How To Become An Affiliate Marketing Pro?

You wonder if affiliate marketing is a real business opportunity ? You want to get started or improve your results ? You want to avoid frequent errors and optimize your strategy ? This guide reveals the keys to successful affiliate marketing. You too become a smart affiliate !
You are a novice in marketing affiliation ? You want to understand everything in a few minutes ? I invite you to read beforehand: the functioning of affiliation marketing.
In affiliate marketing, you position yourself as an advertiser or as an affiliate. In this article, I will deal with the case where you are an affiliate, a partner ready to promote another person’s products & service.
On the web, it is difficult to succeed alone.
We must never forget that the fundamental principle of affiliation marketing is based on a “win-win” relationship. If you want your partners to promote your offers through affiliation, it is obvious that you will have to do the same for some of them.
SUMMARY. The secrets of Affiliate Marketing or how to boost your membership income

Myths and realities of affiliate marketing

Some believe that affiliation only enriches advertisers. Others have tried the experiment and have had only disappointing results. So, marketing affiliation is a real business opportunity or a disguised scam ?
To enlighten you, here are some distinctions between truths and misconceptions.

⇒ Membership marketing only enriches advertisers

Fortunately among advertisers, very few deliberately deceive their affiliates. For an advertiser, affiliates are a sales force.
The interest of an advertiser is to encourage, support, advise its affiliates, not deceive them.
How to detect a bad advertiser ?
A bad advertiser is not necessarily dishonest. In the vast majority of cases, when you do not touch a commission, this due to a “tracking” problem. By using a reliable affiliation platform such as Affilae, you will never have any concerns on that side.

  • Do not work with advertisers who do not offer performance indicators: NB of impressions, NB of clicks…
  • Do your affiliate link tests and see if a cookie is placed on your computer.
  • For an advertiser who uses an internal affiliation program (e.g. : WP affiliation plug-in) or a non-specialized external service, ask him for information on his tracking system, the duration of cookies…

⇒ Promoting super-launch is always profitable

Often you will notice that the principal partners of the advertiser (those who have large contact lists) offer many bonuses on the last day of the orchestrated launch.
“If you want to get my bonuses, go through my affiliation link.”
99% of advertisers who perform superlancings use an affiliation program according to the logic of the “last click”.
So it’s :

  • the last affiliate who receives the commission;
  • one of the affiliates who offer the most bonuses

You understood it. You have done your job by sending all your prospects to the advertiser. And, in the end, you get very few, if any, sales. Because your contacts are part of the contacts of the big affiliates, partners of the advertiser.
Unfortunately this theft of affiliation commission by this process is very frequent, especially in the niche “earning money, live your dreams…”.
So be careful. Promoting an orchestrated launch, with a strong commission at stake is not necessarily profitable…

⇒ I will make affiliation sales easily.

There is a lot of information circulating on the web presenting affiliation as a simple and quick way to make money. It’s wrong ! The sale of an affiliation product can be learned and it takes time if you want good results.
You will be told that it is possible to do affiliate marketing without having a website. For example, I notice that many make affiliation via social networks.
The process itself is very simple. Examples:

  • You send a post to your contacts asking them to “Tap info” to comment if they want to get information. You answer them in MP, leaving your affiliate link.
  • You comment on publications and leave your affiliate link in your answer.

Admit that this affiliate marketing process is rather questionable and aggressive. You will certainly do (perhaps…) some sales easily, but sincerely this is not how you will boost your income…

⇒ The more affiliates who recommend a product, the more difficult it is to make sales.

The number of affiliates is not the criterion to take into account. Real competition comes more from “super affiliates”, such as you if you apply the advice of this guide.
The vast majority of affiliates just put a banner on their site. They are generally the ones who think that affiliation is not profitable. Others promote many products at once and never sell anything. The “super affiliates” are those who focus on a small number of advertisers and deploy a real strategy.

⇒ Cookies can be deleted by visitors, so I can lose commissions.

The cookie is the keystone of the tracking system for affiliation programs and therefore of your remuneration as a affiliate.
Even if the proportion of Internet users who deliberately delete their cookies is marginal, it should be kept in mind that some Internet users delete cookies from their computers.
Reminder: thanks to an innovative technology proposed by Affilae, each click is collected on the server side, and thus guarantees a tracking continuity without cookie and by IP. In other words, even if a user removes cookies from their computer, and orders, the commission will return to you.

⇒ 95% of affiliates make few sales in affiliate marketing !

Few affiliates make sales for four essential reasons:
– They are not trained in marketing affiliation.
– They do banal or even aggressive advertising.
– They sell, they don’t advise.
– They don’t know the product they sell.

⇒ Some Internet users do not like to click on affiliation links

Internet users are often ready to get their hands on the wallet to buy what interests them.
But for strange reasons, they hate that an intermediary perceives a commission, even if it doesn’t cost them a penny.
This category of Internet users does exist. It is important to take this into account. All the more reason to be honest with your readers and not use techniques to hide your affiliate links (or warn them). However, Internet users are increasingly informed and fewer and fewer are rejecting these affiliate links.

5 mistakes not to make in affiliation marketing

1- Promote a product of affiliation to bad people

It seems logical and yet many affiliates make this mistake. For example, if your website talks about gardening, do not offer your visitors products of a completely different theme that has nothing in common.
To hope to sell, you must absolutely present your message to people who may be interested.

2 – Promote an untested and unassessed offer

You will agree, it is impossible to present a product that you have not previously tested or a product that has given you no satisfaction.
For example, would you recommend to your friends a film that you have not seen ? Of course not. If you do not present your personal experience, your message will have a purely commercial resonance. Your message will be impersonal and will prevent you from making sales.
In addition, you must ensure that the product is of quality. Remember that your credibility is at stake.

3 – Do all-out affiliation marketing

Recommend dozens of untested products is a method that does not work. You will have much more satisfactory results by focusing on one affiliate at a time.
Work your promotion strategy seriously before moving on to the next one. Only in this way can you create a relationship of trust with your readers. Contrary to popular belief, affiliates who make a lot of sales work with very few advertisers.

4 – Do affiliate marketing only for money

Do not promote a tool if you yourself are not convinced of its quality. Your role as an affiliate is to be a good advisor, not a seller ready to make money indiscriminately.

5 – Present only the advantages of the product or service

Whether it is a product or a service, there is none that does not have its share of disadvantages. One of the best proofs of a good recommendation is to have both the advantages and the disadvantages. Otherwise, your readers will quickly understand that your recommendation is not objective.

The smart affiliate has a value proposition

⇒ Why is it so important ?

In general, when talking about Proposition of Unique Value (PVU), a reference is made to the competitive advantages of a product. It’s a term known as “marketing”, but it has real meaning when you want to do sales in membership marketing.
A value proposition is the set of benefits expected by a customer before paying for a product or for a service. The value is therefore above all a perception by the customer.
As an affiliate, you are certainly not the only one to promote the products and services of an advertiser, especially if its products or services are worth recommending.
If you do not have a single value proposition to offer to your prospects, why would your prospects choose you over another? Why would they click on your affiliate link rather than on another?
In 2010, I was doing affiliate marketing for SG-author and Aweber. I had more than 50 affiliates who took out a subscription with them. Why? I had a unique value proposition for them.
To stand out from the competition, you understand the importance of offering unique content to your readers. In affiliation, competition is the other affiliates of the product or service promoted. Few affiliates make the effort to achieve unique content, write their own cover letter, write an article…
Of course, you have to use the promotional tools provided by the advertiser, but it is imperative to add value to them without which your sales will be in a dropper.

⇒ How to bring your added value?

The foundation for successful affiliate marketing is to offer your prospects interesting content that they cannot find elsewhere and to convey your personal experience sincerely. The best affiliates have understood this.
There is a well-known expression that sums up the situation well: “20% of affiliates generate around 80% of sales or traffic on a site”. Will you be within 20%?
The advantage is not to take the place of the advertiser (of the seller) by reproducing his sales page, for example by listing all the advantages of the product. Your readers will expect you to tell them about your experience, whether you position yourself as an ally or an advisor.

For example, if the affiliate product is:

  • Training
    Present the objectives that it allowed you to achieve, the skills that it allowed you to acquire, the difficulties that you have overcome thanks to it and how, the qualities of the support, or suggestions for improvement.
  • Software
    Present a text or video tutorial on a specific use case. Write a user guide on how you use it. Write an article on its pros and cons and explain why you specifically chose this product. Compare with other competing software that benefits the one you recommend.
  • A book, an ebook
    Write a summary. Realize a PowerPoint by commenting on elements that you particularly appreciated. Comment on the scope of the text and to whom it is addressed.

And to boost your membership income

Whatever the affiliate, you can also :

  • Perform a “testament” video in addition to an article. Your message should remain informative and sincere. A testimony of complacency for the sole purpose of selling is always noticeable.
  • Offer a free guide that brings together many resources.
    Look for information, tips, and complementary products useful to your readers related to the theme of the affiliate product.
  • Interview the advertiser. Tackle it by offering to videotape an interview (on Skype or camera face) or write an article on your blog. By obtaining this type of interview, you will increase the credibility of your recommendation.

There is no shortage of ideas to bring your added value! It is up to you, as a first step, to build a knowledge base on the theme and the product to be recommended. It is only after this process that it becomes appropriate to insert a link or an advertising banner of the advertiser on your website. But not before!
Until you have offered free and unique content to your visitors by objectively presenting the affiliate product, any advertising material inserted on your website will bring you very few results.
For example, if you promote an affiliation product only for its strong sales commission, without having tested it, you will not be able to convince your readers and your recommendations will lack credibility.
Why? Your prospects are not fooled. In the long term, you will certainly lose their trust, the cornerstone of all relationships. In other words, think of your readers before thinking about your wallet, think above all of recommending only products that you know and enjoy.

The smart affiliate has a promotion strategy

Too often, affiliates leave without a clear and structured idea of the promotion strategy they will adopt. However, nothing is more effective than methodical work. Here are two examples of simple and quick strategies to implement.

1 – Marketing of affiliation strategy: the article + the affiliation link

Write an article on your blog with a hard-hitting title with the benefit of the affiliate product.
The body of the article must include several elements:

  • Present in a few lines your tests, successfully carried out: why can this product (software, training) meet the needs of your readers (solved problem) ? ;
  • Describe the product, its objectives and its main advantages;
  • Present your feedback, what it has brought you (positive points), the difficulties you have encountered (negative points);
  • Complete your article with a call to action and your affiliation link.

This strategy works, but it has the disadvantage of sending your prospects directly to the seller’s site. So you no longer have the means to relaunch them.

2 – Marketing of affiliation strategy: the article + affiliation link + gift

In the previous strategy, you do not have the possibility of capturing the email addresses of your prospects to revive them or to offer them other products on the same subject.
In addition, as it is proven that a sale is generally made after several reminders, there is a good chance that you will lose sales. It is therefore relevant to use a variant of the first strategy. In addition, you will finish your article by inserting a registration form linked to your email service.
By validating the form, your prospects will be entered on a contact list that you have created specifically for the promotion of this affiliate product. Thus, you have the possibility of conducting your prospect naturally in the sales process with a series of automated emails each having a specific objective.
This strategy is a balance between providing useful information and encouraging them to order via your affiliate link. By writing informative emails, you will be able to create a sense of reciprocity among your readers who can get them to support you by buying your recommendations.
For this affiliate marketing strategy to be effective, your gift (guide, video, free training) must be of high quality and directly related to the affiliate product.
Instead of sending a simple email, it is advisable to:
– write an article presenting your impressions and the result you have obtained
– create a useful gift for your prospects;
– create a specific contact list to relaunch your prospects with useful and non-commercial information…
In conclusion: “Don’t sell! Position yourself as an advisor. ”
The product is KING! You absolutely must be careful what you advise. If you offer m…., you will certainly lose the trust of your customers. In this case, your customers will not be ready to choose another product in your “shop”
Before recommending an affiliation product, here are the three questions you should ask yourself:

  • Is the product of quality?
  • Would I recommend this product to my family, to my friends?
  • Is the price of the product honest with the service rendered?

Otherwise, you may make some money, but your credibility will be greatly compromised in the future.
Now you are informed!
Affiliation marketing is not and has never been a miracle recipe for boosting your income. Like any long-term marketing process, affiliation requires work, efficiency, and ethics!

About the author 

Steve Gilruth

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