By now you’ve probably heard the term “affiliate marketing” a million times. You probably have friends that have been making money online for years as a network affiliate. It’s easy to envy those people. They get to live life on their own terms and still make money doing it. So, why haven’t you joined one of the many affiliate programs out there yourself yet?
“I missed the boat.”
The affiliate marketing boom may have passed, and it really makes it seem like everybody already in an affiliate program is lightyears ahead of you. What’s the point now? Well, the point is that the boat never really left the dock.
Affiliate marketing is alive and well. More and more companies are in need of people like you to vouch for them by reviewing their products and plugging it to friends and family, and eventually to your very own follower base. Marketers have come to realize what a powerful tool a network affiliate is, and as such, there are more opportunities than ever out there.
Tips for Getting Started
Whether you already have a bustling blog or you’re still standing steady on social media with a group of just friends and family, you can start affiliate marketing. It costs nothing to start a blog or a page dedicated for your reviews. People will read – but there are a few conditions you have to meet first.
1. Know who you’re writing for, and if its nobody yet – then know who you want to write for. This has to remain consistent, otherwise you’re going to turn off your audience and they’ll go find a more relevant person to read from. On the flipside, if you know who your audience is and you cater to them every time by writing content that appeals to them, you’re going to have more success in growing your page and by extension you’ll make more money online from your affiliate programs.
2. Narrow down your scope. The last thing you want is to be generic. Sure, when you’re generic you cater to a larger group of people, but you’ll never mean anything to those people. For example, Buzzfeed is a huge media channel on YouTube because they cater to the interests of the general population. But as such, they’re nobody’s favorite YouTube channel because they’re too generic and broad. Find your specific niche and you’ll tap into a more dedicated (albeit smaller) audience that is more likely to share you with their own social circles.
3. Make your site or page appealing. It should look clean and on-brand as well as be easy to use. Simplicity is key!
4. Learn the basics of SEO. SEO is what helps people find your page or site. It’s actually quite easy to become a master of the SEO arts, it just takes some time and some diligence. There are plenty of tools online and professionals out there that can be a big help in this area if you’re not a big DIY-er. Try Yeost, for example.
5. Be honest. There are tempting tools out there, such as buying followers and using black hat SEO, that will help you in the short term to boost your ranking and get more attention. None of these tools or tricks come cheap, and they will cost you your reputation and site longevity in the long-run. Reputation is important in network marketing because, as with any other network, word travels. Companies won’t want to enroll you into their affiliate programs if they know you use shady tactics.
6. Create content yourself. You can’t cheat or steal your way to a website that people want to read and follow. Make new and interesting content regularly (at least two to three times a week). It helps to keep a notepad on your phone for topics to write about so when you get a flash of an idea you can write it down and maybe act on it later.
7. Pay attention to your analytics. Your analytics will let you know if you’re doing something right, doing something wrong, and are a great source of information for helping you to correct your mistakes and just improve overall.
8. Consider other sources. Network affiliates and affiliate programs alike tend to think inside the box when it comes to marketing and reaching a subscriber base. They always think “blog”. But blogging isn’t the only way, and to be honest, there are plenty of blogs out there by now. There are other ways, and often better ways, to reach your desired audience. These may even work better than the traditional blog because people are consuming less blogs in the traditional sense and are learning more towards image-based media like Tumblr and YouTube. Try making yourself a YouTube channel, social media page(s) (such as Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest), and never neglect the power of the good ol’ email list. Combine these things and you will find success.
9. Find affiliate programs that work for you. There are tons of them out there. I recommend giving Amazon a try because they’re simple to use and unrestrictive about who can join. It’s a great program for beginners!
What these tips boil down to is the fact that its not too late to get your feet wet in the affiliate marketing pool. The business model itself may require fresh blood to keep it relevant, even, and you can do that by nixing the old blogging route in the bud and opting for more relevant, fresh ways to get the word out there about your network program. The industry could use more people with new ideas, and you just may be one of them.
Finding success in affiliate marketing is a delicate balance between being a social butterfly and being tech savvy. You have to know your audience as well as you know your SEO (yes, even on YouTube), and you have to be able to keep both working well at once. Don’t let that intimidate you. If the lifestyle of affiliate marketing appeals to you, it’s worth it to learn about SEO and running a successful social media page or YouTube channel to get your name on the affiliate program map. Good luck!