So you’ve signed up with an affiliate company, picked out your topic (complete with a good list of affiliate partners), and built a straightforward website that looks pretty nice, if you do say so yourself.
So now what?
Now comes the hard part: filling your site with a constant stream of good content and spreading the word to all the far corners of the internet. Now comes the part where you have to sell products without coming off as a sellout.
1. Set Reachable Goals
Why should people come to your website and not anyone else’s? What makes what you have to say important enough for someone else to spend a few minutes or more of his or her day reading, watching, or otherwise consuming the things you create? If you really are a unique person with something that no one else can offer, what is it?
Now those questions may have you worrying that you can’t possibly compete on a medium as jaded as the internet, but keep in mind that your goal isn’t to become a big-league content producer who makes millions every year and is loved and respected by millions across the globe. It’s certainly a nice thought, and if dreaming about a future like that can motivate you into working hard, then by all means you should keep dreaming. However, you should keep your goals to a manageable level: 100 more visitors per week, two more commissions per day, and so on.
2. Learn How To Create Good Content
When it comes to filling your website with content, you should take a look at the success stories in your particular field to see if you can figure out what exactly they did right to become so widely recognized.
If you’re setting up a blog, read up on some of the famous names and find out what they have in common (and what makes them different). If you want to write reviews, look up some professional reviews for the same type of product and see what’s important to people. If you want to produce videos, see who’s getting millions of hits every week and find out why people like them.
Of course, failures can also be instructive by letting you know what to avoid. While it’s easier to find failed creative content (since it’s so much fun to mock), you can also find failed review sites and poorly written blogs out there if you search hard enough.
This does demand more effort on your part, and getting through bad content is a chore on its own, analyzing a failure is very often even more constructive than analyzing a success. As Tolstoy once wrote, “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” In other words, you can find much more variety in failures than you can with successes.
3. Never Stop Self-Advertising
When you go traveling, one of the best things to do is explore off the beaten path, to find some local favorite or undiscovered diamond in the rough that’s all the more exciting because you’re the only person who seems to know about it.
You do not want your website to be a diamond in the rough. While you should certainly work hard to produce content that your fans and followers will enjoy, you should also work hard to expand your audience and increase your daily traffic to the point where your server can barely handle it. After all, a crowd of tourists can’t ruin a website the way they can ruin a restaurant.
As such, you should be prepared to spend 50 percent or more of your affiliate marketing time on advertising yourself and your website, connecting with other people on social media, and swapping links with related websites to improve your profile and your SEO. You should avoid going too shameless with your advertising, since that can easily backfire and make people less inclined to visit your site or trust your opinions, but at the same time you do need to spread the word if you want anyone to come and see what you have to offer.
4. Master The Art Of Advertising Without Advertising
Since they only get paid for results and not for showing up to work, affiliate marketers have a longer leash than advertising firms or marketing departments. At the same time, however, while one of your goals should always be to increase traffic and therefore increase the number of people clicking your ad links and buying things, another very important goal is to increase the percentage of visitors who decide to buy something.
But if your visitors wanted to see an advertisement, they wouldn’t have to go to your site to find one. Ads are everywhere on the internet, and if you want to hear about how great something is without any hint of negativity, every corporation in the world has its own website.
Instead, your primary goal should be to raise awareness, to make your audience aware that a product exists and just might suit their interests even as you place a link to that product on the same page. You can still promote the product while you’re at it, but such promotion should be honest, and it should be real.
When it comes to affiliate marketing, not only is it important to spend a few hours adding content and spreading the word, but you should also spend your time wisely and doing things that will actually help. That’s why affiliate marketing for beginners means both making mistakes and learning everything you can in order to become a better marketer.