on your website:
-Determine which types of content resonate the most with them
-Understand whether banners work better than in-text links
All in all, analytics software provides actionable insights into how to improve your site and make it even more effective.
Some of the top analytics tools available include:
Only work with products you trust
Many affiliate marketers choose the products and services they promote by looking at the bottom line. It’s hard to blame them since they’re running a business and want to make money.
This leads to marketers promoting and writing about products they have never used or would not normally choose.
Doing so causes a number of problems, the most notable being:
You can’t create high-quality content based on items you have no experience using or you don’t actually like.
Marketers should only choose products they would recommend to a friend or family member.
As an affiliate marketer, keeping your visitors’ trust is paramount, as dishonesty has its way of shining through, causing you to lose visitors and your brand reputation in the long run.
Limit the number of products you promote
One cardinal sin many affiliate marketers commit is promoting a host of different products. Not surprising, as many products can equate to increased income.
Bear in mind that you need to stay within your niche so you can keep and grow your audience.
You also don’t want too many competing products on your site. This diminishes the trustworthiness of your content. By limiting the number of competing products you promote, you afford each the full attention it deserves.
In general, never have more than two of the same type of product on your page from competing companies.
Create a resource page
Another great tip to make the most out of affiliate marketing is to create a resource page.
This page can include links to sites, services, tools, and products your audience will find useful. Because you’d rather only promote products or services you use yourself, the resource page can contain your affiliate links.
Affiliate marketing as an income source takes time and effort, but the results are well worth it. Use the tips enumerated above to improve your effectiveness as an affiliate marketer. When properly implemented, they can make a huge difference in how well you do.
About the Author: Red Akrim is the CMO of Cloudswave and is fervent about helping others use the power of Cloudswave.
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