You scratch their back, and they’ll write you a check. Sounds easy, right? Affiliate marketing is a popular means of growing income. There’s good reason for that: it works. However, there are right and wrong ways to do it. Read on to find out more.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Simply put, affiliate marketing is promotion of a product or service in exchange for a profit. When you promote someone else’s product or service to your audience, you are helping that company reach out to new customers. You are helping customers solve a problem or fulfill a need. While doing those things, you are bringing profit to your business. It’s a win-win.
However, for affiliate marketing to be an all-around success, you must play by the rules. Fortunately, the rules are simple and easy to follow.
Rule One: It Has to Make Sense for Your Audience
Your target audience expects certain things from you. When you provide those, they remain your audience. However, if you provide them with something off-target for the sake of profit, they may wander. Any product or service you recommend to your audience must tie in to their needs and expectations.
For example, a WordPress tutor might promote plugins, a web hosting company, or a theme designer. All those make sense and have a good chance of resonating with the audience. However, if that same WordPress tutor promoted the latest silicone cupcake molds, which have nothing to do with WordPress or the target audience, no one will take that seriously. In order for affiliate marketing to work, it has to fit your audience.
Rule Two: It Has to be Honest
Never recommend a product you know nothing about. Lack of authority can come off as insincerity, which can alienate your audience. Not only that, but you could be unknowingly promoting something that isn’t worth beans.
Promote products with which you are familiar or have used and those in which you believe. Be objective in your reviews and recommendations. Tell your audience why you are promoting the product and give them examples of your real experience. If people come to you consistently, they already value what you have to say or offer. With honest product promotion, you won’t compromise that steady stream of trust; you’ll only strengthen it.
One More Word of Advice: Recommend, but Don’t Promise
No two people are alike. What works like a gem for one will likely fail for another. That’s why, no matter how much you love a product or service and no matter how much you believe in it, there’s a good chance it will not work well for everyone. So, in your promotions, avoid telling your audience that it’s a guarantee or that they definitely should try something. Instead, let them know how well it worked for you, and recommend they give it a go to see if it works for them. This is yet another way of solidifying trust through honesty.
How to Get on Board
Before you step into the affiliate-marketing ring, make sure your site is ready for it. Consistently post quality information and begin building your audience. Your audience doesn’t have to be massive to begin. The main importance here is that you create and update content consistently. Once you’ve done that, you’re ready to jump in.
There are a few ways to find an affiliate partner. The simplest way is to use Google. Search your niche along with “affiliate programs.” You’re sure to find some great leads. Amazon has a well-known affiliate program that many people have success with. Another way to find a partner is to contact manufacturers directly and ask them about their affiliate programs.
Affiliate marketing is a great way to grow business, connect with your audience, and make some money. Use the above tips to keep your affiliate marketing relevant, informed, and honest. For more information about using affiliate marketing, please contact me.