How Do I Make Affiliate Marketing Profitable?
Can I assume from this question that you already know how to create an affiliate marketing business?
Perhaps you've already created one.
But it's not turning a profit.
So your focus now is on making your affiliate marketing business profitable.
If you're not at that stage, you should have a look at Affiliate Marketing: Your Questions Answered where you can get enough information to make a start.
And no matter where you are in your affiliate marketing journey (including "what the heck is affiliate marketing?") you'll benefit from registering your interest in my upcoming training course Affiliate Marketing FAST. There's no obligation and no credit card required.
You Need Good Affiliate Vendors
This should go without saying.
You make your money when you sell your vendor's product to a visitor.
So you look for 3 things in a vendor:
- Quality products that you are proud to promote to your visitors. Nothing trashes your reputation like products that don't perform (or even just don't live up to their hype)
- Reviews that reflect on your vendor's service. Do their products get delivered on time? If there's an issue, do they respond quickly and decisively?
- A decent affiliate commission. You do need to make a reasonable profit on every sale you send the vendor's way.
So, assuming that you already have a site that you can refer to when applying to a vendor to join their affiliate program, that's your next step.
Find good vendors in your niche with products that you'll be happy to promote and apply to be their affiliate.
When you're accepted, store the affiliate link somewhere you can retrieve it easily from.
Create Landing Pages for Your Affiliate Products
Some folk include their affiliate links inside their blog posts, but it's far better to create a separate landing page for each product you are going to promote.
Your landing page should pre-sell the product, not regurgitate information that's already available from the vendor's website.
If you can tell stories that illustrate how the product has benefited other customers in the past or eased their pain, you will increase enormously the chance that your visitor will click on your affiliate link. The most effective affiliate link is text or a button that reads "Find out more...".
One of the advantages of a landing page that is your single entry point to your vendor's website is that you can continually improve it.
And this, of course, should include split testing, where you make one change at a time and measure the effect.
Once you have a landing page for a particular product in place, you can write a series of informative blog posts about the issue that the product solves and include links to the landing page within the post. These are internal links and are much better for SEO than external affiliate links.
Get Traffic to Your Website
So you've got an attractive looking website, you've partnered with great vendors in your chosen niche and you've built landing pages that pre-sell your affiliate products through affiliate links.
All you need now are eyeballs on your landing pages.
What's referred to in internet circles as TRAFFIC.
Now there are two types of traffic, free and paid. There are advantages and disadvantages to each.
Clearly, the advantage of free traffic is that it's free (the clue is in the name lol). But how do you get it?
Well, that's where your blog posts com in.
If you write valuable, informative blog posts containing keywords that real people are searching for, then eventually you may be rewarded by a page 1 listing by one of the search engines, preferably Google.
When that happens, people WILL visit your site and a proportion of them will buy the relevant product and you will get paid an affiliate commission.
An important word here is "eventually".
This is a slow process requiring you to exercise patience.
The other option is to get traffic through pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. The most popular sources for PPC are Facebook, Google Ads and Bing Ads. You have to be very careful, as it's easy to blow through money. The trick is to start out small and continually improve.
But you can get fast results that way.
It's really important though to have products with good affiliate commissions, so that you can pay for advertising and still make a profit.
Capture Your Visitor's Details
It's important that your online business build up assets.
Your affiliate agreements and product landing pages are one type of asset, but one of the most important that you can accumulate is your LIST.
This is a list of names and email addresses of visitors who have visited your site and expressed an interest in your niche. Some of them will be actual customers who have bought product from you.
It's a proven fact that it's much, much easier to sell something to an existing customer than it is to find a new one. Especially if you've put in the work to find ethical vendors with good products and a great reputation for service.
But how do you capture a visitor's details?
Create a Free Product as an Opt-in
Your first step is to create a valuable product that is relevant to your niche.
Most often this is an e-book in PDF format, along with a professionally designed cover.
You can create it yourself, get someone on a site like fiverr.com to write it for you or you could buy a relevant PLR (Private Label Rights) product and add your unique touch to it.
Or, if you are able, you could create a video with valuable information about your niche.
Get an Autoresponder
You will also need an autoresponder, such as AWeber, GetResponse, MailChimp or Active Campaign.
Your autoresponder will allow you to build a form that shows your free product and allows your visitor to download it in exchange for their name and email address.
The autoresponder will store the visitor's details and send them an email with download instructions (normally another page on your website, often called a thank-you page).
Both the opt-in page and the thank-you page should be as attractive as possible, because that's where you're going to direct both your free and paid traffic!
After your visitor has downloaded your free product (which should have enhanced your trust factor considerably) they are directed to the appropriate landing page and the start of your sales funnel.
And they are on your list, so you can email them at any time with special offers or new products.