Plenty of people get drawn into affiliate marketing because of the promise of an easy, passive income. A tiny fraction of those people do it well enough that they quit their jobs, put their feet up, and let the money roll in. A decent number are successful enough at it that they make decent money, either as primary or supplemental income.
But the majority of affiliate marketers make nothing, or next to nothing.
That’s why we wrote this guide. These affiliate marketing tips will help you avoid some major pitfalls, and give you some ideas for how to grow your following and build up your advertiser relationships without sacrificing your credibility.
1. Know your audience
As an affiliate, the best thing you can give your advertising partners is your reach. The attention of your readers or viewers—and their trust in you—is paramount. If you lose their trust or their interest, it will be almost impossible to find success in affiliate marketing.
When you create content, especially sponsored content for your advertisers, be sure you are playing to your audience. Make sure that your posts maintain the high standards that got you the followers you have now.
Try to learn what you can about your followers from analytics, so that you have a better idea of what products would make good partners for your blog or channel.
One-great way to consolidate influence is through cross-promotion on multiple platforms. If you’re making videos on Youtube, for example, you can post a gif preview on Instagram and Facebook. Gifox, available through Setapp, is an easy way to convert video files into gifs; consider using it to boost your reach and appeal.
2. Vet your products
When you’re doing sponsored posts as an affiliate marketer, always be mindful of how those posts might affect your brand overall.
If you’re going to promote a product or service to your followers, it’s a good idea to try it out first. The last thing you want is to strain their trust by pitching a product that breaks easily, or that isn’t really worth their attention. Make sure you can give it your stamp of approval.
This type of due diligence is also a great way to generate new videos and posts. Review-type content tends to be popular with viewers and they help foreground your advertisers, killing two birds with one stone. If you’re just starting out with review videos, Setapp’s Capto, an easy-to-learn screen recorder and video editor, can help you start producing the kind of polished content advertisers love.
3. Track your sales
Generally, your advertisers will pay you a commission based on how many of their purchases come from your site. This is usually done with a unique affiliate code that customers can enter at checkout.
It’s not in your advertiser’s interest to share their leads and sales figures with you outside of the number of customers who use your code. But success in affiliate marketing depends on having good information.
Consider how you can use your site to get insight into your audience and their buying habits. The more you know about the people you serve ads to, the better you can tailor your affiliate marketing campaigns for maximum returns that push your commissions higher and higher.
Keeping track of your successes and failures requires a strong organizational strategy. Setapp offers a host of project-tracking apps that can help you plan for the future and keep tabs on what works and what doesn’t. Try Merlin Project Express or Aeon Timeline for an easy-to-follow visual outline of your plans.
4. Use email marketing
The more directly you can serve content (and ads) to your audience, the more effective your affiliate marketing efforts will be. One strategy that combines a direct approach with powerful analytics is an email marketing campaign.
Set up a mailing list that your audience can sign up for on your page. Try to send out an email on a regular basis, say weekly or twice a month. These emails should focus on content, but you can include some sponsored links or articles that highlight your advertisers.
The great thing about email marketing services like Mailchimp is that they include analytics that can show you how your emails perform. You’ll be able to see the rates at which your audience opens your emails, clicks through different links, or discards them before reading. This information isn’t just for making you feel good. It’s vital for crafting future campaigns.
Treat each email you send as research for future emails, so that you can find the formula that sends the maximum number of your subscribers through to your advertisers.
The key to successful affiliate marketing
Too many people treat affiliate marketing like a get-rich-quick-scheme, which is why the quality of affiliate marketing tends to be so poor. Website visitors aren’t clueless—they can tell when they’re being dangled a carrot that they don’t really want.
In order to be a successful affiliate marketer, you absolutely have to respect your audience. Don’t take every affiliate opportunity you can. Only show them what they would actually find helpful. That’s what being a great affiliate is all about.
If you feel like you need more tools to create your best content, make Setapp your first stop. With apps that support the organizational and creative sides of affiliate marketing, you’re sure to find what you need to raise your game (and your sales).