Many different affiliate marketing tactics exist. While I always recommend every affiliate marketer develops a website, there are some affiliate marketers out there that are able to make a living even without one. On the flip side, there are some really awful tactics that are touted by “guru’s” out there as well. This article will go over some of the best, and worst, affiliate marketing tactics I’ve seen.
The Worst Affiliate Marketing Tactics
Unfortunately, there are many e-books and affiliate training courses that claim “easy money” by using their super-awesome tactics. If it doesn’t truly provide value to others, run away as fast as you can. Here are some of the more common poor quality affiliate marketing tactics that exist.
- Blog Commenting – Everyone has seen this poor attempt before. Commenting sections on websites, blogs, and video sites have become increasingly popular over the years. With that, brings the spammers. I receive notices daily about people trying to spam my blogs and websites. It’s not just annoying, it doesn’t work. What’s worse? Some “guru’s” even sell people expensive automated software to go out and automatically find blogs and websites to spam. Don’t fall for it. No matter how many blog comment sections you spam with affiliate links, you’ll never make a legitimate living.
- Low Quality YouTube Videos – This low quality affiliate marketing tactic is starting to become an epidemic because so many people are doing it now. Basically, an affiliate link spammer will create some crappy 2 or 3 minute video and use black hat SEO techniques to rank the video highly in search results. In the unhelpful video, the spammer will try to direct people to a simple 1 page website where you must enter your email address. At that point, you will receive spammy emails filled with affiliate links until you finally unsubscribe. I am NOT saying email marketing is a bad thing, but it needs to be done right. Other spammers will simply put an affiliate link in the video description and try to get you to click on it. This method is slightly more effective than the blog commenting technique, but it’s still spammy and it will probably never earn you a full-time income.
- Article Marketing – What was once an effective affiliate marketing tactic is now a strategy you shouldn’t even waste your time on anymore. Article marketing is where you create an article containing affiliate links, then send the article to hundreds or even thousands of website owners (sometimes with automated software) in the hopes a large number of them will post the article on their site. Most website owners want nothing to do with article marketing anymore because Google and other search engines may actually penalize website owners if they have duplicate content on their site. Some people may still see limited success using this method, but your time would be much better spent on a method that will work long-term. The trend for article marketing strategies is looking pretty dismal at this point.
- Guest Blogging – This is another previously successful affiliate marketing tactic that has quickly become extinct. Guest blogging is basically providing free content to other blog owners in exchange for allowing you to post affiliate links in your blog article. Even though each article is unique (or should be), this strategy has become much less effective due to recent changes in search engine algorithms. Generally, website owners who accept a large number of guest blogging articles will naturally rank lower in search engine results. Instead of spending time writing articles for other people’s websites, you are much better off creating your own affiliate website. Even if you don’t know any computer code, these days, it doesn’t matter. Anyone can build an affiliate marketing website and make it successful.
- Purchasing Email Marketing Lists – Purchasing email marketing lists has never been all that effective in the affiliate marketing world, unless you know a great reliable seller and have the money to spend on the list. Most email marketing lists you can purchase are comprised of low quality lists. Many emails will bounce and many others will be upset about your emails because they never asked to be on your list. Purchasing a list can also get you in trouble ICANN. Email spam is taken very seriously, so don’t mess around with it.
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The Best Affiliate Marketing Tactics
You’ll notice that some of the best affiliate marketing tactics are closely related to the worst tactics. The trick is doing things RIGHT. How do you do things right? You provide value to others. Instead of simply posting a spammy video on YouTube designed to snatch someones email address, provide them real value. Gain their trust. Use the CTPM process to make selling fun and easy. Here are a few of the best affiliate marketing tactics as we stand today.
- Developing A High Quality Website – Instead of creating some crummy little 5 or 10 page website stuffed with affiliate links, take a genuine interest in the products or services you are promoting. Target a niche audience and really give them helpful information. You don’t have to be Amazon.com to sell products and services. As long as you truly provide value to people, selling becomes easy. All you really have to do is make simple recommendations. You can see this currently being done on my own affiliate website DogFoodInsider.com. Or how about the owner of Anguilla-Beaches.com. She earns a full time living with her website by simply talking candidly about her favorite vacation spot. Here are thousands of success stories from website owners that you can read about.
- Creating Informative & Helpful Videos – Video is exploding on the internet. As more people have access to high speed internet, video will only get bigger and bigger. The best part about YouTube is you don’t need to know anything technical and you can talk about whatever you want. I personally follow this astronomy video blog. The owner of that video blog also has a website with a “members only” section that only costs a couple bucks per month. He earns a full-time living from it. HOW is that possible? He has gained a huge following with his daily video blog and since people enjoy his video blogs so much, paying a couple bucks per month for premium access on his website is nothing. Video is going to be HUGE as we move forward in time.
- Building An “Organic” Email List – By organic, I mean that YOU grew the list yourself and use that list for yourself. In other words, you should only send emails to people who specifically asked you to sent them emails through, say, an opt-in form on your website. For example, on this very website you’re on right now, you’ll notice I have opt-in boxes to join my free this amazing training program. As soon as someone joins my list, I send them 7 days of phenomenal information that will help them launch their own affiliate marketing website in just 1 week. Beyond that, I continue to send periodic high quality information and once in a great while, I will recommend a product or service that I think can help them (most of the stuff I promote I’m a customer of myself). My recommendations aren’t seen as a sales pitch, because by the time I try to “sell” something, I have already provided them with a ton of free stuff and have proven that I actually care about those on my list. They aren’t just another “sales lead” and either should those on your list. Provide REAL value to people and you’ll find that selling becomes simple.
- Become An Expert In Social Media – Like email marketing, I avoided social media until I couldn’t justify avoiding it any longer. Some affiliate marketers earn a full-time living on nothing but social media. The trick here is to take one platform at a time. I recommend starting off with Facebook and going from there. Once you have mastered Facebook, try any other social media network you enjoy and move down the line until you’ve mastered them all. I think you’ll find learning how to master these platforms isn’t as hard as many people imagine. It’s even pretty fun! Over time, you can literally gain hundreds of thousands or even millions of followers through your social media empire.
- Paid Online Advertising – While I don’t recommend this to be the first method new affiliate marketers try, it’s a great way to reinvest your earnings to diversify your traffic sources. It can take some time and perhaps thousands of dollars before you find an ad campaign that truly works and brings you a return on your investment. But once you find that advertising campaign that works, it’s like a money faucet. Just turn it on and watch the sales flow. You don’t have to spend a lot of money all at once, either. With online advertising, you can generally pay “per click” and set very low daily limits ($10 or $25 per day is typical during the experimentation stage). Once you find something that works, just turn on the faucet and let the money flow in.
No matter which affiliate marketing tactic you use for your business, it’s important to diversify. You don’t need to diversify right away. In fact, you should focus on one tactic until you are very comfortable with it. But once you are comfortable with one tactic, move on to another and repeat that process over and over again. Soon enough, you’ll be sending thousands of leads to your affiliate partner and earning commissions while you sleep. What’s more? You won’t have to stress out about a Google algorithm change or a tweak in Facebook or a single change in anything, because you will be diversified. Now THAT is financial freedom!