In today’s digital marketing world, there are many ways to earn a living from working at home. I found affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to make money online. The benefits are vast, the start-up costs are minimal and virtually anyone can get started with an online side-business of their own.
I first started making money online back in the mid-90s. At this time the concept of affiliate marketing was fairly new and there were only a handful of programs for you to join and promote. Amazon.com was one of the first and most successful affiliate programs of all time — which was also how I started to make some serious money online.
Once I realized I could make money by sending traffic and customers to different sites, I knew the concept of affiliate marketing had a lot of potential. This was even true when I came across affiliate marketing in CPA (cost per action) form. This meant I would earn a commission when someone completed a form, tasks or completed a process, versus them needing to pull out their credit card and spend real money.
Jump forward nearly two decades, and affiliate marketing is still alive and well. However, new people are finding out about the opportunities of affiliate marketing everything. To learn more about what’s working best today, be sure to check out Neil Patel’s affiliate marketing guide.
In short, it’s easy to get started with a website, blog or even affiliate marketing — but it’s not so easy to find success.
To help with this process, I’ve listed seven different ways to improve your odds for finding success in the world of content creation, affiliate marketing and scaling your online business against the billion-plus sites on the internet today.
1 – Niche Down as Much as Possible
Whether you are focused on content creation, blogging, affiliate marketing or paid advertising… when you niche down your target audience and topic as much as possible, you are much more likely to find success.
A perfect example of this would be if you were trying to rank for something like “blogging” or “how to make money with a blog”. The two search phrases are similar but completely different in nature. There is no way to know what someone wants when they search for “blogging”, however if someone is searching for “how to make money with a blog”, it’s quite obvious.
In summary, the more focused your audience and content, the easier it will be to promote and exact affiliate offer to an audience and get them to convert. To see this process in action, follow these blogging resource guide and see how you can break down a generic topic like “basketball” into a profitable and less-competitive niche market.
2 – Split-Test Your Ad Copy and Landing Pages
Split testing is a no-brainer, but it’s something many affiliate marketers still forget or neglect to do. The concept here is simple… if you have a generic landing page or offer you want to promote, you might start by testing that offer to the masses. Once you get some stats and traffic flowing through your offer, it would be a good idea to test a different landing page or offer with that same audience.
This is something that should continually be done throughout all campaigns. You never know when you might come across a new landing page or offer that just converts better.
When running a split test, be sure to only make one small change at a time — otherwise you won’t know what change resulted in the swing in conversions.
3 – Run Winning Offers on Different Platforms
Just like everyone should be split testing, they should also be running their best campaigns on different networks and traffic sources as well. A great example of this would be if you were running an offer on Google Adwords that’s been profitable for quite a while. Since you already know which keywords and landing pages are working best, it wouldn’t be hard for you to take all of that same information and create a new PPC campaign through Bing.
This can be done several times over. Facebook Ads, media buying and email marketing all examples of different traffic sources that could result in new sources of revenue for your ad campaigns.
As always, whenever running a new ad campaign or traffic source, always remember to split test and track wherever possible.
4 – Have a Tracking Solution in Place to Monitor Campaigns
Affiliate networks are great for finding offers and sending out payments. They are also quite useful for tracking your campaign performance as well. However, I wouldn’t rely solely on their stats and reporting.
It’s not that you shouldn’t 100% trust your affiliate network of choice, but not all of them are tracking as much as they should. Shaving is another topic of discussion, but it’s just another reason why you should be tracking with a platform of your own.
When it comes to having your own tracking platform, there are many to choose from. Some will be hosted on their own platform, while others will give you access to software that you can download and place on your own server. This will allow you to actively monitor and track all ad campaigns directly, while also comparing these stats with your ad network.
5 – Start with a Small Daily Budget and Scale with Time
One of the worst things a new affiliate marketer can do, is rush the process. By this I mean trying to throw a lot of money at a new ad campaign, simply in hopes it will be profitable.
Instead, a better option is to start with a small daily budget and continue to tweak the campaign with time. This is especially true with media buying and Facebook Ads, as you can quickly run through a large budget in a short amount of time.
My best advice for you is to start small and scale over time. If you have an offer that pays out $1 per lead, why not start with a $20 a day budget? After each day, you should then analyze the stats from your campaign and remove any sites or referrals that aren’t sending any quality leads.
Repeat this process until you are successfully seeing a few profitable days in a row. Once you’ve hit this level, start scaling your campaign budget in size.
6 – Ask for Higher Payouts and Lifting Volume Caps
Since more affiliate marketers will be using affiliate networks to run offers, they are likely going to get lost in the mix of thousands of affiliates already within the network. When you first join a network you will see all of the offers available, along with their base payout rates to everyone.
The keyword here is “base rates” — which is how much everyone is getting paid. If you start pushing volume or very high-quality leads, you should definitely consider asking for a higher payout on your offer. Ad networks usually have a decent amount of margin to play with, and if you are already pushing some nice volume and quality leads, there is no reason why they shouldn’t be able to boost you up in commission.
7 – Create Your Own Product or Service
The last big tip for success in affiliate marketing is to not solely rely on affiliate marketing forever. By this I mean you should be looking for new opportunities in how you can scale your earnings and business in size. Even outside of your own affiliate marketing efforts, there are plenty of ways to make money from home. Some of these methods can help inspire new ideas for products or services you can create to cater to different audiences.
One of the best ways to scale your business with affiliate marketing is to see if there is an option for you to remove the middle man and create a similar product or service of your own. Depending on the offers you are promoting, you may be able to come out with a product or service through a simple lead gen process or creating your own site. A good example of this would be “email submit” offers or an online course.
Why continue to promote a product or service that you are only earning 50% on, when you could essentially go out there and create a similar product of your own, then just insert it into your active ad campaigns.
How to Find Success with Affiliate Marketing in 2017
As you can see, there are plenty of things to consider when trying to make money with affiliate marketing. The most common and obvious ways to make more money, are often the ones we already know of, but simply don’t act on.
Follow these recommended affiliate marketing tips and tricks to increase your earnings and have your most successful year yet!