Affiliate marketing is about more than just putting Amazon links in your blog posts or emailing your list whenever SiteGround runs a sale.
You'll get better results when you have a complete strategy for promoting a product or service as an affiliate. That's how you can really make a significant amount of income - or at least enough to make your effort worthwhile.
But as anyone who's ever tried to make money online as an affiliate can tell you, it isn't easy to know what exactly what to do.
Sometimes you need a simple plan to help you on your way.
Recently, I promoted the early adopter launch of ProductDyno, a platform that allows bloggers, course creators and online entrepreneurs to deliver all kinds of digital content.
During the seven day launch, ten people purchased through my affiliate link, which earned me $700 in commissions.
Note: This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you purchase using one of the links in this post, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you, Thanks for you support!
Here are seven ROI-worthy things I did to maximize my earnings as an affiliate that you can do too!
1. Try before you buy.
One of the selling points for ProductDyno is that it is an affordable alternative to Teachable.
Since most of my audience had probably never heard of ProductDyno, I wanted to make it easy for them to see the platform in action. So, I set up an actual course on the platform and gave everyone free access to it. This allowed anyone that was interested to actually register for the course and try it out - to get the full experience of using the product.
If you can, find a way to let people "try before they buy."
2. Don't ignore this sign.
A few people reached out to me with questions after I emailed my list.
Don't ignore these questions! Be sure to respond to each and every one personally.
If someone bothers to ask you a question about whatever it is that you're promoting, that's a sign that they are really interested. They may just have a lingering doubt or need additional information in order to make the final decision to buy.
Think about the last time you asked a lot of questions about a product or service. Chances are you did so because you were serious about buying and wanted to make an informed decision.
A reader with questions is highly engaged with your offer. Don't miss out on the opportunity to help them.
3. Do not write a follow up FAQ email...
...before anyone asks you any questions.
I originally only wrote one email to my list recommending ProductDyno. But then I received a long email from one of my email list subscribers with a bunch of questions. I was actually very thankful that she emailed me with her questions, because I knew that if she had those questions, there were probably other people wondering some of the same things.
I used her questions and some other questions that people actually asked me to write a second email to my list. That email contained a list of real questions, not made up questions that were really just another sales pitch in disguise.
Some of the questions were:
- What exactly does ProductDyno do?
- Why would I recommend ProductDyno vs. Teachable or Thinkific?
- How do I know I'm not going to get "stuck" later, with MORE fees/renewals every year?
- If you plan on selling just e-books eventually, wouldn't this be a waste of money?
Answering frequently asked questions is a good thing. Disguising a sales pitch as an FAQ isn't.
4. Don't rely on Facebook (or Twitter, Pinterest, etc.)
I often share recommendations and deals in the Facebook groups that I host. However, I am increasingly convinced that many people never see those posts.
I love the fact that I've had the opportunity to create a community for bloggers and online entrepreneurs using Facebook groups. However, I'm still at the mercy of Facebook and individual notification settings when it comes right down to it.
Ultimately, email is simply more effective than social media for actually reaching people. Think about it. Are you more likely to check your email or to check the Facebook groups that you belong to?
If you want to drastically increase the odds of your message actually getting noticed by your readers, email your list.
When it comes to the important messages, don't count on social media to get the job done.
5. Don't put all your eggs in one basket.
In the last tip, I said that email is the most effective way to reliably deliver a message to a targeted audience.
But that doesn't mean that you shouldn't share on social media as well.
Sharing a product or service as an affiliate on social media gives you the opportunity to reach an entirely different audience. If your audience is anything like mine, you have followers on social media that aren't on your email list and vice versa.
Don't underestimate the benefit of having multiple sales channels, which is just a fancy way of saying that you have multiple way of bringing products or services to market so that they can be purchased by consumers.
Or said another way...
Don't put all your eggs in one basket as an affiliate marketer.
6. Why should someone buy from you?
As an affiliate, you are often in competition with other affiliates that are promoting the same product or service.
Fortunately, there are a few ways to set yourself apart as an affiliate. Here are some of my favorites ways to do this:
- Don't promote the same thing that everyone else in your niche is promoting. I've had good results doing this as a relatively new blogger by promoting MailerLite (vs. ConvertKit), as well as ProductDyno (vs. Teachable).
- Offer an exclusive bonus not available elsewhere when someone purchases something through your affiliate link. When a lot of affiliates are promoting the same offer, you can set your offer apart from the others by offering a bonus that sets your promotion apart from the others.
- Go above and beyond when it comes to educating your audience about how the product or service will benefit them. Many affiliates will simply copy/paste the swipe copy that is provided to them as an affiliate. If you are on a few mailing lists in your niche, it becomes pretty apparent pretty quickly who is doing this.
Be original, creative and authentic in your messaging.
7. Use these strategies to finish strong.
The last thing I want to do is annoy people that have subscribed to my list. But I also know that people who are interested will sometimes wait until the last minute to buy. So, here's what I did to finish strong:
- Sent a last minute email reminding people that the offer is coming to an end soon.
- But... I only sent that email to people that had clicked on a link in a previous email. My email service provider, MailerLite, make this easy using automation to add subscribers to groups based on a trigger when a subscriber clicks on a link in an email.
I like this quote (source unknown)...
Start Fresh. Finish Strong.
Is there another affiliate marketing strategy that has worked for you that I didn't mention? Let me know in the comments, and I'll update this post with the best ideas (and a link crediting you).