Affiliate marketing is a great way to start making money online. You can start with little experience and you don’t need to create a product on your own.
That said, a good affiliate marketing strategy is needed if you want to make any money. In this post, I will give you 10 affiliate marketing tips and tricks to help you have more success.
Best Affiliate Marketing Tips and Strategies
- Don’t start an affiliate marketing website
- Build traffic and then add affiliate links
- Find products to sell and then create content
- Connect with affiliates and ask for exclusive discounts
- Create original product reviews and tutorials
- Publish video content in your blogs
- Build content hubs around a product
- Keep updating your important pages
- Optimize the placement of your affiliate links
- Keep an eye on competitors
1. Don’t start an affiliate marketing website
Our first affiliate marketing tip is to NOT start an affiliate marketing website. On the surface, this may sound counter-intuitive but let me explain.
You don’t want to start a website with the sole purpose of promoting affiliate products.
There are several reasons for this. The most important reason is that it is not a good affiliate marketing strategy. In fact, it will likely result in you having little or no success.
At its core, affiliate marketing is based on trust. People buy the products promoted by affiliates because they trust that the products will meet their needs. Simply promoting something doesn’t establish trust.
Despite this, many people think of affiliate marketing as a get-rich-quick scheme. This leads to many people picking up affiliate marketing hoping to make some quick cash without actually helping their audience.
Naturally, these people don’t last long as they soon find out affiliate marketing takes more than simply adding some promotional links and banners to a website.
So instead of making the same mistake, you want to start your affiliate marketing endeavors by establishing trust, providing value, and showing your expertise.
The way to do this is by creating useful content. Once you’ve built out a solid amount of valuable content, you can then start affiliate promotions.
Think of it like a business creating a product of its own. While you may have the intention of making money from selling your product, it ultimately needs to serve some purpose if people are going to buy it.
We’ll go into more detail about the best type of content to create later in our tips for affiliate marketing. But as a primer, you should plan on most of your site’s content being evergreen.
Evergreen content is content that stays relevant over time as people continually search for it. This type of content is great for driving consistent traffic to your site. It also helps you to establish trust and authority.
Plus, many other sites will link to this type of content, further boosting your site’s performance in search engines.
2. Build traffic and then add affiliate links
In line with tip one, our next affiliate marketing tip is to allow your site to grow before promoting your affiliate products.
Again, the early focus of your site should be creating great content.
While having content will present the opportunity to begin promoting products by adding affiliate links throughout the pages, you don’t want to do so at the beginning.
Why? Because it is essentially a waste of your time and effort at this point in your business.
For one, it takes time to find the most effective way to incorporate these promotions into your site.
Yes, you will have to do this at some point. But in the early stages of your site, it has no value.
This is because your site won’t have many (if any) visitors. It takes time for content to gain traction and thus you will have to wait a little while before you start getting visitors to your site.
Signing up for programs and adding links at the beginning takes effort that could be spent enhancing your content and focusing on search engine optimization (SEO).
SEO is how you get your pages to rank at the top of search results in Google. It is necessary to ensure that your site can receive the traffic needed to generate money from affiliate referrals.
So, the best approach is to wait until your website is attracting a solid number of visitors before registering for programs and adding links.
In many cases, you’ll have no choice but to do it in this order anyway. Many of the best affiliate programs won’t approve affiliates until they have an established website.
3. Find products to sell and then create content
While it is best to wait until your site is established before adding affiliate offers to your pages, you still want to know exactly which products you intend to promote before creating content.
Doing so will allow you to create an effective affiliate marketing strategy in which the content is centered around specific programs.
For example, let’s say you choose to become an affiliate for web hosting platforms. You start researching different affiliate programs from web hosting companies and find that Bluehost and Kinsta each have great products and a program that you want to join.
With this information, you can then prioritize your content by creating dedicated product reviews for each of these platforms.
If you were to wait until after you’ve started making content to do this research, you may not have the idea to create these targeted pieces.
What to look for in affiliate programs
There are several important characteristics to look for in an affiliate program.
First, you should look for products relevant to the theme of your website and content. If you want to create a site with cooking content, you shouldn’t look for affiliate programs for clothing companies.
Next, comes the product itself. At the end of the day, you won’t get many sales if you’re promoting a product nobody wants. So finding a great product that is easy to sell is a crucial part of finding a good affiliate program.
After that, you can begin looking at the program itself. Naturally, the first thing you’ll want to consider is the program’s commission structure. Ideally, you want something with high commission rates which will help you make more money.
The best type of programs are ones that offer recurring commissions. These allow you to profit the entire duration someone is a customer rather than just receiving a one-time payout.
4. Connect with affiliates and ask for exclusive discounts
Our next recommendation is to work directly with affiliate partners to get access to unique promotional offers. This is one of the most overlooked affiliate marketing ideas.
It’s much easier to make a sale when you offer users a discount.
Many affiliate programs will have promotional offers for all the affiliates that join the program. While useful, these discounts are generic as they are offered to all affiliates.
You can take your affiliate marketing to the next level by connecting with your affiliate partner to get an exclusive discount just for you.
This will not only increase the incentive for customers, but it will also help you stand out from other affiliates competing for the same sales.
For example, in our guide to best website checker tools, we offer an exclusive 14-day free trial of SEMRush Pro while the normal is 7 days only.
As a buyer, that extra 7 days to test out the platform can be extremely valuable given the cost of the subscription
How to connect with affiliates
Before you reach out for exclusive discounts, you should follow the earlier steps in this guide. Namely, you should allow your site to grow both in authority and traffic.
Once you’ve become a successful affiliate that has an established site that drives consistent revenue, you can contact your affiliate program to work on exclusive partnerships.
In some cases, affiliate partners will reach out to you directly. Program managers track affiliate sales and some are proactive to reward and further incentivize their best affiliates.
5. Create original product reviews and tutorials
There are two types of content that are particularly effective for affiliate marketing; product reviews and tutorials.
With a tutorial, you provide detailed step-by-step instructions on how to use a specific product. Tutorials can also focus on more generic knowledge rather than showcasing a specific solution.
For example, you can write a how-to tutorial on building a website.
Tutorials and similar guides tend to focus more on providing value and generating traffic rather than turning visitors into customers.
Product reviews on the other hand are focused on driving sales.
With a product review, you give a review of the product, listing its key details as well as its pros and cons.
People searching for a product review have strong purchase intent and this type of content helps them finalize their decision.
When creating product reviews, the quality of the review is essential. Potential buyers are looking for an honest and thorough analysis of the product they are considering.
Unfortunately, many new affiliates fall into the mistake of simply repeating the main points found in existing reviews.
This lack of unique insight not only limits the SEO potential of your posts but can also leave readers questioning whether you really know anything about the product.
The best way to write a product review is to actually try it yourself and then create a completely original review with your own images and opinions.
You should provide detailed insight into the product’s strengths and weaknesses, with supporting evidence to back up your points. It’s also helpful to explain how the product stands out from its competitors.
A review article doesn’t have to focus on a single product. It is common for affiliates to write comparison reviews that look at multiple solutions side by side.
These kinds of posts are useful for shoppers needing to evaluate competing products.
For you, comparisons are ideal for targeting non-product specific keywords like “eCommerce platform”. They are also good for ranking keywords that contain the words “best” or “top”.
When you write a roundup review, look to include a comparison table. Comparison tables make it easy for viewers to compare different options to see which is right for them.
For example, our post on the best social media management tools includes an informative comparison table toward the beginning of the content.
Readers can use it to quickly see the price, supported platforms, number of profiles, and free trial options for all of the tools on the list
6. Publish video content in your blogs
Videos are a great way to increase engagement for your affiliate blog posts while providing additional value to your viewers.
Many users prefer watching informative video content rather than reading the entirety of a lengthy post.
Videos are also good for SEO. Google has found that video thumbnails tend to get high clickthrough rates and thus will prioritize them in search rankings when given the chance.
The best way to publish affiliate marketing videos
When it comes to adding videos to your site, there are two common approaches you can take. The first is to host the video on your site and then embed them in specific posts.
The other is to post the video on YouTube and then embed the YouTube video onto your site.
We recommend going with the second option. By publishing your videos on YouTube and then embedding them onto your site, you can benefit from getting traffic from both channels.
As more people view your YouTube videos, your YouTube following will grow. This will result in better YouTube rankings and more organic YouTube traffic.
Types of videos to create
When it comes to the details of your videos, the same subjects covered in your affiliate blogs generally work the best. Specifically, product reviews, comparisons, and how-to guides.
Like Google, these topics have strong search interest on Youtube. Naturally, they will also make a great complement to your existing content.
For example, if you have a product comparison, you can use a video to provide visual insights that aren’t as easy to include as images in a blog post.
You can see this at work in our comparison of the best digital marketing courses.
In the video, we provide a visual walk-through of each of the courses. This helps to summarize the main points of each so that viewers can get a better idea of what the program is like.
7. Build content hubs around a product
The best way to approach your affiliate marketing content strategy is to identify all the topics and keywords around target products and then create content hubs for these subjects.
A content hub is simply a page organized around a specific topic. It serves as a hub in two ways. First, it provides detailed information on a topic. Second, it links out to more thorough content pages about specific areas of the topic.
You can see this at work with our hub for the best Google career certificates. The page provides a detailed list of the best certificate and it includes links to comprehensive reviews for each certificate on the list.
Creating content hubs strengthens your authority in your niche. It shows that your content has a connected purpose and that you’re not writing about topics that are irrelevant to your audience.
Content hubs have a similar effect to search engines. Strategically publishing and interlinking connected posts signals to Google that your site is focused on a specific topic.
8. Keep updating your important pages
Affiliate marketing content is similar to a product in that it has a life cycle. Over time, it will start to decay and lose value for your business.
You can keep your content fresh both for users and for search engines by regularly updating your pages.
Even evergreen content needs to be updated regularly as information changes and competitors find new innovative ways to cover important topics.
Now, updating your content doesn’t mean you’ll need to rewrite each blog post from scratch. Instead, you should focus on adding new paragraphs that are relevant and deleting those that are out of date.
You should also update your graphics with fresh imagery.
Another useful tip is to change the publication date on your blog. Updating the date in your blog will also change the date in Google.
This will make the content appear fresher, helping it to rank higher. It can also lead to higher clickthroughs. Users that see a more recent publication date will be more likely to click it over competing results.
We recommend making changes to your most important pages once every 3 months at a minimum.
9. Optimize the placement of your affiliate links
Great content and affiliate products ultimately won’t do much good if you can’t get many people to go from your pages to the affiliate’s site. This is why link placement is a crucial part of affiliate marketing.
Good link placement leads directly to more people viewing the product page for your affiliate offers. Understandably, more viewers tend to result in more affiliate sales.
A good strategy is to include links in different places throughout your pages.
Our post on Google project management certificates is a good example of this. In the post, you can find affiliate links at the top of the page and in the middle.
There is also a popup with a link that appears for people viewing the page on a desktop computer.
Another common tactic is to use affiliate banners. These visual assets are easy to implement as many programs offer them as promotional material for their affiliates.
However, banners tend to be less effective than contextual links. They have a connotation of being promotional and are thus ignored by many readers.
10. Keep an eye on competitors
Like any type of business, there is much to gain from analyzing the competition. By actively monitoring other affiliates promoting the same products, you can ensure that you’re always implementing the best strategies to drive results.
Start by checking what kind of content they’re publishing. If you notice they are creating styles of posts that you are not, you want to take a closer look and see if you can benefit from creating the same.
You also want to monitor how often the competition posts. A regular publishing cadence is good for attracting an engaged audience. As such, you don’t want to be too far behind your competitors in publishing frequency.
With affiliate marketing, it is also important to track the types of offers promoted by your competitors. Perhaps you may find new high-quality products that you have yet to discover.
You may also notice that they have better promotional discounts than you do. If this is the case, you will want to action and talk to your affiliate program to see if you can get a similar offer.
Checking where competitors place their links can also be beneficial. By doing so, you may find placement ideas that are effective for generating a high number of clicks.
Overall, you don’t want to blindly copy the competition. The process of keeping an eye on them should serve as another form of research for developing your own affiliate marketing strategy.
Affiliate marketing can be a powerful way to generate an online income but it doesn’t come without thought and effort. These affiliate marketing tips and tricks will set you in the right direction to start generating more commissions.