There is a bucket load of advice around the web on how to do affiliate marketing. I found a lot of it contradictory and confusing.
Affiliate marketing is not as easy as many would have you believe. There are a lot of steps involved and decisions along the way. Get them right and you’re on your way. Miss any or make a poor decision and you’re stuffed, or at least making it harder than it could be.
I’ve played with affiliate marketing now for about four years. “Played” being the optimal word.
Market an Amazon Shop
Firstly I set up an Amazon bookshop on one of my sites. The books were selected to align with the site niche. I’ve never earned a cracker from that and haven’t been able to track my clicks – if I have ever had any. Why? Mostly because I didn’t promote the blog it was attached to.
If you don’t have eyes on your offers you won’t make sales.
Market Known Vendors
Next, I became excited when I joined a coaching program and added banners and a couple of affiliate linked articles to my website to promote some of the coaches products. I got really excited when I saw my tracking stats and the clicks. At least now some people were seeing my offers.
I still remember the day when I received my first payment notification. All of $14 but I literally jumped up and down. I had the proof that it worked. Payment is validation your marketing is working. And that was the last payment notification I received from that vendor. Why? I stopped promoting actively although the banners were live up until a few months ago.
If something works, keep doing it, don’t stop.
Put Affiliate Links in Your eBooks
Then I started including affiliate links in my free eBook offerings. I have no idea if they worked. Actually, I do – they didn’t. But I did notice yesterday when I decided to update one of my eBooks that one of my affiliate links had died – the vendor changed their affiliate network and I missed the email. Always recheck your affiliate links are still current. Better yet, control your affiliate links. I was using a vendor’s direct link eg vendorproduct.com/af?link/012345g. Two problems with that: it’s a dead giveaway that you’re using an affiliate link and some people will scrub your link and buy direct; if the link changes, all the links you have out there in the wild become dead and you can’t do a thing about it. To avoid the scrubbing I started using link cloakers and shorteners. That didn’t avoid the second problem. Now I use prettylinks plugin – that way I can use my own link and simply change the target address if required, and the link still works wherever it is in the world.
Always check you’re affiliate links are still valid
More recently I’ve promoted the products of some online friends whose quality I’m happy with. The price point is appealing for buyers being usually at the lower end (under $100) and one of the vendors is well known, the others being rising stars. I’ve managed to make some affiliate money from these products with minimal promotion. It’s again proof that the system works. Actually as I write this I recall I need to follow up with one of the vendors as I am on a delayed payment timing and I’m pretty sure it’s overdue!
Keep track of your payments due
The Future For Me
I am going to keep building affiliate links for relevant products although it’s not my highest priority just now. You’ll notice I do not have one affiliate link in this post – not good! I find the process fiddly and tedious. In fact I might go through the process later this week and see if I can pop a post up about it to take you through – maybe you can show me where I go wrong!
What are your plans for affiliate marketing going forward?