17 Strategies To Succeed In Affiliate Marketing

Opened MacBook on the office table with various digital marketing graphs and charts on its screen

As with any adventure – business / money related or otherwise – you’re not going to dive in without a plan, approach, tools and the like. 

Unless you’re completely winging it. Which you’re free to do – but I strongly recommend against it. After all, a little prep never hurt anybody, did it??

Plus, with foolproof affiliate marketing strategies, you will be ahead of the game from the start. So, whether you’re a beginner or more experienced (and you’ve already learned this lesson the hard way), make sure to add these basic to advanced money-making affiliate strategies to your utility belt.

7 Best 2022 Beginner Affiliate Marketing tips

With relatively low entry barriers a lot of marketers want to incorporate affiliate marketing into their digital toolbox as a source of passive income. And it is easy to see why.

Affiliate marketing strategies, tips, approaches – whatever you want to call them, we’ve got a few basic foundations to affiliate marketing that you should take into consideration. Or already be following if you have campaigns running. 

affiliate strategies for success

Choose Your Niche Wisely

As easy as it sounds, picking the right niche requires time, research and a lot of brainstorming. It is one of the most important affiliate marketing strategies as its the first step any digital entrepreneur must take. As reality shows, very few affiliates succeed from promoting random, non-related products. So defining a specialization is the right affiliate marketing strategy to set yourself apart from the pack of competitors.

A great place to start would be to look into trends in consumer preferences, researching hot topics, top industries, the most popular keywords, and micro trends in consumer behavior. Kickstarter, Google Trends, Alexa, Quantcast, AdWords, and Quora are some of the best resources out there to get initial ideas one can tap into. 

The goal is to start broad and then narrow your research down to one viable niche within a particular field or industry. Or you can approach this, focusing on your own interests, investigating the products you like and pain points you experience as a consumer. All it takes to find the right product is to identify the gap in the existing market or a problem your future clients will solve with your product.

Once you have discovered potential niches, the next step will be to scout out popular products and their monetization opportunities. You can also have a look at what’s popular with certain vendors and distributors – or those that also have their own affiliate programs. We recommend checking out the biggest and the most reputable affiliate networks, such as Awin, Shareasale, LinkShare, MaxBounty or branded affiliate programs from eBay, SkillShare, Amazon or Shopify. 

Your final goal here is to find real products which will be valuable to your target audience. Think of the industries that show growth in spending, yet have to make the shift to the e-commerce sector, like health services, nutrition (think gluten-free), financial tools, pet food & fashion etc. The keyword here is niche. Big opportunities are out there for fast movers. So, find your narrow track, and own it!

verticals affiliate strategies

Source: Neil Patel Digital

Get to know the product

So you’ve found a niche or product you’d like to promote. Great!

Like I mentioned before, it’s important to be familiar with this niche that your future affiliate offer(s) will be in. Why? Because you will be dealing with the topic a lot. 

Though we’d all love to believe that affiliate marketing is an effortless, free-money scheme, it’s not 🙁 But that’s ok! Because anything worthwhile is worth the effort.

So as I was saying, it’s essential to get to know your niche and product. In fact you could circumvent this step by only looking into verticals and niches that you are already interested in. That way what you say about it whether in blog, advertisement or video format will be all the more genuine. 

Read what you can, take a look at the bigger competitors in the industry, what people are searching for, watch product reviews. Order the products, test them out, compare them to other solutions. 

It also doesn’t hurt to have a look at other online affiliate content, affiliate websites, sales funnels, and affiliate marketing strategies employed by others selling that product.

Be Customer-centric

Low-quality websites and scrappy offers do a lot of damage to a user experience, affecting brands and the reputation of the affiliate industry as a whole. Many affiliate marketers are tempted to promote products they do not believe in or get involved in deceptive activities, being swept away by the idea of quick earns and shiny payout metrics. 

It is essential that digital marketers concentrate all their efforts on delivering high-quality customer experiences.

Because the truth is a money-first strategy never works in the long-term. So, don’t be seduced by high payout numbers if the affiliate offer is not relevant to your audience and can potentially alienate your clients and audience.

No matter if you are choosing a product you are going to promote or designing your ad landing page, prioritizing your target customer and offering value will directly impact how much you are going to get out of your efforts. 

No one wants to be bombarded with ads that are irrelevant or inappropriate. Instead, users expect relevancy, engagement, and value.

Blogging

But once you get started, once you’ve signed up to an affiliate program, chosen an offer – how do you get people to click on that offer and convert? There’s two main routes: paid and organic.

Blogging is the tried and true, most popular organic method for affiliate marketing. You’ll create a website / blog first. Then you’ll write articles related to your niche and find ways to lead users to your offer through an affiliate link that you’ll insert into the text. 

Your site doesn’t necessarily have to be an affiliate website, ie. only focused on selling and promoting products.. You should have some honest content there too so that internet users can trust you. 

What kind of content can you write? Anything really that could attract targeted traffic. Focus on the news in your vertical, write product reviews, create rankings and lists, guides, and more.

But why do we blog? How do we get people to see our blog posts? Well, we’re looking to answer user queries: somebody writes something into Google or any search engine, and we want our blog post to get clicked on, get direct traffic to it,  and read in answer to that question. 

And that means search engine optimization. In other words, making sure the contents of our article accurately answer the search terms in a quality way. There are plenty of tools and ways to make sure your articles are optimized for search engines, but that’s another topic. 

Establish yourself on social media channels

Another organic / free way to get clicks and conversions: social media marketing. Given that you’re currently on the internet I am 100% you are familiar with at least one social media platform.

Affiliate marketers can build up a profile on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Linkedin, or wherever. You can either base it off yourself and have your own images, videos, chats, thoughts public and attached to your affiliate offers, orrr you can make a faceless account that focuses on posting simply about a certain niche topic. 

With the right marketing skills, you can utilize any social media platform to get more traffic, more sales, and new customers. Since it’s free, you should definitely consider adding social media posts to your sales funnel. Think of Facebook groups, Youtube video, influencer marketing, and more as part of your affiliate marketing strategy.

Either way, the point is to amass a following (ideally organically) interested in your vertical, and then present your audience with your referral links. That’s another of our affiliate marketing strategies. When they click and make a purchase, you get those commissions!

one paper plane going a different way to the others

Start gathering email addresses

The next organic route? Email campaigns! Email marketing is one of the most effective, direct, and trackable promotional methods out there. 

The key is: gathering email addresses. You’ll have to do some sort of lead generation to start building up your email list. That means motivating users to sign up for your subscription, or sign up to access the rest of “XYZ” materials, or sign up to see this exclusive content.

You get the point – the target audience gives their email in exchange for something. Then you’ll have that address and be able to send content that includes affiliate links. 

Pop / push campaigns

And now we’ve arrived at paid campaigns! Paid advertising means you’ll be paying for those clicks and conversions. But that doesn’t sound like a great deal, does it – if I can just get them free?

Sure sure, building up an audience, a following, an email list can have lasting results and be really beneficial to your online business. Howeverrrr, paid campaigns can potentially get you those profits overnight. 

Alright that may be an exaggeration, but building up an organic traffic flow takes a lot of time and effort. Seriously. There is a lot of competition out there. 

The best news though: obviously these two approaches can be used in tandem. You can run both paid campaigns and work on building an audience at the same time! And these strategies will supplement each other if done correctly.

The technical end of paid campaigns can get a little tricky for some though. If you’re not feeling 100% confident, take a look at our free Affiliate Academy where you can learn all about campaign set up and way more!

You can read about the best kinds of campaigns to run for beginners here

social media in your affiliate marketing strategy

Source: GIPHY

Continuously test

And what do we have here last? Always test! Rather, the essence is: never be satisfied. The thing is, no matter what you do, someone on the internet is going to start copying you eventually. 

Or, users will simply get bored of seeing it after a while. That means you should always be trying new approaches: different pictures, different text, different headlines and titles, different content. 

Granted, if something is working and bringing profits – don’t throw it overboard! Keep it going but test another variation alongside it. This way, when a successful strategy does start to go dry, you’ll have a new, fresh one waiting.

But how do we know whether something is performing well or not? If a certain approach is successful or not? By tracking of course! By tracking, you can identify every factor in your funnel and see what works and what doesn’t. And affiliate marketing software like Voluum is here to do that for you. 🙂 

6 Advanced Affiliate Marketing strategies

As an affiliate marketer, you should adjust your strategies as you gain more and more experience… and affiliate income 😉 

The affiliate industry has performance engraved in its digital DNA code. And today it offers more transparency, a truly global reach while maintaining a high ROI. This is what you must take advantage of to become a long-term, successful affiliate marketer.

Work on your Media Buying Strategy

Affiliate marketers can choose from a variety of business models to monetize from – email, influencers, comparison sites, cashback, content sites, coupon codes, paid ads or even search engine marketing. Whether you want to build brand awareness, drive sales or generate qualified leads, you are being paid based on performance. And this is where media buying planning comes into play. Nailing it is crucial for scaling up any digital marketing efforts to boost your affiliate marketing strategies. 

A good media buying strategy combines the following factors: offer pricing model (CPC, CPM or CPA-based, etc.), deep understanding of target audience, country, device type to reach your potential customer. If this is an offer from an affiliate network, it is worth paying attention to the offer restrictions and plan media buying accordingly. Once you get through this part, the next step is to choose the right ad network.

While Google Ads and Facebook Ads are the first names which pop-up, these two advertising giants are not the only platforms where performance marketers run their campaigns. Programmatic ad platforms can be a great alternative to GAFA group (Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon). However, it is important to note here, some ad networks specialize in particular ad formats, some offers work better with certain types of ads, and certain GEOs have larger volumes in some ad networks than others. Do your research and make sure to choose an ad network with credibility on the market. Learn more about media buying.

Reach out to Influencers

So yeah, we’re all familiar with paid affiliate marketing strategies (hopefully) and the basic ways to get organic traffic. Buttt, assuming you’re an advanced affiliate marketer, you’ll have something a little more to offer. 

And that means you can “share” that something 🙂 Well, share so that both you and your counterpart get something out of it.

What I’m referring to is reaching out to influencers in your niche (if that wasn’t evident from the heading). 

Some things to look out for:

  • Make sure your influencer is actually in your niche
  • Check if they have decent engagement with their followers
  • Follow up whether their followers could actually be potential buyers of your offer

Ok this might sound like really basic stuff, but as we all know, there are plenty of ways to artificially boost your numbers whether in terms of followers, likes, comments or interactions. So it’s on you to check whether you’ve found a “legit” influencer.

One trending approach is to seek out “microinfluencers”. That usually refers to someone with less than 10k followers, but they are very engaged. 

Once you’ve found someone – or another platform, it doesn’t necessarily have to be your traditional hot girl / guy insta influencer – then you can reach out in writing to establish a partnership.

An affiliate partnership can either consist of a content exchange between platforms, or you pay that individual a certain amount for advertising your offers, or you give them a cut of your commissions. 

influencer marketing for affiliates

Go Mobile 

The modern consumer purchase journey involves the use of multiple devices. Statistics say on average the typical digital user owns 3.2 connected devices. And two out five customers complete online purchases on a device different from the one they start on. According to ComScore, last year 90 percent of US digital retail audiences shopped via mobile devices, in comparison to 76 percent outreach on desktops.

With mobile spending continuing to soar, it is essential that businesses adjust their marketing efforts to the fact that people nowadays prefer to access the internet on the go. Otherwise, business owners risk paying a very high price for their inaction. Given the multi-device reality is here to stay, making mobile a part of your digital strategy and investing in mobile traffic is a great opportunity to leverage the engagement with your target audiences.

Optimize for Voice search

Voice-enabled search is another interesting trend shaping the Internet . Affiliates cannot ignore the effect of this trend on search engine optimization. This technology impacts all kinds of devices, playing out to be increasingly integrated into our everyday lives making it a worthwhile affiliate marketing strategy.

According to Comcast, by 2020 half of all online searches will be voice-activated. At the moment, most voice-activated searches are done through a mobile device and are on average three times more likely to be location-based in comparison to the traditional search queries. So, your website’s SEO adjustment for voice search visibility should include the following: analysis of user’s intent behind a voice search, leveraging content that appeals to natural voice search, the use of long tail keywords and phrases, targeting immediate user’s needs, as most voice searches are often time sensitive.

GlobalWebIndex statistics on average number of devices owned per internet user

Source: GlobalWebIndex

Target your audience

Whether it’s an organic or paid affiliate marketing strategy, you need to be targeting your audience correctly. Because no matter how many people see or click on your affiliate referral link, you’re only going to get paid if those turn into purchases.

 

Generally, there’s not much you can do about targeting your organic traffic. Because it doesn’t even really work that way for that matter – they are usually finding and following you. However, even in that realm there are ways to avoid garnering the kind of audience you don’t want.

 

Take for instance the classic example of the hot gym girl influencer: as she posts pictures of her sculpted body and ass that she grew twice the size through hard work at the gym, she gets more and more male followers. Even with lots of followers and likes, that audience is not going to buy the stuff she tries promoting.

 

But moving on to a more tangible and trackable solution: targeting your campaigns. An affiliate marketing software will basically take care of that part for you. Or rather, if you take advantage of the options a tracker like Voluum has to offer, you can target based on location, language, device type, OS type, connection and much more!

A / B testing

And last but not least, A/B testing. This is a more advanced and precise form of testing that I mentioned before in the beginner section, making it one of the most essential affiliate marketing strategies for advanced palyers.

 

When starting out, you may just test to see what happens if you change this or that. But A/B testing is the next step up: you focus on a specific factor and run two campaigns analyzing the results. Voluum Tracker can thankfully do that for you as it’s designed to be the ideal performance marketer tool. 

 

And the best part is, testing isn’t complicated or daunting at all! In fact, set up a simple split test within 5 minutes! This is just the first step to optimization though, because in fact with Voluum you can end up automating all that! 

4 Money making affiliate marketing strategies 🤑

Ok, before we get into this section… Disclosure: all of the aforementioned affiliate marketing strategies will make you money! 

 

However, most of those are general approaches, this section focuses on turning a profit. So get your calculators ready and start the revenue stream today as an affiliate marketer!

Search Engine Marketing

This has already been covered in the previous sections, however, I would just like to emphasize how useful paid ads can be. And how trackable!

 

With organic routes, you are spending time and effort – not necessarily money. But of course, time is money. The tricky part is though, how do you count or qualify those hours/days/weeks/months put into building up a Youtube channel, blogging platform, or email list?

 

You can’t really… which is why PPC (Pay per click) marketing should definitely be included in your advertising strategy. Because you can count how much each click is worth down to the penny. 

 

And if a certain campaign is proving to be worthless? Then stop while you’re ahead and shut it down! With organic routes, you never really know if something is going to pay off in the end or not. Granted, tracking isn’t going to tell the future, but you can do a much better job at inferring the value of a certain advertising venture this way.

 

But again, to be able to optimize your advertising you will need to track every last detail. And only a premium affiliate marketing tracker like Voluum can do that so make sure it’s a part of your strategy!

Run promotions & deals

When you can, try to make your offer unique. You can achieve this by offering special deals:

  • Limited-time discounts
  • Bundles offers
  • Partnership products included
  • Seasonal deals
 

You get the idea!

 

As an affiliate marketer you can’t necessarily control price – but controlling the marketing is part of your strategy. And you can get creative with how you present offers.

 

Also, aside from providing monetary discounts or deals, you should also create a sense of urgency. This can be done in the form of a countdown clock of days left, number of products left, amount of customers who already bought the deal etc. (Think any ecommerce website you’ve visited on Black Friday)

Go for high-ticket products

When you’re first starting out as an affiliate, those high-ticket offers and high paying affiliate programs can be oh-so-tempting… but generally I warn against them because lower-priced affiliate products are much better for beginners to learn with. 

 

You’ll still have lots to learn about the sales funnel, affiliate websites, targeted traffic etc. before spending a huge bulk of your budget on affiliate sales that are much harder to convert.

 

However, if you’re a relatively experienced affiliate marketer, it may be time to turn your attention to the high-ticket options. It will require more persuasive landers and copy, more invested into traffic, and the higher risk of customer returns, but if you find the right combos, you could start making a lot of money faster and boost your affiliate income.

Use Value-based Tracking

And last but not the least, the essential ingredient for the success of any digital marketing campaign is …. Yes! Tracking.

The everlasting strength of the affiliate marketing field lies in its tangible and unequivocal measurement.

And as the pay-per-performance field evolves, ad tracking becomes more sophisticated to reflect changes happening. While it can be a tedious task to manage your performance campaigns along with your daily activities, tracking your affiliate campaigns’ growth and analyzing their ongoing performance is essential to keep your affiliate efforts on the right track.

The benefits of tracking are endless. With in-depth metrics, you are able to budget efficiently during the peak sales periods, create GEO-specific strategies for campaigns, get more insights on your top-performing channels, understand your campaign life cycles, tie together and leverage all relevant data points to achieve target goals. For any digital entrepreneur who specializes in performance marketing, tracking has become more than just a tool.

Ad tracking has turned into a powerful strategic solution that ties many strands together, adds a significant value, and facilitates campaign data interpretation in a meaningful way.  

FAQ

faq for affiliate marketing

What is affiliate marketing?

So, there’s a question you should probably know the answer to 😉

Affiliate marketing is when you (or any third party actor) promotes the product or service of another company online. Whenever a user purchases that product or service, you’ll get a commission from that. That’s where your affiliate revenue comes from

 

Of course, it’s not always that simple; sometimes your aim is not to convert people to purchase an affiliate product, but rather provide some information about themselves, sign up to some subscription, download an app, or simply click on a website. You can find these offers and things to promote and advertise online through affiliate programs and affiliate networks which are free to sign up to.

 

There’s a lot more that goes into affiliate marketing, but that’s the gist. If you want to know more (and you probably should) about this industry before delving into the affiliate marketing strategies, read this free ebook guide.

 

How do I sign up to an affiliate program?

The good news is it’s pretty easy! You simply choose a program you would like to join and then provide the information they need. Joining an affiliate program should always be free – if they’re asking for some fee, it’s probably not legit.

 

The tricky part is finding an affiliate program. How can you find one? Start with some research to find what’s best for you. You’ll need to check if they have mostly digital products, provide materials like affiliate banners and landing pages, and how you’ll receive your affiliate earnings… to just name a few factors.

Recommended reading: our 2022 ranking of the best affiliate programs.

 

Where do I get a unique affiliate link?

Where can you find an affiliate link, also known as a referral link? Through your affiliate program. Based on the offer you select, you will be provided with an affiliate link that will track the clicks and conversions coming from your landing page / blog / social media post / whatever.

 

That’s how your affiliate network will know what your payout is. It’s important to always follow all the rules and guidelines surrounding placing an affiliate link. Make sure you pay attention to that because it depends on the source!

How do I get paid with affiliate marketing?

And the main question: how can that fabulous sweet passive income make its way into your bank account? Because the only way to make more money is if you can actually get to it 😉

 

Well, this is another thing to pay attention to when signing up to an affiliate program: what are the payment methods? There’s usually a wide range like bank transfer, PayPal, crypto methods, even check.

 

So if you are restricted to a certain payment method (make sure to take into account your countries’ rules and regulations!) then always check this factor.

 

Another consideration: how often you get paid. First off, affiliate programs or affiliate networks will have specific timelines which can range from every two weeks to every three months. Payout varies.

 

Secondly, they usually have a minimum payout amount. That means, if you haven’t made X amount of dollars within the payment period, you still won’t get paid. You’ll most likely have to wait for the next payout date.

 

Depending on your experience, dependence on this income stream, and budget, this could pose a challenge – so make sure you check that as well!

learning all about affiliate marketing and avoiding scams

Conclusion

In today’s performance marketing landscape running a successful digital affiliate marketing campaign is a day-to-day challenge for online entrepreneurs. The affiliate industry is becoming more saturated, and ad campaigns need to push the limits to get noticed and earn money. 

It takes time, dedication, knowledge, and targeted affiliate marketing strategies to execute a successful performance marketing campaign that connects with your audiences, boosts your sales, offers long-term growth, and ensures a decent passive income.

Boost your affiliate efforts with Voluum

 
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