If you’re feeling swamped with the amount of information out there about affiliate marketing, or you’re adding affiliate links to your posts and wondering why you aren’t getting anywhere, then here are ten steps towards mastering advanced affiliate marketing, creating a reliable source of income from affiliates, and creating a strategy that works for you.
A Quick Introduction to Advanced Affiliate Marketing
While affiliate marketing (promoting another brand’s products to your audience for a commission) is one of the best ways to earn money online and build another passive income revenue stream, it’s always good to remember that advanced affiliate marketing is all about problem-solving. It’s not about you, it’s about your readers or viewers.
Affiliate marketing is often framed as a quick way to make money and a way to sit back and let the money roll in while you sleep.
While recommending products you love is a great way to make money and it can certainly be a passive moneymaker once it gets going, there’s no way of avoiding the hard work of building an audience that trusts you enough, and creating the specific content that actually gets good consistent results.
Unfortunately, placing links in random articles or social media posts and waiting for the money to roll in isn’t the best approach to advanced affiliate marketing, but it is still the approach that most website owners and influencers take.
If you’re looking to make a reliable income stream from advanced affiliate marketing then you need to be narrowing your net to target people who are already at the point of purchase and simply need a push from a trusted source, which is you!
Note: Remember always to disclose your affiliate links. It’s the law. Some programs like Amazon Associates have very specific wording you need to use, so look it up first.
Here are some tips for improving your advanced affiliate marketing strategy, whether you’re just starting out or are ready to get advanced.
Read More: 6 Best Ad Networks for Small Publishers
Ten Tips for Successful Advanced Affiliate Marketing
1) Target the right keywords
Always make sure you’re writing content that is attracting people who are already interested in buying the product. Ideally, you want to look at low volume, easy to rank for keywords with purchase intent.
Remember: you don’t need to have huge numbers visiting this content to make money. If fifty people are reading your article, then that is fifty people who are already interested in buying the product. You just need to give them that final nudge to make the purchase.
2) Choose your products wisely and think about what you’re promoting
You really should be promoting products that you have some personal experience with; this is what builds trust with the reader. However, from a business point of you, you need to be choosing the products that have high tickets, meaning better commissions for you.
If you’re creating content, or potentially a whole campaign around an affiliate product, it needs to be worth your time. Products that cost a lot, so you don’t have to sell as many, are key.
Some great things to look for: Recurring commissions, high commission percentages, pay per click, and higher cookie periods.
You can find these products by first asking, what you personally spend money on in your niche, or imagine what your reader needs. After you have that list, start doing some research online, comparing those products and finding the best options for you and your readers.
3) Get to know your affiliate manager
People rarely harness the power of their affiliate manager but, fundamentally, they’re there to help you make sales for their company.
Reaching out to them to see how you can partner with them in a way that suits your niche can provide great results with exclusive discounts for your readers, graphics that are more suited to your needs, and other lucrative options.
4) Get to know the different affiliate article content types
Rather than placing links in random articles, your articles need to be focused with the right keywords front and centre.
There are so many ways to write a dedicated affiliate article. One of the most popular being a round-up of products such as ‘Ten best budget cameras for…’.
Other affiliate content ideas include:
- Comparing one affiliate against another. ‘Is X or Y the Right Choice for New Parents’ or ‘X vs Y – Which One Actually Tastest Better?’ There are so many ways to frame this title; just make sure it’s targeted at a group of people (your audience).
- Writing a review of the product. How-to guides always going down well such as ‘How to eat healthy when you’re busy (for a company like Hello Fresh)’, or a straight-up product review.
5) Cluster content with your affiliate articles
Rather than spreading your affiliate links through articles and hoping for the best, support and strengthen those dedicated affiliate articles with relevant content.
That way, you’re not only improving the chances of your affiliate article ranking but also bringing in people at a general level who then may be interested in your affiliate article.
So, if your affiliate article is about a rail pass, create guides to getting around the country/countries where you can use that rail pass and link back to the original affiliate post.
6) Use creative bonuses to tempt buyers
If you’re looking to make your affiliate difficult to resist and therefore make quick sales then don’t forget everyone loves a bargain or freebies so this almost always lead to higher conversions.
Providing a discount code you have received from your affiliate manager, or extra bonuses that you have made yourself, (shared via Google Drive or a shareable link) means that the consumer is more likely to use your affiliate links than someone else’s.
This method can also be used to add urgency to a timed event and can help your article be found by targeting keywords like ‘ bonus’, ‘discount code’, ‘free gift’.
The type of extra bonuses you can offer is incredibly varied but above all, it has to be relevant. Some simple examples include: An ebook (such as a travel guide associated with the affiliate in question), a planner, free access to a community Facebook group, a mini-course, discounts.
If your affiliate is a collection or bundle of products (usually ebooks and courses), you can even add a workbook or spreadsheet which can help people keep track of the content and how to make their way through them.
Tip: Creating doesn’t need to take long. It’s easy to create most resources on Canva and you can even use their own Canva templates as long as you’re not selling them for profit.
7) Make bridge pages for quick sharing
For advanced affiliate marketing, a warm audience, such as your recurring visitors and email subscribers, is a key component. Bridge or landing pages are perfect for turning a cold audience into a warm one and particularly good for products that are not a perfect niche match.
So if someone asks you for a recommendation on social media, you can send them straight to a bridge page dedicated to that affiliate.
Here you can talk about that product, why you love it, include any offers and make it easy for people to go ahead and purchase. These are great to use with swipe-up links on Instagram or as replies to questions on Facebook. You can also link to them from related content on your site.
Tip: Bridge pages can quickly be made with page builders like Elementor. Make sure to ‘No Index’ these pages as they are purely for you to share easily.
8) Make use of flash sales
Sign up for brand newsletters and Facebook pages to see when they’re launching new products or putting products on sale. You can utilise your social media and email list to make your followers aware of these sales.
Keeping ahead with sales means you can write a review ahead of the launch/sale and give it time to rank or gain traction on Pinterest. Make sure you have a bridge page ready so you can easily share on social media.
Plan ahead to make this as smooth and time-efficient as possible by keeping folders of social media graphics and captions ready, and schedule emails.
Include an opt-out option for your email list for anyone not interested in hearing about this product as you don’t want any of your followers to feel spammed.
This is when offering a bonus is a great idea as there will be high competition around flash sale times.
9) Consider tripwires, if you’re looking to scale your affiliate income or business further
A tripwire creates urgency with a one-time-only offer. You will probably have come across them while browsing other bloggers sites, maybe after you have downloaded a freebie where you’ll find out their related course is 50% off for the next hour.
You can get creative in how you use your Tripwire. Many people choose not to use them but there’s no doubt that they are effective in the same way that flash sales are.
An example could be if they purchase the affiliate item or bundle within the allotted time they receive a further free item from you. This can be a related course, ebook, or webinar.
10) Harness email affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing can absolutely be part of your advanced affiliate marketing strategy as long as it’s not done in a way that feels spammy to your audience. They should always be able to easily opt-out of an automated affiliate marketing campaign at the start of a chain otherwise you’re likely to lose subscribers.
There’s nothing worse than not hearing from a creator you like for months, only to be bombarded with sales-style emails.
That being said, as long as the affiliate is worthwhile to your audience, email marketing can be a great part of your toolkit, especially around special events and sales and you can automate so much of it.
Some of the most popular platforms that you can grow with include Covertkit, Mailerlite, and Flodesk. Thinking ahead is really important as switching over later on, especially if you have a lot of widgets inserted on your site or have multiple automate campaigns set-up is a lot of work.
These platforms are easy to use, scalable, and have multiple features that make tagging and grouping your audience and setting up email flows simple.
Make sure to spend time growing and nurturing your email list by bringing people in with a lead magnet (such as a free guide, time or money-saving hacks, a free webinar) and making sure to communicate with them regularly in an authentic way that showcases your expertise and builds trust.
Here’s a basic email series to give you an idea:
Welcome emails. 2-3 emails. Here you can showcase your expertise, gain trust, create a transformational story, deliver a lead magnet, call to action (socials etc), tease next emails, let them know what to expect from your emails.
Warm-up emails. 2 – 3 emails, emphasis on value, tips, stories, inspiration, and subtly mention affiliate products without going overboard (Remember, a disclaimer is required).
Keeping building like and trust factor and keep topics related to affiliate products.
Follow up emails. You can start introducing your products and affiliates much more. Introduce evergreen affiliate funnels if people show interest in a specific product. Convertkit is great for setting these up easily and offers plenty of guides to get you going.
We hope you enjoyed this guide to advanced affiliate marketing and are looking forwarding to implementing some new strategies, please consider sharing below.