Affiliate marketing is easily the most profitable way of earning from your blog. And, if you have been looking for an alternative to ads, then choose affiliate marketing.
Unfortunately, running a successful affiliate marketing program could be the toughest thing that you do.
You cannot close your eyes, then pick one product. There are critical steps to take and things to do. The product you choose for your blog must have an existing affiliate program, there should be an audience that needs the product, and you should be looking at a high-quality product.
In other words, you have to find the most profitable niche. You need something with a high conversion rate.
First, an understanding of affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing refers to the process through which you earn commission for promoting someone else’s product. You have to identify an affiliate product then promote it; you will earn a portion of the profit.
From the definition, it is clear that affiliate marketing requires a lot of time and effort. However, that should not hold you back. If you choose your affiliate product (s) well, you could profit significantly.
Some of the benefits of affiliate marketing include:
Its flexible schedule
You can manage and grow your affiliate website at your own pace, and you can fit it into your schedule easily.
Low set up costs
Like every other business opportunity, affiliate marketing requires initial capital. However, it is not a lot. All you have to do is to invest in a professional-quality blog.
Its got no need for product support
Being an affiliate marketer, your only job is to promote that product. The manufacturer deals with everything else.
So, how do you choose the best products for affiliate marketing?
1. Know your Niche
This is a critical part of marketing research, and you shouldn’t skimp on it. In case you are confused, you should know that a niche represents the product which appeals to a rather small and specialized part of a population.
When it comes to the search for your top affiliate product, you will be looking at your niche as that highly specialized market, say, a market for organic natural hair products. Being specific gives you the chance to compete against other bloggers.
As you look at audience insights, pay your attention to the interesting but less popular markets. You could use a forum like Quora to narrow down your search.
Once you’ve identified a niche, check out its monetization
You need to test the niche’s financial worth before you dip both feet into the untested water. Testing for monetization is crucial because it wouldn’t make any sense for you to get into affiliate marketing if you are unable to make money from the product. One of the best places for you to test the monetization of the product is on ClickBank.
Checking your Niche on Google AdWords
Even after checking the monetization of that niche on ClickBank, you need to confirm things. Google AdWords makes this possible for you.
Google AdWords will give you a peek into the level of competition for that niche. Remember the reason behind all this trouble is to find an affiliate product that will drive as much traffic to the blog, and sales, as possible. With Google AdWords, you will be able to figure out the cost of clicks, the other people bidding for the niche, and eventually, you will have a foolproof strategy to help you compete. Start with Google AdWords Keyword Planner to narrow down your search.
2. Choose Evergreen Products
By evergreen products, we mean the products which will be in demand for months and years to come. The problem with trends is that once the buzz dies out, everyone else stops buying or being interested in the product. For your blog to be profitable all the time, your affiliate product should appeal to your audience years from today.
On the same note, the product chosen must be relevant to your niche.
3. Use / Test the product
Having done all the hard work of finding the perfect niche, you might be tempted to write about the product, then sit back and relax, right?
Well, if you want to stand out from others promoting that affiliate product on their blog, share your experiences. And the only way for you to do that involves testing the product. By testing the product, you can learn more about the product, share a different perspective, and drive more sales. Personal experiences easily sway buyers. So, even if you only mention something to do with your sales process or the customer service, you give your audience a new reason to buy the product by clicking your link. You want your affiliate product to portray, in your voice, your enthusiasm, loyalty, interest, and the devotion you’d like to feel if you were in the buyers’ shoes.
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4. Check Marketability
You don’t want to promote a product that takes everything from you for them to sell. The best products for affiliate marketing will sell themselves. Also, it should be easy for you to come up with content to promote the product with.
5. Genuine/ High-Quality products
The product you are promoting should be great. It should be something you would use. Otherwise, why should your readers buy it? You can only convince people to buy something if its quality is good and if you can share your positive experiences.
6. Tracking Functions
For success in affiliate marketing, you must check your affiliate tracking functions well. Ensure that there are no flaws in the tracking process: the links should be correctly set up to ensure that every link to the destination is accurate and that they have the right codes attached.
You also need to ensure that the vendor recognizes your affiliate marketing link for proper tracking. Also, the affiliate product’s selection should have a proper tracking system for you to receive credit where that credit is due. Note that you might have to buy the product to verify that the links are working properly.
The other things you should do include: reading the fine print, identifying the tools that the vendor is offering, and how much they are paying.