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The Do’s and Don’ts of Affiliate Marketing

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Affiliate marketing is a journey, and my journey started off being entirely focused on money. I’m probably not alone with that, and like many others, those early steps had no structure either. I tried anything and everything hoping to find something that made me money, not realizing I was making a lot of mistakes that could seriously affect any long-term success I was looking for.

The good thing for anyone starting out now, or simply trying to find direction in the affiliate marketing industry, is that as the years have passed, I have learned from all those mistakes I made, and that means you don’t have to go through it. Here, I will explain what I did wrong, and how you can avoid doing the same thing, saving your time and money on your own journey to affiliate marketing success.

Taking on too many programs

The first mistake I want to talk about I hinted at in the opening paragraphs, I joined up to every affiliate program I could find, thinking that with many ways to earn, I’d make more money. This was a mistake, as with so much to deal with from so many options, I never really got to focus on anything in particular, and ended up doing everything in a rushed, badly thought out way.

Now, multiple income streams are fantastic, I’m not suggesting you stick to one program and nothing else, build gradually, master what you are doing before adding to the workload. Instead of signing up to everything, choose carefully and pick a few programs that interest you, with a workload you can manage.

Trying to sell everything

If my first mistake was trying to do too much, my second mistake, and probably the biggest one anyone in affiliate marketing makes (and also the most common), is thinking that affiliate marketing is all about the hard sell. In my early days, I was convinced that I had to sell the product or service I was promoting. I read books on copywriting and focused on the sales language they taught, everything had to be ‘Order yours today!’ and other calls to action, but that is missing the point of affiliate marketing completely, and it really is not the way to find success.

As an affiliate marketer, our job is not to sell, that is for the sales page itself, our job is to help people find solutions to their problems. When making purchase choices, what most people are looking for is what other people think. If you want to see a clear example of this, look at Amazon reviews. Genuine feedback on a product or service is a powerful part of many people’s decision-making process, and as affiliate marketers, that is our goal too.

Instead of selling products or services, the goal should always be to reflect, review and inform, we should always be the unbiased reviewer presenting a product that may interest our audience, the sales funnel comes after our links.

Not using effective tracking

This is the third mistake I made in my haste to make some money, I was so focused on just getting sales, I didn’t give a thought to tracking exactly where the clocks were coming from. I know better now, and always use unique tracking links on each page I put up to promote any offer.

The reason this matters for your business is that if you are getting sales, but do not know where they come from, you never know what is working and what is not. That means you know exactly what works and what needs adjusting. Its easy to do as well, Amazon provides all the tools for you in your account, they have a dedicated “Manage Tracking ID” section.

Ignoring Testing

As I mentioned, I signed up to every program I could in the beginning, never really checking on any of them. To be successful, you need to build your audience as an affiliate marketer, and that means offering quality products and services and a good overall experience.

That is why you should always test the vendor’s system yourself, see just what happens when you register interest. Some still don’t understand that less is more with marketing today, and they can send endless annoying marketing emails. That annoys me, and probably most of the people I would be sending to that link, but it affects your own business as well. That experience reflects on you as a marketer, and that could affect your hard-won audience if they lose confidence in you.

Always test, and only offer products that reflect your own way of working.

Be truthful

Following on from the idea that as affiliate marketers, we are there to help our audience and not sell to them, acting as unbiased reviewers for their benefit, there is another aspect to those reviews. Always be honest. In fact, pointing out a downside to a product can be a great way to confirm your neutrality to an audience, so don’t be afraid to mention some minor negative points or things you would like to see improved.

It’s not something I have fallen into the trap of myself, other than it took me a while to understand that some minor negatives can be beneficial to your audience trust, but I have seen a lot of problems caused by marketers exaggerating the benefits of a product. This happens a lot in the money-making niche, where claims of vast riches are often seen. All that guarantees is a disappointed customer asking for a refund, and it’s not necessary. If someone can make a few extra bucks with a product, say so, very often that is all people are looking for.

Stick with it

Finally, stick with your program to see results. I started far too many campaigns, and that resulted in never really getting anywhere with any of them, so as we have discussed, start off with one and work from there, never take on more than a few that you can comfortably manage. But there is more to it than that, affiliate marketing is a vibrant industry, there is always a new offer or service to promote, with dozens appearing every week, all full of hype and promise.

I got distracted by this myself, always looking for the latest and greatest, but if you start a new program every week, guess what happens? You never finish anything. That was me too! Stick with a program until its working, then find another to add to it. That lets you find success and earn some money, which you will never do with dozens of half-finished attempts that are abandoned for the next big thing.

Conclusion

It’s not a comprehensive ‘how-to’ for affiliate marketers, but if reading the above helps you avoid one of the mistakes I made along the way, then it has the value I wanted it to have. There are as many approaches to affiliate marketing as there are affiliate marketers, no one is right or wrong, but there are some things you can do that will help you towards the success you deserve, and some that will hinder you.

Whatever way you work, avoid the mistakes I made and you will get to your destination sooner.

Affiliate Marketing

Social Media Marketing for Affiliates

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To be a success in affiliate marketing, getting your affiliate link and products being offered in front of as many people as possible is the goal. It is though, only effective when those links appear naturally, and that is why social media is so useful for affiliate marketing.

Think about how we live today; social media is part of all our lives. Whether it is Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn or Facebook, practically everyone you know will use at least one every day. Then think about how social media works – it’s based on sharing with friends. Facebook timelines, Twitter feeds, what these are a collection of things your friends and those you follow have posted.

That is why it is so useful for affiliate marketing, if someone shares your link on social media, it’s being divided naturally. It reaches new people every time someone shares it. Each person has different friends and followers, and when your link is posted, they all see it. It opens the door to new customers, enlarging your audience and providing new opportunities.

Seeing how social media can help is one thing. Here, we will explain how to make the most of it.

Keep it simple

Social media is not complicated. You don’t need to be an expert to get results.

You may think you need to be if you follow many affiliate experts, who seem convinced that the most complicated approach is the only approach. That’s not good, and it has led to many affiliates simply ignoring social media altogether in case they make mistakes. But that means affiliate marketers are missing out on a fantastic opportunity for their business.

There is an answer, Unilink.io does the technical parts for you so that you don’t need to understand a lot about social media to use it for your affiliate programs. In fact, with Unilink.io you can quickly have those massive social media platforms working for you.

However, it does help to understand the basics even if you use Unilink.io, so here is your primer for social media today:

  • Social media is about a short message. Whether a Facebook update or a tweet, concise and memorable is the key.
  • Social media is ideal for posting links, users expect to see them, and when combined with a compelling, engaging message, affiliates can have success
  • There are no membership fees for social media, keep trying until you find the right formulae for your offers

There are pages and pages of advice written about optimizing your social media campaigns. Some of it works as well, but if you choose Unilink.io, all you need is the basic understanding of the platforms above, and you are good to go.

Success for affiliates on social media

It is your affiliates who do the work on social media of course, and you may be thinking that adds another complication to managing the program, but if you sign up to Unilink.io, the links your affiliates need for sharing on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms will be created for you. Optimized links for each site are generated at the click of a button, saving you time and ensuring your affiliates have the right tools to succeed.

To get your affiliates up and running quickly, and make sure that their message is on brand, you can do even more. You can create scripts that guide their campaigns. It doesn’t take long, and it allows you to set up the short messages ready to go for your affiliates. They are easy to write, and you only have to do it once, and all affiliates have the template to use.

Ad tracking on social media

We all understand the importance of ad tracking in optimizing any campaign. If affiliates don’t have ad tracking data, they are operating blind, unable to see what works for them.  What many do not know, is how easy it is to track ads on social media.

There are several important factors to track, visitor numbers, leads generated, purchases made and so on, and Unilink.io makes this straightforward. What’s more, with independent tracking on each platform, affiliates can always see exactly how things are performing every time.

It’s easy to do, just set up a new campaign, generate a platform-specific link for the affiliate, and the system will track all activity and present it in a simple, clear report. In this way, just a single click gives an affiliate a comprehensive tracking solution for every ad they run. Unilink.io solution works on all social media platforms and ensures every campaign is achieving its full potential.

Unilink.io gives affiliates the power of social media.

With Unilink.io, affiliates have all the tools and materials needed to make full use of the power of social media to spread their message. By taking the time to set up scripts for them to use, your small investment of time, in the beginning, leads to considerable gains in the long-term.

Unilink.io also saves time during the campaign, with comprehensive management tools that help you to manage all affiliates efficiently, ensuring they are getting the most from social media. The thing is, social media advertising works, it’s cost-effective and productive. Don’t fear it, embrace social media and see more success with Unilink.io.

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Affiliate Marketing

How to Create Your First Affiliate Marketing Website

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Businesses today are increasingly recognizing the power of online marketing and sales. As time passes, more and more companies engage in affiliate marketing as a way to boost their sales. At the same time, customers also seek to educate themselves about available products and wish to filter out useless information.

Affiliate marketers should opt for a comprehensive solution to generate leads all the time, stabilizing their revenues as a result. We warmly recommend you to take heed of the warning and create your very first affiliate website. In this guide, we talk about the benefits of hosting a platform and how should one set it up.

Budgeting Your Expenses

We offer WordPress as a solution for website creation and design. Thus, it is a given that small amount of investments is needed. There is numerous free website hosting platforms to choose but keep in mind that you will have limited design choices. Additionally, there a ton of guides out there that provide step-by-step account creation at WordPress. We, on the other hand, concentrate on the organization of your affiliate gig.

What makes WordPress an awesome platform to start is the availability of the free program. You can create content and fill out your space. Once done, you can then move towards paid programs. However, we do advise to choose once you have everything planned out. Once you are ready for a launch, it will be clear which plan suits you the most. Overall, the range of fees goes from $100 to $1.000 annually, depending on the chosen programs.

Apart from direct expenses for website construction, affiliate marketers should take into account off-site costs as well. If you do not have the knack for writing, some freelancers do so. They come with a price tag, however, which can drive your costs higher up. Social platforms provide promoted posts/statuses for a small fee as well, so make sure you include them in profit/loss analysis.

Choosing an Attractive Market

The second step after the website platform is to determine the right market(s). This step requires quite a bit of time to conduct properly. Marketers need to figure out which industry is growing and provides adequate returns. Be it a trading sector or retail, and you have to create a list of companies with good affiliate marketing programs.

Prepare excel and create your profit margins. There, you should put average revenue you can expect and deduct monthly costs you should incur. The more companies you can find that provide referral rewards, the more significant chance you have actually to earn a fortune. Check out our guide on how to make $50 to $100 per day and how to choose a good industry to compete in.

Website Construction

There are several things to think about when constructing your website with WordPress platform. Firstly, you need to choose your domain name and web hosting services. This is possible once you select your payment plan.

Domain Name & Web Hosting

First things first, we need to create attractive URL name for your gig. It will determine what kind of service you are providing as well as the industry you are in. Thus, we recommend you to spend time on coming up with unique and SEO-awesome title. Check out your competitors and see which has more success. The chances are that name is what attracts the audience as much as their content.

Web hosting is another set of apples to take care of and carries its costs as well. To publish your content, you need a server to operate in. In other words, it is a space on the internet that you rent for the duration of the plan. We can recommend using Bluehost as a hosting provider, as it has a tight connection with WordPress. Choose a plan that suits your needs, as seen in the picture below.

Making Most of Your WordPress Account

Now, we reached a crucial part of your affiliate marketing website. To ensure stable traffic and revenue stream, you need to organize your pages to keep your content fresh and visible. Looking at the picture from above, you can either choose an already-set theme or customize your look. We would recommend the later since innovation is a crucial part of a website’s success.

Start with homepage organization, where you need to put all relevant sections visible for readers. When constructing a site, generally speaking, you already should have several subsections:

– FAQ

– Blog

– Contact information

– Reports/Analysis

– News Section

– Email Responder

– eBook (optional but desirable)

– Social Media links (vital)

You can create additional pages as you see fit. However, it is essential to understand that blog articles are only part of the program. Choose an attractive design or make it yourself.

Next in line are SEO tools available at WordPress. Let’s be honest here. Although the fancy design is important, your content is doubly so. Often, customers would type keywords on Google and open up top pages according to the SEO strength articles have. Thus, writing SEO-friendly content is of utmost importance. In WordPress, tools like Yoast keyword strength and Readability should be your guideline towards excellent pages.

Generally speaking, sentences should not pass 20 words while paragraphs should have a limit of 75 words. Use transitional terms and keep it simple. Additionally, you need a high Flesch Reading Ease rating, to make it readable for customers, regardless of their background.

Use keywords as much as possible but do not break the flow of your writing by cramming in terms. Connect your other pages through internal linking and keep going until you get your content to be completely SEO-friendly. The better job you do here, the greater chance your website will appear in first ten results within the Google search engine.

Providing Value

Content should reflect real value for readers. The empty word can only be precisely that – jumbled mash of terms and phrases. You need to provide information that is hard to get and reflect the real situation in the industry. Additionally, articles should also be flawless regarding grammar and yet easy enough to read.

Additionally, merely copying from competitors will not gain you any favors from your target audience. Information should be fresh, relevant and transparent. Thus, massive investigation of the industry you are competing in is a crucial factor for success.

Thus, we generally believe that blogs, articles, eBooks, and other media should be done before the website’s launch. In that way, you control the content and can rephrase/rewrite as much as need until you achieve top quality articles.

Metrics

Google Analytics has an abundance of data analysis metrics that can come useful. Activate it to gain insights on what pages are popular, where do your readers come from and how many desirable actions were taken. It also provides investigation per daily, hourly, and monthly basis, giving you benchmarking tools a swell.

There are also other platforms that can come in handy. Unilink.io is one of them, where profit calculations, as well as statistical analysis, are at your disposal. For a fee, you can have all of your data in one place. Lastly, revenue channels can be separated to provide accurate information about your success.

Choosing Right Companies

Affiliate marketing is all about companies that you wish to promote. These offer referral programs that award marketers for the generation of new customers. Through sales’ percentage, you can earn quite a bit on a daily basis, building a fortune through passive income. However, it is important to choose reputable companies and those that provide good deals.

Check out their percentages for generated leads. Be sure to avoid scams, as many new “organizations” promise huge returns without keeping the word. If it seems too good to be true – it most probably is. Working for a specific industry, strive to understand it well. In some sectors, profit margins are low due to large administrative expenses. Thus, 50% of sales for marketers may not exactly sound like a healthy business model.

Promote on All Channels

Apart from blogs, news, eBooks, email responders, social media, and email campaigns can come in quite handy. Link them with your website and provide icons as links to your profiles outside of your affiliate site. Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, and many other platforms are powerful tools to find and generate customer leads.

Each of these provides their analytics and metrics. You can cross-reference analysis from there with Google Analytics/Unilink, to gain a better understanding of how your audience behaves. Email campaigns are also an excellent channel to establish. Everyone uses an email, no matter if it is Hotmail, Yahoo, or Gmail. It is crucial to choose real ones, as many bot addresses exist today for various reasons.

Conclusion

As you can see, building your website is not a walk in the park. However, do not let it discourage you from creating your very own space on the internet. Rewards are large enough to consider the idea. It is essential to prepare before the launch. We generally believe that content should be ready before the start. The empty website usually provides very little value.

Investigate your market correctly, create SEO-friendly yet valuable content, and you will see your audience grow over time. Keep in mind that seasonality might affect your earnings. Keep an eye on analytics to identify trends so you can react before they even occur.

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Affiliate Marketing

Top Affiliate Marketing Trends to Follow in 2019

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Usually, people make resolutions on the New Year’s Eve. Businesses do so as well, since the end of the year means that results are discussed and programs designed. Competition is fierce across the globe. Additionally, organizations are going global, with new players entering the market easier than before.

Thus, we decide to take a short analysis of the market right now what will it look like in 2019. This article is suitable for both businesses that wish to imbue affiliates and marketers looking for a passive income.

Reputation is Everything

Everyone is using the internet to rate businesses and products they offer. Affiliates are no different in this aspect, due to a large number of scams going around. Thus, if you are an affiliate marketer, promoting questionable companies, people will avoid your content.

The same goes for businesses that do not hold their part of the bargain when constructing your affiliate program. Even if you provide excellent packages, if your services do not bring promised quality, the chances are that affiliate professionals will avoid you like the plague.

Mobile Platforms

The age of desktop shopping is slowly giving out a considerable space to mobile platforms. iOS and Android users like to search for the next cool thing in the market by tapping their phones. It is more comfortable, and companies know it. Thus, affiliate marketing programs often include apps that help marketers track their leads and performance.

The rise of apps will push referral entrepreneurs to create content suitable for readers that mainly use phone devices.

The rise of Retailer Affiliate Programs

Retailers are increasingly finding affiliate marketing a handy advertising tool indeed. Thus, 2019 will see companies that sell online tapping affiliates to build more extensive customer bases. More importantly, affiliate advertising is heavily performance-based, with main metric being the desirable action – buying a product.

This particular point is tightly connected with reputation, as blogs/websites promoting a specific retailer need, to be honest. Providing false claims can hurt both the advertised business and affiliate marketer as well.

Affiliate Agencies – A new thing in 2019

Currently, most of the affiliate marketers are individuals, looking for a passive income that won’t take much of their time and effort. However, this particular advertising channel is growing unprecedentedly, attracting the attention of several companies.

The reason is quite simple – the more employees you have, the more significant number of companies and industries can be covered. Revenues can be quite substantial if you have professionals supporting the gig. Thus, we expect to see an increase of affiliate agencies around the globe.

Facebook will be an Important Channel

Social media is always a good start for affiliate gigs. However, Facebook is growing in importance due to a large number of potential clients that are active there. Many a business opened a Facebook page, advertising products by directly engaging with the customer base.

Affiliate marketing would thus rely on this channel even more so in the coming period. It would be wise to base much of your content on this particular social media platform, no matter the industry you are promoting.

Recruiting Niche Partners Becoming Quite Complex

For businesses, it will become increasingly vital to choose those referral partners that provide attractive content. Simple lead generation would grow obsolete as customers need to filter out a large amount of information.

For affiliates, it means that a combination of referral tools is necessary, including a website with blogs, reviews, and other services. Reputation is quite essential, with well-known endorsers having the most significant chance for success.

Affiliate Marketing Product Diversification

With new tools becoming available each day, affiliate starters have more time to diversify their content across different industries. Tracking results, evaluating SEO content and creating effective programs is a must-do. Thus, various new software solutions are now readily available, saving time and providing accurate analytics.

Unilink is one of those new solutions for affiliate marketers, offering a single database while accounting for different industry metrics. Using it will help you understand what types of keywords work for different sectors. It can also pinpoint issues that would be invisible otherwise while different markets have their metrics.

Concluding Remarks

We believe that 2019 will be a year of changes for affiliate marketers and businesses that wish to use it. Reputation and attractive programs will be the backbone for a successful relationship, as they will define which programs will be successful.

Additionally, broader product diversification leads to the creation of affiliate agencies, putting up pressure on individual marketers. Thus, we recommend starting preparation to address these trends so that you can get the most from the affiliate marketing.

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