Affiliate marketing is one of the fastest and most affordable ways to get started making money online. In essence, what you are doing is selling other companies’ products for a commission. You can make money without developing your own product or building your own sales site. All you do is promote the product and send the customers to the company’s site to make the purchase.
Of course, I don’t want to make this sound too easy. It does take work, commitment, persistence and time like any other business. By following the ten tips below, your affiliate sales should increase and thereby increasing your monthly income.
1. Personal Recommendation – You always want to try the product before you start promoting it so you can give it a personal recommendation. A personal recommendation can be very powerful in persuading people the product is “real”. This is especially true if you are already established online and have a good clean reputation. If you are not well-known a personal recommendation will still carry a lot of weight.
2. Quality Products – Be sure to only represent quality products that you would actually use yourself. People might ask you if you do or would use the product yourself. This is another reason for trying the product before you sell it or at least do extensive research on the product.
3. Know the Product – This is another reason you need to do extensive research on the product. People will ask you questions about the product and you need to know what you are selling.
4. Know Your Target Market – What type of people come to your site/blog? What are your readers’ needs and wants? If you have a health and fitness blog, you probably won’t want to promote a dessert cookbook or movies because these things will not benefit your readers. Be sure to match the products to your target market.
5. Reliable Company – Be sure to also check out the company before you sign up with them. Research any reviews, complaints, awards, etc. this company might have. Contact other affiliates and ask how the company manages their affiliate program and payouts.
6. Product Updates – Keep abreast of all product updates so you can keep your readers and visitors updated as well. Check out the company’s product info frequently. Always know the latest about the product you are representing!
7. Sales Material – Most companies will provide professionally written sales materials for their affiliates to use. They will have ezine ads, solo ads, email signatures, graphics, etc. Take advantage of these sales materials instead of trying to create your own.
8. Be Selective – Find just a few quality products to promote rather than signing up for every affiliate program you can find. Choose a few good products that complement your site and each other. This will enable you to focus more on the products and promote them more effectively.
9. Spread the Word – Don’t make the mistake of just slapping one of the company’s ads on your site and think the sales will start rolling in. Promote them on your social networking sites. Add a blurb in your email signature. Post them on forums, groups, etc. Add them to your article resource box. Mention them to your mailing list on a regular basis. You need to promote them heavily and consistently to make a good amount of sales. Keep abreast of new and innovative marketing strategies.
10. Test and Track – As with any online business you should test and track your marketing and sales strategies. Find out what is working and what is not. Concentrate more on what is bringing in sales to raise your income.
Affiliate marketing can be an effective way to make money online by itself and it can also be a supplement to your main business. Unfortunately, many people will sign up with an affiliate program, paste an ad on their site and think that is all they have to do. When I first started online, I too signed up for any program I could find and just threw up a bunch of ads on my site. This is a common mistake that can be overcome.
Affiliate marketing will not work for you unless you make it work. It is a business like any other and needs to be given the same attention and commitment!