There’s far more to becoming a successful affiliate marketer than just trying to drive a sale. Given that consumers have more control than ever before, succeeding in any form of online marketing largely relies on making yourself known as an authority in your niche. There are hundreds of thousands of successful affiliate marketers out there, and there are almost as many dismally poor quality affiliate websites with thin content and an excessive amount of advertising. Such affiliates are hardly likely to become successful, but that’s not to say that success is impossible for all: It’s just not as quick and easy as some people make it out to be. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the most important characteristics that successful affiliate marketers need to have.

1 – Organised

Affiliate marketing is not going to get you rich overnight, and in order to have any chance of success for the longer term, you’re going to need to have a solid plan in place. From the very outset of your affiliate marketing venture, you will need to have a marketing strategy lined out detailing essential elements such as content marketing, social media marketing and email marketing as well as all of the smaller things such as which content management system you are going to use to build your website. You’ll need to have a clearly defined set of goals as well, and it is important that you keep these realistic. The first step will be to choose your niche and build up your website before choosing an affiliate network or approaching a vendor directly.

2 – Consistent

The majority of Web traffic comes from Google, and the search giant has made many changes in recent years that have penalised many affiliate websites. More than ever before, the focus is now on quality, relevancy and consistency. In order to become an authority, you’ll need to be consistent in your strategy, and that means choosing a relevant affiliate product to sale as well as one that your target audience is likely to be interested in. You’ll also need to be committed to a marketing routine, and while affiliate marketing should not take up a great deal of time, it does require that you conduct your efforts consistently whether it means posting a blog article once per day and/or posting social media updates on a daily basis.

3 – Sociable

With Facebook being the world’s second-most visited website, we don’t really need any further proof that social media has come to dominate the online world in recent years. However, social media is just as much a tool for businesses and affiliates to market their products as it is a platform for us to socialise on. Successful affiliate marketers should make use of social media and be consistently present on the major networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn, in order to reach out to potential customers and forge valuable relationships. However, it is also important that successful affiliate marketers understand the importance of two-way conversation rather than using social networks for trying to drive sales directly.

4 – Patient

As is the case with any form of business, online ventures do take time to come to fruition. We’ve all heard the highly excitable and exaggerated claims that you can start making money right away with affiliate marketing, but the reality is somewhat different. There is no quick and effortless way to make money online, and affiliate marketing is no exception. While building your website shouldn’t even take more than a day, by far the largest part of the work goes into building up your visitor count by way of social media and search engine marketing and more. Typically, it will take some months before you start seeing a significant return on your efforts, provided that you follow the best practices and stick to a sound strategy from the beginning.

5 – Authoritative

Google loves authoritative websites and authors, but it hates thin affiliate websites run by people who expect maximum returns for minimal effort. If you have little or no faith or knowledge in the product you’re trying to sale, then your website will no doubt reflect this fact, and most of your readers will be able to see right through you straight away. Perhaps the most important single trait of all to be a successful affiliate is to be an authority in your niche. The products that you choose to advertise should be those you know yourself and that you believe in. After all, if you don’t believe in what you are selling, your potential customers certainly aren’t going to either. It is important to work on becoming an authority in your niche from the start.

6 – Interested

Similarly to becoming an authority in your niche and in the affiliate products that you hope to sale, you also need to have a genuine interest in them. After all, if you are interested your niche, you’ll more likely become an authority in it. While you don’t need to be an expert right away to earn the respect of your target audience (as well as Google), you will certainly need to have a real interest in the niche so that you’ll be prepared to learn along the way. After all, there’s no point in selling professional golfing guides if you have absolutely no interest in the sport. Even if your niche is relatively specific and perhaps not even particularly profitable, you absolutely need to choose something that you have some passion for.