7 Tips to Help You Become a Successful Affiliate Marketer

Affiliate marketing can be extremely lucrative, providing you with unlimited earning potential. It provides you with complete freedom to work from anywhere, provided you have an internet connection.

If the laptop lifestyle is appealing to you, it’s something you should look into. You need to understand that it’s not as easy as it look or as easy as some of the online gurus claim it to be. Remember, most of them are just trying to get you to buy some bullshit course or mentoring program. Not all are bad — but there is a lot of shit out there.

Some of the top affiliate networks include:

In order to provide value to those that are interested in affiliate marketing, I asked several top entrepreneurs in the space to give their best tip for those looking to become a successful affiliate marketer. Here are six tips worth reading.

1. Create a helpful website and content targeting purchase-intent.

“My number one tip for successful affiliate marketing is to create a website that offers useful information for people that are at the tail end of the buying journey. This means your content should target phrases with high buyer intent.

Phrases like ‘best [product] for ______’ are a good example. The user has already made up their mind that they are buying a product, and they are looking for the recommendations within their budget. If you can get your content in front of these users, you are sure to drive some sales.

My next tip is on how you go about creating this content. It is best to have your content be highly useful to the user. Provide concise information that is not easily found online and provide comparison tables. Make it easy for the user to view this data and make a decision. This is where the value is. This combined with clear calls to action will increase your clicks and conversions to the products/offers you are promoting.” — John Holloway, co-founder of NoExam.com

2. Focus on a niche you are passionate about.

“I am a blogger and use affiliate marketing on all my blogs. I’ve been an affiliate marketer for 4 years and have been blogging for 6. I did not know I could make money on my blogs or else I would’ve started sooner. I love earning passive income and anyone can do it.

Here are my best tips for affiliate marketers and those wanting to get started:

  • Use search operators to find affiliate programs that you can join. My favorites are CJ and Shareasale. There are over 30 different programs you can apply for. Apply for all of them, because some retailers will be on different affiliate platforms.
  • Find a niche. What are you passionate about? Find a topic that you now you can speak to on an expert level. Topics that interest you will usually be best for CTR and conversion (visit to sales). Find retailers in that niche and promote their products from the appropriate affiliate platform.
  • Don’t make your blog all about making the sale. Focus on information that is valuable to your visitors/readers. When they feel the value of your content is trustworthy and informative, the sales will naturally happen. Do not be too salesy in your blog or social media platforms.” — Alex Tran, Schimiggy

3. Master one traffic channel first.

“Starting out, it can be overwhelming with all of the possibilities when it comes to getting traffic. From social media to search engines and ads, there are too many to count. When starting out, get good at one traffic channel and start making money from it before moving onto another.

This way, you can perfect your systems around that traffic channel before moving onto another, which will prevent you from spreading yourself too thin. When I first started, spreading myself too thin caused me to waste much more time than needed, which prolonged me seeing results from my efforts. Stay focused, get one channel right, then move on to the next.” — Dustyn Ferguson, Dime Will Tell

4. Understand this is a long-term play.

“When it comes to affiliate marketing you should be thinking long-term. You want to focus on building an asset that generates quality traffic which you can monetize. Rather than trying to make a profit right away, focus on building an asset that can be monetized down the road.

By thinking like this you’re building an asset with real value rather than a spammy fly-by-night affiliate website. Don’t expect to get rich overnight and don’t take shortcuts. Your focus should be on becoming a successful long-term affiliate marketer. Choose a niche you’re passionate about and focus on becoming the authority within this niche. Build a brand that resonates with your audience and sales will follow.

A great affiliate marketer will constantly evolve and grow by reinvesting into their digital assets. Don’t simply chase a quick buck and look for high converting offers. Focus on building a real brand within your niche and you will see success in affiliate marketing.

How do you build a brand? Focus on creating great content and then promote this content. Just look at Wirecutter, (https://thewirecutter.com/) which is one of the most successful affiliate sites which was sold to The New York Times for around $30 million-dollars. This website was monetized through affiliate revenue via Amazon’s Associates program. This is a great example of what can be achieved by focusing on branding and adding value rather than merely chasing offers.” — Matthew Woodley, founder of Woodley Digital Marketing

5. Focus on the audience you are trying to reach.

“Focus on the audience you are trying to reach. Do comprehensive research first using search engines, social media and different niche communities. Figure out what their needs are, what questions they want answers to and what issues they want to solve.

By truly understanding your audience you can put yourself in their shoes. This helps you create content that engages them and really resonates with them. Content such as how-to guides, detailed product reviews, side-by-side product comparisons and so on.

All content that you publish should be based on topics that a real audience wants and needs, and the content should also be educational and informational first and salesy as a distant second. Success in affiliate marketing means that you are truly answering questions real people have and naturally including relevant affiliate links within that great content. If you do affiliate marketing well, it always ends up being a win-win situation.” — Marko Saric, HowToMakeMyBlog.com

6. Don’t always focus on offers with the highest payouts.

“The biggest mistake that new affiliates make is focusing on affiliate programs with the highest payouts. It’s much more effective — and profitable — to focus on the programs that are the best fit with your website. Although the commission rates and payouts may be lower, your conversion rates are likely to be much higher. So you will make a lot more money in the long run.

This is also good for user experience. If you have a mailing list of people interested in paleo diets, for example, they won’t want to be spammed with offers on ‘how to lose 10 pounds in 7 days.’ They will simply unsubscribe. But if you present them with a good paleo diet plan offer, they are likely to welcome the opportunity. Think long-term and your bank balance will benefit.” — Rob Palmer, CEO of GoFreelance

7. Build an engaging community and understand your audience.

“In affiliate marketing, it’s easy to get swindled in the numbers, but it is important for you to build a loyal following. Having an affiliate blog where visitors can trust that they’re getting the best bang for their buck is extremely important and will bring long-term benefits to your business. Create an environment around your community instead of a website built around short-term trends.

Focus on creating content with the community and for the community. As the viewers build trust in what they’re reading, they will return with more questions and they will value your word much more. Make sure to take the time to understand who your target audience is. Interact with your audience through social media and by answering any direct questions they have. The chances are, if one person is asking a question, several others are as well. Answering these questions can lead to greater and more profitable opportunities.” — Nick Le, Founder of Gridfiti

Jonathan Long is the Founder of Uber Brands, a brand development agency located in Miami, focused on building e-commerce brands in the health, fitness, lifestyle and beauty industries.