By Holly Reisem Hanna
As some of you may know, I was banned from Google Adsense a few months ago, due to circumstances that were unfair and out of my control. While I didn’t make a killing with Adsense, I did make a fair amount with them. From my experience in working with ad networks, Google Adsense was the highest paying network for individuals that don’t have millions of page views each month.
I have always dabbled with affiliate marketing, but have never really put in the time and effort to promote it, until I read this article with a couple of my fellow mom entrepreneurs. As it turns out Heather Allard from The Mogul Mom and Justine Grey from Create Hype, are both making 5K a month promoting affiliate programs – not bad!
So with this new found enthusiasm for affiliate marketing, I decided to focus more of my efforts in this area. For those of you who are not familiar with the affiliate marketing arena, it is the process of promoting products and services, and for every lead or sale that is generated through your efforts – you make a commission.
The one thing that always turned me off of affiliate marketing, was the fact that you the blogger/publisher took all the risk upfront. Meaning that you could promote the heck out of a product, and not get paid a dime if no one signed up or purchased items through your links. On the other hand, your earning potential with affiliate programs is limitless, which can make it very lucrative.
But before you run out and slap up some affiliate ads on your blog, you’ll want to consider these things.
Many times bloggers start promoting affiliate products that they like, which can work, but you really need to focus on what your audience needs and wants are, because they can be totally different from your own. For instance, say your audience is comprised of newbie bloggers, but you’re an advanced blogger. Promoting advanced coaching for bloggers is probably not going to be your best bet – you’ll want to focus on products and services that assist the novice blogger.
Another consideration to take into account is price point – what is your audience willing to pay? Believe me you won’t make any sales promoting products and services that are outside of your audience’s money comfort zone. Honestly, it took me a long time to really narrow down who my target audience was, but if you’re focused and take the time to do the research, it shouldn’t take you that long.
Lastly, you should ONLY promote products and services that you yourself would buy. I personally like to promote affiliate programs that I’ve had a chance to personally review. This way I know that what I’m recommending to my readers is a good fit, and it also helps to build trust.
When you’re looking for affiliate programs to promote, you’ll want to choose ones that pay out a high commission fee. When I first started out, I started promoting products that I really liked and that my audience liked, but they only paid out 10% of the total sales. Well, figure the average order size was $65.00, this means that I only made $6.50 per sale. It would take a lot of orders for this to amount to anything substantial. So depending on what your audience’s comfort zone is in relation to price point, you’ll either need to promote products that have a high price point, or that offer a high commission rate. Do your homework and search around – there are tons of affiliate programs out there. I personally like working with companies that pay per lead.
How You Promote:
Probably the first promotion route you think of when promoting an affiliate product, is the traditional banner ad – and this is a good place to start. But there are numerous ways in which you can promote affiliate programs, and the more you use the more sales you’ll generate.
Here are a few ways to promote affiliate marketing:
- Write a Review
- Newsletter Ads
- Dedicated Emails
- Text Links
- Content Marketing
- Social Media
- Purchasing Ads on Other Blogs
- Video Marketing
- Pay Per Click Advertising
- Facebook Advertising
- Host a Tele-seminar
While I don’t suggest using all of these methods, I do suggest using a few and creating a marketing plan for the promotion. Again you don’t want to bombard your audience with the promotion, but instead offer substance that teaches them about the value of the product or service.
Focus on Quality:
While a large part of affiliate marketing is a numbers game (how big is your list, how much traffic do you get, what is your social media presence) the best way to increase these numbers is to provide quality content. Always remember to put your best foot forward in everything that you do, from your blog posts to your newsletter content, to your social media interactions. When you take time to focus on quality and building the relationships – the numbers will follow.
By taking the time to come up with a solid marketing plan, you can be on your way to making more money using affiliate marketing.
What is your experience with affiliate marketing? What are some of your favorite affiliate programs?