This is a guest post by Roderick Coleman from QueryAds.com – In this post he tells us 3 basic elements of affiliate marketing around which you need to practice your skills for coming out as successful affiliate marker.
One of the biggest problems with affiliate marketing is it’s really tough to break into from a standing start. It’s not simply as easy as sticking up a few review sites, with well-placed affiliate links, though when I first started, that’s what I was lead to believe.
You need a list, an opinion and a product to suggest, and you need to be selective. It’s not simply a case of putting up as many things in one niche as you can find – instead it takes a lot of solid work to become trusted, to be able to offer opinions that people want to hear, and most importantly of all, how and when to promote to people.
You’ll find that this results in less disappointed customers, and will help you improve the accuracy of the reviews you’re giving and standing by.
The ABC’s of Affiliate Marketing
There are three basic elements to affiliate marketing
- Someone to promote to (usually a list, a blog or a trusted website);
- Something to promote (that you’ve reviewed);
- An opinion on the product you’re selling.
While the third one is sometimes optional, and you can promote something (without reviewing it) the best affiliate marketers have a trusted opinion that people will follow and use when buying products recommended to them.
While sometimes it’s easy to simply recommend to people and leave them to make the final choice, experience suggests that the most important thing is that your recommendations are good ones the majority of the time
What to Share and What to IGNORE
The first question an affiliate marketer has to ask himself is what to promote. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that high ticket items mean high quality, which means they should practically sell themselves. That all you have to do is share them with your readers. Unfortunately, even if it were that simple, the question then becomes which ones do you promote?
One of the easiest ways to work with your affiliate marketing projects is to have a strategy – promote what you know, and in your niche. Unless you’re promoting something brand new, you can also check our reviews before you promote it to your lists.
One tactic is to work your way up – promote smaller items until your readers trust you, then work up to bigger items. Find a good balance of ‘small’ and large items to promote to your readers, but remember, don’t overwhelm them. Alternatively, become known for sharing the absolute best, no matter what the price tag.
One of the biggest issues an affiliate marketer has to take on is reputation. You will get a reputation for sharing every product that crosses your desk just as easily as you’ll get a reputation for sharing the best things available to date and being selective. It’s your choice.
If you do choose to recommend everything in a certain niche, be aware that people will ask if you’re testing what you recommend – and if you don’t report things like bugs and other problems, alongside the good, they may be less incline to accept your recommendations.
On the flipside of this, if you’re only promoting what you test thoroughly, you’ll find that investing your time into testing items comes at a cost, so there has to be a happy medium for you. One way around this is to tell people it was recommended to you and that you trust that recommendation.
How and When to Promote
Many people find that they are buying products and services from promotions directly in their emails – this makes a massive difference to whether people buy or even just look at promotions – it’s why all the big dogs have their own lists and let other affiliate marketers promote to their lists. It is a booming multimillion dollar industry and there’s always room for honest marketers with solid opinions.
You don’t need to be a sales expert, but you do need to give people the information they want and need – and in many cases, they want and need ‘in the trenches’ opinions from people using the products or services that they want. And you can be that person.
Blog posting and mailing list promotions alike benefit from being posted on either a Tuesday or Thursday lunchtime – preliminary reports suggest that’s when people look at posts most readily in their inbox or RSS reader, but there aren’t any conclusive studies on when best affiliate marketer sales happen as yet.
Whether you’re interested in affiliate marketing to monetize areas of an already established niche site, or you’re building a list with the express purpose of promoting to it, affiliate marketing can be lucrative if you remember the ABC’s, preserve your reputation and ensure you promote at the right time, and the right items. Then, you’ll be a successful and comfortable affiliate marketer, with a trusted review capability that can promote just about anything and be trusted.