Affiliate marketing is still a hot topic in many circles, and various people continue to see good results from it.
Sure, it’s not the golden goose that it once was – the days when one could snap their fingers and see solid profits are over. Just like any other field, as soon as heavy competition set in, various rules started to gain prominence, and the market took its own shape. Today, it’s still pretty easy to get started with affiliate marketing, but you need to have more persistence and dedication if you want to see good results in the long run.
How affiliate marketing works
The basic idea is similar to selling products on commission. You advertise specific products or services, and whenever someone makes a purchase (or subscription, or the equivalent action) through your links, you get a cut of the profits. Sounds simple right? The truth is that it’s anything but. While the basic principles of affiliate marketing are relatively easy to understand, there are various intricate details in this field that can take a lot of time to wrap your head around.
Getting started with affiliate marketing
With that in mind, patience is going to be your number one savior in the first few months of your attempts to get rich through affiliate marketing. It’s very likely that you won’t see any good results in the beginning, even if you’re using proven approaches. Remember, if someone knows how to make money through affiliate marketing, they likely won’t share their secrets with others – they have no inclination to do so. So don’t just blindly trust “success schemes,” and carve out your own path.
If you have a closer connection to people who’re directly involved in this field though, definitely have a chat with them and see if they can’t give you any tips. Just try not to nag too much.
Picking a niche
Your choice of niche is going to be perhaps the number one factor that determines how well you’re going to do later on. The two extremes on this spectrum are extremely popular niches and those that barely get any attention outside of tightly specialized circles. Both have their ups and downs.
Choosing a niche that’s highly popular usually means having plenty of potential customers and easy access to lots of information about the products you’ll be selling. At the same time, it can be very difficult to stand out in the huge crowd of competitors that you’ll be surrounded with.
On the other hand, if your niche is highly specialized, it can be quite easy to get noticed. There probably aren’t too many other people promoting the same kinds of products, to begin with. But once you’ve made a certain number of sales, that’s pretty much if – you’ve exhausted the bigger portion of your potential target audience!
Choosing an affiliate network
Another important factor in your decision should be your choice of affiliate programs. Your network is basically the middleman between you and the companies you’re promoting. Sure, you can go and seek out affiliate programs on your own, negotiating the terms with each company separately. But working with a good network can simplify that process to a great extent, and all at the cost of a small percentage of your sales.
There are several established networks on the market, but it’s hard to make a concrete recommendation without knowing your intended niche. Some networks work far better than others for specific types of products and services. Try to align your choice with that in mind. Also, networks don’t have to be mutually exclusive – if you can see benefits in several different ones, then just make an account at each one.
Setting up new sites quickly
You should make it a habit to bring up your websites quickly and effortlessly if you want to see minimal hassle in your affiliate marketing. This is probably going to be your biggest bottleneck down the road, and it’s something you should sort out as early as possible. If you don’t have the technical know-how to do this on your own, make sure you have connections to good specialists who can get the job done on a reliable schedule.
Explore some technologies that can automate the process as well or even parts of it. There are various bootstrap solutions for standard websites out there, and they can work very well for your needs with just minimal adjustments. However, as you progress through this field, you’ll likely want to start experimenting with your own finely tuned solutions for better results.
Tracking your results
Speaking of results, one of the most important things about your success in affiliate marketing is to have an objective overview of how well you’re doing. It can be easy to get overly excited by one big sale and ignore the fact that you’re still in the red. If you want to ensure that you’re always seeing the big picture and aren’t ignoring any important details, then put some tracking in place early on, and follow up on the data you’re collecting from it.
Modern technology can make this quite easy in multiple aspects. You can collect a lot of information about the behavior of users on your websites, the searches that brought them there, and various other points of interest. You can then feed that data to analytical systems that can go through it and identify patterns that you would never have spotted on your own. You’d be surprised by some of the findings that will come out of that.
Exploring new grounds
Sooner or later, you’re going to start entertaining the idea of experimenting with different new fields. Once you’ve exhausted most of your options in your current niche, this is a pretty standard occurrence. And it’s fine – as long as you to it in a controlled manner and understand the implications. Don’t just branch out randomly. Try to align your new choices with what you’re doing at the moment. You should harness the momentum you’ve got going right now as best as you can.
Different promotion approaches
You’ll eventually also realize that different products require a different approach to their promotion. Sometimes you might not be able to handle that on your own. For example, it’s difficult to switch from promoting something on its own website in a serious, business tone, to posting jokes and memes on social media. Both are valid approaches for their own specific products, but not everyone is cut out for each style of communication.
With that in mind, try to build some connections with people who can handle that for you in a reliable manner. Some look down on the idea of working as a social media manager, but there’s a good reason this kind of occupation has become a real thing in recent years. Many companies are in active need of specialists who understand the unique nuances of each social media platform.
Tweaking the small details
And even though your perspective will continue to grow with the size of your business, you should never lose track of the smaller details. There will always be various minor things that you could tweak with great success, and it’s important to keep toying with them in a controlled manner to fine-tune the machine that you’re building. Sure, making broad strokes and setting up new campaigns in a few clicks can be fun. But if you lose focus of these smaller details, you’re going to suffer in the future, and you’re going to miss many potential opportunities.
Adapting to changing market trends
Which brings us to our last point. No market stays the same over time, and this goes double for affiliate marketing. You can expect to see some major changes in relatively short periods of time here, and you should make it a point to keep track of them and adapt to them as best as possible.
It might often seem like these are small details which you shouldn’t even be bothering with. But in many cases, the effects can stack up quite fast, and you might start to notice some significant differences in the performance of your campaigns after some time. If you fail to keep up with market trends, you can’t expect your current system to keep working as well as it does now. And it can be very difficult to adjust things later on when you realize that you have a problem. The number of points that you’ll need to address will simply be too significant.
Affiliate marketing is still a great field full of opportunities. However, the barrier of entry has gone up a bit in recent times, and it’s not as easy as it used to be to jump in and start seeing good results. But as long as you’re persistent and know what you’re going for, you should be able to profit quite nicely from your experiments with affiliate marketing. In fact, you might even eventually reach a situation where this is your main source of income. But until you get there, you’ll need to be extremely patient and keep calculating your every move.