Affiliate marketing can be a very lucrative business – or it can be disappointing. Online affiliate marketing has become a highly competitive activity. To be successful with affiliate marketing you need to understand your market, what your audience wants, and learn how to promote products and be willing to find out what works and what doesn’t work. Basically it all depends on you, the affiliate, in getting a number of factors right.
Select Your Merchants Carefully: A lot of affiliates select their merchants on the basis of who pays the highest commission, but like to select based on who has the best reputation and quality product. The next factor I look at is the sell-through rate –which merchants convert better.
Integrity Matters: Never recommend something you wouldn’t buy yourself. Whether you promote from a blog, email or a website, it has your name on it and you don’t want to promote anything you would not buy or use yourself or something you would not recommend to your mother or your sister. There are plenty of excellent affiliate merchants out there, so you can afford to be very selective.
Relevance: To be a successful affiliate the product you are promoting should be relevant to the content of the site you are promoting from. For example, if you write a blog about Bass fishing then your affiliate links and banners should appeal to bass fishermen. If you have banners for food and wine companies or cruise lines on your bass fishing blog, you may accidently get the occasional click and purchase –but it will be very occasional. Whereas if your links and banners were to a company that sells bass boats, rods and reels and bass fishing guides, they you will see a lot of potential earnings.
Avoid Overcrowding: If success at affiliate marketing could be achieved from throwing up pages of banners – then the world would have lots of millionaires. A site with pages of banners or rows banners stuffed under content has the opposite effect on people. It also has the added bonus of making your site look pretty ugly.
A Personal Recommendation Works the Best: I do use banners on my website and blog and they have their place. But nothing converts to sales better than when I make a personal recommendation. I only do this on products and services that I completely believe in and that I have tried myself.
Use Multiple Merchants for Your Niche: You don’t want to overdo this, but don’t put all your eggs into one basket –or merchant. You can get away with three or four merchants and it is easy to spread these all around your site without overcrowding and pestering your readers with offers.
Create Original Content: There are a lot of article sites where you can get free content to use on your website or blog. There are free articles out there on almost any topic. But beware. Google looks for duplicate content. If they see an article on your website or blog that is identical to the content on others, they will penalize your site in the search results ranking. So always try for original content.
Change is good: Search engines are always looking for sites with new or changing content. You can build a static site and load it with content and it will get traffic for a time. But after a while, if Google visits your site and does not see any changes, it will not visit very often and eventually you will rank lower.