If you have entered the world of affiliate marketing and want to learn some tips on how to succeed, read this guide on the best 5 affiliate marketing strategies in 2018.
Here's the good news: Continual changes in digital marketplaces and consumer behaviors make the affiliate marketing model more popular than ever.
Many people are able to make a living or have a rewarding side-hustle being an affiliate marketer.
That's the bad news.
More affiliates, more competition for consumers' attention and dollars. You need to find the opportunities that are worth your time and energy. You need to attract website visitors who are likely to click and buy.
To gain the upper hand over your fellow affiliates, you need to be strategic.
And that's where more good news comes in.
We've compiled the 5 best affiliate marketing strategies to adopt in 2018. Implement one, some, or all of these strategies to help increase your revenue as an affiliate.
1. Find a Niche
Some affiliate marketers build a broad and diverse portfolio of products and services to promote. This can be a worthwhile approach but it's become more difficult to do well.
Customers have less and less time and attention to spend on finding products and deciding whether to buy. As a result, they rely more on "experts" or seek out marketplaces where the choices have already been filtered.
Choosing a niche or specialty tells potential and repeat customers that you know what you're talking about. You become a trusted source. The customer doesn't have to wade through all kinds of stuff they don't want to get to what they do want.
To find your niche, look at how companies find their niche markets. You can apply many of the principles to your business as an affiliate.
Perhaps the most valuable one is "customer's worldview". Identify the kind of customer you know you can attract and wow to build a strong pipeline of potential customers.
For example, if you're a dog person and get how people with dogs think and shop, dog products could be your niche. Find a variety of affiliate marketing opportunities based on that without worrying about the revenue model.
If you build a strong presence within your chosen niche, you can generate revenue through multiple affiliate programs. Like any portfolio, diversity helps mitigate risk and improve returns. Just remain compliant with any "competition" terms in the affiliate agreements.
2. Focus on Products You Actually Use
Another way to build credibility and trust with customers is to only promote products you use.
With this strategy, you essentially create a different kind of niche. Instead of a tight focus such as products for dogs, you keep the focus on your experience. In effect, you become the niche.
Let's use Oprah as an example of this strategy used to the extreme. Oprah recommends products and services she uses or believes in. People trust Oprah and act on her recommendations.
Who knows if Oprah makes money from each recommendation. The lesson for anyone looking to start or grow their affiliate business is about leveraging your experience to develop influence.
Are you a homeowner? Chances are you use a variety of products and services to keep your house in shape and your home comfortable.
Join affiliate programs for those products and services. Build your reputation, your niche, as a homeowner. Maybe your thing is shoe-string budgets or low environmental impact.
No matter what, your experiences become the focus and attraction.
3. Send an Email Newsletter
Once you've adopted one of the two affiliate marketing strategies we just covered, it's time to nurture your pipeline of customers.
Enter the most basic yet valuable strategy: staying in touch.
Social media can give you quick access to followers and help others discover you. Yet email remains the most effective way to get people to take action.
Why? Because your message lands in their inbox. Despite many people suffering from inbox overload, social media feeds are more crowded.
Another reason email newsletters are effective: the person gave you their email address. It's table stakes to have a signup button on your website. Often, it includes a lead magnet, or digital giveaway, to thank the person for their email address.
The most important aspect of e-newsletters is quality. To make sure you get the greatest value from this strategy, be sure to:
Remember, the immediate goal of e-newsletters is not closing a sale. It's building trust. Offer value and show respect to your readers and many of them will reward you by clicking on your affiliate links.
4. Cross-Promote Through Guest Posts
At first, you'll only have affiliate links on your own website. Starting small allows you to experiment with CTAs and get to know your ideal customers.
But before long, you'll be ready to expand your reach so you can find new customers. A simple and effective way to do this is through guest posts.
Start by inviting others to guest post on your site. Let's say you're an affiliate marketer of dog products.
You could invite a pet carrier company to write an article about traveling with your dog. The content is valuable because it's written by a third-party expert.
The guest poster will add a link to the article from their site. Boom. You now have people who didn't know you existed visiting your site. Some of them will then feel more compelled to click on your affiliate links.
Once you've attracted a few guest posters to your site, you can start returning the favor. Find sites that aren't your competition yet relate to your niche.
For example, you could write a guest post about puppy-proofing for a home decor site. In many cases, you can embed your affiliate links in the article.
But even if their guidelines prevent that, it's standard practice to include your bio and link to your website. If your article is compelling and provides value, some of the home decor site's visitors will visit your site too.
5. Create How-To Videos
Videos are a quick and engaging way for anyone to learn how to do something.
An under-used strategy for building an affiliate business is how-to videos. From product demonstrations to how to create something from scratch, video can compel people to take action.
If you choose this strategy, be sure to:
Also, keep each video to 30 to 180 seconds. Fewer customers will spend the time watching longer videos.
Choosing the Right Affiliate Marketing Strategies
The affiliate marketing model is an excellent way to generate passive income. But how can you know which strategies are right for you?
Try one. Or two. Or all five affiliate marketing strategies outlined here.
The biggest key to how to succeed in affiliate marketing is to start. Then stick with it.
You might need to adjust your approach or put more energy behind one strategy than another. That's part of the business.
Successful affiliate marketers are continually learning about products and what customers respond to. They evaluate the value of their affiliations. They add and subtract affiliations to meet their financial objectives.
We're always adding new and practical articles and resources to this site. Check back often to stay on top of the latest in affiliate marketing. Please feel free to leave your comments.