Affiliate marketing is easy, right? If only! Anyone who’s actually tried their hand at it knows that it requires more than just setting up a website and throwing some links up on it. It can be pretty exhausting, and it sometimes takes months before any significant income starts to roll in. The potential to make money is definitely there, but it won’t just happen magically.
So if you’re an affiliate marketing beginner, you might be wondering what it is that can help succeed. Other than sheer determination, there are a few actions you can take to set yourself up to do extremely well with your online business.
Find Your Niche
Before you even set up a website or sign up for any affiliate programs, you first want to decide what types of products and services you’d like to promote. A generic site that simply advertises everything from healthcare to clothing to kids toys will likely have a hard time generating a dedicated, trusting audience. On the other hand, a site that focuses on exercise gear for busy women has a much clearer focus. Females who find themselves short on time but still wanting to get in a good workout will know exactly where they can turn when they need new cropped leggings or a sweat wicking t-shirt.
To find the niche of your work, it helps to consider a few things:
- What are your personal passions? You don’t necessarily need to be a professional racecar driver to talk about cars and automobile accessories; however, you should be familiar enough with it that you know what you’re talking about and can make educated recommendations. If people take your advice on something to buy, then it had better be good advice!
- What are you naturally good at or knowledgeable about? Although it might not be as exciting to you as your passion, your skills and given talents play a big part in discovering an ideal online business niche.
- What is the market lacking? This is a biggie. If the market is already saturated with a bunch of other affiliate marketers promoting the same types of things, you’re not completely out of luck—but you certainly are creating a challenge for yourself. In some cases, it might mean becoming even more specific with your niche (instead of budget travel, consider budget travel for millennials). In other cases, it might mean altering your original idea in a creative way (instead of home decor for young 30s professionals, consider contemporary and tech-inspired home decor).
Do Your Research
Once you’ve decided on a focus for your efforts, make sure you know what you’re talking about. Stay on top of the news in this subject from here on out. Sure, everyone’s busy, but instead of making it a big task to tackle each week, simply dedicate 20-30 minutes each day to reading the newspaper, glancing at blogs, or scanning press releases.
Our world is an ever-changing one and you can either adapt and change with it or fight it and flounder. By educating yourself on new products and services, recalls, consumer news, and market trends, you’ll be better able to choose what you’d like to promote.
When conducting research in your field, take a look at some or all of the following:
- Scientific journals
- Press releases
- Topic-related shows
Too many people think that affiliate marketing is merely linking to some of their favorites on a website and calling it a day. Those same people are the first to claim that all affiliate marketing is for suckers who fall for “get rich quick” schemes. If you’re wanting to truly see something come out of you efforts, though, you have to actually work on it continuously. By posting regularly on your website, social media page, or even sending out regular newsletters, you’ll slowly but surely start to notice affiliate marketing income increase.
There are a couple reasons for this. First of all, when it comes to SEO, search engines want to provide results that are current and up-to-date. If it comes across a website with only one or two posts from a few months back, it will most certainly rank those results lower than something from a recently updated site.
In the same vein, people appreciate new content as well. Remember in high school when you had to search for sources and had to locate ones that were published relatively recently? That’s because no one wants to refer to outdated information. As we mentioned, this world is constantly changing, and even an amazing piece of evergreen content (such as a blog post that is applicable for years to come) can get lost in the mix of the internet.
Try Different Options
Sure, a website is an amazing place to start, but don’t think it’s a mandatory part of becoming an affiliate marketer. In fact, there are some people who don’t even set up a website for their business; instead, they rely on social media, newsletters, or YouTube videos to generate income.
Patience is most certainly a virtue, but it also can’t hurt try out your options and see how people react. If you’re not getting many bites with your blog posts but see an improved reaction to tweets on Twitter, then focus your energy in that direction. It will mean the work you put in has a higher probability of getting you some kind of return and you can avoid burnout from unsuccessful and fruitless methods.