Affiliate marketing can be quite overwhelming for the beginner, so I thought I’d create this simple to follow article showing some of the big Do’s and Don’ts of affiliate marketing. So without further ado, let’s get started!
Do: Make Sure To Conduct Research
Yes, starting an affiliate marketing website is insanely easy and can be done in a matter of minutes. That doesn’t mean, however, that you should jump into this endeavour blindly without any planning whatsoever. Although it’s easier to start a business now than it ever has been, it doesn’t change the fact that you are, in fact, starting a business. Any good business that wants to succeed needs a business plan.
Figure out what you want to focus on, who your audience is, and how you can reach these people to satisfy their needs. Think about how you’ll want to promote links, how much you’d like to be making, and what types of efforts you’ll need to put forth to try and make that happen. Just because you set up an affiliate site doesn’t mean the money is going to make its way into your wallet immediately.
I can’t stress this enough: affiliate marketing is not a way to get rich quick. People envision making hundreds of thousands in their first month or two, and this is just not realistic at all. It can take months before you start to see any money trickling in, and people who do get paid early on aren’t simply lucky people—they likely put in a load of hard work to make it happen.
There’s definitely nothing wrong with putting in 110%, especially if you’re a beginner affiliate marketer. But understand that your income won’t exactly match up with your efforts at first. People who have too high of expectations for their paycheck end up disappointed, and then usually abandon their efforts after a few months. If you have realistic expectations, you’ll be much more able to stick with it.
Do: Be Honest With Your Content
Promoting affiliate links is not just about raving about the products and services you’re sharing. This comes off as pretty ingenuine. What consumers really want is to read honest reviews and get truthful information about things before they click the purchase button. Are you able to give that to them?
Instead of merely saying how great something is or how much you loved a certain product or service, talk about it as if you were talking to your best friend. What did you like? What didn’t you like or felt like could be improved? When did you use it? What were your reactions to it? Who do you think it’s good for?
In the end, you really shouldn’t promote links as a beginning or experienced affiliate marketer that you don’t like. But if you only ever say positive things about the things you share, site visitors will start to wonder if you’re telling the truth or more concerned with making a sale.
Don’t: Only Share Popular Products Or Services
Obviously, there are some products and services you won’t be able to escape mentioning in certain fields. But when you can, branch off and share things that not everyone else is talking about.
First of all, this will make you seem more knowledgeable about your niche. Anyone really could hop on Google and pick out a few popular items in a category to promote, but if you’re sharing something that fewer people have heard about, you’re clearly much more in the know.
Second, it also gives you less competition. When people hop online to discover more about a product before they buy it, you have a much higher chance of popping up in search engine results. When you have to compete with other bloggers and affiliate marketers, your information could get lost in the mix. If you are, however, one of the few options that come up, there’s a higher chance you’ll lock in the sale.
Do: Choose Programs Wisely
We talk a lot about finding your niche and understanding your audience, and it’s an important step to take. If you fail to do this, you’ll be at a complete loss when it comes time to apply for affiliate programs and networks. If you’ve done the work to figure out your market, though, you’ll be able to easily determine what is and isn’t a good fit.
When you choose affiliate programs that don’t suit your audience, you’ll not experience a high volume of sales. Why? Because those products and/or services are not applicable to them, and they’ll not be interested in buying it. Worse than that, it could mean they never refer to you again for suggestions since your recommendations seem poorly suited to them.
As you’re starting out, choose two or three well-focused affiliate programs and networks and grow from there. The more you hone in on your ideal client, the more chances you’ll have of actually selling!
Don’t: Focus Solely On Sales
Of course you want to make money doing this, but no one particular enjoys the feeling of being sold to. It’s actually kind of frustrating when you just want to shop around and someone continues to push products on you. So although it might be tempting to simply promote, promote, promote, also keep in mind the kind of content that will get your readers coming back to you.
Readers don’t come to your site, scan through your newsletters, or look at your social media pages for a sales pitch; instead, they come for useful information.
Share things with them that they’ll find helpful, like how-to guides or insider tips. This helps you to build a more trusting relationship with the people who follow you, which in turn makes them have more faith in your recommendations.