Affiliate Programs

8 Things I Wish I’d Known Before Starting Affiliate Marketing

8 Things I Wish I'd Known Before Starting Affiliate Marketing
Written by publishing team

Opinions expressed by entrepreneur Shareholders are their own.

Affiliate marketing is one of the most interesting and most profitable industries on the Internet, commissions are earned from promoting a company and/or paying for a sale. It consists of an active hub of web publishers who want to monetize their sites, and it is a great opportunity for marketers and advertisers to partner with others to promote their products, services, brands or affiliate programs. I’ve been in this field as an affiliate marketer since 2007, and I can safely say I love what I do, not least because it allows me to connect directly with my audience without many middlemen involved.

However, there are a few things I wish I had known before I started.

1. Tracking Success Metrics

There is no way to grow an affiliate website or earn more from it if you don’t know how many visitors visit that website each day and where they come from. Therefore, it is crucial to track analytics and identify which marketing channels are bringing in the most traffic so that you know where to focus efforts when it comes to affiliate promotion.

Here are some of the metrics you need to track:

  • Monthly visits and special daily visitors. The higher your position, the higher the chances of making sales.
  • How many sales did you get this week? Track the performance of each affiliate offer to determine which offers are the best converting.
  • How much do you earn from each show? It is crucial to keep track of the number of sales generated from each affiliate program, as each publisher gets a different commission for selling the same product. This will help determine which affiliate network and products convert best for your site or blog, and provide better offers to get more sales.
  • What countries do visitors come from? This metric will indicate which country best converts to your audience, and thus helps determine the right offerings for your market.

Related: The most important basics of social media marketing for small businesses

2. Don’t expect huge profits overnight

If you are just starting out as an affiliate marketer, don’t expect success too quickly, because thousands of web publishers have been doing this for years, yet still struggling to find revenue. I am not suggesting avoiding goals, just that it is important to be patient and work hard constantly in order to see significant results. This is a business like any other, so the income will depend on the amount of time, effort and patience you are willing to invest.

3. Never stop learning

One of the most important lessons I’ve learned over the years as an affiliate marketer is that there is no limit to learning or sharing knowledge. This industry is changing very Quickly; New trends are emerging all the time, and old trends are quickly disappearing. So-called gurus cancel their affiliate sites every few months just to launch new ones, so you need to be prepared to take advantage of the changes and spend resources on learning – absorbing affiliate marketing blog posts, interviews, and case studies along the way.

4. Avoid overestimating your product or service

One of the first things many marketers do when starting an affiliate website is to promote their products and services, but it’s important not to overestimate them, as this will only be counterproductive in the long run. Remember that you need your audience more than they do, so provide valuable resources, information, and insights that will help them solve their problems. Start building an authority somewhere, constantly share free content and get involved in the community. Then, once you have real traffic coming to your site, create an offer that closely relates to what you have already shared on your blog or website.

Related: 4 tricky steps to launch your power marketing on the ground

5. Don’t sell your visitors short

One of the biggest mistakes I see affiliate marketers make frequently is trying to short sell their visitors instead of offering high-quality offerings that perfectly match what they want and need. For example, if someone is looking for a dog bed or leash, they won’t buy a yoga class offering, because it’s completely mismatched and doesn’t match what they’re looking for. So, before trying to sell something to your visitors, make sure you do your research and come up with offers that closely match what the audience is looking for.

6. Accept the test

Another fatal mistake I see often is guessing what is best rather than testing ideas before investing time, effort and money. This is why I suggest A/B testing tools for at least some campaigns, because they will provide valuable insights into what’s working right now, without any risks.

7. Don’t leave money on the table

Many affiliate marketers are quick to start promoting a new offer the moment it is launched. However, they failed to fully improve and promote before it was available. In many cases, this means that you will be leaving a lot of money on the table by not testing your landing page, images, copy and ad copy first. This doesn’t necessarily mean spending days or weeks doing A/B testing, but at least try doing a separate test before promoting an offer widely. This will give you a better chance of converting more visitors into subscribers or buyers, because you took the time to work on improving everything from start to finish. This is the process I use for every new campaign for my online store, and it works like a charm.

8. Don’t be afraid to give up

Finally, remember that it’s not a vice to give up on something that clearly isn’t working. While it can be difficult to walk away from an affiliate campaign or website, it is crucial to ask if the results are worth the time and effort, and then perhaps put that energy into something that has a better chance of success. Don’t let others make you feel bad about changing things, because there is no such thing as doing everything right, so just do what makes sense.

Related: How Affiliate Marketing Can Work for Entrepreneurs

At the end of the day, there is no absolute right or wrong way to do affiliate marketing, but you should have at least a rough plan – one that involves knowing how much you are willing to spend on advertising, where there is niche traffic coming from and which offers are best converted. The more time and effort you invest in learning and testing everything first, the more likely you are to succeed.

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publishing team