There are many ways to earn money through your blogging efforts and one of the most commonly used is affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing is popular because it’s relatively easy to make a steady stream of income and doesn’t require development of your own products.
What Is Affiliate Marketing? It is a marketing partnership where you promote other people’s products, often through an affiliate network, earning a commission if people end up buying because of your marketing efforts.
It’s a simple concept. You have a popular blog where you share content that informs or entertains your readers. And along with your regular informational content, you also pitch products or services that would interest your audience.
These are products and services of other vendors, not your own, and you get a commission for every sale you make.
But, does affiliate marketing still work in 2020?
Look what Google Trends has to say about affiliate marketing. This screenshot shows consistent steady growth over the past 5-years (June 2015 to June 2020) and is not showing signs of slowing down.
Tip-1: Know Your Audience
You can market affiliate services and software all day, but if you’re targeting the wrong audience, you’re wasting your time.
Each affiliate offering will have a specific target market group. The affiliate partner (if they’re good) will have a defined market they are looking to attract and may even have a buyer persona for their affiliate marketers.
I take it a step further and only choose affiliate services that match my buyer persona.
For example, here at Topic Flip our target market (our avatar) is:
- Male 25 to 45 years old.
- Looking to start an online business.
- Eager to learn with a teachable spirit.
- Ready to share what they know with others.
- Willing to learn WordPress.
- Desire to be a better business owner.
Knowing this helps us choose the right affiliate offerings.
Check out How to Build Your Personal Brand in 4 Easy Steps where we cover “Identify Who You Serve”.
The key to success with affiliate marketing is not the size of your audience, but how well the products or services you offer meet their needs.
You really need to know your readers well and understand the help they need and then match this to the products you want to promote.
If you have a large and responsive readership but offer products that are not entirely relevant to them, you may get a smattering of sales. But quality is more important than quantity.
It’s much better to offer the right product to the right audience, even if the numbers aren’t massive.
Tip-2: Be Ethical and Transparent
OK, this one should be obvious. But we’ll cover it, anyway.
We are all trying to accomplish the same thing, build online successful businesses. And that will only happen if you remain honest with yourself and customers (i.e. visitors to your site).
If you promote affiliate products you do not believe in, have never used (or heard of), and have no interest in learning more than please STOP promoting it!
You’re not doing anyone any good. You’re just selling for the sake of selling and not caring about those who are spending their hard earned money.
It’s simple. Be transparent.
Tip-3: To Promote or Not to Promote
Here’s another tip that some new online entrepreneurs struggle with.
Only promote products you believe in. Just ask yourself this question, “Would you pay to use what you’re promoting?” If the answer is, “No”, then DON’T promote it.
Many new online entrepreneurs and bloggers think they need to promote everything, hoping something will work.
This is like carrying water in a bucket that has holes in it. You will spend a lot of energy and time with nothing to show for it.
Let your audience know that you are recommending a product or service because you’ve used it, found it valuable, and you thought it would help them.
“You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want” – Zig Ziglar
Our Free Expert Website Installs is a brilliant example of this. When we moved our online properties to SiteGround we fell in love with them and thought, “Hey, every new online business owner should use SiteGround for their websites.”
We found great value in SiteGround and wanted the world to know. So, the best thing we could think of was, “Let’s build an impressive starter site for new affiliate marketers and install if for free!” And then we signed up to be a SiteGround affiliate.
It’s a win-win for everyone!
Tip-4: Put Out Great Content
When you enter an affiliate partnership with another business, you become a part of their marketing team.
You now have the responsibility of advertising and promoting their product or service on your platform of choice.
And when you do that, the only way people will take action is when the affiliate offer is wrapped up in outstanding valuable content.
Miles Beckler is one guy I follow and Miles does this perfectly. He offers a ton of great content before he offers any affiliate product, service or course. You will be well served to check him out.
Whether you’re a content-driven affiliate marketer who writes a blog, submits articles to third-party sites, creates PPC campaigns or uploads videos to YouTube, it’s always about the content.
Tip-5: Share Your Content Everywhere
Some of our most successful content is repurposed on email, social media and other channels which allow us to touch base with our audience in multiple ways. We try to meet them where they are.
Whatever area you’re an expert in, it only makes sense people will want to discover your content and get advice on purchases they’re contemplating making in a channel of their choice.
So think about how you can generate interest in your content on other avenues than search alone.
Like any other online monetization strategy, affiliate marketing depends on your connection with your audience and the strength of your content.
The best thing you can do is get started today with a ready-made affiliate website. Check out our library and see if there’s a niche that interests you!