Over the years, affiliates have been working hard to help promote products and gain exposure for brands. With little risk, this practice has been growing and, today, 81% of brands use affiliate marketing programs¹. However, even with the huge growth, people still wonder if affiliate work is “worth it” and if they can truly make money being an affiliate.
It’s true that getting started can be tough and if you’re looking for quick reward, then this isn’t the field for you. With that said, being an affiliate can be a wonderful way to stay home and make money – many make a complete career out of it – but you have to think long-term. Getting started involves some research…
-> What programs are successful?
-> What niche is best suited for you?
-> Will you do a Blog, Social Media, or both?
-> Which affiliate network works best for you?
With the above checklist, you will be well on your way to starting your affiliate career; but there are other things to consider when becoming a truly successful affiliate. Here are 5 common hurdles affiliates face with some advice to jump right over them.
Knowing Your Audience
Finding the right niche for you and knowing your audience is crucial when doing affiliate work. Trying to cover multiple niches is hard and frankly a waste of time. Keep to one niche that you are comfortable with and/or is already part of your everyday life – this will help with your content. Once you have your niche, figuring out what that audience is looking for will help you cover the next two hurdles.
Copy Writing / Engaging Content
Many people think they can’t be affiliates because they’re not good writers. Yes, you need informative and appealing copy on your site and yes, bad writing can deter visitors; but learning to create engaging content can be simple. There are many tutorials and guides online that can help you develop your writing skills. As mentioned in the above hurdle, finding a niche that is close to you and that you’re already interested in will make writing about it much easier. Things to keep in mind when writing is to keep the focus simple, include a call-to-action at the end, and don’t be afraid to put your personality in your writing. More on engaging content: Capture Your Readers in 5 Easy Steps
You know your audience and you’re comfortable writing, now what? Get traffic. This is one of the biggest hurdles new affiliates face. What’s the point in creating amazing content if no one is going to see it? It’s simple, there is no point. No one is going to click on your affiliate links if they’re not getting to your site to see them. Don’t worry, there’s a ton of traffic out there like organic, paid, referral, and social media – use all of them if possible. Learn about SEO, look into paid ads, and don’t forget to get social! Focusing on one type of traffic will only hurt you in the long run, so you’ll want to make sure you are gaining visitors from many different sources if one should fail sometime. Another thing to keep in mind with traffic is that not all traffic is equal. You might think the more visitors the more possible money you could make – nope. If they’re not the right audience, it doesn’t matter how many of them saw your posts. Make sure you are gaining targeted traffic from people who are already interested in your niche. Yup, we just circled back to Knowing Your Audience.
Besides traffic, getting conversions is another huge hurdle that affiliates deal with. Most of the time when you’ve taken care of the above hurdles, getting clicks is pretty simple. Turning those clicks into sales is another thing. When trying to convert your traffic into conversions, make sure all your links are active and working, include a call-to-action, and don’t have too many distractions within your post. Figuring out what your readers will be looking for is another key tip to converting. Are there common problems within this niche that you can help solve (i.e. pet care – sitter or affordable medicine)? Have you had a wonderful experience of your own to share for people that are nervous to try a new brand? Becoming a trusted source is a great way to get your readers converting.
Like traffic, not all programs are created equal either. Some affiliates struggle with a brand that doesn’t support their affiliates. This lack of support can make things tough when promoting. Not only can making your own creatives be tough and time consuming, when not the same quality of the brand itself, they can make your readers afraid your links are not legit. When researching programs, investigate their active affiliates and see what they are offering – are all the creatives consistent across the board? This could be a good indicator if the program is supportive and offering the tools needed to promote them. Also, don’t be afraid to reach out to the program manager and see what type of support they offer. The more support the better.
Knowing what you’re getting into will only help you be successful. All these hurdles go hand in hand, so if you’re doing right by one, most likely the other hurdles will be cleared easily too. Is the affiliate industry a hard industry to crack? Maybe, but it can be done. 16% of all online orders are generated through affiliate marketing¹. Therefore, we hope this article has given you the motivation and tools needed to get you succeeding in an ever-growing industry that’s yours for the taking!
Related Article: Why Bloggers Shouldn’t Hesitate Joining An Affiliate Program