Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to make a passive income with your blog. If you don’t know what it is: you basically sell someone else’s product to other people for a certain percentage cut of whatever you sell.
So if you signed up to the affiliate program for Amazon affiliate or Hostgator or CJ.com, and promoted their products on your blog with special link, every single person who clicks your link and buys something will makes you money.
You earn a cut of how much the product was. Now think of doing that, but on a larger scale.
That is what affiliate marketing is all about; promoting your special links and making a lot of money.
But for most bloggers, it is not easy to make money with this method. Just because you have an affiliate link to a product doesn’t mean you will make any money from it. It’s about how you approach it.
You have the capability to choose anything to try to sell to your readers. But, just because you find a cool product that will make you a lot of money per sale doesn’t mean you should go right up and use it.
It’s actually possible to make more money promoting cheaper products than it is expensive ones, because more people may be able to put out the money for something less expensive than something that costs a lot.
But there’s still even more to it than that.
How to choose a product?
The first, and most important step to affiliate marketing is picking an actual product to market. As long as you follow these 5 basic rules, you won’t have a problem finding the perfect product to sell on your blog.
1. Perfect product knowledge
Never, ever try to promote something you don’t know about. You don’t have to use it yourself, but you need to know everything about it.
If someone ask you “What’s so great about product?” and you have no idea: You’d be speechless, “It’s not like I know anything about it! I just want your money in my pocket!”
If you couldn’t tell them anything about it, why should they buy it through you, or even at all?
Know your product as well as you know your own website!
2. Community building
Just in case this hasn’t been drilled into your head yet, I’ll say it again: your visitors and subscribers (= community) are what make you money! So, if you don’t have a community of people reading and taking action on your content, save affiliate marketing for another day.
If you have no one to pitch to on your blog, why try at all?
You need to remember what your primary focus is: to have a community. If your community is in set, and you work hard – you will make lot of affiliate sales.
3. Determine what kind of spenders
There is one thing you need to know about your community: what their budget is. You need to identify what kind of spenders in your community are.
Lets see what kind of things they say about you, or even if you write a review of a product one day and they make comments regarding the price of it (ex: “It worths every penny you pay!” or “High proce , low quality”).
If you know what range of wealth the people in your community are, you can better determine a good product to sell to them.
4. One-time fee
This is a pretty important factor that many don’t take into consideration. Promoting a product that has a one-time fee is actually a very smart marketing trick (but you get money once and never again).
Selling products with prices like “$49.95″ or “$22.95” it eases the mind of the potential buyer and you can sell more.
It is much easier to promote a product with a pitch “It only costs a one-time fee of $49.95″ than it is to say “It’s only $22.95 a month”.
Nobody likes spending money with monthly subscribe! Sending my money out once sounds great, and nearly everyone else there.
There are great services that require monthly fees: CRM services, hosting, SEO tools.
But for starters, you should sell products with a one-time fee only.
5. High commissions
The percent cut you get at every selling a product needs to be reasonable. If you sell a product where the price is $500, you will want a very good cut of that.
Try to find affiliate offer where the cut for selling is at least 50%. You don’t have to find a top-selling product to do so, but it won’t really matter as you will most likely be so proud you made the first bucks!
Making own product with affiliates
Choosing the right product to promote is only half the affiliate war. Things get a little more tricker now as it’s time to start the hard work: marketing that product.
Unfortunately the affiliate link is not something that goes viral around the web.
Most people hate the affiliate link, but it is powerful piece of full marketing channel that needs constant promotion.
Silly thing to use “traditional forms” of marketing: blog comments and forum post spamming.
An affiliate link is something you want to get out there, but not too far from your own blog or personal brand.
If you want to promote on other people’s blogs, be sure to leave a link to that article in a blog comment, or in your forum signature. But not an affiliate link. Save them for your blog.
The best way to market an affiliate product is through the element of persuasion.
Persuasion is the most powerful tool in affiliate marketing, it is impossible to sell anything to anybody if you aren’t convincing.
In whatever way you decide to convince people that they to buy your product, work on accomplishing these things in order to see best results:
- Make them feel like they are making a profitable investment.
When you buy something, do you feel like you’re making an investment or a commitment? When you buy a book, or even food - which is it? They are both something of value, you made an investment on them so you can gain something from them. Trying to convince someone to buy something just because they should feel committed to do so is not very effective or convincing.
- Tell them they need the product NOW, and why:
You basically want people to think “Oh, I want to buy this NOW, and I can achieve my goals or dreams!” Maybe that’s too bold of a statement, but the point is you want people to think that they need whatever it is you’re selling immediately or they will regret it later.
- Make them feel like they’re missing out if they don’t buy now: Statements like “Everyone is using it” or “Join the thousands of others who…” aren’t cheesy ways of marketing things, they’re persuasive forms of text that work. Convince someone that they need to be part of this “movement” and purchase a product that will truly benefit them.
- Prove to them that it has worked for you, or somebody else:
Reviews and success stories are all silver bulletproof ways of doing this. People want to be rest assured that if they are making this investment in a product, that it has worked for not just you, but others.
Once you can start to get a feel of how you should market to your audience, it’s time to get the feel of actually doing something; of marketing.
Best way to promote products
There are at least three solid platforms to market your affiliate products on. The great thing about these platforms is that they are all yours.
You have been working on them for as long as you can remember (maybe with the exception of the last one), which leaves you in perfect position to utilize them in any way you want.
1. Your own blog
Your blog should be the biggest stage for your affiliate links. That is where all parts of your community will end up, and that’s where the most traffic is going to out of the 3 sources in this list.
There are more ways in which you can use your blog to promote affiliate products.
- Blog posts
It is not uncommon at all to find an affiliate product and write about it on your blog. You can see many articles on the internet about “Best WordPress premium themes 2016”, “Best cheap hosting for bloggers”, etc. It’s all about the affiliate links.
- Post footer block
You know that place at the end of your article? They are good places for placing your relevant affiliate links. If you can do it in a natural way where it is connecting with the content, then you can see some serious results.
- Blog footer
Affiliate links (hosting, theme or template, online services) in the footer are one of the only exceptions to the “no-ads policy” as they integrate in a natural way.
- A “Best of” page
Create a page filled with best affiliate offers into one. You can get some extra income with just a little work.
- Best content placing
Put your most popular contents’ list in the most noticeable places of your blog mixed with some noteworthy affiliate links.
2. Social media
Start to use Facebook, Twitter and LinkeIn to promote the affiliate products. These are also the places where often a huge part of your community hangs around. So, get a good product in their faces without spamming.
You rarely want to use these websites for too hard of an affiliate marketing campaign. Instead, send out a link that has a post with some of your own affiliate links to your followers on Twitter or friends on Facebook.
Or promote your product and share the affiliate link (with URL shortener) straight up to your followers.
But, don’t do that too often and don’t make it sound like spam! I hate the aggressive affiliate spammers and ban them immediately from my connections.
You are limited on social space, so you have to get creative. But, the more creative you get, the more clicks you will receive!
3. Your own subscribers
When you don’t have own list to promote products in, you don’t have a very strong way of directly communicating with other people and saying “Hey, look this great product I just found!”
Your blog and your social network sites are personal, but an email goes directly to every person.
Be smart: if you promote just affiliate products to your subscribers, your emails may go to spam folders fast. You need to promote them as little as possible, but when you do promote them - you do it big!
Final thoughts about affiliate marketing
I hope, you have learned that there is in fact much more to affiliate marketing than just picking a product and promoting it randomly.
The good affiliate method involves marketing plan, persuasion and most of all patience.
Table of Contents
- 1 How to choose a product?
- 2 Making own product with affiliates
- 3 Convincing readers
- 4 Best way to promote products
- 5 1. Your own blog
- 6 2. Social media
- 7 3. Your own subscribers
- 8 Final thoughts about affiliate marketing