Affiliate marketing is truly awesome… if you make money off of it.
We all have faced periods of internal crisis because we can’t make any affiliate sales despite working very hard to deliver high-quality content and bring value.
That’s why I decided to write this article.
I don’t want you to suffer anymore.
Here, you’ll learn all the tips and tricks that I’ve used over the years to dramatically increase my affiliate sales and improve my overall affiliate marketing business.
It doesn’t matter what niche you’re in, all the hacks in this guide are applicable and will make a big impact on your bank account.
Granted, I’m going to teach you specific tactics rather than basic and broad suggestions such as increasing website traffic, building a social media presence, etc. I feel that everyone knows that.
So I decided to stick to more actionable tips that you can start applying right now to take your affiliate business to another level!
Now, before we start, remember that having a profitable affiliate marketing business takes time and effort.
Success doesn’t happen overnight.
Many people, especially on the internet, expect to see great monetary results, instantly.
Making a living off an affiliate marketing business is hard but not impossible.
So, if you stick to your guns, and apply all that you’ll learn here, you will be miles ahead from the vast majority of people who quit because they don’t see results in the first months!
Now, without further ado, let’s dive in!
1) Improve and promote your already popular posts (or content)
As a content creator, it’s very common to see that just a few pieces of content bring you the vast majority of your traffic.
That’s exactly why you should identify those pieces of content and make the most out of them.
Try to improve them by adding more up-to-date information, by adding images, infographics, etc.
Remember that there’s always room for improvement.
Another great tip to consider if you have a very popular post is to seek for more affiliate opportunities that you can then promote in your already popular post.
This allows you to add extra affiliate revenue to your pocket by simply adding more affiliate links into your freshly updated content!
2) Create high-quality content
I can’t stress enough how important is to deliver the best content possible.
First, it will set you up as an expert in your field, making people trust you a lot more.
And, for your information, trust is an essential aspect of affiliate marketing.
If people trust you, they will follow your advice and thus buy everything that you promote.
And this, my friends, equals more affiliate income!
On the other hand, producing high-quality content will set you apart from your competition, making your expertise stand out and bringing more traffic to your website or whatever platform you use to promote affiliate offers.
In today’s internet era, full of superficial and useless information, the act of bringing valuable content to the mix is the way to go.
I know how lucrative some affiliate deals can be.
However, don’t get too caught up on the money and keep in mind that your audience’s interests should always come first if you want to be a successful affiliate marketer.
If you start promoting products that don’t really align with your audience’s interests and, you’ll be wasting your time and effort as well as your credibility.
You will be seen as a salesman that would promote anything just to make some fast cash.
Affiliate marketing is about helping people first.
Always make sure that what you decide to promote can actually benefit your readers in some way.
To do so, you first need to understand your audience, what their problems are, and what they’re looking for.
This way, you will know what kinds of products or services will solve their problems and improve their lives.
4) Promote solid products that you believe in
This point goes hand in hand with the previous one.
Just like choosing the right products for your audience, you should also promote products and services that you’ve used yourself or at least genuinely believe in.
First of all, if you promote a product that you have personal experience with, it’s going to be way easier to present/sell it and get people to buy it.
You will know everything you need to successfully promote it: how it works, how people can benefit from it, how to use it, etc.
Besides, there’s nothing more powerful than a personal story when selling something, always remember that!
5) Learn SEO
If you have a blog but haven’t taken time to learn about SEO then you’re wasting your time!
SEO (Search engine optimization) is the application of different techniques and strategies to improve your website’s visibility in search engines like Google or Bing.
Why is it important?
Well, it will allow you to greatly improve your website’s online presence which translates into more organic traffic and affiliate sales.
And, as you may or may not know, organic traffic is the best type of traffic you can get.
Why? Because it’s free and passive, meaning that even if you stop working on your website but still have good search engine rankings, you’ll still have lots of traffic coming in.
Therefore, if you want to improve your affiliate business, learn SEO and improve your website’s visibility on the web.
This guide by MOZ is a great way to start.
6) Look for more keyword opportunities
If you paid attention to the previous point, you already know the benefits of learning SEO to increase your affiliate sales via an improvement in online visibility.
And, as you may or may not know, keyword research represents a crucial step to build a solid and successful SEO strategy.
But, what does keyword research consist of?
Keyword research is the process of discovering, analyzing and collecting keywords (words or phrases) used by your targeted audience in search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo,…) so you can ultimately optimize your content strategy for those different keywords to improve your website ranking and thus your website traffic (and that equals to more affiliate sales!)
Wow, that was a long definition.
The only crucial thing to remember is that keyword research a MUST for SEO.
There are tons of different strategies and tools to do keyword research.
Here’s a quick rundown of some of my favorite keyword research tools as well as some important data to keep in mind when choosing keywords to target:
Tools I use:
- Ubersuggest (Free)
- SEMRush (From $99.95 per month)
- Google Keyword Planner (Free)
- Google and Youtube Suggest (Free)
- Reddit (Free)
- Forums (Free)
What to keep in mind:
In most cases, targeting long-tail keywords (search terms with more than 3 words) is your best bet.
Why? Because these types of keywords have much lower levels of competitiveness which means that you can rank for them much easier.
For example, let’s say you have a blog about health and fitness.
Ranking on the first page of google for Paleo Diet is going to be incredibly hard, no matter how much content you create around that topic and how many backlinks (links from other websites/sources) you get.
You will be facing big brands that have an already strong online presence, making your chances of ranking in the top very slim.
On the other hand, ranking for a search term like How to incorporate a paleo diet for boxing is going to be easier because it is more specific thus it has a lower amount of online searches per month and less competition.
Moreover, volume research is another essential metric for keyword research.
As its name implies, volume research is the number of times that a particular keyword is searched in a period of time, usually a month.
For obvious reasons, the higher the search volume, the better.
That’s because ranking well for a high searched volume is going to bring you tons of traffic.
On the other hand, it’s also common to see that the higher the search volume, the more competitive that keyword is.
That’s why it’s extremely important to find the right balance between search volume and difficulty/competitiveness for your case.
Of course, the bigger your website is and the more traffic it brings, the more authority it will have on the web and thus the easier it becomes to rank on the first pages.
For more in-depth info about keyword research, check out this amazing guide
7) Analyze your traffic
If you have some traffic coming to your website, please, analyze it!
This allows you to tailor your current traffic acquisition strategy by doubling down on your strengths and trying to improve your weaknesses.
But, Nicolas, what do you mean by analyzing your traffic?
Well, first of all, it means analyzing where you’re current traffic is coming from.
How do you do that?
By using Google Analytics.
This amazing (and free) tool gives you tons of useful information about your website.
A full Google Analytics tutorial is beyond the scope of this article so I highly recommend you look for information on the internet.
For the sake of this article, we’re interested in the sources of traffic.
You can check them out by clicking on the Acquisition tab. There, you will find tons of useful data about your different sources of traffic.
To keep things simple and as a general rule of thumb, we assume that our main source of traffic is also going to be our main source of sales.
That of course if we drive high-quality traffic from all sources (social media, referral, organic,…)
For example, let’s say that social media is your main source to bring traffic and thus affiliate sales.
If that’s the case, you should prioritize and produce even more content on that channel to take full advantage of that audience that seems to be very profitable.
On the other hand, if you see that you’re not getting much traffic from organic search, it’s time to up your SEO game.
Besides analyzing your traffic sources, it’s also important that you identify the keywords that you’re currently ranking for and that are actually giving you some results and traffic.
For this, I recommend you to use another tool from Google: the famous Google Search Console
If you’re unfamiliar with this platform then you’re missing on a powerful tool to build a powerful digital marketing strategy. Make sure to install it before reading on.
For the sake of this article, we’re going to review the Performance tab.
If you click on it, you’ll be able to see the different keywords that you’re website is currently ranking for as well as helpful statistics such as Total clicks, Average CTR and Average position.
From now on, I want you to analyze those different keywords and see, again, where your strengths are and where you can improve to bring even more traffic.
For example, if you see that you’re in the top positions for a keyword and a lot of organic traffic is coming from it, then your next move should be to optimize your website even further for that particular keyword so you can exploit it as much as you can.
Furthermore, if you see that you’re not exactly in the top positions for a keyword but you know that ranking for that particular keyword could bring you tons of traffic, then you should try to outrank your competitors by creating content for that particular keyword and so on.
You get the point.
8) Utilize comparison tables
Comparison tables are a great way to promote different affiliate links at the same time.
They are also great to deliver brief yet valuable information in a simple format and online readers, especially mobile users, appreciate that a lot.
I use tables when I’m comparing around 5 products (or more) of the same kind.
9) Use affiliate marketing tools to your advantage
You know the saying “If life gives you lemons make lemonade”?
Well, that same concept applies to affiliate marketer (Such a poor philosophic comparison there)
From email marketing to SEO, there are a ton of great and highly useful affiliate marketing tools at our disposal.
Some of them are paid, some of them are free.
Here’s a list of the affiliate marketing I use or have used in the past and that I recommend:
- Bluehost (web hosting): Having a blog or some sort of website is one of the best channels to promote affiliate offers. And, to have a solid website you NEED to get a solid web hosting. It’s going to guarantee high-speed and stability down the road. Personally, I use and have always used Bluehost. They have amazing high-performing servers at crazy affordable prices starting at $3,95 per month.
- Getresponse (email marketing software): It shouldn’t be a secret that email marketing is extremely important for affiliate marketing as well as other online businesses. Even if it’s an old marketing channel, email marketing continues to be at the top in terms of results. Getresponse is an email marketing software that I’ve been using for years. Not only it comes with useful features such as advanced analytics or the possibility to create segmented email campaigns but it also provides amazing customer service and great prices.
- SEMRush (SEO tool): As you know by now, SEO is essential for affiliate marketing success. I’ve also talked briefly about SEMRush and how I use it to do keyword research. However, SEMRush is more than a keyword research tool. As an affiliate marketer, SEMRush gives you a lot of useful tools to further develop your SEO strategy. This article covers more in-depth about how you can use SEMRush to grow your affiliate business.
- Grammarly: Man, I literally can’t live without Grammarly. It has helped improve my content tremendously by correcting my grammar mistakes. Especially if English is not your mother tongue (like in my case) or you’re just bad at grammar, I highly suggest you check out Grammarly. The best thing about it is that it has a free plan that, in my opinion, is enough to take your content up a notch.
- Hemingway: Just like Grammarly, Hemingway is another life-saving and free tool that helps you improve your content’s quality. Hemingway focuses on simplifying your writing. It’s extremely helpful because blog writing is not the same as classical journal writing. When you write for online readers, you need to keep things as simple as possible. People want quick information.
- Fiverr (Freelancer platform): Fiverr is a freelancing platform where you can find people to do any kind of work you need. For example, you can hire content writers for your blog or video editors for Youtube. It’s extremely important to focus your time and energy on the tasks that contribute the most to your success and that’s exactly where outsourcing becomes helpful. Besides, no one is skilled at everything. In my case, I’m not good at design. If I want to create an infographic I would, most of the time, hire someone on Fiverr.
Now that you know some affiliate marketing essentials, it’s your job to pick and find even more tools that better suit your current needs.
This strategy is pretty straightforward.
However, please don’t overdo it.
More and more people are using adblockers in today’s age.
You know why?
Because they hate having their faces stuffed with advertisements.
That’s why it’s extremely important to use banners with MODERATION.
As a rule of thumb, I like to place a maximum of 3 banners on the right side of my blogs.
I find it to be a good balance between promoting and being annoying.
You could get away with more ad banners but’s it’s up to you to test if that could hurt your conversion rates.
This is a tactic that I love to use with multiple affiliate businesses.
It works as an incentive and will most likely improve your conversion rates.
Also, it allows you to make a greater connection with your audience by giving extra value.
For example, let’s say you have a blog about health & fitness and you have a post about your favorite protein powder.
On that post, you promote protein powders via your affiliate links.
You can then tell your readers that for every purchase of that protein powder with your affiliate link, they receive a free e-book with healthy and delicious recipes.
That’s it, it’s very simple.
And, a lot of people will be seduced by your offer and will end up buying from your link. That’s a win-win situation.
12) Know your customer
Knowing your customer goes hand in hand with 3) Promote products that your audience are interested in
Before you start promoting anything and even before you start creating content, you should study your audience aka potential customers.
It will help you be more effective in a lot of different ways.
First, you will be able to write relevant content to your audience which eventually translates in more engagement, traffic and thus affiliate sales.
Remember that our main priority is to bring real value to our readers.
If you know what bugs them or what type of information they’re looking for, your content creation strategy will improve dramatically.
Secondly, you will also know what kinds of products will actually sell. And, eventually, that’s gonna help you make better marketing decisions.
All of these benefits will save you enormous amounts of time and effort!
13) Implement exit pop-ups to promote your affiliate offers
This tip is pretty self-explanatory.
Before we start, keep in mind that, just like ad banners, you shouldn’t overuse exit pop-ups.
There’s nothing worse than being spammed by multiple pop-ups when you want to quit a website.
The worst part is that after that happens, you’re never coming back to that website.
Good customer experience is essential for every online business and, while exit pop-ups can be effective, they can also be very harmful if abused.
Now, how to use exit pop-ups to your advantage?
By promoting relevant affiliate offers.
It’s a great way to catch people’s attention before they leave and sometimes can lead to a sale.
The keyword to remember here is “relevance”.
Make sure that your exit pop-ups show interesting offers to your audience and you’re good to do!
14) Improve your website’s speed
If you don’t know how important website speed is in today’s internet era, check out these statistics:
- 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less
- A 1-second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions
- If an e-commerce site is making $100,000 per day, a 1-second page delay could potentially cost you $2.5 million in lost sales every year
So, as you can see, when it comes to website load time, every second counts, literally.
We live in a society where everyone likes to get things fast, where people don’t like to wait.
That’s why it’s in your best interest to optimize your website’s load time.
To know where you are in terms of page loading speed, check out PageSpeed Insights, a solid and very popular (and FREE) page speed measurement by Google (again).
By improving your website’s speed, you will see an increase in affiliate sales as a result of more people staying on your website.
Besides, search engines also take into account website speed when ranking a website.
As a result, if a website loads really slow, it’s going to be penalized and its online visibility will dramatically decrease.
There are many things you can do to improve your website’s load speed:
- Compress files and images
- Get a high-performing (yet affordable) hosting provider. I personally recommend Bluehost
- Optimize media files
For more info about improving your website’s loading time, check out this article
15) Build an email list
For me and many other digital marketing experts, an email list is a true asset.
Building an email list is extremely profitable and will take your affiliate business to another new dimension.
The reason for that is you can set up powerful email marketing campaigns to promote exclusive content, already published content, affiliate offers, etc… more effectively.
Think about it.
If someone gives you their email address is because he/she genuinely trusts you and wants to learn as much from you as possible.
Take advantage of that to make more affiliate sales!
However, it doesn’t mean that you should spam your contacts all day long with useless “salesy” content.
Remember, your main objective should always be to provide as much value as possible (more of this later).
Plus, email marketing is free, the only thing you need is a solid email marketing software like Sendinblue.
Using customized affiliate links when promoting offers may be redundant and not very significant for some of you.
However, having a personalized link shows professionalism and thus increases your audience’s trust in you which eventually translates into more affiliate sales.
I like to convert ugly and lengthy affiliate links provided by some companies into a more clean and personalized version for my blog articles. This is called link cloaking.
To do so, I use a WordPress plugin called ThirstyAffiliates
Besides cloaking affiliate links, ThirstyAffiliates allows you to track visitors and sales very easily which really comes in handy.
My top tip: GIVE VALUE!
Yes, I know, I’ve said it many times but there’s a reason for that.
When you give people value and build a trust relationship with your audience, you’ve already done the most important thing as an affiliate marketer.
After spending years perfecting my affiliate business as well as studying other successful affiliate business, I’ve come to the realization that genuinely caring about your audience and wanting to provide them with the best information possible is the true pillar for affiliate business prosperity AND longevity.
Being a salesman that just wants to make a quick buck is not a good strategy and won’t take you very far.
So, if there’s one idea that I want you to leave with is to always have your audience in mind and genuinely care about them!
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is an advertisement model in which you promote other companie’s products or services and earn a commission each time someone ends up paying for that product or service because of you.
Can you make a living off of an affiliate marketing business?
Of course! Many people do it. Affiliate marketing is one of the most profitable and stable ways to make money online. If you do it right, you can make tons of moneyt passively!
If I’m new to affiliate marketing, are these tips going to help me?
All the tips that you’ll learn in this guide will help you throught your whole affiliate marketing career. The sooner you start applying them, the better!