Affiliate marketing seems to be everybody’s favorite business model nowadays. If you do a quick Google search on how to earn money online, you’ll find hardly any articles that don’t at least mention affiliate marketing.
All of this is supplemented by reports on affiliates earning millions by posting a couple of pieces of content a week. There’s also no shortage of ebooks and webinars that claim they’ll help you become a successful affiliate overnight. And each year, retailers increase affiliate marketing spending by 10%.
Still, despite a steadily growing amount of money going into the affiliate business, it’s notoriously difficult for new affiliates to make a living, let alone a fortune. The great majority of new affiliates give up and let their websites, social media profiles, or YouTube channels disappear.
What’s the deal, then? What are those lucky few affiliates doing differently, and how can you become as successful as them?
The truth is, there’s no simple answer. There is no algorithm or equation you can follow and have a 100% chance of success. That being said, we can point out the current trends and tell you how to use them to gain an advantage over thousands of other affiliates.
Here’s what to keep in mind in 2019:
In the coming year or two, mobile-friendliness will be what separates the wheat from the chaff for all website owners. Google now ranks websites based on their mobile performance, and it considers the mobile version of your website to be the primary one. We can expect this to quickly weed out all the sites that aren’t optimized for mobile browsing.
Here’s the thing:
You can gain the upper hand on a lot of other affiliates by optimizing your website. Mobile-friendly websites are not far from becoming the norm, so it’s better to do it sooner rather than later.
Implementing responsive design is definitely the way to go here. If you have a custom-coded website, this takes a bit of work, but you can find plenty of resources to help you along the way.
An alternative to look into is Accelerated Mobile Pages. This is an open-source project that lets you create extremely fast mobile pages. Keep in mind you will probably lose out on some functionality if you implement this solution.
While on the topic of mobile, we should also mention voice searches. Voice searches are typically phrased differently than regular ones. However, few website owners try to rank websites for phrases characteristic of voice searching.
This is huge:
Voice searches an enormous untapped market. If you can find out what phrases users utter when doing a voice search for the product you advertise, you can reach a ton of potential buyers.
This section is for more creative or extroverted individuals.
The internet is flooded with textual content. You can find thousands of blog posts in just about any niche you can think of. This content is very impersonal. It’s tough to establish a connection with your audience through texts when there are millions of other affiliates trying to do just the same.
If you start a podcast or a vlog, it’s a different matter entirely. The users can hear your voice, perhaps even see your face. That makes it personal already.
Creating this content requires different equipment and is more work than writing blog posts. Still, if you create compelling content, you have far greater potential to attract a huge audience.
Just remember to keep your focus on providing value for your audience. If you make it all about the products you market, you will definitely fail. Nobody comes to a podcast just to listen to advertisements.
Keeping an Eye on the Competition
Let’s say you’ve picked a niche. There might already be a successful affiliate in that exact niche or a similar one. If you’re a new affiliate, you can probably learn something by analyzing what they do.
Of course, if someone has a technique that makes them hundreds of thousands of dollars, they’ll probably try to keep it a secret. You can’t expect them to post their marketing strategy on Reddit.
That being said, it’s also difficult for them to hide it entirely. You just need a way to see what they’re doing.
There are plenty of ways to spy on your competitors’ backlinks today. A free tool you can use is Moz’s Open Site Explorer.
Now, You have to enter the domain name of your competitor. You’ll find out exactly where they get their backlinks, and which of the backlinks are the most effective.
Here’s the deal:
A good chunk of the backlinks should come from guest posts. That’s why this is a good method to find guest posting opportunities.
We realize that we might have given you the impression that the affiliate marketing world is very competitive. It is, but that doesn’t mean there’s no room for cooperation.
The thing is:
Competition is more of a worry for retailers than affiliates. Just because you get affiliate sales, it doesn’t mean somebody else loses them. Unless two affiliates are trying to market the exact same products to the exact same audience, there’s not much need for bad blood.
In fact, working with other affiliates can lead to some great results. If you find an affiliate in a similar niche, you can create a piece of content for them in exchange for a shout out, or you can even cooperate on something.
And it doesn’t just end there:
Affiliates also tend to keep track of their backlinks. If you see a nice piece of content on their website, you can link to it. They might appreciate it and return the favor.
All in all, affiliates put great effort into developing their content. If you show them you’ve noticed that it can lead to great relationships and bring more users to your business. If you’re a new affiliate, you should definitely try establishing connections through guest posting and giving shout outs to other affiliates.
In conclusion, there are many ways to make your affiliate business successful. We’ve given you some of the basics. You now have to test them out and see which combination of techniques works best for you.
If you’d like to expand your knowledge of affiliate marketing, we have a graphic with some fascinating stats. You’ll find it just below.
Feel free to share your thoughts on affiliate marketing and you can ask your questions as well in the comment section.