1. Promote Products You Already Know and Trust
This is a basic tip, but it’s a crucial one. When I launched my wellness blog in 2015, I made the mistake of joining affiliate programs of products that I didn’t use and to be frank, didn’t even trust.
I had a few popular meditation articles on the blog which were driving decent AdSense revenue, and I thought I’d give affiliate marketing a try.
I was using the meditation app Headspace at the time and since it didn’t have an affiliate program, I decided to join affiliate programs of meditation apps that I didn’t really know much about. Therefore, the recommendations I made were dishonest and it didn’t get me anywhere. Furthermore, I’m pretty sure I alienated some of the loyal readers at my blog.
So don’t repeat the mistake I made. If you’re new to affiliate marketing, be selective with the products you choose to promote on your blog. You wouldn’t want to lose your audience because of these lousy recommendations.
Furthermore, it will be easier for you if you decide to promote a product you already use and trust. This will allow you to be more comfortable and confident in your recommendations and you will also appear genuine.
According to Rakuten Marketing, 80% of brands utilize affiliate marketing. So chances are that the product you’re currently using in your niche already has an affiliate program. In most cases, you can just visit their website and scroll to the footer section to find a link to their affiliate program. Or you could give a Google search on “[product name] + affiliate program” and see if they have an affiliate program.
But what if none of the products/services you currently use have an affiliate program? What do you then? What if you have no choice but to join affiliate programs of products you haven’t used before? Well, in most cases, these products will offer you a free trial to test out the features. The solution is to sign up for a free trial and evaluate all the key features and note all the drawbacks or scope for improvement.
Once you have a complete understanding of the pros and cons of using the product, you can then proceed to recommend it on your blog if you genuinely feel it will help your audience.
But remember: be honest and confident in your recommendations. Be one hundred percent informative about the affiliate product you’re recommending and be ready to answer questions from your readers.
2. Just Promote 2-3 Products (at First)
Once again, this is a tip that’s relevant for affiliate marketing beginners. This is because when you’re new to affiliate marketing, it’s often tempting to join as many programs as you can to see what clicks for your blog and kickstarts your earnings.
You will dilute your focus and end up promoting products that are not the right fit for your blog
You will risk alienating your audience with so many recommendations
Your unfamiliarity with the products you’re promoting will invariably result in you losing trust with your audience and will significantly impact your affiliate earnings as well.
This is another mistake I was super guilty of making with my wellness blog. I joined a plethora of affiliate programs and ended up promoting products that were just not the right fit for my audience. As a result, I lost engagement and didn’t earn any passive income for all my efforts. Waste of time and a massive waste of my readers’ time.
But I learned from my mistakes and when I starting promoting affiliate products on 99signals, I zeroed in on products that I already knew and trusted and focused on creating content for these products on a regular basis.
Here’s a list of all the content pieces I’ve created for SEMrush so far:
The SEMrush affiliate income of $22,000+ is largely because of the number of new articles I’ve been able to roll out for SEMrush on a consistent basis.
Follow the same focused approach with your blog and you should see results soon.
3. Use Affiliate Marketing Tools
Now let’s talk about some serious stuff. The first two tips are pretty basic, more like affiliate marketing best practices. But in order to maximize your earnings, you need to use the right affiliate marketing tools. In fact, using the right tools can make or break your affiliate marketing momentum.
So here are the 3 affiliate marketing tools I’d recommend:
- Genius Link
Let’s examine each of these tools in detail.
One of the first things you should do after joining an affiliate program is link cloaking.
Link cloaking essentially helps you convert those long, ugly (and spammy) looking links into shorter links that are more visually appealing to users. Furthermore, link cloaking also protects your commissions from theft and allows you to easily insert your affiliate links in blog posts.
And the tool that I use for link cloaking is a WordPress plugin called ThirstyAffiliates.
The best part about this tool? It’s free!
Yes, there’s a paid version of the plugin which gives you additional features and advanced analytics, but the free version has all the essential features to help you flourish with affiliate marketing. Upgrade to the Pro version only if you’re in need of advanced analytics.
Click here to start using ThirstyAffiliates for free
#2 Genius Link
The second tool I’d recommend is Genius Link.
Genius Link is incredibly useful if you’re going to promote Amazon or iTunes affiliate products on your blog.
With Genius Link, you can automatically optimize your Amazon affiliate links for international shoppers, making sure every user gets to the right item in their local storefront and you get credit for those sales. However, this is a paid tool and you’ll be charged $2 for every 1,000 clicks.
Click here to start your 14-day free trial of Genius Link
The third tool I’d recommend for affiliate marketing is AdSanity.
I’ll be honest though. I’m not too big on banner ads on my blog. You will see very few of them here as I find them annoying. But if you’re keen on using banner ads, then you need a tool like AdSanity, a WordPress plugin which helps you with strategic placements of banner ads throughout your site.
AdSanity is a paid WordPress plugin and the pricing starts from $49/year. Click here to learn more
4. Publish Long Form Content
Long form articles don’t just provide tons of value to readers but they are currently dominating search rankings. Backlinko analyzed one million Google search results to find that the average word count of a Google first page result is 1,890 words.
In the webinar, I spoke about the study conducted by SerpIQ in which they found the top 10 Google search results to be dominated by pages containing over 2,000 words.
This rule applies to affiliate marketing as well. You’ll find lots of short form affiliate articles which don’t provide enough information and value to readers. Differentiate yourself from the rest of the pack by publishing high-quality long form content that delivers value to your readers.
But don’t just publish long form articles because they are the trend currently. Do sufficient research on the topic you’re writing on, use the right keywords with a decent search volume, and then dive deeper into the top 3 ranking pages for the targeted keywords.