If you’re blogging and use affiliate marketing as one of the ways you monetize your blog, you are not just a blogger – you’re an affiliate marketer. Why the distinction? Because it’s a different mindset. It’s not a big shift you have to make, but to be a successful affiliate marketer, you must think like an entrepreneur.
Affiliate marketers have a distinct advantage over physical product sellers because they have none of the responsibility for product creation and marketing.
They simply get to seek out the best products to sell, and launch their promotions. They can promote many different products at once – in the tangible and digital arena – and never have to deal with customer service issues.
Affiliate marketing is a beautiful thing.
But one thing many affiliates struggle with is increasing their earnings. They might find great products, understand the ins and outs of list building and pre-selling, but not have the insight necessary to bump up their income to the next tier.
Here are five easy ways to boost your affiliate income right now.
#1 – Become a “Savings and Value” Detective
It’s your job as an affiliate to match up consumers with what they need. You’re the link between searching and solutions. By going the extra mile for your readers, you will make more sales.
How can you find ways for your reader to save more or receive more value for her buck?
Typically, you can find special promotions and discounts in your affiliate dashboard. If you’re an affiliate for Amazon, you can log into the Associates center and look at their promotions hub where you’ll learn about special discounts, free trials, and even pre-order deals.
Share these offers with your customers and help them find products that are marked down for a certain period of time. The ones that are not on-going will add a sense of urgency, too.
For example, Bluehost often runs flash sales where customers can pick up hosting dirt cheap and Jaaxy is not just for finding keywords – subscribers can get information that can help them know their competition and rank better in search engines for very targeted keywords.
If you’re promoting info products, look for or ask the seller about different offers they have set up. Some marketers will be selling their product for full price on one site but discounted elsewhere.
If they don’t have any specials running, you can ask them to set up a special discount just for your list. Some will set up an on-going one and others will allow you to run a special discount for a limited time.
Don’t worry about losing income when you’re promoting discounts. The volume of sales you get will increase because shoppers are looking for budget-friendly deals they can buy. Another benefit for you is that you’re building relationships and fostering trust with your readers. You’ll be the go-to person the next time they need you!
#2 – Overdeliver when You Promote by Writing Reviews
Most affiliates do little more than write a keyword-laced article and slap an affiliate in it, hoping to make a buck or two. That’s small-time commission thinking.
What you want are big earnings – and you get those results from dominating as a leader in your niche. Even without a product of your own, you can be the go-to person for your target audience when it comes to product recommendations.
Right now there are thousands (if not millions) of affiliates out there trying to compete for the attention of cash-in-hand consumers. How will you set yourself apart and get the click-through?
You do this by creating genuine content and sharing well-written product reviews, not keyword-laced promotion articles. There’s a big difference between someone writing for the search engines and someone who values their reputation enough to make sure they carefully recommend only the best of the best.
If possible, purchase the product you’re promoting. If it’s a tangible item and you can’t buy it, then maybe you can visit a store and test it out to see how it works. Then write a personalized review of it – pros and cons.
But what if it’s a digital product? You can purchase those, too – and review it from the very first step where you land on the sales copy through to the end results.
Again, money might be an object at first. If it is, resist the temptation to buy and refund the product. That can get you blacklisted – and it damages the seller’s statistics for conversions and refunds.
Instead, email the seller and ask if they’re willing to provide you with a free review copy. If you’ve already established reviews on your blog that you can point them to, share those – because it will prove to them that their gift won’t go to waste.
Let people know the truth about the products and don’t make behind-the-scenes deals to write glowing testimonials. Your responsibility is to your readers, not to sellers willing to cut a deal.
#3 – Compare and Contrast Products
One way to entice people to spend money is to pit one product up against another and let one of them emerge the victor. Your readers are looking for solutions and they want the best value – which means a combination of good quality and fair monetary investment.
You can continue doing comparison reviews and these can be really fun. It’s also interesting to see the product sellers increase the value of their products when they see how the competition is beating them in the eye of the consumer.
Take a little time to figure out what solution your audience needs. For example, maybe it’s an Amazon Affiliate product. Start a series of reviews where you pit each product up against another, evaluating different things, like:
- Sales Copy
- Amount you get for the investment
- Number of formats presented (and options – ie: text/video)
- How many nuggets of information you pick up
- Quality of the information – trendy, not re-hashed, etc.
Make sure you test each item as thoroughly as possible and then discuss the results as a case study. In order for this to work, you need to find similar products to review.
You want to make sure the items you’re comparing have some similar elements in order for you to be able to make a quality comparison. If the products are too different to make for a good case study, simply review each one individually.
Another option is to write your reviews up “tournament style,” where you pit two products against each other and determine the winner. Then pit two other products against each other and find a winner. Then take both winners and pit them against each other based on results you’ve achieved and other issues like how the seller’s customer service is, etc.
#4 – Expand Beyond the Usual Boundaries
What’s the typical method for promoting products as an affiliate? It’s to blog. But you want to do more than that. A blog is great – it’s one of the best ways to earn a living as an affiliate because of the following factors:
- It’s cheap – just a domain and hosting
- It’s easy to operate
- It tends to rank well when you run one properly
You should never forego a blog for other methods because, with other methods, you don’t own the virtual real estate, so at any time you could wake up tomorrow and have lost all of your hard work. That’s why it’s great to use platforms like social media in conjunction with an affiliate blog to increase your earnings.
Still, blogging is just one method, and to increase your affiliate sales, you can add other methods of content online to make a sale. Let’s go over a few of them – and you can look for more on your own.
Forums can be a good place to support your affiliate marketing efforts. Keep it real and don’t spam. Make sure you have a link to your content in your signature file, which is a space below each post that contains content you create – text, hyperlink or image.
Facebook pages and groups are great for establishing yourself as an expert in your niche, network with others, and promote your content. Some groups allow members to affiliate links and others don’t – always check the group’s guidelines and when in doubt, check with the group owner.
Groups are also a great way to participate in promotion threads where you can share your most recent blog content, social media profiles, and more, all of which can be used to share affiliate links.
Twitter is a great place for the affiliate marketer because you’re not required to post a ton of content and you’re allowed to promote on the site without apology. Don’t get yourself in trouble by spamming other people with tweets – because you’ll lose followers and possibly get banned.
That being said, people do search on Twitter, and you can make affiliate commissions even if you’re not filled to the rim with followers just yet. Make sure you follow people that would be interested in your content. Hopefully, they’ll follow you and your links will end up being seen by more potential buyers.
Google Plus is also an effective way to rank in the search engines for the products you’re promoting as an affiliate. Many affiliates find that their G+ posts rank well, even when their blog doesn’t – so link to your blog from G+ and reap the rewards of the SERP ranking power the site has.
Pinterest is a great source of traffic for bloggers because people are using Pinterest to find blog content. This is great news for you! Pinterest is built on images, but you can Pin things directly from Amazon and then do an update on the pin to swap out their hyperlink with your affiliate one.
People follow your boards and then re-pin your pins on their own boards and before you know it, your recommendations have gone viral. You can do the same with digital products for topics like gardening, organization, even weight loss – a huge niche on Pinterest.
Again, use common sense and don’t spam!
For more information about Pinterest, I recommend these resources:
Email lists are another way to increase sales. You don’t have to build a list but you should want to – because that way you can repeatedly market to the same individuals who have proven that they are buyers in the past.
Entice people to subscribe to your list by giving away a free item of value, then email them whenever you have content on your blog or whenever you want to link directly to a product and review it or promote it within the email itself.
#5 – Personalize It!
Personalization will always win out over cold, sterile content. Whenever you’re writing your next blog post, put keywords and product specs on the backburner. Focus initially on connecting with the emotions of the buyer.
What would you feel if you were in their shoes? Would it be shame, humiliation, desperation, eagerness, hope, or what? You want to be able to discuss your own emotions about the products you promote – whether tangible or digital.
People buy from people they trust. When you write about an acne solution, for example, it’s great to give information about ingredients in a product or strategies for keeping pimples at bay.
But more importantly, the consumer will turn over their payment information as soon as they feel a connection with you based on feelings. If you write about relief, and relief is what they’re after, then you’re more likely to get a sale than if you just spouted off a list of ingredients.
Incorporating these tips into your affiliate marketing strategy will most likely result in increased earnings. But these strategies will do more for you than bring in more money – you’ll also develop deeper relationships with your audience, create better quality content, and establish yourself as someone who is an expert in your niche.
Keep building great content, keep connecting, keep promoting great products, and watch your bank account grow.
Let’s Build Our Blogs Step-By-Step…Together! Subscribe and Get Access to My FREE Course, Blog Posts That SELL!
If you want to follow along with my blogging journey and get access to Blog Posts That SELL, the best way to do that is to subscribe to The Savvy Blogger newsletter! Subscribers get weekly updates about new posts, reviews, and I basically share what I’ve been up to on the blog. PLUS, when I release subscriber-only bonuses, you get automatic access as long as you’re on the list. ?